Experienced Hire Application MBB London vs Dubai during covid-19?

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New answer on Dec 30, 2020
6 Answers
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Anonymous A asked on Nov 24, 2020

Hi, I am currently working for Accenture in a European Office (top performer, BA, offering lead with team responsibility, likely to be promoted in march).
I am planning on applying to McKinsey/BCG for a Junior Associate/Junior Consultant position but am unsure about which office to apply to London vs Dubai (referrals in both cities for both companies).

My first preference would be London but getting an offer is more important than the location to me, therefore temporarily starting in Dubai and transferring later is also an option. Would you have any insights on the interview process competitiveness/likelihood of getting an offer/ current covid-19 recruiting targets/ possible transfers to London in the future?

Thanks a lot in advance!

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Adi
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updated an answer on Nov 24, 2020
Accenture, Deloitte | Precision Case Prep | Experienced Interviewer & Career Coach | 15 years professional experience

Hey there,

Let me challenge your thinking and approach here..sounds like you are doing well at Accenture and on track to get promoted in March. So why the need to change now and not next summer/later in 2021 when things are more settled and clearer? You must have very good reasons and story to justify this (for yourself), specially in the current climate of risk and uncertainty.

London is hypercompetive and it certainly wont be easy at this stage with COVID situation and Brexit around the corner. Dubai equally so but slightly less crazy than London.

But if you have made up your mind, please think about the following aspects:

  • How will you be placed visa/immigration wise for the two locations
  • What factors will tip one city over other: industry preference, geograhic preference, culture/people, weather (Yes!)
  • Internal transfers are possible but will take sometime to happen- 2 yrs at least from start date
  • Salary: Dubai much much better than London
  • What's your backup plan/exit if things dont go as planned

Have a look at these threads too:

  • https://www.preplounge.com/en/consulting-forum/moving-from-mbb-london-to-dubaisingapore-8400
  • https://www.preplounge.com/en/consulting-forum/london-big-4-or-dubai-mbb-5642

(edited)

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Ian
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replied on Nov 24, 2020
MBB | 100% personal interview success rate (8/8) and 95% candidate success rate | Personalized interview prep

Hi there,

I have a perfect solution for you...apply to both :)

When you apply (i.e. where your referrer submits your application), they put into the systme what offices you're interested in. Tell them to put London as 1st preference and Dubai as 2nd preference.

In this way, both offices are going to consider you (first London, and if they reject you, then Dubai takes a look).

You really don't have to "choose"!

In terms of which referrer, if they're equal level at the company go with the person in London. If not, go with the more senior person.

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Gaurav
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replied on Nov 24, 2020
Ex-Mckinsey|Certified Career Coach |Placed 500+ candidates at MBB & other consultancies

Hi there,

Firstly, I would like to know the reasons of your rush, why aren't you taking the promotion?
If they're solid and you don't consider any delay, I'd recommend trying both offices anyway, even though due to the situation London could be harder to be offered.

As for the transfers, they depend on many things, your current position for instance.

If you need any further help, feel free to contact me.

GB

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Vlad
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replied on Nov 24, 2020
McKinsey / Accenture Alum / Got all BIG3 offers / Harvard Business School

Hi,

Several points:

  • London is the most competitive and hard to get
  • Salaries in London are much lower
  • There is no salary tax in Dubai

I would also pay attention to the industries in each office (e.g. London will have FS, Retail, Healthcare)

Best

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

Hi,

I confirm London is one of the 3 most competitive office in the world. Be aware that before asking for a transfer you should usually spend 2+ years in the first office

Best

Antonello

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Clara
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replied on Nov 26, 2020
McKinsey | Awarded professor at Master in Management @ IE | MBA at MIT |+180 students coached | Integrated FIT Guide aut

Hello!

This is urban legend, so not sure of how much of this is true.

However, Dubai has the fame of being the easier office, where people who know that they would not make it in the competitive offices would apply

However, nothing official there... just rumors

Best,

Clara

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Adi gave the best answer

Adi

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Accenture, Deloitte | Precision Case Prep | Experienced Interviewer & Career Coach | 15 years professional experience
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