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CV Gap

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New answer on Jun 11, 2024
7 Answers
133 Views
Anonymous A asked on May 15, 2024

Dear Coaches & Preplounge members,

Background:
I have moved from Europe to another country in SEA, and I am still in the process of acquiring the Visa, Stay Permit and Work Permit here (which is possible without a job offer due to family). I have graduated in February 2024, and I was going to apply in my final year of my MBA for the consultant analyst/associate programs (which require less than 2 years of work experience).

However, after consulting with my network from the Big4 (someone from the target country),  it was recommended to me not to immediately apply out of university, as I was a foreigner (being additional work for HR compared to a local applicant). He connected with the HR and told me, for higher chances, I should acquire my Visa, stay permit & work permit first, which is still processing.

Problem: 
Due to the processing time it seems highly unlikely that I can make it for the 2024 intake. Applying for the 2025 intake seems much more reasonable. I simply doubt that there will be desired openings for fresh graduates towards the end of this year (?) especially considering the usual intake seasons of the Big4 & MBB.

What solution?
Considering that the programs which I am applying to require less than 2 years of work experience, what is a reasonable way to fill the gap in my CV until 2025 without having a work permit for the country in which I am currently staying in? (I won't have the work permit until July/August 2024).
I was thinking of remote jobs, but even then, I don’t know what looks desirable to recruiters.
Please kindly note that, due to network advantages and family reasons I cannot consider moving back to Europe anytime soon. 

Thank You in advance for any advice!

(edited)

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Best answer
Ariadna
Expert
updated an answer on May 15, 2024
BCG | Project Leader and Experienced Interviewer | MBA at London Business School

Hi there, 

Leaving aside the legal aspects - that I cannot comment on, some things you could consider and their implications are: 
 

  1. Remote work - how it will be judged by recruiters is more a subject of the type of work you do rather than it being remote. Will you be filling in online surveys? Not so great. Will you be doing some consulting type of work? Amazing! 
  2. Joining a very early phase business or starting something on your own - you'll learn a tonne, have some great stories to tell and it might actually have a nice upside :) 
  3. Doing some volunteer work (if you can afford financially) - the closer it is connect with consulting, the better. For example, you can support some local organizations with consulting-type work they for sure need, but could not afford. 

Regardless of what you choose, I would say the criteria it should ideally fill are: 

  • It should be a credible piece of work
  • Aim to learn something valuable
  • Try to find the connection with consulting 

Of course, inform yourself of the legal aspects of what you are allowed to do or not (e.g., you might not be allowed to work remotely or paid, etc.). You don't want to run into trouble on that front :) 

Last thought: I am personally not a fan of recommending further education, especially as you say you have an MBA. It sounds like you have a good chance to do something meaningful, maybe even bring a contribution to society and to your development. So hope you find something relevant that you like. 

Good luck in your endeavours! 

Ariadna 

 

(edited)

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Cristian
Expert
Content Creator
replied on May 15, 2024
#1 rated MBB & McKinsey Coach

Sorry to hear that your situation is so complicated.

Let's make it easier. 

What will make you more attractive to the firms you want to join? 

Consulting-like experiences that show you have an interest in consulting and a consultant-like skills. 

That's what you can fill this gap with. 

  • Apply for internships or even full-time offers with smaller consulting firms. 
  • Look out for consulting roles within industry firms
  • Or, volunteer to do consulting work for a local organisation.

All of these are going to help big time. 

In the meantime, keep in touch with the recruiters to have clarity on the deadline for your target role. 

You might also find this article helpful:

Expert Guide: Build A Winning Application Strategy

And reach out should you require more help.

Best,
Cristian

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Francesco
Expert
Content Creator
replied on May 16, 2024
#1 Coach for Sessions (4.500+) | 1.500+ 5-Star Reviews | Proven Success (➡ interviewoffers.com) | Ex BCG | 10Y+ Coaching

Hi there,

Q: I was thinking of remote jobs, but even then, I don’t know what looks desirable to recruiters.

In general, experiences that can help with a future consulting application include:

  • Banking
  • Strategy roles in big brands
  • Strategy roles in growing startups
  • Own entrepreneurial experience
  • PE/VC

Or similar roles showing problem solving / strategy skills / work ethic.

To identify the exact companies, you can check for current consultants in your region on LinkedIn, identify where they worked, and target the companies for which you see the best track record.

Good luck!

Francesco

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Florian
Expert
Content Creator
replied on May 15, 2024
1300 5-star reviews across platforms | 500+ offers | Highest-rated case book on Amazon | Uni lecturer in US, Asia, EU

Hey there,

If you don't have a work permit and can't move at the moment, there are two things you can do:

  • Start your own business
  • Work remotely for someone else

Given the constraints, think creatively about what industry could work for you. Some are more open than others and your chances might be higher (e.g., NGOs, tech).

On top of that, think about working on your resume to stay attractive for firms into 2025 (e.g., take some courses, engage in some extracurricular activities).

All the best,

Florian

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Agrim
Expert
Content Creator
replied on May 21, 2024
BCG Dubai Project Leader | Learn to think like a Consultant | Free personalised prep plan | 6+ years in Consulting

Applying for the 2025 cycles will be better since the 2024 cycles are going a bit sluggish.

In the meantime - one of the better low-risk experiences could be startups - either someone else's or your own.

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Pedro
Expert
replied on May 19, 2024
Bain | Roland Berger | EY-Parthenon | Mentoring Approach | 30% off first 10 sessions in May| Market Sizing | DARDEN MBA

I suggest applying to boutiques that operate both in where you have a work permit and your target destination. The idea being that you are temporarily hired in your “home” country, but still do the work at your target country (while they legalize the situation)

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Hagen
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Jun 11, 2024
#1 Bain coach | >95% success rate | interviewer for 8+ years | mentor and coach for 7+ years

Hi there,

I would be happy to share my thoughts on your situation:

  • First of all, I would advise you to explore remote internship opportunities or freelance projects that align with your career goals in consulting.
  • Moreover, considering volunteering or engaging in pro bono consulting projects.

If you would like a more detailed discussion on your specific situation, please don't hesitate to contact me directly.

Best,

Hagen

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Ariadna gave the best answer

Ariadna

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BCG | Project Leader and Experienced Interviewer | MBA at London Business School
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