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How to get a partner referral?

consulting partnerreferral
Recent activity on Jan 18, 2020
5 Answers
3.3 k Views
Anonymous A asked on Jan 11, 2020

How exactly should I reach out to partners in the offices of my interest and convince them to invite me for an interview at Tier 1/2 consulting firms? I plan to reach out to most of these partners through LinkedIn (I am a graduate of a target school). How should I reach out to them and take the conversation forward in a manner that gets me an interview? It would be too odd to reach out to them outright and ask them for an interview right?

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Vlad
Expert
replied on Jan 11, 2020
McKinsey / Accenture Alum / Got all BIG3 offers / Harvard Business School

Hi,

I would recommend reaching out to consultants, not partners, doing a case with them and getting a referral. I believe you would waste your time with partners. There are few exceptions:

  • You are an expert in a certain field and you reach our to partner in that field
  • You have a very non-traditional background and you reach out to a partner who is heading recruiting. FYI every company has a partner responsible for recruting in general or certain types of candidates (they love to help and they are hunting for such cases)
  • You are reaching out to someone you have a common background (alum, previous company, friends in common who can refer you)

Best

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Clara
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Jan 11, 2020
McKinsey | Awarded professor at Master in Management @ IE | MBA at MIT |+180 students coached | Integrated FIT Guide aut

Hello!

I would try to avoid partners in general, unless you are very tenured or an expert on an specific topic.

More than cold-calling on LinkedIn (imagine how many of those they can get!), I would try recruiting events, where you can actually interact with them face-to-face. There are plenty, like the Next Generation of Women Leaders (https://www.mckinsey.com/next-generation-women-leaders/overview) or the Atrévete in McKinsey (https://www.mckinsey.com/es/careers/upcoming-events/atrevete/inicio). I am sure all MBB have similar ones.

Hope it helps!

Cheers,

Clara

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Antonello
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Jan 11, 2020
McKinsey | NASA | top 10 FT MBA professor for consulting interviews | 6+ years of coaching

Hi,
with partners it's hard, I would try with managers and senior associates (or consultants for Bain and BCG). LinkedIn is the best tool to find ex alumni of your university and engage with a short and nice message in order to start a quick relationship and get a referral (yes, it's odd to ask for it).

Hope it helps,
Antonello

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Anonymous B on Jan 11, 2020

Hey Antonello, I've had a short talk with a Sen As from BCG, told me to ask anything I want afterwards.. Didn't know how to get to refrerral. Any suggestions?

Udayan
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Jan 18, 2020
Top rated Case & PEI coach/Multiple real offers/McKinsey EM in New York /12 years recruiting experience

It is unlikely you can directly approach a partner and get a referral as you do not have much in common with them. Here are some alternative suggestions that may work for you

1. Leverage your parents - they may know someone that knows a partner. This is often an under-explored resource and can be very helpful

2. Go to events that may have partners as part of them - many partners are board members of charities and often attend events there. You can build relationships with them by going to these events

3. Leverage your friends - many times our friends have connections we may not be aware of. It does not hurt to ask for their help. I found a mentor in college who worked at MBB who was related to a friend of mine

Hope this helps,

Udayan

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Luca
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Jan 13, 2020
BCG |NASA | SDA Bocconi & Cattolica partner | GMAT expert 780/800 score | 200+ students coached

Hello,

I would avoid to reach out partners, ti could be considered too aggressive and they have no time to help people join the firm.
Try to get in contact with senior management (Project leaders and principals) during events or to write directly to your peers (Associates or consultants). They will be happy to help since in most firms (e.g. BCG) there are incentives connected with the referral program.

Best,
Luca

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Vlad gave the best answer

Vlad

McKinsey / Accenture Alum / Got all BIG3 offers / Harvard Business School
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