As a BBM candidate, if you don’t have at least a 3.6 GPA, it will be a tough road ahead. But, although it is the road less traveled by, it is not an impossible task. Let’s say you had a rough freshman year, but have worked hard to recover your GPA to a 3.3. With this GPA alone, there is almost no chance to secure an interview. However, surrounded with strong experiences and some finely tuned networking, you’ll not only get an interview, but also be ahead of the pack.
First, get heavily involved with consulting opportunities on campus. If possible, rise to a leadership position. This shows BBM that you not only have a strong interest in consulting, but you lead your peers in the consulting field. For other involvements on campus, be sure to frame your experience in a research and analysis perspective. For example, if you’re a psychology research assistant, talk about how you gathered data, analyzed the information, and presented a recommendation to “improve X by Y%” or “lowered Z by W occurrences per day.” Quantification of your work truly helps in getting the point across, and simply is more impressive to mathematically-inclined professionals (consultants).
As for summer internships, try to do something you’re interested in. You’ll have much more enjoyable summers and your interest in the subject matter will come across in interviews. Remember, passion and interest are key qualities to project. Again, frame your summer experiences as research, analysis, then quantified result. If you can get an internship at a consulting firm—great—but it is certainly not a requirement for an offer from BBM.
Finally, networking is a requirement at this point. Informational interviews are great resources, as they help you get a feel for the profession, the kind of people you would work with, and also create the potential for someone to remember you when that 8.5×11 piece of paper (resume) comes across their desk. For more information on innovative networking, see Max’s post focusing on LinkeIn and my previous post on Client-Side Networking.
With hard work and a true passion for consulting, you can recover from almost anything.