Current Tier 2 mgmt consultant, was planning to apply & transfer to MBB in April... should I apply now, or wait?

Application BCG Bain McKinsey covid19 MBB Mckinsey operations timing
New answer on May 23, 2020
10 Answers
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Anonymous A asked on Apr 07, 2020

Hi all,

I have been working at a Tier-2 management company for over a year, and although I am performing very well, I realized pretty quickly that it wasn't a great fit (career development, office culture, and projects - I am interested in ops in healthcare/consumer goods in particular).

I had made the decision to start applying to European MBB offices this April, to (hopefully) transfer firms in Sept. 2020. It now looks like this will be unlikely, and I am hesitant on whether I should apply at all, or wait til next year. My questions are as follow:

- Should I still "risk" applying? Would this put me at a disadvantage if my application gets ignored and I want to reapply later on?
- If I apply - would you recommend applying directly to a practice (mine would be Operations) or to stay a generalist? Bearing in mind I have no operations industry experience...

With many thanks,

A.

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Emily
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replied on Apr 08, 2020
BCG Project Leader | 3+ years interview experience for BCG SEA recruiting | Kellogg MBA, NTU, Peking University

Hi,

Is there any specific reason why you need to stick to the timeline of applying by Apr and starting in Sep?

If not, given the current situation, my opinion would be to sit tight and wait out a bit. Becasue if you apply now, the bar is likely to be higher than it used to be, and in the event if it didn't go well you may need to wait for even longer (2 years as many companies would suggest).

Since you have no ops industry experience, why do you want to apply to ops practice? Do you have such experience in your current consulting firm? If so then you can try applying directly, otherwise I think generalist would be a better bet.

Hope it helps,

Emily

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Luca
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replied on Apr 07, 2020
BCG |NASA |20+ interviews with 100% success rate| 120+ students coached |GMAT expert 780/800 score

Hello,

Before applying I would suggest to contact a person from the office (an HR or a consultant) to ask if they have stopped the recruiting process. If you don't have this possibility I would suggest to apply anyway, the only risk is to be added to the pipeline. Waiting will not increase your chances to get an interview, since the effects of the COVID will last for at least some months and the pipeline of candidates will be huge after these months qithout interviews. Bear in mind that if you don't receive an answer, there is no ban.
Regarding the position, one year is too few to apply as an operations expert. In MBB you are assigne to a specific practice starting from 2/3 year.

Hope it helps,
Luca

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Francesco
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replied on Apr 08, 2020
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Hi there,

please find my answers below:

- Should I still "risk" applying? Would this put me at a disadvantage if my application gets ignored and I want to reapply later on?

This is of course not the best time to apply. I would suggest to apply only if you are able to find a referral for your application. You can find more on that at the link below:

https://www.preplounge.com/en/consulting-forum/hey-everyonehope-all-is-well-3176

- If I apply - would you recommend applying directly to a practice (mine would be Operations) or to stay a generalist? Bearing in mind I have no operations industry experience...

With one year of seniority you will be probably considered at the same level of a new graduate (maybe with 6 months of seniority). Why would you like to apply for the operations practice if you don’t have experience there? Unless you have strong reasons I would apply as generalist, in this way if you understand you don’t like the operation projects you can at least work on something different. Besides, the Operations practice offers more limited exit opportunities.

Best,

Francesco

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Chris
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replied on Apr 07, 2020
McKinsey EM, 8 years recruiting interviews, 4 years professional coaching, 1000+ candidates helped

Hi, good questions! Happy to offer my perspective on both:

1) Should I still "risk" applying? Would this put me at a disadvantage if my application gets ignored and I want to reapply later on?

I'd say applying now is a no-risk move; given the usual cycle to re-apply is ~1-1.5 years, applying now will have no impact on a re-application 1+ years from now. Recruiting practices, while impacted like every practice, are generally moving forward given their previous heavy reliance on online channels.

2) If I apply - would you recommend applying directly to a practice (mine would be Operations) or to stay a generalist? Bearing in mind I have no operations industry experience...

If you don't have any Ops experience, I'd apply as a generalist. Direct applications to a practice tend to require previous experience in that practice. As a generalist, you'll definitely have the opportunity to work on Ops projects, given it's the largest share of work most consulting firms (including MBB) have.

Best of luck, let us know if we can help with any other questions!

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Udayan
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replied on Apr 07, 2020
Top rated MBB coach with many offers /Ex McKinsey EM in New York /6 years McKinsey recruiting experience/Real cases

I understand the desire to switch and given your poor experience to date it makes sense. The best thing you can do to transfer is to get information from someone at the firm. Ideally you would want to reach out to people in the practice(s) you are interested in and get an understanding of the current state of recruiting in the firm.

Following this, you should get a referal from a partner or someone senior so that your application is given the priority it needs in these times.

All the best!

Udayan

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Anonymous replied on May 22, 2020

Dear A,

In this situation I would strongly recommend to wait a couple of months, ideally until September this year and monitor the situation. I expect that the recruiting will pick up in the firms in June, after the quarantine is over. If there is positive trend in the development, then apply, but, please, do this rather through referrals, not via web-sites or LinkedIn.

If you need any help, feel free to reach out.
André

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Antonello
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replied on Apr 30, 2020
McKinsey | MBA professor for consulting interviews

Hi,
unfortunately, nobody now is able to predict the precise effects on each business. The 2 true facts today are that interviews are taking place regularly but online instead than face to face, and that many new consulting projects are being paused. Therefore if this lockdown continues for long it can cause a shrinking in new hires.

Best,
​Antonello

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Daniel
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replied on Apr 08, 2020
McKinsey / ex-Interviewer at McKinsey / I will coach you to rock those interviews

I agree with Francesco: apply now only if you can get a referral, otherwise it's very risky (screening has become much more strict, the recrutiment pipeline is already filled).

Best,
Daniel

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Christian
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replied on May 23, 2020
Ex-Roland Berger | Recruiter in 80+ Interviews | INSEAD Case Coach | Focus: in-case behaviors that persuade ANY interviewer

Hi A,

- Should I still "risk" applying?

->Yes

- Would this put me at a disadvantage if my application gets ignored and I want to reapply later on?

-->No. Opportunities (e.g. for MBB companies looking for people to grow their consultant base in ops and healthcare/consumer goods) are always around. However, if you're concerned about timing for this particular practice/industry combination, why don't you get in touch with MBB partners in these practices first to test the water? In my experience, you will be able to tell quite clearly if they're looking for staff in your target position currently or whether you're just another profile for them.


- If I apply - would you recommend applying directly to a practice (mine would be Operations) or to stay a generalist? Bearing in mind I have no operations industry experience...

-> If you have another good reason (e.g. project experience and personal interest), I would go with the practice, if it's what you're looking for.

Best, Christian

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Clara
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replied on Apr 08, 2020
McKinsey | Awarded professor at Master in Management @ IE | MBA at MIT |+180 students coached | Integrated FIT Guide aut

I would 1st double check whether they are still recruiting, but I don´t see downside in applying!

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Emily gave the best answer

Emily

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BCG Project Leader | 3+ years interview experience for BCG SEA recruiting | Kellogg MBA, NTU, Peking University
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