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Consulting Graduate Schemes Guide 

by Charles Nwabueze
Reading Time: 5 minutes

With the consulting sector being home to noticeable groups such as MBB (McKinsey, BCG and Bain) and the Big Four (KPMG, Deloitte, PwC and EY) there’s no shortage of high-end consultancy jobs. Fast-paced jobs where you will be challenged intellectually, have the opportunity to witness exponential career growth and enjoy a great financial package. The competition for these roles is however brutal. As such if you are interested in having a career as a consultant you must do everything possible to give yourself a shot at landing a role at one of your dream firms. Apart from getting your education graduate schemes are an excellent way to get yourself a highly rewarding career as a consultant. 

Read on to find out the essentials about consulting graduate schemes 

The Various Consultancy Graduate Schemes on offer

As we have earlier mentioned that the consulting sector houses the MBB and the Big Four companies; thus, it’s safe to say that those firms offer high-class consulting graduate programmes.


The EY graduate program which lasts for two years includes openings in a host of their departments. Successful candidates have a chance of participating in their business consulting, enterprise risk, finance consulting, PAS – workforce advisory, technology risk, technology consulting, sustainable finance and quantitative advisory services sectors. If you get into one of their programmes as a graduate consultant you will be tasked with helping EY clients through complex business and finance transformation journeys whilst studying for a professional qualification. If you choose their financial graduate program as part of a team you will help design, develop and deploy financial models using multi-dimensional software systems (e.g. Oracle, Anaplan).

Dependent on location, salaries start from £27,600 per year. To be successful in your application you will need to show EY that you are authentic, honest, accountable, adaptable, agile, curious, analytical, resilient, a team player, a strong communicator and numbers-savvy.


As an Accenture graduate consultant, you will help their clients conceive, design, and execute business solutions at the speed and scale that the new digital world demands. During the programme, you’ll develop the skills to transform their clients’ businesses across people, processes, and technology. The graduate program has been likened to an adventure which uses excellent training, field experience and client exposure to turn the participants into trusted consultants; people with deep industry experience and digital awareness who can become future leaders at Accenture.

Accenture rewards you with a host of benefits which include a starting salary of £33,500 and a £10,000 bonus. The program has a shelf life of 15plus months.

Allen & Overy (A&O)

Though A&O is primarily an international law firm with a global network of experts it offers strong consulting graduate schemes. On the scheme, you will be working alongside a talented team, advising on business-critical decisions for some of the most exciting and innovative firms in the market. Each day, you will have the opportunity to help shape and grow their consulting business and develop your consulting skills. You can expect to be working on several projects at any given time, and you will gain immediate exposure to senior members of their team. The program runs for two years and you are rewarded with £35,000 in the first year and

£40,000 in the second year. 


McKinsey is a top employer of graduate consultants. If you join as a graduate your title will be that of business analyst. Their graduates play an active role in many aspects of client engagements, including fact gathering, analysis, client communications, making recommendations, and implementation. As a business analyst, you will collaborate with senior consultants, client managers, and executives on every part of the consulting process, from brainstorming ideas to working side-by-side with clients to implement team recommendations. 

The base salary at McKinsey in London starts from £40,000 and can be as high as £45,000.


Known for its Consultancy GROW Programme, you’ll be working with a diverse team of consultants, cultivating a deep understanding of their sectors, building long-term relationships with clients and colleagues, and finding new ways to improve how they work. Graduate Cost Consultant salaries can range from £25,423 – £31,437 per year. 


As a leading international consultancy, Atkins offers graduates the chance to work with major global clients across a variety of areas from aerospace to energy, transport to technology. Graduate salaries are between £28,000-30,000.


Bain seeks Bachelors, Masters (non-MBA) and PhD students from any discipline (or university) to join them as Associate Consultants. The individual must be dynamic, entrepreneurial, thrive on early responsibility and have a strong academic record. As of 2020, the salary at Bain was pegged at £65,000. 

Other Consulting firms Offering Graduate Schemes

BCG, Capgemini, IBM, KPMG, PwC, PA Consulting, Oliver Wyman, Mattel, Mayer Brown, Mazars, Medallia, Method Consulting, PwC, QuantSpark,  Quintet Private Bank, Moody’s, Morgan Sindall Group, Mott MacDonald, Oxford Economics, Paysafe,  Peninsula 360, RBB Economics, Redburn, RSM, Sopra Banking Software, Third Bridge, Together, TP ICAP, Treliant Capital Markets, Turner and Townsend, Verisk, WPP, WSP, WTW, Zopa and so on.

What Do I need to successfully get an Offer?

While the application process will vary dependent on the firm that you are applying to your application will be looked upon favourably if you possess the following:

  • A strong academic record: If you have at least a 2:1 grade in your degree, you would have successfully persuaded the recruiter that you have the intellect required to engage successfully in the consulting business. Check to see if the firm you intend to apply to requires a particular degree; some firms ask for particular degrees others don’t such as PwC and Accenture.
  • Relevant Work Experience: We at Congrapps strongly advocate that you partake in any and every experience that can show that you are interested and passionate about engaging in a career as a consultant. Experience will help you build skills that the firms are looking for in their recruits.
  • Key Skills: While your work will vary from firm to firm, in the recruiting process consulting firms will be looking to make sure that the recruits have certain essential skills. Some of the skills include commercial awareness, communication skills, adaptability, resilience and curiosity. 

Have a look at our article on key skills that consulting firms look for 

A typical graduate application process will include

  • Application form
  • Online assessments may include any of the following: situational judgment test, numerical reasoning test, and the like
  • Job simulation: firms like EY have a separate section known as job simulation to determine how your strengths will fit in the firm
  • Telephone and/or Video Interview 
  • Assessment Centre or Experience day for firms like EY 
  • Final interview

If you make it through the application process and you are entrusted with an offer – congratulations! Congratulations for if you choose to accept the offer you’ll be embarking on a career that is highly stimulating and offers numerous benefits.

Charles is a writer, practising lawyer and personal trainer who loves learning and developing himself. He graduated from Middlesex University, London with eight first-class grades in the second and third years of his law degree, and received a postgraduate offer from Cambridge University. He loves strength training, boxing and encouraging people to succeed in their pursuits (legal ones)


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