Choosing The Right Classes To Get Into Consulting: 3 Key Tips

by Jaineel Aga

This chapter is a free excerpt from The Best Book on Getting Consulting Jobs In India.

Keep the following  points in mind while selecting your course mix:

A) Make sure you pick the right spread of courses for your field,B) Make sure the courses are well spread out throughout your semesters so as to maintain a healthy GPAC) Take courses which will add flavor to your resume

In my first semester, even before I joined the orientation, I  networked with a professor who was doing some really breakthrough research in the U.S.  He's doing research on  how especially tech immigrants have been the backbone of U.S. entrepreneurship. With stringent visa and residency laws, there's a reverse brain drain that threatens the future of American start-ups.

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Keep the following  points in mind while selecting your course mix:

A) Make sure you pick the right spread of courses for your field,B) Make sure the courses are well spread out throughout your semesters so as to maintain a healthy GPAC) Take courses which will add flavor to your resume

In my first semester, even before I joined the orientation, I  networked with a professor who was doing some really breakthrough research in the U.S.  He's doing research on  how especially tech immigrants have been the backbone of U.S. entrepreneurship. With stringent visa and residency laws, there's a reverse brain drain that threatens the future of American start-ups.

Prof .Wadhwa was a fellow at the Harvard Law School and an extremely influential professor (and continues to stir up a debate at various events). He was doing this research study, which was open to students to take for credit. Many people in the program didn't see too much value in taking this course for credit as all it would entail was doing research!  This is where I begged to differ. In fact, I applied very enthusiastically because I believed it was one of the most important things on my resume, at least going into my summer internships.

So how did this program add value to my resume?

A) It added a big name: Richard Freeman, a big name among economists at the Harvard Law School was overlooking this project, and to be able to mention that on my resume or my cover letter or during my networking events was a big plus.

B) It gave me a lot of visibility because I got a chance to go visit and speak to a lot of influential people, whether it was Silicon Valley entrepreneurs or immigrants who had  made it big in tech companies. For example, I got a chance to speak to #2 at Cisco,  John Chambers, who overlooked the biggest R & D center in Hyderabad, India. I got a lot of visibility in talking to these kind of people while conducting research on the project. Can you see the parallel? As an entry level consultant, you'll be put in front of high-profile CXO clients--your ability to ask smart questions in the little time they give you and derive insight is a very important skill set for a consultant!

In short, the research project helped me gain a lot of real consulting skills.  It's very important to know the roles of an associate/analyst in a consulting firm, and to be able to take courses that will reflect experience in developing such skill sets.
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