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Applying For MBB Whilst Starting Work At The Big 4

JunJo asked on Aug 17, 2019 - 3 answers
Looking to prepare cases for MBB

I will be joining a management consulting graduate role at a Big 4 firm this September. I was wondering if I should/would be able to apply for MBB graduate roles (as well as OC&C, Oliver Wyman etc.) in the next recruitment cycle or whether this could potentially burn some ties with the firm I am joining.

I am more interested in a potential strategy consulting role and did receive interviews at some of the above firms last cycle but was unable to progress throughout the rounds. I am therefore uncertain whether or not to complete two years within the firm I am joining and then to evaluate my future options or to apply again for firms in the next recruitment cycle whilst working

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replied on Aug 20, 2019
Bain & Company | University of Cambridge | CV/Resume writing | 770 GMAT
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Hi Junjo?

Is this for London? If so, then most companies only use a 12 month "ban" so you can reapply in the following year - I assume by cycle you are refererring to the standard Grad recruiting which happens in October-December.

I have seen people do what you are doing a lot - in one case, I know someone that applied to Bain three times (and was interviewed every year) before finally getting an offer.

I wouldn't worry about burning any ties, at your level. The increased prestige / opportunities at MBB far outweigh any connections you might build within a short time period at a Big 4

replied on Aug 18, 2019
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Hi Junjo,

Vlad is right that it might be hard for you to get interviews with the same companies within a year. I heard about few situations when a candidate was rejected in one office of a certain MBB company, after few months he/she reapplied to a different office of the same company and got accepted, but that's rare.

You can always give it a try though and if invited then just remember to keep it quiet and do not share the news with any colleagues from your new Big 4 company. You do not want to burn any bridges there cause it may actually turn out you will like it there.

Additionally, I can tell you that based on my personal experience that after I joined my Big 4 company I had many times thoughts about jumping ship to join MBB, but at the end I never decided to do it. Few factors played a role: I liked the atmosphere in the office and my colleagues, projects were interesting and my career path progression was clear. Plus there was one thing that MBB could not offer me: as I became a father early it was very important to me to spend as many week nights at home as possible and as most of the clients of my Big 4 company had their HQs in the same city it meant that I could be at home more often than people from MBB. At that time I literally did not find any MBB consultant who was more often home than me. So who knows, maybe in your situation you will also find something in the Big 4 that you can't find at MBB. Hope it helps.

Good luck,


Vlad replied on Aug 17, 2019
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Not sure what you mean by the recruitment cycle. Usually, you have a ban that is 1-2 years depending on your interview performance / experience. Therefore I doubt that you'll be able to apply to the same companies within a year.

Secondly, when you reapply to the same companies you should have some changes in your background / career path to get invited for an interview. If you add a new job with just a couple of months of real work - that's definitely not enough

You can apply to the companies you haven't applied before, however, be ready to explain why you are looking for a job immediately after starting one. And that's really hard to explain