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Can a Chinese student graduating from Bocconi University land a job at bcg, mckinsey, and bain in Italy/the UK?

Anonymous A asked on Nov 15, 2019 - 3 answers

Hi all! Since my situation is a bit complex I would like to first offer some background information. I am a Chinese student studying at an Italian High school and would like to work in consulting after university. My problem is, though, that I have little idea where to study in the future. I think I can safely say that I might very well be accepted by the International Economics and Management at Bocconi if I apply for it, but really, would a Bocconi University undergraduate degree be enough for me to pass the screening part? Besides, even though I have been in Italy for almost 8 years, my Italian is only good and maybe fluent but far from perfect (meaning that I can speak fluently but with obvious grammar/vocabulary mistakes). Therefore, I am concerned about whether I can deal with italian clients well, which would hurt my chance of landing a job in Italy.

Hence, I was wondering if you could kindly help me answer the following questions by offering your invaluable advice:

1. How is an Undergraduate degree from Bocconi regarded by top consulting firms in Italy? In the UK? How competitive is it compared with degrees from top UK/US universties (yes...I am talking about Oxabrige/LSE/Harvard/Berkeley and so on)

2. How good does one have to be at speaking Italian if they want get a job at top insulting firms? Does it have to be perfect/almost perfect?

3. What would you suggest me do during the three years of study (supposing that I am admitted and that an Undergraduate degree from Bocconi has some prestige) to enhance my chances of being offered a job by one of MBB?

Thanks for your time and patience

Sorry if my questions are long and a little complex; they perhars even too naive...

In any case, any suggestion would be deeply appreciated!

Thanks!

(edited)

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Deniz
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replied on Nov 17, 2019
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Hi,

I can answer for the UK offices. As you suggested, the competition is fierce, however I personally know several employees in MBB in London who graduated from Bocconi University and are not EU citizens (thus they require sponsorship).

Bocconi is a reputable university, and thus, with the right GPA / relevant academic experience, you may stand a chance to be invited for interviews. Referrals would also help increase your chances.

Best,

Deniz

Wow. thanks very much Deniz for your answer! That really somehow relieves me. Would you mind telling me whether they have earned a bachelor's degree or master's one from Bocconi? Because I've heard that a bachelor's degree from Bocconi is not that competitive (if not competitive at all) — Anonymous A on Nov 18, 2019 (edited)

Francesco
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replied on Nov 16, 2019
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Hi Anonymous,

first of all, well done for planning so early your future career path, that’s quite impressive.

Regarding your questions:

  1. Bocconi University is one of the main target schools in Italy together with The Polytechnic University of Milan and few others, however in general you need also a master degree in Italy for an entry-level position, due to how the education system has (wrongly) developed. I personally helped one person to land a full-time offer from Bain with just a bachelor, but she earned it from a university abroad and I believe was quite an exception to the rule. If you are interested to join MBB right after your bachelor it would be thus a lot better to join a UK university and target MBB in London (that would be more competitive though). With a Bocconi bachelor, you may try to target MBB in UK, but that would definitely be more difficult compared to a top UK University.
  2. In general, you need to be fluent in Italian to work in Italy - say at least C1 level. There may be exceptions, but lack of fluency will play against you
  3. As mentioned, in general you need a master as well in Italy to be considered by MBB. Ideally I would target the following:
    1. top grades (ideally at least 28/30 as average GPA)
    2. leadership and extracurricular activities
    3. improving your Italian
    4. have one or two internships in top brands or promising startups
    5. take part in an exchange program abroad
    6. network with current consultants during the last year (here you can find some tips on that: https://www.preplounge.com/en/consulting-forum/hey-everyonehope-all-is-well-3176 )

Hope this helps,

Francesco

Antonello
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replied on Nov 15, 2019
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Hi,
I have met 3 dear Chinese colleagues in McK office in Milan :) Answering to your questions:

1. With a bachelor you can get only a 3-month internship in consulting in Italy. To get a full-time job you need a MSc. Bocconi is well considered in consulting (30+% of Italian consultants come from Bocconi).
2. You should be very fluent in Italian (almost C2). I am sure that at University you will improve it a lot.
3. Enjoy your courses, get top grades, make international experiences (Erasmus, summer schools, ...), make professional experiences and eventually - not needed - an entrepreneurial experience.

These would build a strong profile not only for consulting but for all the Italian market.

Enjoy your time in University,
Anto

Hi Antonello, thank you so much for your kind help! — Anonymous on Nov 15, 2019 (edited)

Might I ask just a question more? Is it literally impossible to get a full-time job at the big three with only a bachelor? In other words, is it absolutely required to have a MSc? — Anonymous on Nov 15, 2019 (edited)

Yes, in Italy MSc is needed. — Antonello on Nov 15, 2019

I see, thank you! Buona notte! — Anonymous A on Nov 15, 2019

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