Senior Izzy Marie* was sitting in her final round interview with a top consulting firm when she had a revelation. The firm had flown her to Washington, where a senior consultant began an interview with a simple question: “Why do you want to be here?” Marie, a political science and computer science double major, had practiced her answer. “Everyone has,” she said. “You have a 30 second version, a five minute version. You just have it down.” But there was something different about this time. “My mind went blank,” she said. “I looked at him, and I could not come up with anything. I didn’t want to be there.” Marie realized in that moment that she didn’t want to go into consulting. She said the revelation came “like it was out of a movie,” and her interviewer could also see that she was having serious doubts. Instead of running a case, as is standard, they spent the rest of the interview talking about one of her interests—education policy—and outreach the firm does in Washington. After she left, she cancelled her other consulting interviews, signed up for an LSAT course and started making plans to enter law school—which had been her goal long before the consulting process began. “A lot of people who go into consulting really want to be there, but I think there are a lot of people like me who just get caught up in the whole recruiting process and the fact that they make you feel so special and so wanted and so smart,” she said. Describing herself as a competitive person in a competitive environment, Marie said Duke doesn’t help things by providing so many ways for students to get involved in the consulting and finance fields. “By the time you become a junior or senior, having a job at one of the prestigious consulting companies definitely is the measure of success,” she said. ‘A loud sucking noise’ The networking starts in August. In September, there are coffee chats, information sessions and application deadlines. Then the interviews start, and most offers are made by the end of October. The process isn’t long, but it is all-consuming.