Electrical Engineer wanting to get into Management Consulting

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New answer on Oct 11, 2021
6 Answers
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K asked on Oct 08, 2021

Hi all,

 

I am an electrical design engineer. I have been working for a global engineering consultancy for 4 years so far. My role involves working on construction projects across the UK up to $80m in value.

My academics are a Master’s degree, and Bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering where I achieved a first-class (4.0 GPA). I graduated from a Russell group, which is the US equivalent of an Ivy League.

I’ve developed an interest in management consulting and would like to start applying roughly a year from now. I’m hoping to get into a mid-level role as an experienced hire. 

I’m open to exploring different industries, especially private equity and banking. But ideally, I would like to join as a generalist first. 

Please can I get feedback on the following:

  1. Am I good enough to apply for an MBB consulting firm? If not, which alternative companies do you recommend?
  2. I’m planning on waiting for 1 year to gain my Chartership (CEng) qualification first. This boosts my credibility as an engineer, but would it also improve my chances of getting into MBB?
  3. Are the project management and finance courses on websites like Coursera worth it? Google offers a professional certificate which seems like it would help my application. What are your thoughts, and would you recommend doing anything else instead? 

 

Thank you and any further advice is appreciated,

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Best answer
Pedro
CoachingPlus Expert
replied on Oct 09, 2021
# 1 Rated Bain Coach | EY-Parthenon | Roland Berger | FIT | Former Head Recruiter | Principal

Hi there,

Let me answer your questions (and clarify a few things you didn't ask but you realy need to know), and then let me give you a bit of additional advice.

Q0: “I’m hoping to get into a mid-level role as an experienced hire. ”

  • Let me be blunt: this is not going to happen. You may get an entry level job, not a mid-level role. Your experience is highly technical in engineering and therefore not relevant for strategy consulting job. Think about this: would you hire an MBB as a mid-level engineering consultant? I doubt it.
  • With luck, you may be hired as a 2nd year analyst. If this happens, it is actually a curse. In an up or out setting, getting at a higher level unprepared is the same as seting you up for failure.

Q1: “Am I good enough to apply for an MBB”

  • Based on your academics, I believe you may have a chance. But you should try to get a recommendation. You should also consider Tier 2 as well (MBB have a narrower set of target schools/degrees).
  • Tier 2: Roland Berger, Kearney, Oliver Wyman, EY-Parthenon, Accenture, Strategy& And also Deloitte and Strategy&

Q2: “would a Chartership (CEng) improve my chances of getting into MBB?”

  • No.
  • At this point it will already be difficult for you to get an interview as you have 4 years of work experience. If you wait one more year you will only get an interview if you pursue an an MBA.
  • If you have an MBA you will be hired as a senior consultant, so it may be worth it if you are serious about this.

Q3.1: Are the project management and finance courses on websites like Coursera worth it? 

  • For this purpose no. And it won't enhance your CV.
  • Those courses are not the same type of project management. And this is not a finance-heavy role.
  • You should focus instead on preparing for the case interview (you may do a basic finance course so you get the basics, though).

Q3.2: Google offers a professional certificate which seems like it would help my application. 

  • No. Not at all.

 

So what should you do instead? My suggestions:

  1. Improve your research about the job (just like you did here). You still have a superficial understanding of the job and the recruiting process (and what they are looking for), and it is critical that you gain a better understading. You can reach out to people you know, coaches, company's websites and research here at preplounge.
  2. You should prepare for the case interview
  3. You should network to get a recommendation. You should only do this after you do point 1. and start point 2.
  4. You can also start an MBA as this gives you a better chance of getting an interview and a better preparation for the job afterwards (and the opportunity to join at a higher rank).

Hope this helps and good luck.

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Francesco
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Oct 09, 2021
#1 Coach for Sessions (3.700+) | 1.300+ 5-Star Reviews | Proven Success (www.case.tools/results) | Ex BCG | 8Y+ Coaching

Hi there,

1. Am I good enough to apply for an MBB consulting firm? If not, which alternative companies do you recommend?

Possibly. A full review of your CV would be useful to know exactly what you have covered in your work experience. Please be aware that you would likely join as Senior Analyst/Associate or as Associate/Consultant, not as Manager, with 5 years of experience next year. 

