Consulting Career Academy

Rejection by Consulting Firms? Not the End of the Road

October 19 2022 By The MBA Exchange
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Things not going your way is rough, especially when it’s your career dreams that aren’t working out. The sting of being rejected from management consulting firms is real.

We at The MBA Exchange don’t know your situation – yet. But we can still advise you on what to do next, based on our years of success with past Consulting Career Academy clients.

Tips for next steps after consulting rejection

I made it to the final rounds for BCG, Bain, and McKinsey but didn’t receive an offer. What should my next steps be after being rejected from management consulting firms? Here are some suggestions.

1. Take pride in how far you made it

It is an accomplishment just to get to final rounds with top management consulting firms McKinsey, Bain and BCG, but it is hard to feel proud of that accomplishment when there isn’t a final offer.

This is a challenging time. Still, let yourself feel proud of making it as far as you did. And, the good news is that while rejection from consulting firms is a setback, it is not the end of the road.

2. Reach out for feedback

Don’t make the mistake of getting chilly in the aftermath of rejection from consulting firms. If you receive a rejection call following an admissions interview, take advantage of the opportunity you’ve been given to check in with your caller. If you get to speak to one of your interviewers, so much the better! You can also send an email to your interviewers to request a feedback session.

Finding out more about where you could have done better can give you actionable points to address in building your case next time.

3. Strengthen your personal framework

In many cases, the place where things go wrong isn’t your “case,” but your behavioral “fit.” You need to put in the time to think clearly and compellingly about how your personal work history prepares them for a career in consulting.

Collect key examples from your past where you demonstrated the attributes consulting companies are looking for, like leadership, teamwork, and the ability to think strategically. Honestly identify your strengths and weaknesses and find ways to share this information in a matter that is both forthright and helpful. Demonstrate familiarity not only with the firm, but with the office where you’re going to be interviewing.

4. Up your networking power

If you want to potentially apply again next year after being rejected from management consulting firms this time around, you need to step up your networking efforts. It’s time to find new contacts at firms and offices that are interesting to you. There are dozens of top-tier strategy firms. There are hundreds of specialty consulting companies covering every industry and business function. Start developing your new target list, as well as strengthen your connections to McKinsey, Bain or BCG.

5. Consider your career path

It’s also worth reevaluating whether consulting is the right path for you. Sometimes, rejection from consulting firms is the impetus you need to find a better fit with a different career direction.

If you’re struggling to evaluate your situation post-rejection, enlisting the services of experienced advisors from an organization such as the Consulting Career Academy at The MBA Exchange could be right for you. Let’s talk about the best strategy for your consulting career and other future plans.