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Expert with best answer

Guennael

99% Recommendation Rate

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1,384 Q&A Upvotes

USD 319 / Coaching

3

Between a Rock & Hard Place

Hello,

This not a case question but rather a career one. I am currently a management consultant at a tier 2 consulting firm (e.g. Deloitte, Accenture, AT Kearney). I received an experienced hire interview from MBB. My current case ends in two weeks and I planned to take 2 weeks off to prepare for my MBB interview in November.

A partner emailed me and told me they'd really like me to be on a case that starts right after my current one. I can say no, but this case is in the field I've wanted to do work in since I joined the firm out of undergrad a year ago.

I am between a rock and hard place because I am staring at a case in front of me at my current company that I've wanted to be on for a long time. Yet I also told myself that I would commit two weeks of paid time off to do nothing but refine my interview presentation because getting into MBB would take my career to the next level.

In theory, I can do both the case and prepare for my interview but as those of you consultants know, once you get on a case, life can get crazy and I do not want to come out of this situation feeling like I did not give my all to my MBB interview. If I forgo the case the partner emailed me about and I don't get MBB, I'm not sure how easy it will be to get on a similar type of case again but if I ultimately get MBB, it won't matter because I would have catapulted my career to an astronomical level.

Would love some advice.

Hello,

This not a case question but rather a career one. I am currently a management consultant at a tier 2 consulting firm (e.g. Deloitte, Accenture, AT Kearney). I received an experienced hire interview from MBB. My current case ends in two weeks and I planned to take 2 weeks off to prepare for my MBB interview in November.

A partner emailed me and told me they'd really like me to be on a case that starts right after my current one. I can say no, but this case is in the field I've wanted to do work in since I joined the firm out of undergrad a year ago.

I am between a rock and hard place because I am staring at a case in front of me at my current company that I've wanted to be on for a long time. Yet I also told myself that I would commit two weeks of paid time off to do nothing but refine my interview presentation because getting into MBB would take my career to the next level.

In theory, I can do both the case and prepare for my interview but as those of you consultants know, once you get on a case, life can get crazy and I do not want to come out of this situation feeling like I did not give my all to my MBB interview. If I forgo the case the partner emailed me about and I don't get MBB, I'm not sure how easy it will be to get on a similar type of case again but if I ultimately get MBB, it won't matter because I would have catapulted my career to an astronomical level.

Would love some advice.

3 answers

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Best Answer
Book a coaching with Guennael

99% Recommendation Rate

284 Meetings

1,384 Q&A Upvotes

USD 319 / Coaching

I think you have the right answer staring at you in the face: what happens if you take the new project, fail your interviews and never get into MBB - what then? Will you hate yourself forever?

Having said that, I'd like to challenge two of your core assumptions however:

1. Do you truly need 2 weeks to get ready for an MBB interview when you arguable have already succeeded at such an interview at a Tier2 (even if the bar was lower, most of these do give case interviews). Let me answer for you: many of us got into MBB by preparing while working full time & having a family. Just commit to a plan such as "review feedback in the morning before work, listen to audio on my way to work, do a case in the evening and 2 each day during the week-end". Sure you will hate life even more than usual for these 2 weeks, but what's 2 weeks in the grand scheme of things?

2. You seem to believe this will be the last opportunity you have to apply for / interview at MBB. First, you can probably delay the interview if needed; second, they will probably still be interested in 6 months if they are interested today


Also, you mention that you've waited for "one year" to do this type of project? One year is NOTHING! I can't even remember the type of projects I used to dream of doing when I was 1 year out of school. [insert old geezer joke here]

Last but not least, let's also look at the bigger picture: You are just 1 year out of undergrad. Odds are, a Masters degree is in your future, which will then give you another solid chance at MBB.

Here's what I suggest:

1. If you are "MBB or bust", you take time off and prepare as best as you can

2. If you are a type-A and think you can do it all, you take this cool new project for now since it is important to you - but you also kick your prep into high gear before/after work and during week-ends; if you honestly feel you would need a little bit more time, ask MBB for a delay, they will usually try to accomodate. And you can still ask for a couple of days of beach time / PTO if needed (I'm sure you can be creative here).

Good luck.

I think you have the right answer staring at you in the face: what happens if you take the new project, fail your interviews and never get into MBB - what then? Will you hate yourself forever?

Having said that, I'd like to challenge two of your core assumptions however:

1. Do you truly need 2 weeks to get ready for an MBB interview when you arguable have already succeeded at such an interview at a Tier2 (even if the bar was lower, most of these do give case interviews). Let me answer for you: many of us got into MBB by preparing while working full time & having a family. Just commit to a plan such as "review feedback in the morning before work, listen to audio on my way to work, do a case in the evening and 2 each day during the week-end". Sure you will hate life even more than usual for these 2 weeks, but what's 2 weeks in the grand scheme of things?

2. You seem to believe this will be the last opportunity you have to apply for / interview at MBB. First, you can probably delay the interview if needed; second, they will probably still be interested in 6 months if they are interested today


Also, you mention that you've waited for "one year" to do this type of project? One year is NOTHING! I can't even remember the type of projects I used to dream of doing when I was 1 year out of school. [insert old geezer joke here]

Last but not least, let's also look at the bigger picture: You are just 1 year out of undergrad. Odds are, a Masters degree is in your future, which will then give you another solid chance at MBB.

Here's what I suggest:

1. If you are "MBB or bust", you take time off and prepare as best as you can

2. If you are a type-A and think you can do it all, you take this cool new project for now since it is important to you - but you also kick your prep into high gear before/after work and during week-ends; if you honestly feel you would need a little bit more time, ask MBB for a delay, they will usually try to accomodate. And you can still ask for a couple of days of beach time / PTO if needed (I'm sure you can be creative here).

Good luck.

Couldn't agree more with Guennael.

Also think about this: You are 1 year into your job and a Partner at a large, well-renowned consulting firm is requesting you personally on a project - via email, not through the staffing office. That is pretty awesome - many partners don't even know the names of the people working in the junior roles. And no matter what you do or aspire to, having a Partner in your corner NEVER hurts.

So do the project and suck it up for a couple of weeks. If MBB works out, great. If not, you can still do cool things where you are now, probably have a great, very fast career progression, and give MBB another shot down the road.

Couldn't agree more with Guennael.

Also think about this: You are 1 year into your job and a Partner at a large, well-renowned consulting firm is requesting you personally on a project - via email, not through the staffing office. That is pretty awesome - many partners don't even know the names of the people working in the junior roles. And no matter what you do or aspire to, having a Partner in your corner NEVER hurts.

So do the project and suck it up for a couple of weeks. If MBB works out, great. If not, you can still do cool things where you are now, probably have a great, very fast career progression, and give MBB another shot down the road.

Book a coaching with Vlad

97% Recommendation Rate

404 Meetings

11,336 Q&A Upvotes

USD 239 / Coaching

Hi,

Why don't you just reschedule your interviews? There is no penalty for doing this

Best

Hi,

Why don't you just reschedule your interviews? There is no penalty for doing this

Best

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