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    I am going into my final year of school. I just received my AS grades (all As) in Maths, Physics, Chemistry and English Lit. My GCSEs are almost all A*s.

    I am getting very close to submitting my university applications and I have been advised by my family to not go for a rigorous degree like Chemistry but instead to take an easier course as they want me to be happy and enjoy my time at university and not have to be involved in a super intense course.

    So, I have been looking into what seems like a slightly more laid-back course: Experimental Psychology at Oxford. Oxford stress that it this is a heavily scientific course and also that statistics is a crucial component.

    Would taking this course hold me back from getting into consultancy? Or will having the 'Oxford' association overrule the potential stigma of the course? Also, is it true that once I get an interview with a firm, my degree and achievements won't matter and they will literally just look at me based on my performance at interview? Finally, would firms McKinsey or Bain even look at me? My exceptional father had just been recruited by McKinsey with incredible grades including an engineering degree and an MBA from Wharton before he passed away at 30 and so I am keen to pursue his legacy. My CV looks nothing like his though so I am unsure if I have a chance.

    (It is unlikely I will change my course at this stage as the summer is almost over and I have been focusing on Psych and have done no Phys/Chem reading, etc.)

    Any reassurance/advice would be appreciated, thanks.


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    (Original post by ayesha_17)
    I am going into my final year of school. I just received my AS grades (all As) in Maths, Physics, Chemistry and English Lit. My GCSEs are almost all A*s.

    I am getting very close to submitting my university applications and I have been advised by my family to not go for a rigorous degree like Chemistry but instead to take an easier course as they want me to be happy and enjoy my time at university and not have to be involved in a super intense course.

    So, I have been looking into what seems like a slightly more laid-back course: Experimental Psychology at Oxford. Oxford stress that it this is a heavily scientific course and also that statistics is a crucial component.

    Would taking this course hold me back from getting into consultancy? Or will having the 'Oxford' association overrule the potential stigma of the course? Also, is it true that once I get an interview with a firm, my degree and achievements won't matter and they will literally just look at me based on my performance at interview? Finally, would firms McKinsey or Bain even look at me? My exceptional father had just been recruited by McKinsey with incredible grades including an engineering degree and an MBA from Wharton before he passed away at 30 and so I am keen to pursue his legacy. My CV looks nothing like his though so I am unsure if I have a chance.

    (It is unlikely I will change my course at this stage as the summer is almost over and I have been focusing on Psych and have done no Phys/Chem reading, etc.)

    Any reassurance/advice would be appreciated, thanks.


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    Yep. Experimental Pyschology--> consulting/IB is a road pretty well travelled. Good luck


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    (Original post by Aenigma)
    Yep. Experimental Pyschology--> consulting/IB is a road pretty well travelled. Good luck


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    Never thought I would hear that! Thanks!


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    Consulting firms (and the tertiary sector in general) focus more on how well you studied and not on what you studied. To an extent you'll want a degree that incorporates numerical reasoning but you already stated that experimental psychology has that. So just concentrate on getting a first class degree and don't worry about the 'stigma' associated with your degree subject =P. You should however, be able to justify why you took the course (you found it interesting for x,y,z reasons).

    I believe your statement regarding the interview process to be accurate. Usually, all applicants who have reached a certain stage of the process will be treated equally - so the only criteria influencing your chance of success is how well you do in that stage, not how well you did in previous stages / CV screenings.

    Lastly, you should be able to get past the initial screening for MBB firms as long as you've attained good results and done some work experience. I know several Oxbridge students who failed McKinsey interviews but not many who failed the initial screening.

    Anyway, good luck in your final year!
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    (Original post by Sakoha)

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    Thank you for your very thorough response! But how come people only really mention courses like engineering, maths, physics, economics, etc, for IB and consulting then?


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    (Original post by ayesha_17)
    Thank you for your very thorough response! But how come people only really mention courses like engineering, maths, physics, economics, etc, for IB and consulting then?


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    Np!

    As I've mentioned, consulting firms and IBs look for individuals with strong numerical reasoning skills, and so its likely that successful applicants will have come from an academic background that emphasises maths (i.e. all the topics you've mentioned).

    I'd just specify the quantitative component of your degree in your CV if you feel that its not explicitly evident from the name of your degree.
 
 
 
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