Economics at Michigan to get into consulting?

<p>Hi, I know that Ross is a very great business school and could easily help me find work in consulting. However, in case I got rejected from Ross both PA and after my freshman year, is economics at LSA enough to land me a consulting job after graduation?</p>


<p>I am a consultant working for the strategy group of one of the Big 4 systems integrators. I’ve been in consulting for over 15 of my 25+ years in business.</p>

<p>I have an Econ undergrad from LS&A, but I didn’t hire in direct to consulting, making the jump after being in sales and IT operations.</p>

<p>If you are looking to get into one of the strategy houses like McKinsey, BCG, or Bain, the route is a premium MBA from Harvard, INSEAD, or Wharton (extreme generalization, but I’m sure you get the point).</p>

<p>There are economic consulting firms, but I would expect them to only consider PhD’s.</p>

<p>If you are looking to get into the advisory firms or system integrators (Big 4 CPA, IBM, Accenture, or CAP Gemini), you have more options. Of course, a Ross undergraduate degree with a specialization in accounting and passing the CPA exam is a shoo-infor the Big 4 CPA firms, the path into non-accounting advisories will have more options.</p>

<p>My experience in the systems integration houses and Big 4 advisory groups is that, although an undergraduate Econ degree is certainly a potential route to consulting, it probably isn’t the most direct. I would predict that specialty degrees like statistics, engineering, or computer science are probably more attractive at the undergraduate level. On the other hand, an Econ degree can prepare you well for a top MBA school or Law School, which would be attractive to the boutiques.</p>

<p>The best direct-in undergraduate hire I’ve encountered in consulting had an Industrial Engineering degree with an emphasis in statistics. He took writing classes to improve his communications skills. That would be my path if I were to do it again.</p>

<p>If you do decide on the Econ route, which I found to be very intellectually stimulating, I recommed you augment your program with statistics, creative writing, accounting, and computer programming. Concentrate on getting great grades (3.6 or better), and try to get an internship (I worked for The Institute for Social Research for a couple of years). You can also take undergraduate business school courses; I took production management and business law.</p>

<p>Start interviewing in your junior year to identify the firms you want to work for and to make the initial connections. Michigan’s career center can help with this. </p>

<p>Oh, and you must be willing to travel 100%, typically leaving on Sunday night or Monday morning and returning Thursday or Friday night (deal killer for many people). </p>

<p>Good luck and Go Blue!</p>

<p>I have a friend in LSA economics that has gotten interviews from Boston Consulting Group, McKinsey, and IBM Consulting. I’m not sure if that helps, but it is possible to get recruited by the big consulting firms as an econ major in LSA.</p>

<p>"…I know that Ross is a very great business school and could easily help me find work in consulting."</p>

<p>I wish that were the case Eric, but getting a job with a consulting firm is never easy, even for students at Ross. Heck, even students at Wharton have a hard time securing positions with major consulting firms. Ross is usually ranked #1 in General Management and for many years was home to CK Prahalad, considered by many to be one of the leading figures in the world of Corporate Strategy. For this reason, many major consulting firms hold Ross, and Michigan as a whole, in high regard.</p>

<p>LSA is recruited by consulting firms, but on a limited basis. The majority of LSA students who secure jobs with consulting firms do so on their own initiative. The Michigan diploma will take you far to be sure, but consutling firms typically hire very few undergrads. I would guess that with the exception of Harvard and maybe Wharton, that all the major consulting firms combined (McKinsey, BCG, Bain, OW, Booz and a couple of others) do not hire more than 20-40 undergrads from any one university, including most elites.</p>


The OP should keep in mind that there are a lot of consulting firms out there besides the 5 you listed. Deloitte Strategy & Operations, Accenture’s MCDP (Management Consulting Development Program), LEK Consulting, Monitor Group, The Parthenon Group, PwC’s Financial Advisory Practice, IBM Global Consulting, AT Kearney, etc. all hire multiple individuals from their “target” schools.</p>

<p>Also there are specialty consulting firms that focus on a certain niche like healthcare (Putnam Associates, Insight Strategy Advisers, etc.), litigation (Bates White, Analysis Group, etc.), economics (NERA and Cornerstone Research) and defense (Avascent and Civitas) but these are pretty small so they might hire 1-2 max from each of their core schools.</p>

<p>So unless you get too hung up on MBB, your chances to break into consulting aren’t neccessarily as dire as Alexandre states. Definitely try to get into Ross if you choose to go to Michigan however.</p>

<p>Other than consulting - What are some other employment prospects for an Econ grad ?</p>