Can I move from Non profit sector to MBBs?

consulting Fit questions International Development MBB Social Sector Transition from industry
New answer on May 27, 2020
8 Answers
Anonymous A asked on May 20, 2020

Hi, I am very grateful to this community and have been visiting the questions page daily.

I am a developtment sector professional with 4+ years of experience with top level NGOs in India. I always wanted to move into consulting but was always apprehensive of applying to them because of the fact that they look for top-performers from top colleges.

I have completed my Masters in Social Work from the top-most college in my country but not with the best grades. Still, because of my passion for the development sector especially in education and technology, I was recruited by the most reputed NGO. I worked there for 2 years and then moved to another organisation (international ngo with hq in Switzerland) where I worked for more than 1.5 years. Currently, I am working with an international development consulting (hq in the UK), and most probaly would be promoted to a Manager role in January 2021.

I wanted your valuable feedback and suggestions, considering my profile, is it possible for me to move into the Consulting sector 1-2 years down the line specifically to MBBs?

Many thanks for your responses in advance.


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Best answer


Yes, indeed, your profile seems interesting.

Furthermore, McKinsey has a program called generation that is sort of a non-profit too. THey are focused on education, with the McK push, money and consulting-approach to things.

They employ both consultants and hire people ad-hoc for the project.

When I was in the Madrid office, they were quite big already!

It´s a very popular idea for secondments.

Hope it helps!



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Hi there,

A probable way would be to get your promotion to Manager in Jan 2021 first, as that gives your more credentials. Then you can explore expert / experienced hire opportunites in consulting firms.

Start networking with peopel from consulting and try to get referral when you apply.



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Hi A,

Look into Generation, a non-profit founded by McKinsey that really fits your profile, too. They have offices in 13 countries incl. India and the UK. You could get to know a lot of McKinsey folks who are passionate about education and could potentially help you transition to consulting as well.



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Hi Anonymous!

I think you have an interesting profile and you stand a good chance of being able to secure a role, especially if looking at taking an expert track.

I think it would be useful to start networking and try to find similar profiles at MBB via LinkedIn and to set up some calls/chats to be able to earn you some referrals when the time comes to submit your application.


Was this answer helpful? 6

Hi there,

You honestly seem like a compelling candidate.

1) I think you could join MBB as an experienced hire, probably being brought in specifically for your NGO expertise.

2) At the least you would be Consultant, but you could probably come in as Project Lead.

3) At this stage, you can probably remove your poor grades from your resume...only the degree matters at this point

4) If you get that manager role, and can demonstrate project management skills, I think you'd be golden!

Was this answer helpful? 6

Hi there,

it is difficult to judge without knowing the brand names in your CV. Did you check if there are alumni of your current companies who switched to MBB in the past? That should help you to understand if there are chances or not.


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Dear A,

Yes. In general, it's possible. I should mention that your grades could be. barrier for that, but if you could good referral within those firms, you can trump it with it. Also, I would strongly recommend you to wait until your promotion for the manager position and afterwards apply at the beginning of next year for an associate position with MBB or Tier1/Tier2 companies.

If you need any help with referrals to secure your interview or with preparations, feel free to reach out.

Best of luck,


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Having worked in the India office for a bit, I think you have a couple of realistic options

1. Generation - Clara mentioned this as well. It is a great program and a wonderful fit for your profile. It is not a traditional consulting role but tailored to their generation program. Read up on it and see if this is something that you would be excited by.

2. Joining a particular case team - for example I worked with 2-3 people who had been hired specifically to help with McKinsey's initiaitve with an NGO they were helping at that time. These roles come up from time to time and require people with your background. You can usually find out about them on the website

As for traditional consulting, I would say that is a bit harder. The profile in India especially is IITs/IIMs/ISB (60% to 80%), DU (Stephens, LSR, SRCC), NLS, NALSAR, St Xavier's Mumbai. Outside of these institutions it would be very difficult to break in but not impossible if you have a reference from a partner for example



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Clara gave the best answer


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