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Apply at lower tier consultancy first?

Anonymous A

Hello

I would like to apply for an internship at MBB in Germany.
Is it possible to go for other consulting firms like Oliver Wyman or A.T. Kearney
first to get

1) some practice in the interviews process in general and
2) an internship position if it does not work out at MBB?

When applying for an internship do you have to sign the contract right after the
interview day or do you get a letter/email later that you can decline?

Is there possibly enough time to squeeze the MBB interview without declining the others first?

Thank you!

(edited)

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Weizhen replied on 08/12/2017

I think you can apply lower tier companies at the same time as you apply for MBB,

Afterall, what if you get in??

At the same time, you know it's harder to get into MBB so those second tier companies can be considered as your backup plan -- if you get in, you will also have an experiecne in consulting and that would be a good preparation for your future application with MBB!!

Francesco replied on 08/27/2017
Ex BCG | MBB Specialist | #1 Expert for meetings done (900+) and recommendation rate (100%)

Hi Anonymous,

it could be a good idea to start to prepare for non-MBB companies first; however, I would not distance applications more than a couple of weeks. That’s because:

  1. Applying first for non-MBB could help you to feel more confident with MBB (even if you have practiced a lot before, in the very first interview you will do, you will probably not perform as well as in the following ones)
  2. Not putting too much distance between non-MBB and MBB interviews will help you to avoid having to choose an offer without chances to interview with MBB.

Normally, you will have 1 or 2 weeks to sign a contract; ideally, you may want to use that time to leverage the offer from the non-MBB in order to speed up the process with MBB. This is what happened in my case: I got first a OW offer, and then managed to get all the BCG interviews in 4 days and all the Bain interviews in 1 day. That’s because an offer from a leading competitor will validate you and push the other companies to proceed faster (and potentially decrease the number of interviews you will have to do) in order not to lose you.

Even if you start from non-MBB, there are no guarantees you will not be called by MBB first, as each company has its waiting periods before interviews based on the amount of projects they are dealing with. However, applying for non-MBB first you will maximize the chances to follow the previous mentioned plan.

Hope this helps,

Francesco

Anonymous B replied on 08/11/2017

This would really depend on a case-by-case basis. I'd say go ahead and apply to lower tier firms first to test the water and work on MBB after or in parrallel.