Cookie and Privacy Settings

This website uses cookies to enable essential functions like the user login and sessions. We also use cookies and third-party tools to improve your surfing experience on preplounge.com. You can choose to activate only essential cookies or all cookies. You can always change your preference in the cookie and privacy settings. This link can also be found in the footer of the site. If you need more information, please visit our privacy policy.

Data processing in the USA: By clicking on "I accept", you also consent, in accordance with article 49 paragraph 1 sentence 1 lit. GDPR, to your data being processed in the USA (by Google LLC, Facebook Inc., LinkedIn Inc., Stripe, Paypal).

Manage settings individually I accept
expert
Expert with best answer

Ian

100% Recommendation Rate

193 Meetings

16,062 Q&A Upvotes

USD 289 / Coaching

5

9yrs of experience hire - atypical journey - Worth trying MBB?

Dear all,

I have 9 years of experience, incl. 3 in operations consulting at EY (TMT & Public sectors), 3 in internal audit for EU's largest media group and then 3 in corporate strategy for this same group. I'm currently VP Strategy but have to move to Switzerland due to my wife's landing her dream job. Was thinking of applying to McKinsey, probably pre-EM anyway.

I speak FR, EN, DE. Have not graduated from a top school but attended several INSEAD executive education courses through my company's talent management program.

Is there any chance to swing an interview? I might have a referral (working on that).

Thanks for any thoughts, positive or negative.

Dear all,

I have 9 years of experience, incl. 3 in operations consulting at EY (TMT & Public sectors), 3 in internal audit for EU's largest media group and then 3 in corporate strategy for this same group. I'm currently VP Strategy but have to move to Switzerland due to my wife's landing her dream job. Was thinking of applying to McKinsey, probably pre-EM anyway.

I speak FR, EN, DE. Have not graduated from a top school but attended several INSEAD executive education courses through my company's talent management program.

Is there any chance to swing an interview? I might have a referral (working on that).

Thanks for any thoughts, positive or negative.

5 answers

  • Upvotes
  • Date ascending
  • Date descending
Best Answer
Book a coaching with Ian

100% Recommendation Rate

193 Meetings

16,062 Q&A Upvotes

USD 289 / Coaching

Hi Paul,

Absolutely you have a shot. Speaking just in regards to my time at BCG, we have a significant number of lateral hires. However, it should be noted that you will likely experience a step "down". For example, a colleague with equivalent work experience (though +2 years work experience compared to my MBA) was hired as a junior consultant while I was hired as a consultant. Similarly, I was hired as a consultant with 4 years work experience and an MBA, while I know people who needed 4 years work experience (no MBA) just to come in as an Associate.

So, you certainly can get into MBB, though I echo the concerns from other commentors around whether it is worth it (a common career path is to go from MBB to the very role you have). If you come in as an expert, you may need to go down a rung.

Hope this helps!

Hi Paul,

Absolutely you have a shot. Speaking just in regards to my time at BCG, we have a significant number of lateral hires. However, it should be noted that you will likely experience a step "down". For example, a colleague with equivalent work experience (though +2 years work experience compared to my MBA) was hired as a junior consultant while I was hired as a consultant. Similarly, I was hired as a consultant with 4 years work experience and an MBA, while I know people who needed 4 years work experience (no MBA) just to come in as an Associate.

So, you certainly can get into MBB, though I echo the concerns from other commentors around whether it is worth it (a common career path is to go from MBB to the very role you have). If you come in as an expert, you may need to go down a rung.

Hope this helps!

Hi Ian, Thank you for the clear answer. I understand very well the various points. I have already applied to 10-15 firms in corporate strategy position with no success, and often no feedback. When I managed to get some, they said the lack of MBB or industry experience was the main reason. While I am absolutely sure I will learn a great deal of things at an MBB, I would avoid it if I could. Best, — Paul on Apr 17, 2019

Considering your experience and potential for a referral, a simple answer to your question would be YES you have a significant chance.

Considering your experience and potential for a referral, a simple answer to your question would be YES you have a significant chance.

Book a coaching with Nirmit

100% Recommendation Rate

37 Meetings

200 Q&A Upvotes

USD 269 / Coaching

Hi Paul,

With your background and possible referrals, I think you have a fair shot at MBB despite not having graduated from a top school. Realistically, you will start as a Senior Associate. I know McKinsey is hesitant to make you begin as an EM since there is a steep learning curve associated, which is different from what you will experience in industry (e.g., gettin alignment from all stakeholders in PS sessions, having a week 1 answer, etc.). Having said that, you could get an accelerated bump to EM (6 months-1year) if your first couple of studies go very well.

