Big 4 Consulting vs. MBB Research

Big 4 internship mbb big4
New answer on May 23, 2022
2 Answers
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Anonymous A asked on May 21, 2022

Hello. I received inter offers and have to choose between:

  1. Big 4 Consulting/Advisory OR
  2. the research arm of an MBB (think BCG Data and Research Service or McKinsey Knowledge Center).

MBB is obviously a better brand but the role is considered “back-office” whereas the Big 4 Consulting is a client-facing “front-office” role. It's just a summer internship so I'm not sure if the distinction would make too much of a difference. 

Which one would have better ops when I apply for consulting roles in the future, ideally MBB and T2?

Thanks in advance for your help.

(edited)

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Udayan
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replied on May 23, 2022
Top rated McKinsey Case & PEI coach/Multiple real offers/McKinsey EM in New York /6 years McKinsey recruiting experience

I would highly encourage you to go for Management Consulting roles at a big 4 vs any back office roles in MBB. It is EXTREMELY difficult and painful moving from a back office role to a consulting position at MBB and you will have a much better shot at it if you come with actual management consulting experience. Even as an intern, it is likely to make them look less favorably at you if you have back office MBB experience vs Consulting experience at the big 4.

Best,

Udayan

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Anonymous A on May 23, 2022

Thanks, Udayan. This is really helpful. I also want to note that the Big 4 role is not within the more "prestigious" strategy division (like Strategy& and EY-Parthenon) but is actually within the Management Consulting arm. Would that still make the Big 4 internship better than the MBB research role? Thank you.

(edited)

Udayan on May 23, 2022

What is the difference between management consulting and strategy? But in short yes you can always phrase it to sound more applicable to the job you're applying for.

Cristian
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replied on May 21, 2022
#1 rated and most recommended McKinsey Coach | 97% success rate (tracked) | Honest feedback: no sugar-coating

Hi there, 

If you're planning on applying for consulting roles in MBB in T2 in the future, then the priority should be to have a consulting internship beforehand. So I would prioritize whatever option you receive where you'll actually be doing a consultant job, rather than back office roles. This will look better on your CV and will give you the opportunity to learn more. 

Best,

Cristian

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Anonymous A on May 21, 2022

Thanks a lot for your comments, Cristian! So the relevance of the job functions matters more than the company brand names in this case, right?

Udayan gave the best answer

Udayan

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Top rated McKinsey Case & PEI coach/Multiple real offers/McKinsey EM in New York /6 years McKinsey recruiting experience
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