Applying for roles at business school but no networking yet

Alumni MBB networking
New answer on Sep 06, 2022
10 Answers
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Anonymous A asked on Sep 04, 2022

I am at a target business school (graduating in 2023 spring) but late in networking. Three days away from the deadline but I haven't managed to network with the offices that I am applying for. Should I still cold apply now or wait till spring to go for experienced hire (more time for networking)? 

Additionally, I am applying to offices that have a very limited alum base.

Thanks.

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Florian
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replied on Sep 05, 2022
#1 rated McKinsey Case and PEI Coach | 5 years at McKinsey | Mentorship Approach | 120+ McK offers in 18 months

Hey there,

Depends on the quality of your resume. You are already at a target school, which is a huge plus, HOWEVER, you would still need to demonstrate spikes in areas such as

  • Academia (GPA, successes, and achievements)
  • Career (relevant internship experience with reputable companies)
  • Extracurricular
  • Time spent abroad

If you have at least some of those areas covered, you do not need to worry about networking.

Cheers,

Florian

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Francesco
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replied on Sep 05, 2022
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Hi there,

Q: Should I still cold apply now or wait till spring to go for experienced hire (more time for networking)? 

This is a bit tricky as if you get rejected now you won’t likely be able to apply before 12 months. 

Still, unless you know there are going to be openings in the Spring with a preferential channel, I would apply now. The reason is that your risk to have most of the slots filled for your target office.

One thing you may attempt is to apply now and still network to get a referral post application. This is more difficult to get (the person referring you won’t get any bonus so incentives are lower) and may not have an effect if your application has already been screened, but no harm in trying it.

For more info on how to get referrals, you can check the article below:

 How to Get an MBB Referral

Good luck!

Francesco

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Ian
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replied on Sep 05, 2022
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Antonello
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replied on Sep 06, 2022
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Hi,
I would apply now. If rejected, applying with another status (experienced?) will be allowed, especially if supported by a strong referral

Best,
Antonello

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Udayan
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replied on Sep 06, 2022
Top rated McKinsey Case & PEI coach/Multiple real offers/McKinsey EM in New York /6 years McKinsey recruiting experience

While it isn't ideal that you have not networked, I think it is better to try now given that you go to a target school. Also just because you have not networked yet does not mean you can't start to do so today. It just takes a few good conversations for people to be excited about you as a candidate.

 

Best,
Udayan

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Cristian
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replied on Sep 05, 2022
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Hi there, 

I would apply now. Depending on the geography, referrals are not a much, though they surely help. 

Also, don't undermine what you can do in 3 days. Use the law of big numbers. Even if you write on linkedin to 30 alumni of your school who are in your target firm, if 5 of them answer and 1 gets on the phone with you, you might still have a change to get a referral within the next couple of days. And it only takes you a few minutes to write a message and then copy-paste it to the relevant people. 

Best,

Cristian

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Lucie
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replied on Sep 05, 2022
10+yrs recruiting & top BCG trainer & BCG Project leader & experienced hire & ICF coach

Absolutely! 

I wouldn't be obsessed with referrals. They do help make sure your CV will be checked, but all candidates are treated equally, even if you have a referral but your CV doesn't fit, you won't get far. Having said that, I would rather recommend focusing the energy on preparing the winning CV and cover letter for the interview. 

I wish you all the best,

Lucie

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Sofia
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replied on Sep 05, 2022
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Since you are at a target school, networking is less important. The strength of your CV + target school background should bear considerable weight. If you think your CV is solid, I wouldn't worry about the lack of networking and apply now.

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Emily
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replied on Sep 04, 2022
Ex McKinsey EM & interviewer (5 yrs) USA & UK| Coached / interviewed 200 +|Free 15 min intro| Stanford MBA|Non-trad

Absolutely apply now. As you're at a target school the most important thing, as Ken said, is your CV. Networking is important for when you're not from a target school - or there is something out of the ordinary on your resume (e.g., did a second undergrad degree when you were much older) etc., 

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Ken
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replied on Sep 04, 2022
Ex-McKinsey final round interviewer | Executive Coach

If you’re at a target school, I wouldn’t worry about it where your profile/CV is most important.  Networking is only a plus and interview invites are based on the merit of your application (not your network).  Good luck!

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Florian gave the best answer

Florian

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