First-Year Consulting Plan


Within the first year at Notre Dame, the primary goal of the First-Year Consulting Plan is to truly understand the “what” of consulting, different roles in consulting, and the differences among different types and sizes of consulting firms. Through learning about the industry as a whole, you will get a better idea of what consulting firms are looking for in the process of recruiting, and you can thus better prepare yourself to hone in the skillsets through extracurricular activities and professional development programs and opportunities. 

Please consider the First-Year Consulting Plan as a sample guide of how you may begin to prepare for a career in consulting as a first-year student. You do not need to complete each of the tasks below

Explore & Decide 

  • Schedule a one-on-one appointment with a career discernment counselor and reflect on your values, skills, and interests to discern if consulting is the right path for you.
  • Compare the consulting industry with others by using Candid Careers with other career tracks and understand the pros and cons of each one.
  • Attend a Consulting 101 session in the spring semester to learn more about the consulting industry.
  • Talk to upperclassmen from your dorm or student clubs about consulting.

Sharpen Consulting-Related Skills 


  • Attend/watch case competitions to understand consulting problem-solving. 
    • Many firms offer case competitions from January through April and can be identified via Handshake
  • Learn about the case interview process through the Introductory Case Resource page (ND only) and have a preliminary understanding.
    • As a first-year, you should be focused on getting an idea of the rhythm and flow of a case interview as opposed to becoming a master at the case interview. You should avoid over practicing before your actual case interviews in 1-3 years. 
  • Enroll in a range of courses to explore interests while putting emphasis on data analytics-related courses.
  • Begin building your business acumen by accessing resources such as The Economist, Fortune, Wall Street Journal (WSJ), and Morning Brew.


Prepare for the Recruiting Process

  • Seek internship opportunities that require similar skill sets as consulting firms usually don’t target first-year students.
    • Some examples of skills that consulting firms look for: problem-solving, critical thinking, creativity, leadership, entrepreneurship, communication, teamwork, etc. 
  • Create LinkedIn and IrishCompass profiles. 
    • Having a solid foundation of a profile on LinkedIn and IrishCompass will achieve two key goals: 1. it'll help you organize your skills, qualifications, and experiences for success in the recruiting process and 2. it'll give you a boost of confidence to reach out to alumni and develop networking relationships as you'll be able to show your qualifications for that connection to see. 
  • Actively use Handshake to create a public profile, indicate your career interests, review postings, and explore events.
  • Convert high school resume to college resume and schedule a resume review with a peer career assistant from the Center for Career Development
  • Learn how to write a cover letter.
    • Even as a first-year student, it will be helpful for you to begin learning how to convey your personal story both verbally and through writing during the consulting networking & recruiting process.