Are you looking to break into the consulting industry? If so, you're probably wondering when the best time to apply is. The answer is that most companies plan to hire during the summer and early fall. Major consulting firms such as McKinsey, BCG, and Bain typically hire year-round, but opportunities are seasonal. In the US and Europe, the highest chance of receiving an interview is between September and November and around January, depending on the position you are applying for.
It's important to note that I'm not just talking about consulting firms here. I've also listed some investment banks, private equity funds, and technology companies. The consulting application deadline for MBA students applying for an Associate position depends on the school they attend. Bain offers three deadlines for undergraduate and Master's degree students applying for a full-time Associate Consultant (AC) position.
The consulting application deadline for MBA students applying for a Consultant (CON) position also depends on the school they are attending. It's true that MBB offices tend to receive applications throughout the year, even though demand for new consultants fluctuates seasonally. The highest point of demand occurs in late autumn and early winter (September), and the second highest in early spring (January). This is the busiest time of year for MBB Projects.
There are two ways to access a consulting company: directly from an academic program or from the industry as an experienced candidate. While most hires for McKinsey, Bain, and BCG are made directly from campus, companies are hiring more experienced candidates each year. However, there are more candidates than ever looking to break into the industry, which means that the consultant hiring process is as competitive as ever. To give yourself an edge, take advantage of the many free resources available for case preparation directly from companies and consultancy-focused websites, such as the Management Completion Guide.
Most consulting firms report that they have plans to hire for internships or full-time positions starting in early summer through fall, in line with deadlines in recent years. The Big Four and other consulting firms tend to be less strict than MBB in their hiring schedule.