Decision making

MBB tier2
Neue Antwort am 1. März 2023
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Anonym A fragte am 28. Feb. 2023

Hey everyone,

Appreciate your helpful tips always.

`Here is my situation: 

I have joined a big4 as a consultant after failing my strategy consulting interviews.

I  have passed the screening for Mckinsey but I got rejected after the 1s round of interviews. They told me to reapply in 12-18 months.

On the other hand, I have some interviews that I can schedule within a 3 months period with tier 2 firms such as Kearney and OW. 

I am a bit lost whether:

  1. I start practicing for interviews again and schedule my interviews with ATK and OW, while  just getting started with a big4. 
  2. Wait 1 to 2 years and then try to reapply to MBB

I am thinking that If I passed the screening with Mckinsey, I might have a chance to pass it 1 to 2 years from now when I reapply. When I did my interview with them, I really liked the culture of the firm. I fear if I apply to tier 2 and get in , it will be a longer road to switch back to MBB. I have nothing against tier 2 and I also would love to get in, but I say to myself better focus on my new job and in two years  I could reapply to all of them? What would you do instead of me? Or I need to leverage the fact that I can still can get into tier 2 now and start practicing again for the interviews? 

I am a bit lot here. Thanks in advance !



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Content Creator
antwortete am 1. März 2023
Ex-Bain and interviewer for 7+ years | >95% success rate | mentor and coach for 6+ years

Hi there,

I think this is an interesting question that may be relevant for many people. I would be happy to share my thoughts on it:

  • First of all, if you actually want to work in strategy consulting, I would advise you to take your chances with other strategy consulting companies first before fully committing to your Big 4 position. The nature of the job is different, and while you might still like it, there must have been a reason why you wanted to go into strategy consulting.
  • Moreover, while I believe you should not set your mind too much on McKinsey, switching from other strategy consulting companies to MBB is normally much easier than switching from a Big 4, both for the company and for you.

If you would like a more detailed discussion on how to address your specific situation, please don't hesitate to contact me directly.



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Content Creator
antwortete am 1. März 2023
#1 Coach for Sessions (4.000+) | 1.500+ 5-Star Reviews | Proven Success (➡ | Ex BCG | 10Y+ Coaching

Hi there,

Q: I say to myself better focus on my new job and in two years  I could reapply to all of them? What would you do instead of me? Or I need to leverage the fact that I can still can get into tier 2 now and start practicing again for the interviews? 

Is the Big 4 you are working for the strategy consulting division of the company (eg Strategy& for PwC, Parthenon for EY) or is your role related to the non-strategy consulting part? In the latter case, working for a Tier 2 would increase your chances to move to MBB in the future, as you would have more relevant experience.

In general if you prefer to work at Kearney or OW, there is nothing wrong with going forward with the interviews with them.

For other info please feel free to PM me, happy to help.



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antwortete am 1. März 2023
Bain | EY-Parthenon | Roland Berger |Former Head Recruiter | Market Sizing

I see a lot of questions like this in this forum. They all arise from a basic misunderstanding, in my opinion: that you can plan your life and that life will happen exactly as you plan.

In other words, you think that MBB is better than T2. And because of that, you will only really try MBB.

But what happens if you fail? Well, in that case, you remain at the Big4. But if you want to do strategy work, wouldn't T2 be better? It would.

Also, if you joined a T2, wouldn't you be better off than if you didn't? You would.

And even if you apply to a T2 and fail, will you increase your chances of getting into MBB from better preparation? You will.

So is it a no-brainer? Well, you will not be completely focusing on your current job. But if you apply in 12 months to MBB… you won't be completely focusing on your current job either. 

So my suggestion is that you apply to T2 (by the way, in some T2 you do more interesting work and learn faster than at MBB - that was my experience). You just have to do it in a way that it doesn't become too much of a burden for you. The exception being if you are already in the strategy arm of a Big4 (in a good office, with people that have the type of quality and resume you find at MBB), as that would be very comparable to already being at a T2.

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Content Creator
antwortete am 28. Feb. 2023
MBB | 100% personal interview success rate (8/8) and 95% candidate success rate | Personalized interview prep

Hi there,

Ultimately, this is a really personal decision. Remember, case coaches, career coaches, therapists, work best when they know you. We cannot properly advise without understanding your values, background, risk aversion, etc.

Personally, I would focus on doing well at the Big4 firm. the first few months are critical and I'd be looking to learn a ton, get put on great projects, network, and, ultimately, lay the groundwork for a promotion.

Of course, it's not “wrong” to try for Kearney/OW if that is your dream and the thought of being at the Big4 for multiple years is painful.

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antwortete am 28. Feb. 2023
Seasoned project leader with 7+ years of consulting and recruiting experience in USA and Europe

Hi there,

thank you for sharing. I would say it depends on your priorities really. It sounds like you really want to end up at MBB within a 2-3 year timeframe. 

If that is the case, I think your chances are better if you spend your time actually working in strategy consulting. You will need to build out your consulting skill set in the first few years anyway. And you will get a head start on this if you get into strategy consulting soon. Even if it is at one of those “ungodly” tier 2 companies ;) And especially since you mentioned that you'd consider applying to tier 2 companies again in 2 years as well - so what is there to lose?

I would say take the interviews that you can schedule and see what happens. If you get rejected, you just focus on your current job, sit out the ban period of 12-18 months and then try again. Plus you also got some interview practice along the way.

But if you were to get an offer, you can still think about it and make a decision based on how much you end up liking the company and the terms of the offer.

Best of luck

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Content Creator
Ex-Bain and interviewer for 7+ years | >95% success rate | mentor and coach for 6+ years
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