Based on your comment that you would want to eventually transition into a role that enables you to run your own P&L, an expert track is not the right answer here.

PS - Even if you start as a Senior Associate, you should still be able to negotiate your salary significantly :)

Hope this helps!

Nirmit

Hi Paul,

With your background and possible referrals, I think you have a fair shot at MBB despite not having graduated from a top school. Realistically, you will start as a Senior Associate. I know McKinsey is hesitant to make you begin as an EM since there is a steep learning curve associated, which is different from what you will experience in industry (e.g., gettin alignment from all stakeholders in PS sessions, having a week 1 answer, etc.). Having said that, you could get an accelerated bump to EM (6 months-1year) if your first couple of studies go very well.

Based on your comment that you would want to eventually transition into a role that enables you to run your own P&L, an expert track is not the right answer here.

PS - Even if you start as a Senior Associate, you should still be able to negotiate your salary significantly :)

Hope this helps!

Nirmit

(edited)

Hi Nirmit, thank you for the detailed answer. If there is a chance, I would also bet on Senior Associate. This is precisely what they've offered to a former SME CFO friend of mine - Senior Associate with quick bump to EM if performance allows. I would also prefer to stick to the generalist track. Thank you for the tip on salary negotiations, good to know! Best, Paul — Paul on Apr 17, 2019

Book a coaching with Vlad

97% Recommendation Rate

404 Meetings

11,346 Q&A Upvotes

USD 239 / Coaching

Hi,

I think with your experience you can be considered for a Manager role or an experts role. In the first case, I believe your experience will be more diverse and it will be in line with your overall goal of changing the sector. The second option will give you the brand but less diverse exit opportunities.

Best

Hi,

I think with your experience you can be considered for a Manager role or an experts role. In the first case, I believe your experience will be more diverse and it will be in line with your overall goal of changing the sector. The second option will give you the brand but less diverse exit opportunities.

Best

Thank you, Vlad. Now is the time to see whether I can network my way to an interview. I know the standard HR way would probably mean a blackball. Cheers! — Paul on Apr 16, 2019

Book a coaching with Guennael

99% Recommendation Rate

284 Meetings

1,387 Q&A Upvotes

USD 319 / Coaching

I think the first question you need to ask yourself is where you want to go. Is strategy your long term goal, or are you thinking of moving back to Finance or Operations as most Strat guys end up doing ("I want to run a P&L")? And is the MBB brand such a significant appeal that you would be willling to start as a consultant (pre-EM)? As a VP Strat already, this will definitely not be a career accelerator.

Once you decide what you really want, then we can thinik of what companies to join. France puts a premium on the school, Germany puts a premium on the degree... I think Switzerland is somewhere in the middle, but could be wrong. Either way - not having an advanced degree from a brand name will be a negative. Is MBB right then? You may have better odds at a Tier2, unless you are open to join an expert track perhaps.

Based on what little you tell us, my gut feel is you should stay in a big group and hire the MBB folks to work for you instead. :)

I think the first question you need to ask yourself is where you want to go. Is strategy your long term goal, or are you thinking of moving back to Finance or Operations as most Strat guys end up doing ("I want to run a P&L")? And is the MBB brand such a significant appeal that you would be willling to start as a consultant (pre-EM)? As a VP Strat already, this will definitely not be a career accelerator.

Once you decide what you really want, then we can thinik of what companies to join. France puts a premium on the school, Germany puts a premium on the degree... I think Switzerland is somewhere in the middle, but could be wrong. Either way - not having an advanced degree from a brand name will be a negative. Is MBB right then? You may have better odds at a Tier2, unless you are open to join an expert track perhaps.

Based on what little you tell us, my gut feel is you should stay in a big group and hire the MBB folks to work for you instead. :)

(edited)

Thank you Guennael, that is helpful. We do have a full set of McK coming each year for various things. I totally get your answers. My goal is to use McK as a way to end up running a P&L in a few years. My industry (media) is almost non-existent in Switzerland and landing in another industry's strat department has so far proved impossible. That's why I considered McK as a way in and I additionally though I'd learn a few things in the process. — Paul on Apr 16, 2019

I do think the brand name is worth it but Tier2 also possible — Paul on Apr 16, 2019

Related BootCamp article(s)

Interviewer-Led vs Candidate-Led cases

Case Interviews can be led by the candidate or by the interviewer: In Candidate-led cases the main challenge is the structure. In Interviewer-led cases the main challenge is to adapt quickly

Related case(s)

