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How old is too old before considering a Strategic management Consulting role within a MBB

Max asked on Oct 07, 2018 - 3 answers
Taken GYM Coaching from Francesco, Preparing for McKinsey and BCG Interviews

Am I too old to consider a generalist role within a strategic consultancy firm ?

Last year I obtained an MBA degree from a top 10 B-school following a decade long stint of working (as an IT Consultant) for a highly renowned global system integrator. Though the MBA was a means towards pursuing a career change into strategic consultancy, I dedicated the following year towards running a startup that I had given birth to whilst at School. Having failed in this venture - I am now seriously revisiting Consultancy opportunities within MBB /and tier 2 consultancy firms and would like to ask the experts for guidance on the following fronts [esp given my age & experience both being considerably greater than other fellow applicants]

a) how would MBB's would view my candidacy (pro's and con's)

b) What position should I apply for - Consultant ?

c) Would roles within the technology offices i.e McKinsey BTO be better suited given my background.

Appreciate any inputs and advice in advance.

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replied on Oct 07, 2018
McKinsey/Actionable feedback/Harvard University/Warwick Business School
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Hi Max,

Make sure you prepare your PEI part well for the interviewes. Don't worry if you are 30+, if you have a great experience and all required skills, you will get an offer.

  1. I agree with Vlad and Guennael.
  2. Associate at McKinsey, Consultant for Bain and BCG

All the best,


replied on Oct 07, 2018
Ex-MBB, Experienced Hire; I will teach you not only the how, but also the why of case interviews
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Background info so you understand my response: I joined BCG as a >35yo and nearly 15 years of total work experience

1. No, BCG will not look at your candidacy differently. If anything, they will expect you to be a little stronger on the client-facing side but that won't change their expectations of what you can and cannot do

2. Probably 'Consultant', depending on your work experience / expertise

3. Again, depends on your experience / expertise. Of the top-3, McK is the most open to hiring experienced people, with Bain the least (in my experience)

PS: Out of a sample of 3 experienced hires at BCG Dallas I know (I'm one of the 3), no-one did poorly. I left early to go back to the industry (better fit, I like to get my hands dirty); One of the others became a partner, and the other just turned Principal in the minimum time possible. All 3 of us joined as consultants. Small sample, but I'd argue experienced hires do really well on average. Obviously all 3 of us are very glad we went through the trouble of applying!

Good luck -

replied on Oct 07, 2018
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1) You can still apply, it's very similar to post MBA application

2) Post MBA role (i.e. the Associate level at McK grade)

3) If your startup was relevant for BTO (e.g. If it was an enterprise SAAS - it's relevant. Food tech - most prob not)


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