Bain: transfer office region before starting?

Bain Bain & Company DACH MBB nordic offer office preferences office selection officetransfer transfer
New answer on Oct 23, 2022
11 Answers
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Anonymous A asked on Sep 30, 2022

Hi everyone, 

I have received and signed an offer as an AC at Bain in the DACH region but recently decided to move to the Nordics for personal reasons. I would still like to start at Bain, but only if I can start in my new local office in the Nordics. 

I have heard that it is hard to transfer offices (particularly from one region to another) due to cross-office politics (i.e., the office/region that recruited you does not want you to leave for another office/region that did not “invest” in you during the recruitment process). Does anyone here have input on if this is true and if it might still possible for me to change my offer from one region to another? 

(In case it helps, I did also interview as an ACI with my current local Nordic office when I was still studying (before I interviewed in DACH) and while I did not receive an offer in the end, I made it to the last interview round and had the impression that the Nordic office still wanted to stay connected with me even after rejecting me… I was not invited to interview with the Nordic office when I applied as an AC but this might have just been because my ACI interviews were only a few months before that.)

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Francesco
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replied on Oct 01, 2022
#1 Coach for Sessions (4.000+) | 1.500+ 5-Star Reviews | Proven Success (➡ InterviewOffers.com) | Ex BCG | 9Y+ Coaching

Hi there,

Congratulations on the offer! In terms of your question:

Q: I have heard that it is hard to transfer offices. Does anyone here have input on if this is true and if it might still possible for me to change my offer from one region to another? 

It is very difficult to transfer before you start, even more considering you have been rejected before by that particular office. But if the alternative for you would be to look for another job, you could ask anyway as you would have nothing to lose.

If you are willing to wait a bit, you could try to move once got some seniority.

To maximize your chances you should ideally:

  • Have one or more partners in your target office favoring the transfer
  • Have one or more partners in your home office favoring the transfer
  • Have a strong performance
  • Have or be able to get working rights in your target office

It might be easier to try to target a project in the new office while you are based in your current one, create relationships and then do the full transfer. However, that also depends on the company and office.

Best,

Francesco

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Pedro
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replied on Sep 30, 2022
Bain | EY-Parthenon | Roland Berger | FIT | Market Sizing | Former Head Recruiter

First you need to define what you really want and will do according to what they may decide in this matter.

Also, make sure you are able to explain what has changed that is leading you to make this request.

Then you approach them and present your case. Sometimes they acommodate, sometimes they don't. It's not just about the DACH office being cool about it - they receiving office also needs to be ok with it. Not sure they will, as they have probably filled out their recruiting needs and the market is not as tight on resources as it was a few months ago.

Regarding the cost of recruiting… the cost of training an analyst is way much higher…

Also please note that one of the options may be to have some priority in being staffed to projects in the Nordics. The DACH office gets some revenue, and you get to work there… not ideal, because it is not stable, but it is an option. But of course, depends on the Nordics not having enough people in their office (and usually there are sufficient analysis), so going back to what I mentioned above - there must be a lack of analysts in the Nordics.

On the other hand it also depends on how great you were in the interviews… if you were great, they'll want to make sure you won't go to the competition.

They won't be offended for asking (they may be if you go back on your word to work for Bain but well, in that case it is because you don't want to accept their offer anyway).

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Maikol
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replied on Sep 30, 2022
Ex Bain & Company Manager & AlixPartners SVP| Partner at PE fund | INSEAD MBA | GMAT 780 | Structuring & math

I think consulting should be a medium to become mature people. In my definition of maturity, there is (1) the ability to put yourself in other people's shoes and (2) uncompromising transparency.

In my (quasi-)humble view, asking to move to another office before you start can be seen as a very negative message because it shows a very clear lack of transparency and an unclear mind about your future.
Bain will think that if they don't move you to Nordics, you will do it on your own accepting offering from other firms. At the same time, they will unlikely move you because of what you mentioned. 
So, in any case, it is not a good start. 

