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Harvard MBA to MBB FT?

Bain BCG McKinsey
New answer on Jun 07, 2024
8 Answers
193 Views
Anonymous A asked on May 22, 2024

MBA student at Harvard with previous consulting experience pre-MBA, but not in MBB. This summer, I am doing an internship in investing (wanted to get a different exposure) but I want to prepare myself already during the summer to ensure a MBB full time office in the US (open to apply to many offices, ie, not set on one specifically). I have been a top performer before the MBA and now at the MBA and so I believe my profile can be interesting. Would love to get a coach with direct knowledge on the state of full time MBB recruiting in the US to prepare me over the summer so that I can interview in August and get a full time offer - any tips on how to best find THE coach? I am new on the platform

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Yousef
Expert
updated an answer on May 22, 2024
I make it easy for you to master case interviews! (ex-McKinsey |Stanford University | Imperial College London | ex-P&G)

Hi there, 

I hope you're doing well! Welcome to Preplounge!

Your pro-activity ahead of the recruitment process is great and shows lots of promise for the fall MBB recruitment cycle. 

There are many great coaches on here who would be able to support you on your journey to get an MBB offer. Everyone, including yourself, will have a different preference for who ‘THE coach' for them would be, based on their own personal needs (and limitations too, i.e. budget, time-commitment). The best thing for you to do is to reach out to 3-5 coaches you are interested in and ask to arrange a 15-min chat with them and decide who is best for you based on how you feel. 

Consider the following to help you choose who suits you best:
 

  1. Your cultural and professional backgrounds: having a coach who understands the nuances of where you come makes a strong connection form quicker and helps you get ready at the level of sensitivity you need (e.g., understanding how to communicate your story to MBB recruiters/ interviewers in the most effective manner).
     
  2. Your target firm: if there is a target firm out of the 3 that is your goal to work at, then speaking to a coach who was a former consultant there can help you understand their last company's culture better, so you can present yourself already as the right ‘fit’ for that firm (e.g., McKinsey's culture differs from Bain/ BCG's- which is why they emphasize the personal fit so much).
     
  3. Your learning style and personality: based on the 15-minute conversations with potential coaches, think about who you are most comfortable with and willing to be coached by (a huge part of learning comes in how you best receive feedback, how much contact you need with your coach, and how well you both ‘click’ based on your personalities). Communication is at the heart of case interviewing.

Trust that the coaches here are smart and capable to support you. I would love to chat with you further if you feel that this resonated with you.

Wishing you the best this summer in your internship and in your EC year at the MBA!

Yousef

 

(edited)

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Florian
Expert
Content Creator
replied on May 22, 2024
1300 5-star reviews across platforms | 500+ offers | Highest-rated case book on Amazon | Uni lecturer in US, Asia, EU

Hi there,

Congrats! 

You are definitely on the right track with your motivation and profile. I think you should easily make it past the screening given your information. 

Now, on to the interviews…

As regards finding a coach to work with, the best thing you can do is to shortlist a few from the available choices and then have introduction calls with them. 

Most coaches offer this for free and it's the best way to get to know more about them, their experiences, and successes (hard facts) and also see if you vibe with them and could imagine them in a trusted advisor role for your career and interviews (soft factors).

Feel free to reach out to discuss this! :-)

All the best,

Florian

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Sidi
Expert
replied on May 25, 2024
McKinsey Senior EM & BCG Consultant | Interviewer at McK & BCG for 7 years | Coached 350+ candidates secure MBB offers

Hi,

It's great to see you proactively planning your journey to become fully prepared for your MBB interviews! Your background will certainly make you an attractive candidate for MBBs; however, it’s important to understand that the skills required for MBB case interviews differ from those typically honed during an MBA program. Case interviews primarily test logical thinking and problem-solving skills rather than business knowledge. The good news is that these skills can be developed with dedicated time and practice, which it seems you are already planning to do.


In a nutshell, my recommendation would be to allow enough time for your preparation (starting to prepare over the summer to interview in August sounds like a solid plan!) and to find someone who REALLY understands consulting—not someone who just had a 1-3 year stint—to coach and mentor you on how to properly think through such problems. 