To maximize your chances, you can look for a referral (you can find more info on that here: https://www.preplounge.com/en/consulting-forum/hey-everyonehope-all-is-well-3176)

2. I’m planning on waiting for 1 year to gain my Chartership (CEng) qualification first. This boosts my credibility as an engineer, but would it also improve my chances of getting into MBB?

It won’t help with MBB

3. Are the project management and finance courses on websites like Coursera worth it? Google offers a professional certificate which seems like it would help my application. What are your thoughts, and would you recommend doing anything else instead

Won’t really impact the application. If you want to target an advanced degree, the best bet is a 1-year top MBA (ideally INSEAD).

For other questions please feel free to PM me.

Best,

Francesco

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Ian
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Oct 09, 2021
BCG | 100% personal interview success rate (8/8) and 95% candidate success rate | Personalized interview prep

Hi there,

First of all, welcome to the journey and good luck!

1) Am I good enough to apply for an MBB consulting firm? If not, which alternative companies do you recommend?

Yes and no. I'd ultimately need to see your resume, but my current concerns is that your background is too technical for top-tier. I think the answer changes a bit based on which firms you're applying to and what your resume looks like.

I would advise you to work hard to “spin” your resume to be much more strategy consulting focused.

2) I’m planning on waiting for 1 year to gain my Chartership (CEng) qualification first. This boosts my credibility as an engineer, but would it also improve my chances of getting into MBB?

Nope. If you really want to improve those chances, you need business-based courses (such as an MBA).

3) Are the project management and finance courses on websites like Coursera worth it? Google offers a professional certificate which seems like it would help my application. What are your thoughts, and would you recommend doing anything else instead?

No. You need bschool related classes/courses/degrees.

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Cristian
CoachingPlus Expert
replied on Oct 09, 2021
McKinsey / Oxford grad / ex Firm mock interviewer & internal training faculty / top 25% best consultants in the Firm

Hello!

You have a very cool profile! Let me go through your questions in order.

1. Definitely. You have a first class degree, you have a masters, top university background and experience working in a scientific field. I wouldn't worry about passing the screening as long as you prepare the CV and cover letter properly. 

2. I'd expect it doesn't improve your chances. This sounds like a technical qualification in your field, so I would struggle to see how it could make you a better consultant. Instead, I would invest this effort in already preparing for the application process, like building up experience in doing cases. 

3.Yes, some of these courses are good and useful. The best way in which they could help is as a signaling mechanism. Basically it sounds like your background is in engineering, so it would help to both develop a business acumen but also to show to the firm that you're applying for that you're interested in business topics. 

Feel free to reach out directly if you have other Qs. I worked quite a bit with lateral hires from science backgrounds while in McK. And best of luck! I'm sure you'll get in with enough prep.

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Adi
CoachingPlus Expert
Content Creator
replied on Oct 09, 2021
Accenture, Deloitte | Precision Case Prep | Experienced Interviewer & Career Coach | 15 years professional experience

Just one additional input from me- check out Accenture/Deloitte/PwC IX or Industry 4.0 practice. They have invested heavily in this space and have started to drive very large transformation projects in construction, engineering, mining etc. Your profile seems like a good fit for them!

All the best.

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Udayan
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Oct 11, 2021
Top rated MBB coach with many offers /Ex McKinsey EM in New York /6 years McKinsey recruiting experience/Real cases

Hi,

Making a transition from Engineering to MBB depends on a few factors

  • Current work and area of expertise - if you work in an area of engineering for which there is a high demand for talent that will also make you attractive to consulting firms because they can leverage your expertise to sell projects
  • School you went to - Russel group is not equivalent to Ivy League in terms of recruitment. MBB largely recruit from Oxbridge, and some schools like UCL, Imperial etc.
  • Networking - at this stage in your career you will need to network to get your foot in the door. Make sure to reach out to all of your contacts to get a recommendation from a partner before you apply

In terms of additional courses and CEng - in my opinion a Coursera or Google course is not worth it from a resume perspective - they do not hold any signaling power as anyone can do these theoretically. You can wait for the CEng if it is helpful in general but it will not impact your chances of getting into MBB.

 

Best,

Udayan

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Pedro gave the best answer

Pedro

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# 1 Rated Bain Coach | EY-Parthenon | Roland Berger | FIT | Former Head Recruiter | Principal
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