From trading to consulting?

capital markets derivatives trading
Recent activity on May 08, 2018
3 Answers
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Ross asked on May 07, 2018

Hi All,

I posted a similar question to WSO a few weeks ago, but I didn't get much feedback, so trying out the community here.

Does anyone have insight regarding a career transition from trading/capital markets into MBB or consulting in general?

Thank you!

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replied on May 08, 2018
McKinsey Senior EM & BCG Consultant | Interviewer at McK & BCG for 7 years | Coached 350+ candidates secure MBB offers

Hi Ross,

I think the answer to your question is independent of whether you are in trading or not. What you need is a networking strategy:

Identify sectorial and functional areas within MBB that are covered by specific practices, and then devise a plan to connect with insiders at the firm. Here, it is extremely important to do it properly! By no means should you start writing to some random practice-affiliated Associates or even Project Managers. Networking works best from the very top when done properly. For example, when I networked my way into McKinsey, I did only talk to Directors and Partners who then eventually directly channeled me into the interviewing process without formal application.

This approach requires some work and diligent preparation, but in my oppinion this is the most effective method by far if you don't belong to the classical target group of fresh graduates.

Cheers, Sidi

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Ross on May 08, 2018

Hi Sidi, your comments about networking well and correctly is well-timed, as I've only had success chatting with younger associates or junior members. Is it worthwhile to network from the top if the directors/partners are not located in my region? Thank you for the very good info.

Sidi on May 08, 2018

Yes absolutely! You can always be referred to someone in your region to „operationally“ drive the process further, but the referral needs to carry adequate weight. This is not something that can be pulled of just like this - as indicated, you need to diligently work out a strategy. Let me know if you want to discuss in detail. Cheers, Sidi

replied on May 08, 2018
McKinsey / Accenture Alum / Got all BIG3 offers / Harvard Business School


This is a broad question, so not sure if I understood the question:

  1. Yes, consulting companies are interested in different profiles and trading is not an exclusion
  2. Your skill will be relevant, and you'll get a bunch of new skills
  3. The transition will be the same as from many other profiles (CPG, IB, tech)
  4. You can apply for an associate role (mck career ladder) if you have 3-4 years of experience and analyst if less.


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Ross on May 08, 2018

Hi Vlad, thanks for the encouragement. My major concern (that I didn't state) was that others have told me B school would likely need to be a platform to make the transition. I'd prefer to not spend $150k on the chance to interview, so I was curious of the barriers to entry that make exist for a career transition from a role that is so specialized/niche like trading. Thank you!


Anonymous replied on May 08, 2018

Hi Ross,

The transition from Trading to Consulting is absolutely possible and feasible - I did it myself. Although I attended business school in between, that is definitely not a requirement and was more something I chose to do. I know many others who have made it without an MBA.

Specific insights/thoughts on the transition however:

  • Networking: I would echo what Sidi has said with regards to the way to go about it. In addition to those however, try and approach individuals who have had a similar path to you and therefore understand the value you can add given your background and experience. They will be much more inclined to engage in a conversation and subsequently recommend you internally for the interview process
  • Interview Process: Without knowing your specific background in Trading, I would say that all of the MBB firms will be interested in your profile and be ready to invite you for interview, espeically McKinsey who are used to bringing in experienced hires from slightly unusual backgrounds. Although the skills you have from a trading background will help you throughout the interview process I would still definitely recommend thorough and efficient interview preparation
  • On the job: Here the transition will be very similar in terms of process and training as from any other background but I would say that the skills and experience you have from Trading will definitely complement an element of what makes a good consultant and you shouldn't have any worries with regards to this

Hope the above helps, feel free to message me directly if you want to have a more in depth conversation about the transition over.



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Ross on May 09, 2018

Hi James, I appreciate your comments! I believe I sent you a message, but lmk if you did not receive it. Thanks

Sidi gave the best answer


McKinsey Senior EM & BCG Consultant | Interviewer at McK & BCG for 7 years | Coached 350+ candidates secure MBB offers
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