 

Here are some tips to help you preparing, and some more detailed answers to your questions:

  1. Understand the nature of case interviews: Being a top performer is fantastic, but remember that case interviews are about demonstrating structured thinking and problem-solving skills. These are different from the business knowledge you gain during your MBA. It’s crucial to allow at least a couple of months for dedicated preparation.
  2. State of full-time MBB recruiting in the US: While having direct knowledge about MBB recruiting can be helpful, please remember that the case interview process is fairly standardized across offices in established markets like the US and EU. So, this knowledge will not give you any advantage with regards to your case interview preparation. If anything, such knowledge might be more relevant for your application strategy, as some offices are more competitive than others. Networking with current consultants and recruiters in your target offices can provide valuable insights and help refine your strategy.
  3. Finding the right coach: In the optimal scenario, you receive coaching by an experienced former interviewer, and you complement this with a HAND-PICKED set of determined, HIGH-QUALITY practice partners (e.g., other candidates that are applying to the same firms). 
  4. Coaching vs. practice sessions: Distinguish between coaching sessions and practice sessions. 
  • The coaching sessions are used to get an understanding of what is tested in the interview, how you need to think, how to craft bullet-proof logic, and how to navigate through this logic.
  • The practice sessions are used to get additional repetitions under your belt to make it "second nature".

 

From experience, my mentees applying from a full-time position need about 8-12 weeks to get to a level that could be called "MBB offer-ready" (assuming that your intrinsic base capabilities in terms of articulation, raw intellect and ability to focus meet a certain minimum standard). That said, allowing more time to really internalize all the insights is definitely a good strategy.

 

I hope this helps.


Cheers, Sidi

_______________________

Dr. Sidi Koné 

(🚀 Ex BCG & McKinsey Sr. Project Manager, now helping high potential individuals join the world's top Strategy Consulting firms (McKinsey | BCG | Bain))

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Francesco
Expert
Content Creator
replied on May 23, 2024
#1 Coach for Sessions (4.500+) | 1.500+ 5-Star Reviews | Proven Success (➡ interviewoffers.com) | Ex BCG | 10Y+ Coaching

Hi there,

Welcome to PrepLounge! In terms of your question:

Q: Any tips on how to best find THE coach?

To find a coach matching your needs, I would recommend the following:

  1. Go to the main page listing the coaches: https://www.preplounge.com/en/case-coach
  2. Filter the coaches based on your criteria (eg budget, reviews)
  3. Read reviews/profiles – define a shortlist (eg 3-5 coaches)
  4. Send a message to the coaches with your questions and what you would like to work on to see if there is a match
  5. Select the coach that best suits your needs

As a bonus point: you can check their Q&A answers (there is a label called “Q&A Answers” in the profile) – it should give you an idea of the style of the coach and if it matches what you are looking for.

For any questions please feel free to PM me.

Best,

Francesco

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Cristian
Expert
Content Creator
replied on May 22, 2024
#1 rated MBB & McKinsey Coach

Hi there, 

A third to a half of my candidates typically come from the US, so happy to support you. 

I would then also be able to match you with other US-based candidates for peer practice which consistently use the same methodology I teach. 

If you have extra questions, reach out. 

Best,
Cristian

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Hagen
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Jun 07, 2024
#1 Bain coach | >95% success rate | interviewer for 8+ years | mentor and coach for 7+ years

Hi there,

First of all, congratulations on your career trajectory thus far!

I would be happy to share my thoughts on your situation:

  • I would advise you to browse through several coach profiles, sort them according to various criteria and then have an introductory call with some of them (see here). These will usually tell you quite quickly whether you want to invest your time and money in the coach or not.

If you would like a more detailed discussion on your specific situation, please don't hesitate to contact me directly.

Best,

Hagen

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Udayan
Expert
Content Creator
replied on May 22, 2024
Top rated Case & PEI coach/Multiple real offers/McKinsey EM in New York /12 years recruiting experience

You have a great profile and a fantastic chance of getting in with or without a coach. In my opinion there's no universal best coach, it's the best coach for you - I.e. One that suits your style of learning, engagement and growth. 

The best way to find this coach would be to talk to a few coaches you like the idea of working with (say based on their profile, recommendations or answers to questions) and then select based on that meeting. 

 

All the best,

Udayan 

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Agrim
Expert
Content Creator
replied on May 27, 2024
BCG Dubai Project Leader | Learn to think like a Consultant | Free personalised prep plan | 6+ years in Consulting

Your profile definitely seems strong from the outset. Good luck for your prep!

Regarding selecting a coach - the best way is to speak to the coaches. PrepLounge has a facility where coaches can offer free intro calls for exactly this purpose. Feel free to connect with the coaches and ask for your free intro call.

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Yousef gave the best answer

Yousef

I make it easy for you to master case interviews! (ex-McKinsey |Stanford University | Imperial College London | ex-P&G)
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