In this second part to Insight into ISB Clubs, The Bootcamp brings to you the highlights of an interview with Consulting Club Vice – President Grishma Chowdhary. (Part 1)
Grishma had some really interesting things to share, so all you future consultants, read on to find out what it takes to be a top notch Consultancy Candidate at ISB.
Also find out why there were no nominations for Consulting Club President this year 😛
Bootcamp Team : When do the elections for Professional clubs begin, what’s the usual process?
Grishma : The elections take place around the end of May (end of term1) where students can stand in the election by submitting their Expression of interest. The EOI would contain what you have done in the past and vision for the club. On the day of election, students read EOI and vote for you.
Bootcamp Team : But towards the end of term, you have the exams right?
Grishma : That’s how ISB is. You do multiple things at a time. Right now, we have assignments due, case competition, karaoke, ISL auction, resume review – all together.
Bootcamp Team : Does it depend only on the EOI? Or is there any campaigning?
Grishma : People do campaign for themselves in term 1. Generally people are to contend for a particular club, they start holding relevant sessions (speaker or peer sessions). They speak about what consulting is, how they did their projects, their experiences, work life, etc. At that time, you are relatively free, so people do attend.
Bootcamp Team : Can you tell us how many nominations were there for the Consulting club president this time?
Grishma : For Mohali there were 7 nominations but for Hyderabad campus there were none.
Bootcamp Team : None this year? Does this have something to do with the Consulting club curse ?
Grishma: Hahaha, there’s no such curse, it’s just a myth, but yeah peculiar case this year, nobody even applied for the post. I think it’s more to do with how much grades matter if you want to go into the Big 3. People may have thought that with the additional responsibility of being the club president the grades may get affected.
Bootcamp Team : What are the various activities conducted by the club?
Grishma: The Consulting club carries out Speaker sessions where we engage stakeholders from various consulting companies who talk about the functions, roles and industry in general. This is very important since it gives you clarity on whether or not you want to take up consulting in the long run and if at all what niche within consulting.
A lot of Alum sessions take place as well, mostly these are informal settings – Alums working for McKinsey, BCG and AT Kearney visit campus and talk to us about life at these firms, help with our prep and resumes.
Now that resume reviews are going on, focus is on case competitions and case prep sessions till the date of shortlisting resumes.
The consulting club enables a lot of industry interaction with C-suite level people and the alums to get them on campus, if they can conduct workshops/sessions.
Once the president is selected. Directors from GSB take interviews for VP and core team. There were a total of 4 contenders for VP this year.
Bootcamp Team : So you had to fight off quite major competition, can you tell us a little about your background?
Grishma: I worked for Cedar Consulting for a year, then moved to Corporate Finance in Deloitte, it was a part of consulting only and I was responsible for the research.
Bootcamp Team : Is it compulsory that if you have to be a president of a particular club, you need to have a relevant background?
Grishma : Not really. The Marketing coordinator in Consulting Club comes from a Finance background. So you essentially don’t need to. You must be able to show that you are passionate for it. And you will work for it.
You can only be a voting member of 3 clubs, currently consulting club is the biggest in strength with about 350 members, Business technology club comes a close second.
Bootcamp Team : 350? How do you handle such a big strength?
Grishma : The sessions are split with about a hundred attendees each. Sometimes there are events that may clas with our speaker sessions and therefore full attendance is a rarity. More than the sessions, handling the requests for specific needs such as resume reviews comes out as a challenge as everyone in the club wants it.
Bootcamp Team : Is Consulting background agnostic ?
Grishma : In a way , yes. Since coming from a consulting background doesn’t guarantee a consulting job. What you have to show is the impact that you have demonstrated at your work place. They look at this in everyone from any industry, rather than a prior consulting experience. Therefore, you’re not at a disadvantage just because you didn’t work in consulting before .Consulting is very background agnostic.
Bootcamp Team : As a Consulting Club core member, what is the additional exposure you have when compared to a normal member?
Grishma : Well yes, the exposure is more, as a core member gets a lot of interaction opportunities with firm(Mckinsey, BCG etc) representatives and thus a deeper insight into what exactly these firms are looking for in a candidate.
Bootcamp Team : Do Consulting firms look at CGPA?
Grishma : Yes a few do, but not all of them.
AT Kearney usually has a high GPA requirement and an inclination towards people with more than 3.7.
BCG too, but then it has had a history of recruiting people with a 3 , 3.2 as well, if your resume and impact has been good previously.
McKinsey usually has 3 buckets for selection attributes — overall academics, extra curriculars and work ex (if you have done extraordinarily well in one of them, higher chance of shortlisting).
If you are a position holder, and get a lower cg, leadership can be shown as your spike. You have to show what impact you created here. Even 3-3.5 will be good enough.
Bootcamp Team : Is there a differentiation if you come from a Tier 2 colleges?
Grishma : Nothing like that.
Bootcamp Team : How do people realize the stream they want to choose after coming to ISB?
Grishma : There are lots of avenues to gain clarity.
- Alum sessions – You should try and attend as many speaker sessions as possible – explore clubs and their events.
- Take advantage of Breakout sessions with alums and focus on one on one networking.
Bootcamp Team : Top 3 things to do at ISB?
- The Experiential Learning Program.
- Participate in club activities – be active (if you don’t get a core team position, you can become a brand ambassador, resume champ)
- Do a lot of company case competitions (winning it is a case competitions)
Bootcamp Team : Thanks a lot Grishma for this extremely insightful discussion, we certainly feel a lot less ignorant now .
Grishma : Happy to help .