McKinsey Engagement Manager & BCG Consultant | Interviewer at McK & BCG for 7 years | Coached 50+ candidates secure MBB offers
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From trading to consulting?

Ross

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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Sidi
Expert
replied on 05/08/2018
McKinsey Engagement Manager & BCG Consultant | Interviewer at McK & BCG for 7 years | Coached 50+ 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

Vlad replied on 05/08/2018
McKinsey / Accenture / Got all BIG3 offers / More than 300 real MBB cases / Harvard Business School

Hi,

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.

Best

James
Expert
replied on 05/08/2018
London Business School MBA Student, McKinsey and Accenture, Successfully prepped many MBA students to receive MBB offers

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.

Best,

James

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