Breaking into consulting from investment banking

Middle East
New answer on Feb 21, 2021
10 Answers
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Anonymous A asked on Jan 19, 2021

Hey everyone. I have a question related to breaking into consulting, preferably MBB, as an exit. I've been working in IB in London for 3 years at a bulge bracket bank. My plan is to exit banking now and enter MBB consulting in the middle east. The reason for my departure from banking is that basically I don't see anything exciting or achievable there, and PE doesn't seem compelling either. The reason why I want to get to the middle east office is because I'm native to the region, returning is something I've planned before. The compensation is totally irrelevant, I have really good savings.

Important consideration is that I come from a semi-target university in the UK. Is it possible to get to MBB consulting right away, or do I have to do a top MBA?

Thanks everyone!

(edited)

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Francesco
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replied on Jan 19, 2021
#1 Coach for Sessions (4.000+) | 1.400+ 5-Star Reviews | Proven Success (➡ InterviewOffers.com) | Ex BCG | 9Y+ Coaching

Hi there,

It depends on the position you are targeting.

  1. If you are targeting the equivalent of a post-MBA position (eg Associate McK, Consultant BCG), you will need an MBA
  2. If you are targeting an analyst/senior analyst position (eg Analyst McK, Associate BCG), you can definitely apply now. You should be able to negotiate some seniority if you do so. In this case, the #1 thing that may help is a referral. You can find more on referrals at the following link: https://www.preplounge.com/en/consulting-forum/hey-everyonehope-all-is-well-3176

Best,
Francesco

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Ken
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replied on Jan 19, 2021
Ex-McKinsey London final round interviewer

You can absolutely try for MBB consulting right away. Based on your experience level, you would most likely be between an entry level and post-MBA/experienced hire (e.g., Junior Associate at McKinsey) but it really depends on the firm and office. Since you have worked and I presume have done well at the bulge bracket bank, your school isn't that important of a consideration, especially if you are applying for the Middle East.

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Henning
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replied on Jan 19, 2021
Bain | passed >15 MBB interviews as a candidate

Yes, there is a good amount of overlap between IB and consulting. With 3 years experience you'd probably target a tenure just below the MBA entry level positions

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Adi
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replied on Jan 19, 2021
Accenture, Deloitte | Precision Case Prep | Experienced Interviewer & Career Coach | 15 years professional experience

In addition to what other coaches have said, my advice will be to not rule out BIG4. Exlore them and you might be able to join at a decent position (Senior Consultant) without MBA if you position yourself well and smash the interviews.

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Raj
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replied on Feb 21, 2021
Strategy&| ex-interviewer | 170+ coached over career |95% success @ MBB, S&, RB, LEK, OW, Big4 [SUCCESS STORIES BELOW]

Absolutely possible as a lateral move, and you'll see on LinkedIn not unheard of. Usually, this tends to be Analysts (S&T or M&A) who have completed Analyst 2.

Anecdotally, the move wouldn't usually consider tenure if A1/2 and you would join as a new Associate with the grads. However, I know it is possible to negotiate a fast-track promotion to Senior Associate within 12months. This will demand on the firm, office and project pipeline.

The other route is joining as an experienced hire with 3yrs+ of experience and lateral moving as a Senior Associate.

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Clara
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replied on Jan 20, 2021
McKinsey | Awarded professor at Master in Management @ IE | MBA at MIT |+180 students coached | Integrated FIT Guide aut

Hello!

For sure you can break into MBB -and btw, at this point, the school you went to is not relevant anymore, since you are an experienced hire-.

Indeed, I know people in the McK Madrid office that come from IB.

Be very careful on your FIT prep, since that part will be intense.

Hope it helps!

Cheers,

Clara

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Gaurav
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replied on Jan 19, 2021
Ex-Mckinsey|Certified Career Coach |Placed 500+ candidates at MBB & other consultancies

Hi there,

in your situation, MBA would be a plus, but with your experience you already can land a job in consulting.

The question is: spending 1-2 years on MBA or working for one more year in IB and then applying as an experienced hire.

Good luck! And hit me up if you need any further advice on transitioning.

GB

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Ian
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replied on Jan 19, 2021
MBB | 100% personal interview success rate (8/8) and 95% candidate success rate | Personalized interview prep

Hi there,

Your odds would definitely be increased if you did an MBA first. However, it's not completely required.

Note, if you do an MBA you'll start at consultant level. If you don't, you'll likely come in at entry level.

Something to note!

Now, in terms of maximizing your odds:

1) Tailor your CV very specifically to consulting - you have the experience, now make sure your CV very clearly shows that

2) Start networking. Find out about hiring across firms/offices and look to get referrals

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Denis
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updated an answer on Jan 19, 2021
Ex-Bain 5 yrs | Goldman Sachs Investment Banker NYC | MBA Chicago Booth | Passed > 13 MBB > 20 IB interviews

Hi A,

you can most likely make the move - I ve just made the mode in the reverse direction. It should be quite easy for your to prep the personal fit questions for the interview.

When you say IB, we are talking about classic coverage/ M&A group? M&A will be held in higher regard and will allow you to join with a higher tenure in MBB. Equity Research for example is nice regarding quant skills, but not comparable with MBB that much (workload and type of work) and wont necessarily allow you to join as high. Bulge bracket is nice, obv the better for you if we are talking about GS JPM MS CS BAML CITI ... DB Barclays RBS for example are not as high in terms of reputation.

If I were you I d totally apply for Tier-2 consulting immediately, mostly for practice. I d also apply to MBB after some heavy and decent networking to get the best referrals possible. I bet there are many partners who would love to have someone with a very nice quant experience on their team and hence help you with your application. In case MBB does not work out, I d definitely do a US MBA.

Be careful with timing, MBA intakes are already decided upon this year. So if you take a couple of months (average 3 months) of prep for MBB and do not get in, you can start focusing on GMAT / MBA prep around late Summer, early fall to make it to R1 or R2 deadlines for the MBAs.

Let me know if I can help you more.

Best,
Denis

(edited)

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Vlad
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replied on Jan 19, 2021
McKinsey / Accenture Alum / Got all BIG3 offers / Harvard Business School

Hi,

Couple of points here:

  1. Your university does not matter at this point
  2. If you stay in IB for 1 more year, you'll be able to apply for an experienced hire role. That'll be really beneficial for your salary and career
  3. You can also do MBA, but it'll take a lot of time and prep.
  4. You can persuade both options (applying for MBA and applying to MBB in a year and see what works). Downside - it's really hard to do both while working in IB
  5. I don't see any reason why you can't apply to ME officess

Best

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Francesco gave the best answer

Francesco

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