McKinsey Questions

Solved 38.9k times
McKinsey Questions Tell me of a situation where you had an opinion and no one seemed to agree with you. What was your goal when you decided to join university / work / clubs / a sports team? Did you have a goal that you were not able to reach? What did you do? What do you want to be remembered for and how are you achieving it? What is your typical way of dealing with conflict?
4.5 5 862
| Rating: (4.5 / 5.0) |
Difficulty: Intermediate | Style: Fit Interview | Topics: Personal fit

Tell me of a situation where you had an opinion and no one seemed to agree with you. What was your goal when you decided to join university / work / clubs / a sports team? Did you have a goal that you were not able to reach? What did you do? What do you want to be remembered for and how are you ... Open whole case

MBB Final Round Case - Smart Education

Solved 15.2k times
MBB Final Round Case - Smart Education Our client is SmartBridge, a nonprofit educational institution offering face-to-face tutoring services. The client operates in the US. The mission of SmartBridge is to help as many students as possible to complete studies and prevent that they drop from the school system, in particular in disadvantaged areas. The client is considering starting operations for its services in the Chicago area. They hired us to understand if that makes sense. Due to the nonprofit regulation, SmartBridge should operate on its own in the market, without any partnership. How would you help our client?
4.6 5 526
| Rating: (4.6 / 5.0)

Our client is SmartBridge, a nonprofit educational institution offering face-to-face tutoring services. The client operates in the US. The mission of SmartBridge is to help as many students as possible to complete studies and prevent that they drop from the school system, in particular in disadvant ... Open whole case

Motivational questions – FIT interview preparation

Solved 3.4k times
Motivational questions – FIT interview preparation During this exercise, we will deep-dive in 4 of the most common Motivational questions asked in FIT interviews:   Why Consulting? Why this particular company? (McKinsey, Bain, BCG, others) Why this particular location? *Particularly relevant to people re-locating or choosing an office not in their region Why this particular specialized business function *Only relevant when not applying for a general role (e.g., McKinsey Advanced Analytics, BCG Gamma, etc.) *box-open green* *See Graph 1 – Note: "Motivational" are one of the 4 types of questions you can find in FIT interviews. *box-close* ➥ Graphs from the Integrated FIT Guide for MBB
4.5 5 62
| Rating: (4.5 / 5.0)
Difficulty: Intermediate | Style: Fit Interview | Topics: Personal fit

During this exercise, we will deep-dive in 4 of the most common Motivational questions asked in FIT interviews: Why Consulting? Why this particular company? (McKinsey, Bain, BCG, others) Why this particular location? *Particularly relevant to people re-locating or choosing an office not ... Open whole case

Introduction and CV questions – FIT interview preparation

Solved 3.0k times
Introduction and CV questions – FIT interview preparation During this exercise, we will deep-dive in 3 of the most common Intro & CV questions asked in FIT interviews:  1. Walk me through your CV 2. Tell me about yourself 3. Tell me about the thing that makes you most proud on your CV   *box-open green* *See Graph 1 – Note: "Intro & CV questions" are one of the 4 types of questions you can find in FIT interviews. *box-close* ➥ Graphs from the Integrated FIT Guide for MBB    
4.6 5 58
| Rating: (4.6 / 5.0)
Difficulty: Intermediate | Style: Fit Interview | Topics: Personal fit

During this exercise, we will deep-dive in 3 of the most common Intro & CV questions asked in FIT interviews: 1. Walk me through your CV 2. Tell me about yourself 3. Tell me about the thing that makes you most proud on your CV *See Graph 1 – Note: "Intro & CV questions" are one of the 4 ty ... Open whole case

Cutting Carbs - Divestiture in the Electrical Power Market

Solved 1.0k times
Cutting Carbs - Divestiture in the Electrical Power Market Our client is Energy England, one of northern England’s largest electric utility companies. They were created over the past decade through an aggressive series of mergers of existing utility companies each specializing in a single energy generation source. Recently, the CEO has embarked on an initiative to return to the core of the business. She is looking to increase free cash flow and cash reserves in order to prepare the business for evolving future trends.   The following can be verbally provided to interviewee if asked: Energy England is made up of assets across the energy-generation space. These include coal, gas, nuclear, and wind We are looking to divest from just one of our previous acquisitions (i.e one target is sufficient) There are no specific goals/metrics – the client trusts our judgement
4.2 5 20
| Rating: (4.2 / 5.0)

Our client is Energy England, one of northern England’s largest electric utility companies. They were created over the past decade through an aggressive series of mergers of existing utility companies each specializing in a single energy generation source. Recently, the CEO has embarked on an initi ... Open whole case