 

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Sofia
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replied on Oct 04, 2022
McKinsey San Francisco | Harvard graduate | 5+ years of coaching| Free 15 min intro call | Personalized approach

Hello,

It is true that transferring offices can be quite hard, and is usually a long process that involves a lot of networking and coordination. I would also recommend starting in DACH, communicating your personal reasons and needs to your staffing manager and mentors, and trying to get staffed in the Nordics as much as possible. Of course, I don't know the details of your situation - if you will only work at Bain if you can be in the Nordics full-time, you could try to have that conversation with HR, though the warnings that others have provided here about setting a bad precedent before you even start are warranted in my opinion.

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Dennis
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replied on Sep 30, 2022
Seasoned project leader with 7+ years of consulting and recruiting experience in USA and Europe

Congratulations on your offer!

I think you have to pick your priorities here: 

  • Is living in the Nordics right now more important to you than starting a career at Bain?
  • Would it be acceptable with your personal life to start in the DACH region but plan on moving to the Nordics within, for example, a 2-year timeframe?
  • Would you be content not working in consulting if you turned down your current offer and didn't get another consulting offer in the Nordics?

I'm assuming that nobody from the Nordics region was involved in your DACH recruitment process so that you would not have a local advocate there to vouch for you. I can echo what Pedro said regarding differing hiring and staffing policies between different regions/offices within the same firm. In general, it is much easier to transfer to a different geography if you have already been with the firm for some time and you can showcase a consultant profile that is needed in your desired office location. Or you have to do the initial recruiting process directly in that geography of course.

You can certainly ask the company if they would accommodate your request but I think it's going to be more of a long shot.

Good luck

 

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Anonymous replied on Oct 23, 2022

Hi,

It is a very case-by-case situation. I have heard of a various people who managed to switch geographies after getting an offer (a few from Bain). 

I would definitely try and very much highlight your personal reasons for this request. You might want to reach out to some more senior people at the office where you want to transfer to.

Best regards,

Jorn

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Lucie
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Content Creator
updated an answer on Oct 02, 2022
10+yrs recruiting & top BCG trainer & BCG Project leader & experienced hire & ICF coach

if you get an offer from DACH it may be hard to transfer immediately to Nordics before having 6m-1yr with the commpany. BUT you may eventually be staffed on remote cases then it may be bearable to keep DACH address only while living in Nordics before officially asking for reallocation. 

Good luck

Lucie

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(edited)

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Udayan
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replied on Oct 02, 2022
Top rated McKinsey Case & PEI coach/Multiple real offers/McKinsey EM in New York /6 years McKinsey recruiting experience

Hi,

If you can wait it out a year before transferring I would suggest that. Asking for such a big change before even starting is difficult because offices recruit based on various parameters such as expected client demand and expected attrition etc.

After a year (of good work) you will have established a reputation and a support network that you can leverage to help with your move as needed.

If you absolutely need to move now, there is no harm in asking but it is unlikely that you will get the request approved and it may leave a bad impression unless you have a really compelling (and honest) reason to do so.

 

Best,

Udayan

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Emily
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replied on Sep 30, 2022
Ex McKinsey EM & interviewer (5 yrs) USA & UK| Coached / interviewed 200 +|Free 15 min intro| Stanford MBA|Non-trad

If you're set on moving to the Nordics then all you can do is ask and hope for the best. Sometimes they can make the move work, sometimes they can't - the more they like you the more they'll push for you so make sure you're utterly charming! 

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Ian
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replied on Oct 02, 2022
MBB | 100% personal interview success rate (8/8) and 95% candidate success rate | Personalized interview prep

Hi there,

Unfortunately these companies don't really work this way. It's an extremely long shot to be able to transfer before you've even started. I personally would not even ask as it sets a bad precedent, however if you really will only work if it's in the Nordics you can try.

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Clara
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replied on Oct 01, 2022
McKinsey | Awarded professor at Master in Management @ IE | MBA at MIT |+180 students coached | Integrated FIT Guide aut

Hello!

I think that it's easier to start where you have the offer, but communicate the change in your personal circumstances and get staffed in the Nordics. This way you will know the peopel and bit the connections, which will smooth the transition after a while. 

Cheers, 

Clara

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Francesco gave the best answer

Francesco

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