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CAREER DECISION

Bain & Company BCG BCG McKinsey and Bain McKinsey USA visa visa issues
New answer on Feb 29, 2024
6 Answers
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Anonymous A asked on Feb 16, 2024

Hi all,

I'm seeking some valuable guidance regarding my career path.

Recently, I graduated from a prestigious business school in Europe with high aspirations of working within the US, ideally securing a position with an MBB. The motivation behind this career move is to be closer to my American girlfriend long-term. However, navigating immigration constraints presents a significant challenge, as obtaining a green card is contingent upon our marriage, with a two-year deadline looming if alternative solutions aren't found.

Equipped with a robust GMAT score in the 90th percentile, I am now exploring the option of pursuing master's in management (MiM) programs both in the US and EU, to start potentially in August 2024. 

I am seeking your insights on the best course of action moving forward. Currently, I have three main options under consideration (feel free to suggest something else or ask for more info if needed):

1) Gaining practical work experience over the next couple of years before attempting a transition to the US, potentially through an MBA route or marriage (negatives: quite risky).

2) Pursuing a MiM program in Europe, doing some internships, with the eventual aim of securing a position within an MBB office in Europe before exploring opportunities to transfer to the US. (It seems like the cheapest and ‘safest’ option long-term, even though even with mid-seniority and green card I might have to pursue an MBA for better chances).

3) Pursuing a MiM program in the US, acknowledging the financial burden it entails, possibly necessitating a loan. I would have a 3-year VISA but apparently, it is still hard to find full-time roles without a permanent visa (I could solve this with marriage eventually). 

Any insights or advice you could offer on the most strategic path forward would be immensely appreciated.

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Ian
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Content Creator
replied on Feb 17, 2024
#1 BCG coach | MBB | Tier 2 | Digital, Tech, Platinion | 100% personal success rate (8/8) | 95% candidate success rate

Hi there,

You are requesting life altering advice from a free forum.

It's like asking “how should I invest my million dollar inheritance”, but not spending a few hundred $ for a professional wealth advisor.

Consider a career coach/advisor for just 1 session to help you make the optimal career choice with years-long ramifications.

From what I can see, you need to get a job, not another degree. A MiM isn't inherently going to get you into MBB/Consulting. And a degree in Europe doesn't get you into the US.

You need to either get a consulting job (ideally into the US, or in Europe), or get another related job (strategy& Ops, etc.), OR do a US MBA.

Now, which of these is best for your individual situation and how to approach each of these given your situation? Need to know a lot more about you.

 

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Francesco
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replied on Feb 17, 2024
#1 Coach for Sessions (4.500+) | 1.500+ 5-Star Reviews | Proven Success (➡ interviewoffers.com) | Ex BCG | 10Y+ Coaching

Hi there,

Q: I am seeking your insights on the best course of action moving forward.

If the goal is eventually to work in MBB US and you cannot apply right away there due to visa issues, I would recommend joining an MBB/Tier 2 in Europe, then moving to the US with internal transfer or via the MBA route (similar to your option #1).

I don’t see the utility of option #2, assuming you can apply now to MBB.

Option #3 would put you directly in the US, but assuming you don’t need the MiM (meaning your credentials are sufficient to start to work now) it doesn’t seem an efficient solution.

Good luck!

Francesco

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Mariam
Expert
replied on Feb 16, 2024
Ex-Bain | ~5 years of consulting experience in the Middle East (UAE) | 4 years of candidate coaching with Bain

Have you considered joining a consulting firm in Europe for 6-9 months then requesting a relocation to another office. Based on my Bain experience, they are usually accommodating to relocation due to personal reasons. This could be a path to consider, just do your diligence by speaking to folks in the firm + office location you wish to join to gain more insights on this relocation flexibility (which might vary by office)

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Cristian
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Content Creator
replied on Feb 19, 2024
#1 rated MBB & McKinsey Coach

It's a complex situation, and it already seems like you have thought through the options. 

You also need to consider which options are the healthiest for your relationship (i.e., what are you actually optimising for). 

Long-distance relationships can be killers, especially with the schedule of a consultant. So if you care about the relationship first and foremost, then you should seek whatever option protects the best, having the confidence that the potential benefits from the resulting options will even out with time. 

In short, if she's in the US, education would be the quickest route there. And even though financially it's problematic, further education will strengthen your value prop for a consulting job. 

Best,
Cristian

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Benjamin
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Content Creator
replied on Feb 18, 2024
Ex-BCG Principal | 8+ years consulting experience in SEA | BCG top interviewer & top performer

Hi,

This is a complicated question, and ultimately any insightful responses will depend on your personal circumstances, preferences, needs/wants etc which cannot be easily detailed in a forum post. 

Some broad pointers and options nonetheless:

  1. Pursue consulting
    • Gain industry experience
    • Pursue MBA
      • Generally, MiM is not as preferred as MBA in terms of OCR etc. However of course if you get into a target school still, that is better than not having any ‘in road’
  2. Pursue non-consulting
    • If being with your S/O is more important than your career, then you could consider pursuing non consulting roles - ultimately this is a deeply personal and negotiated POV but a very real consideration

All the best!

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Pedro
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replied on Feb 29, 2024
30% off in April 2024 | Bain | EY-Parthenon | Roland Berger | Market Sizing | DARDEN MBA

There are only two reasonable routes in order to achieve your goal:

1) MBA in the US

2) Get hired by an american consulting firm and ask for a transfer after a couple of years (you can also ask for project work in the US in the meantime… although unlikely to get it)

Both have risks, none is a sure-deal.

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