3 Things You Need To Be Doing This Summer [Consulting]

Christy Murray

Christy Murray is assistant dean for career development at the Johns Hopkins Carey Business School. In this role, Murray leads Carey’s Career Development Office, a team of career coaches and employer relations managers that prepare students to be competitive candidates in the global business community. Murray also serves as a key liaison with the university on the evolution of the life-design framework and career development. Murray holds a Master of Science in Organizational Counseling from Johns Hopkins University and a Bachelor of Science in Social Work from Miami University, Ohio. She is a Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) certified practitioner and an active member of the MBA Career Services and Employer Alliance (MBA CSEA) organization.

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1.   Build a relationship with a consultant. Otherwise known as networking. Otherwise known as an informational interview. Otherwise known as gaining insight into a particular person’s knowledge about the consulting industry. Regardless of how you interpret, the core point is the same – build a relationship. Consultants will often internally refer candidates who they believe will be a good fit for the culture and work at their company. They will not refer you if they do not know or trust you; hence, it is important for them to get to know you and for you to initiate the conversation and relationship. So, this summer, begin building a relationship and start a dialog with a consultant at a company you are interested in learning more about before recruiting season begins in the fall. Pick up the telephone or send a personalized message through LinkedIn. If you need any help with your strategy, make a 1:1 appointment through Carey Compass with a coach in the Career Development Office to discuss.

2.   Purchase a business suit. If you don’t already own a black, navy blue, or gray business suit, use the summer to find a good suit (perhaps on sale) that you can wear this fall for networking events, MBA conferences, and interviews. Have the suit tailored and hanging in your closet ready to go when you need it. You will need to dress like a business consultant for professionals in the consulting industry to take you seriously. Treat conversations with every person you are building a relationship with like a formal interview. Whether or not the conversation is actually titled an “interview”, you are evaluated in every written or in-person communication as a potential candidate when talking with professionals, hiring managers, and business associates. Remember the Carey Business School business attire checklist:

Change your outfit if…

  • …you have to ask yourself if your outfit is appropriate.
  • …you find that you have to sit a certain way to cover up your legs in a skirt.
  • …you think you might be showing too much skin.
  • …you’d be embarrassed to run into your parents on the street.
  • …you can’t walk more than 10 blocks in your shoes.
  • …your pants are so tight that eating lunch might not be a good idea.
  • …you aren’t quite sure that the colors you have chosen go together.
  • …your decision about whether or not to wear something was based on how it smelled when you picked it up from the closet floor.
  • …your twodigitsgame clothes are wrinkled.
  • …your clothes demand more attention than your resume.

3.   Practice case interviewing. Again and again and again. Find a practice partner so you can practice “live” cases. Buy Case In Point. Sign up for Victor Cheng’s newsletter. Join the Carey Consulting Club. Register for a mentor with the Consulting Incubation Network (CIN). Practice math drills using the CQInteractive resource located on your home page of Carey Compass. Connect with a peer or classmate who has done an actual case interview with an employer to get advice.  Sign up for the MBA Consulting Club Exchange Resource to find a practice partner at another MBA school. Practice a different case every week.


Read this book: Case In Point

Follow this leader: Victor Cheng

Join this club: Carey Consulting Club

Join this organization: CIN

Look for jobs: Carey Compass

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