First-Year Consulting Plan


During your first year at Notre Dame, the primary goal of the First-Year Consulting Plan is to understand the “what” of consulting, the different roles in consulting, and the differences among consulting firms. By learning about the industry, you will get a better idea of what consulting firms are looking for in candidates, which will better prepare you to develop skills through extracurricular activities and professional development programs.

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 right for you.
  • Compare the consulting industry with other indsutries by using Candid Careers.
  • 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.
  • Participate in a free consulting virtual work experience program through Forage. 

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. As a first-year, you should be focused on getting an idea of the rhythm and flow of a 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 reading 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.
  • Create LinkedIn and IrishCompass profiles.
  • Create a public profile on Handshake. Use Handshake to indicate your career interests, review postings, and explore events.
  • Convert high school resume to college resume, and schedule a resume review with 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.