Success Stories, Part 1 - Networking outside of networking events
Consultants are not trying to scare or intimidate you, nor are they going to be closed-off or unfriendly (well, at least not at my firm!). Networking can initially be a bit nerve-wracking, but I'd like to share something with you that will make the process a little bit easier for you: don't constrain yourself to networking in situations where you're "expected" to! Read through for an example of how a student landed an interview a top IBank.
Here's the deal: successful networkers have learned what consultants are looking for. It comes down to 2 main things:
1. A student who's pleasant to talk to and seems intelligent
2. A student who knows about your industry and about your firm
Now here's the question - how do you do this when there are 20 other students cramming around a consultant at an information session?
Simple: you don't.
I wanted to share a story from a McGill student who I worked with earlier this year. While it's for investment banking, the advice is just as applicable for consulting and for any other industry.
"So it was at the Investment Banking Event earlier this September where all the firms came on campus for their info sessions.
Everybody was finishing lunch and heading to the (Company A) info session when I saw the 2 (Company B, a top IBank) people just sitting at their table. I knew that they would have to wait 1 hour before their presentation so I did what you would do: skip the (A) presentation and just go and chill with the (B) people :). They asked me why I wasn't going to the (A) presentation and I said: I'd rather work for (B).
So I got to meet them, talked about random stuff and showed them that I knew my stuff in finance. And it really worked. (My friend who works there) told me that they really like me and it surely helped me break the ice."