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expert
Expert with best answer

Riccardo

99% Recommendation Rate

334 Meetings

221 Q&A Upvotes

USD 269 / Coaching

4

Good firms for people without a background in economics

After studying chemistry, I took a position as a researcher at a National Lab. Now, however, I would really like a new challenge and am looking to switch to consulting. I talked to a contact at McKinsey who advised me that some companies were better at accomodating people with a non-economics background, and that I should focus on those. MBB, for example, seem to actively look for natural scientists, and seem to offer training specifically to bring everyone up to speed.

Dear Preplounge community - are there any other firms you can recommend for people with my background? Any I should stay away from? I appreciate any input - thank you!

After studying chemistry, I took a position as a researcher at a National Lab. Now, however, I would really like a new challenge and am looking to switch to consulting. I talked to a contact at McKinsey who advised me that some companies were better at accomodating people with a non-economics background, and that I should focus on those. MBB, for example, seem to actively look for natural scientists, and seem to offer training specifically to bring everyone up to speed.

Dear Preplounge community - are there any other firms you can recommend for people with my background? Any I should stay away from? I appreciate any input - thank you!

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Book a coaching with Riccardo

99% Recommendation Rate

334 Meetings

221 Q&A Upvotes

USD 269 / Coaching

Dear Alexander,

I confirm that MBB are open to people with all backgrounds and they actually encourage diversity in their talent pool. Also ATK, Oliver Wyman and Roland Berger to quote others.
I had few colleagues with background in research/ science subjects and they were able not only to succesfully land a consulting job, but to grow succefully within Consulting.
Another opportunity related to Top Consulting companies, in particular MBB is the possibility to do MBA / Externships as part of the career curriculum.

Best of luck with your job applications!

Riccardo

Dear Alexander,

I confirm that MBB are open to people with all backgrounds and they actually encourage diversity in their talent pool. Also ATK, Oliver Wyman and Roland Berger to quote others.
I had few colleagues with background in research/ science subjects and they were able not only to succesfully land a consulting job, but to grow succefully within Consulting.
Another opportunity related to Top Consulting companies, in particular MBB is the possibility to do MBA / Externships as part of the career curriculum.

Best of luck with your job applications!

Riccardo

Book a coaching with Francesco

100% Recommendation Rate

3,469 Meetings

16,942 Q&A Upvotes

USD 449 / Coaching

Hi Alexander,

the answer depends on the country you are applying to. While in US and UK consulting companies are more open to various types of backgrounds (one of the people I helped to land an offer at McKinsey was a former pianist), in other countries such as Italy consulting companies focus almost exclusively on candidates with a background in Business or Engineering.

Generally speaking, as Riccardo mentioned, MBB companies are more open to a variety of backgrounds, also due to the higher availability of training programs. In general, I would keep options open and apply to all first and second tier firms in your region – such as MBB, Roland Berger, Oliver Wyman, Strategy&, ATK – unless they focus on a niche which is not interesting for you (Oliver Wyman for example focuses only on financial services in some countries). Given your background, you may also consider companies focusing more on healthcare such as ZS Associates and IQVIA. If you don’t manage to receive invitations now, as a backup plan, you may pursue an MBA and reapply after that.

As a strategy to approach these firms, I would recommend to have a current or former consultant to help you to prepare a proper CV and Cover. Ideally you also want to find referrals for your application – at the link below you can find some suggestions on that:

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

Hope this helps,

Francesco

Hi Alexander,

the answer depends on the country you are applying to. While in US and UK consulting companies are more open to various types of backgrounds (one of the people I helped to land an offer at McKinsey was a former pianist), in other countries such as Italy consulting companies focus almost exclusively on candidates with a background in Business or Engineering.

Generally speaking, as Riccardo mentioned, MBB companies are more open to a variety of backgrounds, also due to the higher availability of training programs. In general, I would keep options open and apply to all first and second tier firms in your region – such as MBB, Roland Berger, Oliver Wyman, Strategy&, ATK – unless they focus on a niche which is not interesting for you (Oliver Wyman for example focuses only on financial services in some countries). Given your background, you may also consider companies focusing more on healthcare such as ZS Associates and IQVIA. If you don’t manage to receive invitations now, as a backup plan, you may pursue an MBA and reapply after that.

As a strategy to approach these firms, I would recommend to have a current or former consultant to help you to prepare a proper CV and Cover. Ideally you also want to find referrals for your application – at the link below you can find some suggestions on that:

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

Hope this helps,

Francesco

Book a coaching with Nirmit

100% Recommendation Rate

40 Meetings

203 Q&A Upvotes

USD 289 / Coaching

Hi Alexander,

As i mentioned in one of my other answers, MBB is very open to all kinds of backgrounds. One of my colleagues at McKinsey has a Religion major - he got offers from 2 of the Big3, and is crushing it at McKinsey right now.

Thanks,

Nirmit

Hi Alexander,

As i mentioned in one of my other answers, MBB is very open to all kinds of backgrounds. One of my colleagues at McKinsey has a Religion major - he got offers from 2 of the Big3, and is crushing it at McKinsey right now.

Thanks,

Nirmit

is mathematics more appealing for MBB? — B on Mar 20, 2019

Hi Hrag - your field of study is not going to set you apart from other candidates. Someone with a literature major could be more appealing than an advanced physics major. Other factors like your Experience and Leadership go a long way in determining your candidacy for MBB. Hope this helps! — Nirmit on Mar 20, 2019 (edited)

Book a coaching with Jan

100% Recommendation Rate

8 Meetings

23 Q&A Upvotes

USD 149 / Coaching

Absolutelly - MBB is great for non-business students.

When I joined McK I was surprised, that about 50% of new-joiners were from very various background (from Military to athletics)

Absolutelly - MBB is great for non-business students.

When I joined McK I was surprised, that about 50% of new-joiners were from very various background (from Military to athletics)