I hope you are well! I am an avid follower of your blog and your website dedicated to case interviews. In the context of interviewing for consulting jobs, I had a question for you:

I am a first-year MBA student in a very good program in the U.S. Given that I had an initial interest in consulting, I attended all the company events on campus, and received emails from the big 3 consultancies encouraging me to apply for an internship with them. Ultimately, though, I felt like I wouldn’t have enough time to prepare for the cases, so decided against applying now.

My plan is to do an internship somewhere else in the summer, and do some serious case prep over the next couple of months, and then apply for full-time positions with the consultancies in the fall.

Do you think that is feasible? Or will all the consultancies “shun” me because I didn’t apply for internships with them?

I would really appreciate your perspective and honest opinion!

My Reply:

This is not a problem what-so-ever.  From a consulting firm’s standpoint, it is perfectly acceptable and not at all unusual to interview a candidate for a full-time role that did not apply for a Summer Associate position (McKinsey internship) the prior year.

You will have to have a good answer during the interview as to why you want to work in consulting.