Do you need experience as a manager in order to be a management consultant?

BCG caseinterview consulting MBB McKinsey
New answer on Dec 10, 2019
8 Answers
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Anonymous A asked on Dec 10, 2019

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Luca
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replied on Dec 10, 2019
BCG |NASA |20+ interviews with 100% success rate| 120+ students coached |GMAT expert 780/800 score

General speaking: no.

During the interviews they are gonna ask you if you had any experience and every kind of experience will be appreciated but it's not something mandatory.

Try to understand of you had any experience (even in sport or events) where you had to "manage" people, it would be something nice to have.

The only exception is when you apply for a senior position and not as "entry level analyst".

Hope it helps,

Luca

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Antonello
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replied on Dec 10, 2019
McKinsey | MBA professor for consulting interviews

Hi,
it depends on your seniority and on the role are you applying for. It's important to stress in your CV leadership or entrepreneurial experiences, but they do not have to be necessarily related to working environment as a manager.

Hope it helps,
Anto

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Clara
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replied on Dec 10, 2019
McKinsey | Awarded professor at Master in Management @ IE | MBA at MIT |+180 students coached | Integrated FIT Guide aut

Absolutely no!

For BA roles, you come fresh out of uni or with little job experience -not as a manager, for sure-.

For Associate, you have 2-4 years, and being a manager is not a condition.

Only if you are hired as EM, which is excepcionlly rare -only seen one- such experience is needed.

Hope it helps!

Best,

Clara

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Vlad
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replied on Dec 10, 2019
McKinsey / Accenture Alum / Got all BIG3 offers / Harvard Business School

Hi,

  • For the entry stages like intern or analyst you don't require managerial experience
  • For an associate (mck) consultant (BCG, Bain) level, the managerial experience will help you, however, it's not mandatory (e.g. Investment Banking analyst as prior job)

Best

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Deniz
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replied on Dec 10, 2019
BCG | A.T. Kearney | University of Cambridge | 350+ coachees | 5+ years of consulting experience in London, Dubai and Istanbul

Hi,

The simple answer is; no you don't. Including myself, most consultants start at MBB and other companies without significant work experience, and we all learn on the job.

Best,

Deniz

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Udayan
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replied on Dec 10, 2019
Top rated MBB coach with many offers /Ex McKinsey EM in New York /6 years McKinsey recruiting experience/Real cases

Typically the answer is no. Most people join consulting earlier on in their careers when they have not had the chance to gain manegerial experience.

The slight exception to this rule is if you were joining as an experienced hire in a more senior role where you will be manging people. There may be an expectation that if you are required to manage people during your time as a consultant, you have done so prior to that as well.

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Nathaniel
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updated an answer on Dec 10, 2019
McKinsey | BCG | CERN| University of Cambridge

Hello there,

It really depends on the role that you are applying into.
For entry level, no professional managerial experiences are required. However, "leadership experiences" in various settings from academic to extracurricular activities are essential to be displayed. For example, leading a group of researchers in you university on a novel research project or a team of students in a business case competition.

For experienced hires at manager level and above (or even associate / senior associate level in some cases, depending on how large is the organization where you have your managerial experience compared to the target consulting firm), it is typically required for prospective candidates to have managerial experiences. I have to say that for some firms (e.g. MBB), to be directly appointed into a manager role, one typically needs to have a significantly more senior role at the previous companies (e.g. senior manager, head, chief, etc - again this varies depending on the size of your previous company).

There will always be exceptions, for example, someone coming from unique background such as musicians or performers. They might have experiences in leading a symphony or performing troupe, which will be evaluated as leadership experiences. Others might have a very high proficiency on specific knowledge domain, hence displaying a strong knowledge leadership.

Leaderships can be displayed in multiple ways from management, knowledge development, client cultivation, and so on.

It is good to remember that the 2 most important elements that the firms would like to see on their prospective candidates are:

  • Problem-solving skills
  • Leadership traits (including accompanying behaviors such as internally driven, tenacity, etc)

Hope it helps.

Kind regards,
Nathan

(edited)

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Giulia
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replied on Dec 10, 2019
McKinsey Business Analyst | 3+ years Experience | MBA at LBS

Hi,

Definitely not, they also hire doctors or engineers (like myself) just graduated with zero or few work experience.

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Clara on Dec 10, 2019

Exatly!

Luca gave the best answer

Luca

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BCG |NASA |20+ interviews with 100% success rate| 120+ students coached |GMAT expert 780/800 score
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