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From software engineer/architect into management consulting

Anonymous A asked on Dec 02, 2018

Hi All,

I have a science background (PhD in physics) and currently work as a software engineer/architect in IT consulting. I recently did MBA and want to change to strategy/management consulting. Last few years I am researching the consulting firms and my impression is that job description from 2nd tier firms require more specialised applicants (project management, sales, finances, energy, certain industry, etc.) while MBB is more general and does not really care about specialisation. Did I get it right or this is only true for the beginers and for those more experience things are different

Considering that I do not have any specialised business experience what would be a better strategy for me to move to management consulting?



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replied on Dec 03, 2018
Ex-MBB, Experienced Hire; I will teach you not only the how, but also the why of case interviews
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This is directionally right, yes: MBB wants good people, and will train them as needed. Best way to get admissions is to get an interview and crack the case. With a PhD + MBA, you have a solid background. Hopefully one of the institutions at least is a target school. If not, you may need to do some networking. But again, no need for specific work experience ahead of MBB.

For Tier 2 and Boutiques, actual expertise will be more important though even there, they'll typically train you.

PS: MBB does sometimes hire specialists for specific experienced hire positions, but you dont seem to qualify yet based on what you write.

Vlad replied on Dec 03, 2018
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Originally MBB were hiring mainly generalists. However, MBB companies are shifting gears a lot in recent years, hiring experts in various fields. I think in your case you should consider the following options:

  1. Joining MBB technology practices (e.g. McKinsey Digital) since you have the expertise and thus higher chances to get there
  2. Joining MBB as a generalist
  3. Joining 2nd tier company (less preferable option of course)

All the options require significant preparation.