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by Phil Stott | April 08, 2015

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Want to work for a top consulting firm? And by, "top", I mean, one of the top 5 firms on Vault's annual consulting list—the crème de la crème of the industry, the firms where you spend a few years before going on to work for, potentially wind up running, some of the biggest names in business?

What's that? You do?

Well, then, the NY Times has the secret formula you're looking for: "Go to Kellogg School of Management."

OK, so there are a couple of catches. First, you'll need to get the 700+ GMAT score and get comfortable with the thought that you'll have to pony up around $120,000 to attend. (Although, if you want to get  technical about it, you should probably also factor in the annual salary that you'll be foregoing while studying).

But that's the cost of doing business—if you want access to the top firms, you have to prove you've got the chops, and be willing to pay to play.

So let's get down to business: what makes Kellogg the consulting industry's top choice—so much so that 35% percent of its graduates last year went to "elite consulting firms"?

According to Kellogg's associate dean of M.B.A. programs, Elizabeth Ziegler—as paraphrased in the Times—"consulting firms look for two specific things in M.B.A. graduates: a natural gift for building trust-based relationships and strong problem-solving skills. The school's pedagogy is based on a team-based model, which develops the first. And its curriculum stresses the second, with a particular focus on helping students answer a question McKinsey consultants grapple with every day on behalf of clients: Do you know what problem you're actually solving?"

So there you have it: the path to a top consulting firm begins in Illinois. What are you waiting for?

Related:

The Vault Consulting 50

Vault Profile: The Kellogg School of Management

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