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Best way into MBB

Anonymous A asked on May 02, 2018 - 3 answers

Hi everyone, I've worked in investment banking for 4 years now and decided to move into consulting. Interviewed with 2 MBBs and a number of Tier 2 firms and only have 2 Tier 2 firm offers in hand. For both MBBs I made it to finals and based on feedback it was close, but I would need to wait for 1 - 1.5 years to re-apply. Given my end goal is to join one of the MBB firms, would it make sense for me to move into a Tier 2 firm and re-apply, or would it be better if I remained in investment banking and just re-applied? Given I have not worked in the industry, I am unable to tell how closely work at a Tier 2 firm would mirror that of the MBBs, which is a key decision factor. For more context I'm in a top Tier 2 IB at the moment. Would be keen to hear your thoughts!

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replied on May 02, 2018
McKinsey Engagement Manager & BCG Consultant | Interviewer at McK & BCG for 7 years | Coached 100+ candidates secure MBB offers
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To be honest, I don't believe it matters regarding your objective to join MBB. You have been invited by them and you know that you have to wait about 18 months to re-apply. I don't believe either option will swing your probability of success - the critical lever will be your preparation for the interviews, so that next time around you can kill the beast! ;)

PErsonally, I would probably stay in IB to reduce the number of variables in my life in order to concentrate on my end goal.

Cheers, Sidi

replied on May 02, 2018
Former BCG decision round interviewer with 300+ real interviews in 8 years
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Unless next year has a promotion in store for you, with 4 years under your belt in IB I would move to the tier 2 consulting and then re-apply from there. Reason why is that one or more years in IB won't diversify your experience enough to become a more attractive candidate for the consulting firms.

Hope ti helps,


replied on May 02, 2018
McKinsey / Accenture / Got all BIG3 offers / More than 300 real MBB cases / Harvard Business School
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First of all, I would keep it in the Top IB since you will have a better brand and some career progress on your resume

Secondly, need to show some changes / achievements in your profile in order to reapply successfully:

  • Career progression
  • Remarkable projects
  • Extracurricular activities
  • New skills obtained
  • etc

The couple reasons why Tier 2 may be better

  • You'll have more time to prepare for case interviews
  • You may get some industry expertise relevant to your country