Quick and easy ways to "demonstrate value" to a consultant
Here's the thing: if you work for a firm that recruits at a major school, students have probably been trained from day one to network. At schools like Queen's and Ivey, it's a well-oiled machine. 30 minutes to 6 hours after an information session, you receive a dozen politely-phrased e-mails from students requesting phone calls, coffee chats, case prep, hugs, freshly-baked cookies, inspirational life talks, and more.
Here's the thing though - and I'll take myself as an example because my instinct is to help a student whenever possible - a consultant doesn't want to spend their time with a student who probably won't get an interview. It sounds cold, and unfair almost, but it's the truth. When you have limited time (and we all do), to a certain extent you HAVE to be selective.
So how do you - as a student - get past that initial screening test? You have to demonstrate value.
What is a consulting firm's biggest fear? Losing great talent to another firm. When you're hiring a handful of people every year, that means every single person counts. If you lose a few students to other firms, that's a real impact.
Think about it from a consulting firm's perspective: the best way to get people to join is to show them what a mindblowingly awesome firm you are. And that means letting your candidates meet as many consultants as possible, getting to know the firm as well as possible, etc. A candidate who makes an informed decision to go somewhere else is one thing, but you don't want to lose a candidate who never knew all the details about what it would be like to join.
So the best way to demonstrate value? Let them know that you either ARE interviewing with other consulting firms, or have something about your that would lead them to believe you WILL do so. That could be a great internship, a great leadership role, or even attending an 'invite-only' event.
Boom. Value demonstrated. And now - to paraphrase L'Oreal - you're worth it!