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From Big 4 to a Top B School

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Joined: 17 Feb 2012
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Concentration: Finance, General Management
GMAT Date: 03-05-2013
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From Big 4 to a Top B School [#permalink] New post 29 Apr 2012, 11:26
I am currently working at a Big 4 as a consultant and have aspirations of going to HBS, Stanford or Wharton and eventually break into finance or management consulting. I know I will be competing against folks coming from the Big 3, I-banks, and other high profile firms...My questions is, how can somebody from a Big 4 distinguish himself/herself to stand out amongst the applicants?

As a foreigner, I went on a sports scholarship to a non-target (had no choice because of financial reasons) and had a 3.8 GPA in Finance. During college, I had no notable internships...

At my current firm, besides client work I also try to engage in business development and assisting in the development of various IP materials in order to put my name out there and to improve my skillset as well as my resume. I also started studying for the CFA Level 1, which I will take in December.

I am sure I would need to be a rockstar at my firm to be even considered for admission at the above mentioned schools, but could anybody give me any suggestions on what would help me to get in in such schools?

Thanks a lot!

Last edited by mashableforce on 30 Apr 2012, 07:52, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: From Big 4 to a Top B School [#permalink] New post 30 Apr 2012, 07:38
Big-4 consultants typically have very little success getting into H/S/W, as you probably know.

The Big-4 folks that do have a bit more success are those who went to top tier undergrads (Ivy or equivalent) and have done something exceptional or unique relative to all the other b-school applicants out there (i.e. NCAA D-1 sports, filmmaker, fashion designer, politics, etc.).

A lot of b-school applicants (whether they are Big-4 or not) tend to do the same things outside of school/work:
- frat/sorority in college
- alumni interviewer for their college
- volunteer at some charity/non-profit involving education, mentoring, helping the poor, etc
- prepare for certifications (CFA, CPA, PMP, etc.)
- run their own blog (usually involving food -- aspiring foodies).

In other words, nothing wrong with any of this, but it's just a bit too down-the-middle conventional.

In your case, you can:

(1) Quit Big-4 and find another job you find more interesting

(2) Do something more interesting than spending all your free time studying for the CFA; it seems like so many people waste their time doing this when they could have a life outside of work. The CFA is really meant for those who are already in finance looking to work in asset mgmt/investment mgmt.

(3) Do something interesting outside of work. Use your imagination.

You can also talk a little bit about your sports in college, since you went there on scholarship. That could also help.

And most importantly, DON'T JUST PREOCCUPY YOURSELF WITH H/S/W. There are plenty of other great schools out there that will still get you to your goals with the profile you currently have.
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Intern
Intern
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Joined: 17 Feb 2012
Posts: 18
Concentration: Finance, General Management
GMAT Date: 03-05-2013
GPA: 3.79
Followers: 0

Kudos [?]: 1 [0], given: 18

GMAT ToolKit User
Re: From Big 4 to a Top B School [#permalink] New post 01 May 2012, 17:12
Thank you Alex. Very insightful and detailed response.
Re: From Big 4 to a Top B School   [#permalink] 01 May 2012, 17:12
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