4.5 YOE, received offer Senior Associate from MBB, is that normal?

Bain BCG Job offer offer
New answer on Aug 07, 2022
6 Answers
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Anonymous A asked on Aug 05, 2022

Hi all, 

I just received an offer for Senior Associate from BCG. While this is exciting, I applied as a Consultant with close to 5 YOE. Is it normal to start as an SA with this level of experience? My ex-BCG contact told me this is the common practice as I am not joining as an MBA (but I do have 2 master's)/ industry “expert”/ from another consulting firm.

Still preping for final round in Bain for consultant level. But Bain has not indicated they might put me as an SA yet. 

Thanks!

(edited)

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Ian
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Aug 07, 2022
MBB | 100% personal interview success rate (8/8) and 95% candidate success rate | Personalized interview prep

Hi there,

Yes, I would say this is normal. You are a pretty classic “borderline” case. Basically, your case/interview performance plus your hollistic resume would have determined this placement.

Remember, you can get promoted pretty quickly if you perform well.

If you get a Bain Consultant offer make sure to leverage that in your negotiations!

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Rami
Expert
updated an answer on Aug 05, 2022
Ex-BCG | 100+ coachings & interviews @ BCG | I will teach you the core skills needed to ace your fit & case interviews

Hi there,

First congrats on your offer - a testament to your great prep and effort!

Depending on the type of work experience you bring, and the location you applied for, your experience would be valued differently. Typically you can join directly as a Consultant if you:

  • Have an MBA from a recognized business school - I've seen MBAs from unrecognized schools come in at Associate/Senior Associate levels
  • Bring substantial years of industry experience and expertise - needs to be valued by the firm/location you're applying for e.g., Middle East offices would value public policy experience, London - financial services, Paris - retail/consumer goods, etc.
  • Bring relevant consulting experience from recognized firms - valid if you come from tier 2 at least, or a consultancy specialized in the expertise they're interested in (as per above)

At this stage, you can choose to accept or negotiate your BCG offer (highly recommended). You should start by asking directly to be considered for the Consultant position given you applied for it, and in the likely case they reject, you will be in a good position to negotiate other offer components such as:

  • receiving upfront tenure - to ensure a faster promotion cycle to Consultant
  • negotiating a higher sign-on bonus - to value the 5 years of experience you bring to the table
  • delaying your start date - to enjoy some well-deserved break

If you receive the Bain Consultant offer, you will be in a strong position to negotiate any or a combination of the above, even potentially the BCG Consultant position - so focus on the Bain prep for now, the game is not over! :)

Hope this helps!

Rami

(edited)

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Sofia
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replied on Aug 05, 2022
McKinsey San Francisco | Harvard graduate | 5+ years of coaching | >90% success rate | Discounted sessions in Aug 2022

Hello,

Congratulations on your offer! It is not abnormal (particularly if you don't have an MBA), in the sense that firms will typically tailor offers to your individual experience, skillset. The upside of this is that promotions are also tailored individually, so if you start off at BCG and show them that you are capable of doing more than your official responsibilities require, you are bound to be promoted quickly. I know it might seem confusing, but I wouldn't let this put you off too much if you are interested in working for BCG. And best of luck in your interviews with Bain!

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Udayan
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Content Creator
replied on Aug 05, 2022
Top rated McKinsey Case & PEI coach/Multiple real offers/McKinsey EM in New York /6 years McKinsey recruiting experience

Congratulations!

Yes - very normal. They are very good at promoting people based on their skillset and performance so if you do better than other SAs you will get promoted a lot faster.

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Ashwin
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replied on Aug 05, 2022
Ex Manager Bain and company | INSEAD

Hey there, 

Congrats on the offer. Depending on the geography I have seen candidates with that experience level at Senior associate level. If you convert Bain consultant level you can negotiate with BCG or join Bain :) 

 Thanks 

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Francesco
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replied on Aug 05, 2022
#1 Coach for Sessions (4.000+) | 1.400+ 5-Star Reviews | Proven Success (➡ InterviewOffers.com) | Ex BCG | 9Y+ Coaching

Hi there,

Congratulations on the offer!

Q: Is it normal to start as an SA with this level of experience?

This depends on your exact experience (meaning how relevant it is) and the country you applied to. I know that candidates with equivalent backgrounds got offers for different levels of seniority in different countries.

Unfortunately there is not much you can do to negotiate unless you have another offer. If you manage to get a Consultant offer from Bain, you can definitely bring this up in case you would prefer BCG instead.

Best,

Francesco

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