Once you've decided that you definitely want to be a management consultant and have researched what you'll be paid and the hours you'll be working, you need to figure out which firms to apply to.
I divide consulting firms into 4 groups:
What does this mean for you when you're selecting firms to apply for?
It means that if you have a realistic chance of being accepted by a top-tier or second-tier consultancy, I'd recommend focusing very heavily on these firms (e.g., tailor your CV towards these firms). Your reward will be more interesting and varied work and better exit opportunities.
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I'm a ex-McKinsey London EM who recently left the Firm