Define Your Search
If you are uncertain about the specific job function that might be well-suited to your interests and ability, you may want to spend 15 minutes with Pymetrics. Pymetrics is a free career exploration tool that leverages neuroscience-based games to suggest career options that may be well-suited to your abilities. The exercises are fun and the career report highlights what qualities large corporate employers have indicated are predictors of success in various job functions (including consulting and finance.) The report may also provide insight into other career options that leverage similar skills.
Finance and consulting positions have deadlines beginning early in the academic year for full-time and late in the fall term/early in the spring term for summer internships. The earlier you engage, the more opportunities you have to land a position. Check Handshake and other job and company specific websites regularly to ensure you do not miss any deadlines.
Reach out to Bowdoin alumni contacts and beyond to get on the radar screen early. Often the people chosen for interviews are those that have made positive impressions via pre-deadline conversations/exchanges. Remember that networking is about information gathering and not about asking for a job or internship. Build your base of allies at your target firms and they will help you open doors for interviews.
Screen In Opportunities
The current economy has reduced the number of traditional summer analyst positions and consulting internships. Be sure to include fields and positions that leverage your core interests into other areas. Actuarial and market research positions are two areas that use many of the core skills required in finance positions.
Prepare & Practice
There is little room for error in the competitive consulting and finance hiring process. Every cover letter must be targeted to the employer. Every interview must demonstrate your passion and qualifications for the position. Practice interviewing by scheduling a mock interview and master the technique of the case interview.