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Jacopo

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Does anyone know how the BCG office preference system works?

Applied to BCG London as first choice but got interview for second choice. Does anyone know how the BCG office preference system works? Do you only get considered for second choice if your first choice rejects you? If let's say I got the offer for the second choice location would it be possible to negotiate for a transfer?

Applied to BCG London as first choice but got interview for second choice. Does anyone know how the BCG office preference system works? Do you only get considered for second choice if your first choice rejects you? If let's say I got the offer for the second choice location would it be possible to negotiate for a transfer?

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Hi Chris,

Does anyone know how the BCG office preference system works? Do you only get considered for second choice if your first choice rejects you?

My answer applies to MBB and A.T. Kearney as well.

As mentioned by Costas, if your number 1 choice does not invite you for interviews it will send your application to your 2nd choice and if that does not work out either to your 3rd one.

For your information, apart from personal fit and academic & work experience, the recruiting office that invites you to interviews bases its choice on other important factors:

  • competition: generally speaking, some offices are harder to get in than others. London, New York or San Francisco for example because of increased competition (you have many talented people from all over the world that want to live in these cities)
  • number of open positions: apart from large offices (e.g. London, Paris) which have a more stable demand from their clients, it is difficult to forecast the exact number of required recruits. As a consequence the likelihood of being invited to an interview might change from semester to semester
  • tie to a city: offices like to see that you have some tie to the place, e.g. you studied in Paris and speak French if you are applying for the Paris office
  • previous work experience/expertise: if you have relevant work experience or a specific expertise you should probably apply where that skill would be in highest demand (oil and gas in Houston for example, or Moscow if you are Russian)

If let's say I got the offer for the second choice location would it be possible to negotiate for a transfer?

It won’t be possible to negotiate a transfer immediately after you start but it will be possible (and relatively easy) after a couple of years.

Cheers and good luck!

Jacopo

Hi Chris,

Does anyone know how the BCG office preference system works? Do you only get considered for second choice if your first choice rejects you?

My answer applies to MBB and A.T. Kearney as well.

As mentioned by Costas, if your number 1 choice does not invite you for interviews it will send your application to your 2nd choice and if that does not work out either to your 3rd one.

For your information, apart from personal fit and academic & work experience, the recruiting office that invites you to interviews bases its choice on other important factors:

  • competition: generally speaking, some offices are harder to get in than others. London, New York or San Francisco for example because of increased competition (you have many talented people from all over the world that want to live in these cities)
  • number of open positions: apart from large offices (e.g. London, Paris) which have a more stable demand from their clients, it is difficult to forecast the exact number of required recruits. As a consequence the likelihood of being invited to an interview might change from semester to semester
  • tie to a city: offices like to see that you have some tie to the place, e.g. you studied in Paris and speak French if you are applying for the Paris office
  • previous work experience/expertise: if you have relevant work experience or a specific expertise you should probably apply where that skill would be in highest demand (oil and gas in Houston for example, or Moscow if you are Russian)

If let's say I got the offer for the second choice location would it be possible to negotiate for a transfer?

It won’t be possible to negotiate a transfer immediately after you start but it will be possible (and relatively easy) after a couple of years.

Cheers and good luck!

Jacopo

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Agreed with other answers. In the US specifically there is a strong bias towards your first preference. If you do not get selected by the first office preference, the chances to get selected by the second are extremly reduced. Transfer for personal reasons can be requested after 12 months but is not automatic/guaranteed.

Agreed with other answers. In the US specifically there is a strong bias towards your first preference. If you do not get selected by the first office preference, the chances to get selected by the second are extremly reduced. Transfer for personal reasons can be requested after 12 months but is not automatic/guaranteed.

Hi Chris,

From what I've read to various blogs, in case you applied for a graduate programme and for more than one MBB offices, your number 1 choice will send your application to your 2nd choice, in case it considers that you don't fit. That may be because they have better applicants than you for their office, but they still want to give you a chance, so they send you to your 2nd choice. The 2nd choice again will follow exactly the same process, but only if they do need any applicants. In my case, I got rejected by my 1st BCG choice (London) for the above reason and the 2nd choice (Athens office), because it's a small office and they don't have open positions (at least that's what I was told by the local recruiter).

In case you're accepted by your 2nd or 3rd choice, the rest of interview process will be for that particular office only and you cannot negotiate a transfer. This is the strategy at least for McKinsey, as I was told by a recruiter who works for their London office. You can negotiate a transfer after 2-3 years, when the entry-level position period comes to an end, but still no one can promise to you that you'll be transferred, because it depends again on the needs of each office.

I'd like we have here though the opinion of someone who've worked for an MBB firm.

All the best

Hi Chris,

From what I've read to various blogs, in case you applied for a graduate programme and for more than one MBB offices, your number 1 choice will send your application to your 2nd choice, in case it considers that you don't fit. That may be because they have better applicants than you for their office, but they still want to give you a chance, so they send you to your 2nd choice. The 2nd choice again will follow exactly the same process, but only if they do need any applicants. In my case, I got rejected by my 1st BCG choice (London) for the above reason and the 2nd choice (Athens office), because it's a small office and they don't have open positions (at least that's what I was told by the local recruiter).

In case you're accepted by your 2nd or 3rd choice, the rest of interview process will be for that particular office only and you cannot negotiate a transfer. This is the strategy at least for McKinsey, as I was told by a recruiter who works for their London office. You can negotiate a transfer after 2-3 years, when the entry-level position period comes to an end, but still no one can promise to you that you'll be transferred, because it depends again on the needs of each office.

I'd like we have here though the opinion of someone who've worked for an MBB firm.

All the best

Agree with the previous comment.

Just to add on, I spoke with BCG London office Recruiter. She said it is not quite appropreiated to request for transfering offer from one office to another. Note that for office with such a high compeition like London. If you rank them the 3rd, they might not consider your application.

Agree with the previous comment.

Just to add on, I spoke with BCG London office Recruiter. She said it is not quite appropreiated to request for transfering offer from one office to another. Note that for office with such a high compeition like London. If you rank them the 3rd, they might not consider your application.

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