Data analytics to MBB consulting

Bain & Company BCG consulting analyst Data Analysis MBB McKinsey & Company
New answer on Sep 28, 2022
9 Answers
294 Views
Anonymous A asked on Sep 20, 2022

After completing my undergrad from a target school, I wished to get into consulting in an MBB, however due to a relatively weaker GPA, I did not receive any MBB offers, though ended up securing an associate position at EY, PWC, and KPMG. 

On the other hand, I have an offer as a data analyst, starting in October, in a South-East Asia based social media giant I find interesting, and would like to work there briefly before moving on to consulting. Could anyone suggest a roadmap or strategy for moving from Data Analytics to MBB consulting, and suggest how to make the move with a lower GPA (7.7/10)

Overview of answers

Upvotes
  • Upvotes
  • Date ascending
  • Date descending
Best answer
Maikol
Expert
replied on Sep 21, 2022
Incoming BCG Principal | Former Bain, AlixPartner, and Private Equity | INSEAD MBA | GMAT 780

If you start your career in data science/analytics, consulting firms may be interested in you but mostly for analytics roles (e.g., McK Digital/Solutions or BCG Gamma/Platinion).

From a more usual consulting path starting at a big4 firm, in my experience, it is easier to move to MBB in a more “generalist” role.

Was this answer helpful?
Cristian
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Sep 20, 2022
#1 rated and most recommended McKinsey Coach | 97% success rate (tracked) | Honest feedback: no sugar-coating

Hi there, 

Interesting, but complex situation. 

It sounds like first you need to make your mind about what you're most interested in doing in the medium to long-term. 

If you want to be a consultant, the detour via Data Analytics in a social media giant might not be the most intuitive or shortest path. The shortest path would be spending 1-2 years in one of the consulting firms you got an offer with, building a value proposition of your own and then making a lateral move into MBB. 

However, there might be a reason why you're excited about the Data Analytics position. It might be worth pursuing it and it might turn out that you find more joy in doing that than in consulting. You can always move back into consulting, but I would say it's less easy than making a lateral move from another consulting firm.

Best,

Cristian

 

Was this answer helpful?
10
Udayan
Expert
Content Creator
updated an answer on Sep 20, 2022
Top rated McKinsey Case & PEI coach/Multiple real offers/McKinsey EM in New York /6 years McKinsey recruiting experience

Personally, I think you are much better off starting as a management consulting associate at a firm like PWC or EY and moving into MBB after vs starting as a data analyst. The data analyst role is not really set up to be a feeder role into MBB and there is a huge variation in the quality and output of the data analyst roles as compared to the more standardized consulting tole at T2 firms.

If you are only keen to do the data analyst role first, the best way to get in after would be to do an MBA from a top 12 school. The next best way is to network a lot and land referrals from partners/senior partners at your target firms which should ideally lead to an interview invite.

Best.

Udayan

(edited)

Was this answer helpful?
Ian
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Sep 21, 2022
MBB | 100% personal interview success rate (8/8) and 95% candidate success rate | Personalized interview prep

Hi there,

Honestly, you're deciding between two very different career paths: consulting or data analytics.

Sure, there's a bit of a merge with BCG GAMMA, etc. but with EY/PWC/KPMG you are moving towards consulting and MBB. With data analytics, you're moving a completely different direction.

Don't let that put you off of the data analyst role…

You need to decide what you want and what you like to do. It sounds like you like data analytics, and it sounds like you can do this data analyst role before EY/PWC/KPMG? (Seems like a short-term offer?). If so, check it out!

By the way, after your first job (after a few years), GPA starts to matter a lot less (and network + reputation + company role/promotion take more precedent)

Was this answer helpful?
Dennis
Expert
replied on Sep 21, 2022
Seasoned project leader with 7+ years of consulting and recruiting experience in USA and Europe

I agree with the general tenor - if your ultimate goal is to end up in MBB then you should start building out your consulting skills and track record ASAP. 

It sounds like you are quant savvy so you can definitely integrate that in your management consulting experience at a Big 4 firm. Take on the data heavy workstreams in your projects, build the market or cost models, join internal initiatives around data analytics, etc. 

You can still make quantitative analysis part of your overall story that way but you will also learn all of the other consulting-relevant aspects early on (e.g. project setup, client communication, tight deadlines, 80/20) that you will need for MBB.

 

Was this answer helpful?
Emily
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Sep 20, 2022
Ex McKinsey EM & interviewer (5 yrs) USA & UK| Coached / interviewed 200 +|Free 15 min intro| Stanford MBA|Non-trad

So I would ask yourself why you want to go to MBB. If you’ve been offered a role as a data analyst that you’re excited about then why not follow your interests? You’ll always do better when you’re doing what you love.

That being said, if you’re set on MBB then I recommend taking either role and doing an MBA to reapply. 

Was this answer helpful?
Francesco
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Sep 21, 2022
#1 Coach for Sessions (4.000+) | 1.500+ 5-Star Reviews | Proven Success (➡ InterviewOffers.com) | Ex BCG | 9Y+ Coaching

Hi there,

Q: Could anyone suggest a roadmap or strategy for moving from Data Analytics to MBB consulting, and suggest how to make the move with a lower GPA (7.7/10)

I agree with the other comments, taking a data analyst job will bring you in a different direction compared to traditional strategy consulting. Not impossible by any means to do a transition later, but not a linear path and it may require an MBA.

A traditional consulting role sounds like an easier path to join later MBB as a strategy consultant, if that’s your main goal.

Alternatively, you may start as a data analyst now and then join MBB in a related role in their divisions covering that (eg BCG Gamma or McKinsey QuantumBlack).

You can compensate for a low GPA with referrals, you can find some tips below:

 How to Get an MBB Referral

Good luck!

Francesco

Was this answer helpful?
Sofia
Expert
replied on Sep 20, 2022
McKinsey San Francisco | Harvard graduate | 5+ years of coaching| Free 15 min intro call | Personalized approach

Hello,

I think the advice you are getting here is excellent, and I fully agree with the general feedback. Think about what your ultimate goals are: is it working for an MBB/consulting, or pursuing some other career track? If the ultimate goal is to end up at MBB, taking the job at one of the consulting companies you received an offer from would enable an easier and more direct transition. However, if you are excited about the data analyst position independently of your future MBB prospects, it sounds like a great job and it would be worthwhile to pursue your interests. It is also possible to make it to an MBB after working as a data analyst (via MBA or networking), so you are not fully closing any doors in any case.

Was this answer helpful?
Pedro
Expert
replied on Sep 28, 2022
Bain | EY-Parthenon | Roland Berger | FIT | Market Sizing | Former Head Recruiter

If you want to do consulting… go for consulting. If you want to do analytics… go for data analytics.

Taking a job you love, performing well, being promoted… that's a decent career plan. Taking something you don't really want to try to get into a company for which you have absolutely no guarantee that you'll be able to make it… it's not a great plan.

Honestly, forget about MBB. Just take the role you like the most.

Was this answer helpful?
Maikol gave the best answer

Maikol

Incoming BCG Principal | Former Bain, AlixPartner, and Private Equity | INSEAD MBA | GMAT 780
47
Meetings
1,279
Q&A Upvotes
8
Awards
5.0
13 Reviews