Having worked incessantly for 6 months to get into a top MBA program, I didn't know what to do with my free time in the silence before the storm. I was very excited to have been accepted into Carlson and started doing a lot of random things to prepare - everything from reading books and blogs to watching movies (http://images.businessweek.com/slideshows/20110711/top-30-must-see-movies-for-business-students).
The most valuable preparation, I believe, was participating in Deloitte's Consulting Immersion Program. My background is heavy on Research and Development, but I was interested in consulting as a career because I have always loved solving problems and puzzles. I am almost through my first year of business school and I still consider my 3 days at Deloitte University as one of the best experiences of the journey. Here are my two cents on the program:
The process: The process for me started with a link (https://mycareer.deloitte.com/us/en/students/programsinternships/graduates/deloitte-consulting-immersion-program) posted by the Carlson admissions team on the Facebook page for my incoming class. After reading the details of the program, I reached out to a few friends in the consulting industry to learn more about the job profile and expectations. Based on these conversations I was able to write an apparently credible application. The application was followed by two rounds of interviews, a Skype interview with a Senior Manager and a phone interview with a Partner at the company. After all the practice for business school interviews the process (amazingly!) seemed fun and conversational.
The experience: The 3-day summit, held at the impressive Deloitte University (DU) campus, started with a sumptuous meal (among the best food I have had in 5 years in the US) and an introduction to the life and work of a consultant. This was followed by highly interactive, fun sessions on effective team building and leadership. The next two days were focused on preparation for successfully navigating consulting interviews. But for me the biggest takeaway from the experience was the opportunity to network with 50 other students from top business schools and several consultants.
The program also offers participants the golden opportunity to interview for a summer internship for the following summer. In a perfect world, one would enter business school with a summer internship lined up--unfortunately in the real world you have to shed a little sweat and blood to land one! But DCIP at least gives you a shot to make your world perfect.
To sum up, the DCIP experience is not only about the three days of the program. You are left with life-long connections, a b-school-ready resume and cover letter, and, most importantly, the confidence of being personally prepared to tackle b-school! I highly recommend this program or other consulting prep programs for any incoming students interested in a career in consulting.