From Competitive Intelligence Consulting to MBB

career change MBB
New answer on Oct 01, 2020
8 Answers
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Anonymous A asked on Sep 10, 2020

Hi Everyone,

I have been a competitive intelligence consultant in the pharma sector for a bit over a year now and had projects exclusively with blue chip companies. I mainly work on deciphering the corporate strategy of the competitors of our clients.

Although I enjoy my job, I would like to transition into the strategy field and dream about going to MBB. I also have a Master's from a Top 3 UK uni in engineering and achieved the 90% percentile of my class (roughly). How do you think I should approach this and what do you think my chances are ?

Cheers in advance

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Anonymous replied on Sep 11, 2020

Hi,

On paper you have what the MBBs are looking for - (e.g. credential, analytical rigour, achievement)

However, with limited working experiences you would be most likely starting close to entry level. A way to mitigate is to highlight your leadership experience (e.g. cross functional coordinating)

Don't forget to ace your case ya.

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Henning
Expert
replied on Sep 10, 2020
Bain | passed >15 MBB interviews as a candidate

Hi!

with a top 3 University and strong academic result you meet the table stakes the large consulting firms are looking for. To make your profile stand out, you should make sure to present your current position in the right light.

Make sure to highlight (if true) team leadership, blue-chip client facing work and high-level strategic work (rather than supporting reseach).

On top of that, with only limited working experience, make sure to also use extracurricular activities to demonstrate drive, leadership and ambition.

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Udayan
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Sep 10, 2020
Top rated McKinsey Case & PEI coach/Multiple real offers/McKinsey EM in New York /6 years McKinsey recruiting experience

Hi,

If you have gone to Oxford, Cambridge or Imperial for engineering I think you stand a pretty good chance for being called for an interview given your profile. It also depends on where you did your undergrad from (ideally one of the 3 above again) and your performance there.

In terms of your work experience - I think it is relevant but not necessarily something that would make you stand out. What works in your favor is that your expertize lies in the Pharma industry and that is one where there is a high demand for skills in general so I would indicate a strong preference for continued work in Pharma.

In terms of how to approach it - I would highly recommend that you use your network to find a partner in the firms you are interested in to recommend you. If you would like to know more about the best ways to do that feel free to reach out to me.

Best,

Udayan

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Anonymous replied on Oct 01, 2020

Besides what have already been mentioend by other experts, do remember to check with the specific firm HR on their policy in your region. E.g. some firm in SEA requires 3 years working experience before a candidate can apply for experienced hire. So better to know if there is such rules.

Cheers,

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Vlad
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Sep 11, 2020
McKinsey / Accenture Alum / Got all BIG3 offers / Harvard Business School

Hi,

First of all - its hard to assess your chances without seeing your resume. And once you are invited - it all depends on your prep.

Secondly - your background is quite relevant at first glance

Thirdly - I think you have a misconception about MBB. Less than 20% o the projects are strategic

Best

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Anonymous replied on Sep 11, 2020

Dear A,

Your profile looks strong.

What you can do more:

1. Polish your CV and Cover letter to make it presentable

2. Find referrals to secure your interview invite

If you have any further questions, feel free to reach out.

Best,
André

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0
Ian
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Sep 11, 2020
MBB | 100% personal interview success rate (8/8) and 95% candidate success rate | Personalized interview prep

Hi there,

Seems like you have a competitive profile!

How do you approach recruiting?

#1 Target the right office

Have evidence on your resume that you know/understand/can work in the target office country and (ideally)

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

#2 Improve your resume

  • The template you use is critical. I've had candidates with amazing experience but horrible templates. Make sure your resume layout brings the eye to whats important, is sharp/clear, and organized/clean
  • Be concise + clear with your experience bullet points. Make sure, where possible, bullet points articulate both clear skills/responsibilities (verbs) AND impact ($ or %). Do so with as few words as possible (without taking away the "bigness" of it
  • Less can sometimes be more. Make sure you inlude the experience that actually matters. Anything you add that is uninteresting doesn't just add 0 value, it detracts from the rest of your experiences!
  • Here's some guidance in the meantime

  • Step 1 - Figure out the topics for your key paragraphs. These need to be based on what consulting companies are looking for. I recommend any of the following
    1. Quantitative + qualitative analytical skills
    2. Communication (written + verbal)
    3. Client managment skills/experience
    4. Leadership
    5. Teamwork
    6. Diversity (can be working with diverse clients, teams, etc.)
    7. Curiosity / passion for learning
  • Step 2 - Once you've picked 3-5 of these, write your paragraphs
    1. Make them succinct (3-5 sentences)
    2. Make sure they lead with e.g. "x company values y, and I do too"
    3. Make sure they focus on your achievements. You have to sell yourself here
  • Step 3 - For any given company cover letter, find out what the company cares most about. Then slot in 3 of the paragraphs that fit best (again, ideally you have 5 to choose from)
  • Step 4 - Tweak the language of each paragraph to fit the company's website, application posting, etc. I.e. Curiosity might become passion for learning.
  • Then, of course, you need an intro paragraph summarizing your interest + reasons why as well as a closing paragraph doing the same with new language.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

#3 Network Agressively

1) Check out the PrepLounge Q&As

2) Sign up with a session with a coach (I can teach you what you need to know in just 1 session)

3) Follow these immediate tips:

a) Reach out to people in your network

b) Reach out to people once removed from your network

c) Reach out to people with a similar backgorund to you (i.e. same alma mater, same historically underrepresented demographic i.e. gender, orientation, ethnicity, etc., same career switch, etc.)

d) Tailor a message to them specifically both showing interest in them and their journey and demonstrating that you have done your research and could be a valuable hire

e) Play "tag" across calls you get so that you can work your way towards the company/office/role you want

f) Never directly ask for a referral, but "hint" at needing one (this is nuanced and important...happy to talk through wording)

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

#4 Have a killer cover letter

  1. Step 1 - Figure out the topics for your key paragraphs. These need to be based on what consulting companies are looking for. I recommend any of the following
    1. Quantitative + qualitative analytical skills
    2. Communication (written + verbal)
    3. Client managment skills/experience
    4. Leadership
    5. Teamwork
    6. Diversity (can be working with diverse clients, teams, etc.)
    7. Curiosity / passion for learning
  2. Step 2 - Once you've picked 3-5 of these, write your paragraphs
    1. Make them succinct (3-5 sentences)
    2. Make sure they lead with e.g. "x company values y, and I do too"
    3. Make sure they focus on your achievements. You have to sell yourself here
  3. Step 3 - For any given company cover letter, find out what the company cares most about. Then slot in 3 of the paragraphs that fit best (again, ideally you have 5 to choose from)
  4. Step 4 - Tweak the language of each paragraph to fit the company's website, application posting, etc. I.e. Curiosity might become passion for learning.

Then, of course, you need an intro paragraph summarizing your interest + reasons why as well as a closing paragraph doing the same with new language.

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Francesco
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Sep 11, 2020
#1 Coach for Sessions (4.000+) | 1.400+ 5-Star Reviews | Proven Success (➡ InterviewOffers.com) | Ex BCG | 9Y+ Coaching

Hi there,

Your profile seems strong from what you presented.

To maximize your chances to land interviews, you need to work on 3 things:

  1. Find referrals for your application
  2. Have a great CV
  3. Have a great Cover (not necessarily required by all firms though)

Referrals are by far the #1 factor that can help.

You can find more on referrals at the link below:

https://www.preplounge.com/en/consulting-forum/hey-everyonehope-all-is-well-3176

If you have additional questions, please feel free to PM me.

Best

Francesco

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