{ "media_type": "text", "post_content": "Requirements like \"strong academic performance\" and \"target school preferred\" make me wonder if I'm cut out for consulting. I just submitted an application for one firm where I had to change some of my employment dates because the application program couldn't fathom that I worked at two places *GASP* at the same time (overlapping start/end dates caused an error). I'll add some more context in a comment but...are there any other non-traditional professionals in this field? I'd love to hear your story.", "post_id": "5f3f41a3a2a0490020bc0123", "reply_count": 18, "vote_count": 2, "bowl_id": "552d1d24dc1c586b09d2d051", "bowl_name": "Consulting", "feed_type": "crowd" }
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Requirements like "strong academic performance" and "target school preferred" make me wonder if I'm cut out for consulting. I just submitted an application for one firm where I had to change some of my employment dates because the application program couldn't fathom that I worked at two places *GASP* at the same time (overlapping start/end dates caused an error). I'll add some more context in a comment but...are there any other non-traditional professionals in this field? I'd love to hear your story.

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Context: I'm the proud offspring of a drug addicted dad and a mom who peaked in 2008 at $17/hour before getting laid off. I had to work full time through high school so I could buy my own groceries and school supplies, but I still made time to volunteer in my desired field until I got them to hire me at 18. By 22, I had 2 years of management experience and landed a job as a Product Owner for a rather large tech company. I have excelled in every role, worked my way up to earning six figures and managing large projects before I even finished my bachelor's degree (with a whopping 3.0 GPA). I've been accepted into a target school for my master's (though I've opted not to do an MBA) but I have a few years before I'll actually hold a graduate degree because, well, full time career and whatnot.
As I read posts here, and on Reddit, and even the job descriptions and requirements, all I keep wondering is whether I'm cut out for these amazing top tier firms. Are there others out there who followed a less-than-traditional path and still made it?

likeuplifting

Hi. Offspring of immigrants here. Graduated from a 3rd tier public school to a glamorous role in big box retail management. Stayed for years.

Present day: Ivy mba, bulge bracket bank, strategy consulting and faang on my resume.

If I can do it, you can too. I’m special, but I’m not that special. Promise. You’re doing great, friend.

uplifting

OP may I say, you have such a unique perspective. Why would you even want to fit in in this industry full of 4.0s from target schools. You were a PO at 22? Lots of people don’t even know how to do laundry by that age. You do you, if one company doesn’t see the value that you bring, that’s not the right company.

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I trust you will :) good luck!

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Consulting is all about owning it and faking it till you make it. You can come in and crush it and need to have that mentality. School and academics will get you the first round, but it’s up to you to sell yourself. So stop being nimbly bimbly and get after it!

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D1, I think Consulting provides a unique opportunity to learn from the work you do while also having the opportunity to add value. I'm also tired of being undervalued by my current employer. I really just need a change and some more opportunity to learn/grow. I eventually want to be a CIO or CTO.

Any company would be lucky to have you. If not, their loss.

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That's very kind - thank you!

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I feel you. I came from a backwoods truckstop town that nobody cares about and a degenerate family. Nothing particularly remarkable about me, other than a desire to succeed that flirts with desperation.

You probably won't fit in at a law firm or in finance, so I'd skip those. They didn't like my jail stories over happy hour. Stay guarded longer than necessary, and assume people will find bizarre reasons to judge you.

I haven't found the prize at the end yet, but there is a path. After alot of BS You'll be alright.

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You know, I actually did work for a few years in the finance industry running large-scale process improvement projects before coming back to healthcare/tech and that was definitely my experience too. I was lucky to have a great mentor or I probably would've been eaten alive. That company was also a great example of one of my very favorite sayings: "culture eats strategy for breakfast."

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Having a target school / strong academics is just a simple way to filter for intelligence and also helps with our clients - sounds more impressive when they look you up on LinkedIn. That being said, you will have that masters so should tick that requirement. Honestly I have done a lot of recruiting, and the back story on working to support yourself, working your way up (I’m assuming a 6 figure role also could assume some sort of leadership opportunity too) will be a benefit if anything. Our criteria on paper is essentially smart, hard working, leadership potential, entrepreneurial and an all rounder (eg has interests outside of work sports, music, charity etc). I think with a nice polished resume you would be fine.

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