How can I create an application for the Big 3 that will get accepted?

Advice Application application process BIG3 CV CV screening MBB
Recent activity on Mar 22, 2018
2 Answers
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Iulia asked on Mar 22, 2018

Hi all,

I would like some advice in creating a good application for MBB that will be selected for an interview. I have been applying for jobs for a year and a half and I just managed to get a 18-month contract. My problem is that for all the jobs I have been applying, I did not even get called for an inteview, although I had various career advisors help me with my CV. Many people have said that since I live in the UK and an am an EU citizen, the Brexit might have made it difficult for me to find a job.

As I am currently on an 18-month contract, I would like to start working on my application soon, and working for MBB is my goal.

Without further ado, I will just tell you a bit about myself, and hope you can advise me on what should I focus on my application.

I have a BSc (Hons.) in Computer Science, and MSc in Information Security and Biometrics, and I am currently awaiting to defend my PhD thesis. My PhD is in Electronic Engineering, focusing on humanoid robots. I worked on implementing locomotion and manipulation algorithms for humanoid robots, and have experience in control, kinematics, mechatronics. I am currently doing an online course offered by the University of Pennsylvania on Intellectual Property Law.

Throughout my studies, I have worked on different projects. I had my first intern position during my undergraduate, and was working as a resercher in biometrics. I was the team leader for a group of students, and our results ended with 3 publications in an IEEE conference. After that I had various research positions in biometrics and healthcare robotics, I was a teaching assistant at the University of Kent, as well as an Academic Ambassador.

I also do a lot of volunteering work, and I spend most of my free time promoting engineering to schools. I have developed various activities that can be used to teach engineering to children, and I am also working with some companies in the UK to promote STEM. I have been involved in organising conferences. The biggest event I organised took place in 15 countries during one week. I judge for various competitions and awards, and I have also received awards for my work.

Despite all of these, I find it very difficult to get shortlisted for interviews, so it would be very helpful to have some advice from people who work for MBB or who have been through this process before.

Kind regards,


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replied on Mar 22, 2018

Hey Iulia,

I understand how frustrating your current situation can look like, but unfortunately getting MBBs is a really competitive process and there's no way everyone can even get shortlisted for an interview (believe me, it's not really only about you!).

Besides, as you say that you had already several career advisors commenting on your CV, I am tempted to assume that your CV is ok and that's not the problem.

That said, at this point it seems that your best chance to get an interview is really to go after a referral from current consultants at your target offices



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updated an answer on Mar 22, 2018
McKinsey / Accenture Alum / Got all BIG3 offers / Harvard Business School


Several potential reasons here:

  • Your CV might not provide a full picture of your current situation (Location, visa status, etc)
  • You've been idle for the last 1.5 years - this might be a red flag
  • Lack of the demand / low season

Agree with Bruno, one way is to look for a referral. More on the referrals here:

Another solution might be joining a 2nd - 3rd tier company like Accenture and then make a transition to MBB



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Iulia on Mar 26, 2018

Hi Vlad, thank you for the response. I have been trying to find a job for 1.5 years, but I haven't been idle, as I was working at the University. I do agree with the first bullet point, and my CV doesn't provide a full picture of my visa status. As I am an EU citizen, I do not currently need a visa to work in the UK, but there is a huge uncertainty reagrding what will happen with the EU nationals after Brexit, so was thinking that this might be a reason. Especially since I have applied to companied like Accenture and Cambridge Consultants, as well as very small local companies, and I did not get accepted. My current plan is to apply for jobs outside of UK when my current contract is close to an end. Thank you for your response. It really helped me think of different approaches.

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