Upon returning to Stanford after freshman year, I was excited to explore new clubs, communities, and interests. I had heard wonderful things about Stanford Consulting from my friends, but my prior lack of knowledge about consulting made me shy away from applying in past quarters. After all, I was someone with prior interests in economics, computer science, and music. If I could go back, however, I would have ignored those fears and applied to Stanford Consulting as early as possible.
I became interested in consulting because it would let me explore multiple industries and sharpen my problem-solving skills. I picked up consulting in late August, meaning I was simultaneously recruiting for internships and Stanford Consulting with little prior knowledge. Yet, recruiting for Stanford Consulting actually prepared me well for internship recruiting. Stanford Consulting is definitely competitive to join, so preparing for both the behavioral and case interviews was necessary. Still, I think there is a beauty in Stanford Consulting’s recruitment process: not only does it mirror real-life consulting recruitment, but you do not need prior business experience. You really only need an excitement to learn about consulting and interesting perspectives to bring to the community.
In terms of Stanford’s recruitment cycle, there are a few steps and stages that you will encounter. The first thing you should do is reach out to friends and classmates in the club to learn what the club is about and see if you have genuine interests in applying. Around this stage of the process, I sought out Stanford Consulting’s booth at the Activities Fair to join their mailing list and speak to members of the organization. After this, there will be plenty of workshops and coffee chats that I highly recommend participating in. Not only do these coffee chats and workshops demystify the recruitment process, but also you can get an invaluable feel for the club’s community and vibe. Finally, you will be participating in behavioral and case interviews. The best advice I have is to just be yourself, know your stories, and prepare just a little bit for cases so you are not blind-sided. Don’t lose too much sleep over the cases, however, as the case-aspect of the interviews are very reasonable. The club workshops also do a good job of giving you a sense of what you should expect. What helped me the most was doing a few practice cases with people who had consulting experience and going to SC’s workshop (extensive case practice is not a prerequisite!).
Overall, I really enjoyed SC’s recruitment process and I am glad to say that I was able to survive the process despite lacking extensive business and casing experience. My best preparation advice would be to know what you want to gain and what value you bring, understand how you can to contribute to the community, speak with members of the club, and practice a few or so cases with friends in consulting. It is a scary process for sure, but I was able to have fun and meet some really cool people regardless of the outcome would have been. To anyone interested in applying, I hope hearing my experience was helpful, and good luck in your own recruitment process!