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How to become a Big4 Partner ?

Big4 partner
New answer on Jan 19, 2023
3 Answers
1.2 k Views
Anonymous A asked on Jan 18, 2023

I am currently a Manager in Supply Chain Practice in a Big4. I have 2 month old little boy and decided not to pursue MBB anymore for the very demanding lifestyle. However I feel a bit confident to continue working in Big 4 and have a manageable work life balance. 
After two years in consulting I do have a love-hate relationship with consulting. It was a steep learning curve I am slowly starting to feel confident with the job. 

I recently read the book so good that they cant ignore you and was hugely influenced by it.  I want to set long term targets and work towards them. 

How do I master my craft as Management Consultant ? 
How should be my plan if I want to become a partner ?

I am looking for a good answer from where I can craft my career plan and take baby steps today or start building the right habits that will eventually help me become a partner. 
Feel free to point to any books or resources that might be of help as well. 

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Content Creator
replied on Jan 19, 2023
#1 Bain coach | >95% success rate | interviewer for 8+ years | mentor and coach for 7+ years

Hi there,

I think this is an interesting question that may be relevant for many people. I would be happy to share my thoughts on it:

  • Please be advised that while setting long-term goals is important, it is equally important to break them down into medium- and short-term goals that are actionable and achievable.
  • Moreover, it's important to focus on areas that you can influence. Given becoming a partner is a promotion that is given by a committee, so it's not entirely clear if you will achieve this goal.
  • Still, to master your craft as a management consultant, I recommend focusing on three key areas:
    • Develop expertise in a specific industry or functional area: This will help you become a valuable resource for your clients and give you a competitive edge in the market.
    • Build strong client relationships: Consulting is a people-driven business, and building strong relationships with your clients is key to success. This includes understanding their business and industry, being responsive to their needs, and delivering high-quality work.
    • Continuously improve your skills: Stay up-to-date with the latest trends and best practices in your industry or functional area, and continue to develop your analytical, problem-solving, and communication skills.
  • In terms of becoming a partner, the following steps can help:
    • Focus on client development and business generation: Partners are responsible for driving revenue for the firm, so it's important to build a strong pipeline of potential clients and convert them into paying customers.
    • Deliver high-quality work: Your clients should be able to rely on your expertise and experience to help them achieve their goals.
    • Build a reputation as a thought leader: Share your expertise and insights through publications, speaking engagements, and networking events to build your reputation as a thought leader in your industry or functional area.
    • Build a strong team: As a partner, you will also be ultimately responsible for everybody below. Building a strong team is key to the growth and development of the firm.

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



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Content Creator
replied on Jan 19, 2023
#1 BCG coach | MBB | Tier 2 | Digital, Tech, Platinion | 100% personal success rate (8/8) | 95% candidate success rate

Hi there,

Here's some reading to help you on the job:

To become a partner, you need to survive. Partners are the ones that can survive the decade of slog that consulting is. Sure, you need to be good at your job, build up a network/reputation, etc. But, ultimately, you need to find out how to have a sustainable career and not burnout.

I can't attest as to whether these books are the best, but some options are:

  • Books that may be helpful: "The McKinsey Way" by Ethan Rasiel, 
  • "The Boston Consulting Group on Strategy" by Carl W. Stern and Michael Deimler
  • "The Strategy Book" by Max Mckeown
  • "Thinking, Fast and Slow" by Daniel Kahneman
  • "Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap... and Others Don't" by Jim Collins.



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Anonymous A on Jan 21, 2023

That's an awesome response !!

replied on Jan 18, 2023
30% off 1st coaching Promo | #1 Canada Coach | 10y+ Coaching & recruiting | BCG + Industry Executive | INSEAD MBA


That is a great long term question as being a successful Management Consultant and Partner takes continuous work given the nature of the work and ask keeps evolving as you grow. 

I'll tackle your questions in order as one leads to the other :)!
1. To master the Mgt Consultant skillset & performance, you need to understand what are the expectations at your level and at the level above and start showing / developing those traits. Typically they are around : 1. Problem solving & insights (analytics, storyline, hypothesis, …), 2. Project management (timeline, visibility, progress…), 3. Industry / Functional expertise and 4. Relationship building  (Communications, maintaining and growing relationship with clients, identifying new issues at client, …). 

2. As you grow, expectations (and your focus) should shift more and more from excelling toward #4 rather than #1. The earlier you can show promising trajectory in moving through this development funnel (while maintaining performance of earlier skills), the more you will be identified to the partner track. 

Hope this helps, happy to connect if you want to discuss further. I also offer coaching on how to perform and succeed as a Consultant. 

Cheers ! 

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Hagen gave the best answer


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#1 Bain coach | >95% success rate | interviewer for 8+ years | mentor and coach for 7+ years
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