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Clara

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7

How to move from being a Software Engineer in a big hedge fund to MBB?

Hi team!!

My role currently is an interesting one, as I have a mixture of both engineering but also quantiative development responsibilites (quant). I have 2.5 years of work experience, and with proper networking I can apply entry-level to MBB. Am wondering if my role will be seen as too "technical" for entry-level MBB? I want to plan wisely considering the 2 year cool off period for rejection.

Considering I have little experience interfacing with clients, gathering value propositions, etc, is networking + strong analytics/finance skills enough to get noticed for entry-level MBB?

Even if I do get an interview and excel at the case/PEI portions, could they still reject me after the last round based on my work experience (not because of culture fit, soft skills, etc)?

I know companies like Google and others can still reject a candidate after a series of successful interviews if they feel the person doesn't have a good enough background/or other candidates have better ones.

Unsure if this is the case for MBB, however, in which case I'll need to pursue an MBA to move into MBB, and will be settling on PM roles if I cannot breakthrough.

Thank you for helping me navigate this!

Hi team!!

My role currently is an interesting one, as I have a mixture of both engineering but also quantiative development responsibilites (quant). I have 2.5 years of work experience, and with proper networking I can apply entry-level to MBB. Am wondering if my role will be seen as too "technical" for entry-level MBB? I want to plan wisely considering the 2 year cool off period for rejection.

Considering I have little experience interfacing with clients, gathering value propositions, etc, is networking + strong analytics/finance skills enough to get noticed for entry-level MBB?

Even if I do get an interview and excel at the case/PEI portions, could they still reject me after the last round based on my work experience (not because of culture fit, soft skills, etc)?

I know companies like Google and others can still reject a candidate after a series of successful interviews if they feel the person doesn't have a good enough background/or other candidates have better ones.

Unsure if this is the case for MBB, however, in which case I'll need to pursue an MBA to move into MBB, and will be settling on PM roles if I cannot breakthrough.

Thank you for helping me navigate this!

(edited)

7 answers

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Book a coaching with Clara

100% Recommendation Rate

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USD 229 / Coaching

Hello!

It´s not the most obvious move, but there are much more weird ones for sure.

As you say, you will need some polishing on client-facing skills and presentation-related skills, but nothing that cannot be done pretty quickly if you are devoted.

About your question of whether to get an MBA, my personal opinion is that is waaaaaaaaaaaaay to extreme tbh. First of all, an MBA has huge implications (cost, money, opportunity cost, going through a very competitive process, etc.). You need a much better reason than wanting to get to MBB to do it. Secondly, even if you did, and even if you did in a target school, that does not guarantee you absolutely anything.

Hope it helps!

Cheers,

Clara

Hello!

It´s not the most obvious move, but there are much more weird ones for sure.

As you say, you will need some polishing on client-facing skills and presentation-related skills, but nothing that cannot be done pretty quickly if you are devoted.

About your question of whether to get an MBA, my personal opinion is that is waaaaaaaaaaaaay to extreme tbh. First of all, an MBA has huge implications (cost, money, opportunity cost, going through a very competitive process, etc.). You need a much better reason than wanting to get to MBB to do it. Secondly, even if you did, and even if you did in a target school, that does not guarantee you absolutely anything.

Hope it helps!

Cheers,

Clara

Book a coaching with Ian

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Hi there!

I actually transitioned from a Technical/IT Consultant into MBB so I'd be happy to help advise here!

There was actually a very interesting post on this earlier today: https://www.preplounge.com/en/consulting-forum/what-roles-can-i-pursue-from-being-in-technical-consulting-to-move-into-mbb-8116

My Answer

My path was Option 4 (Pursue an MBA) - to pair my hard/technical skills with soft/business skills. If you're worried about cost there are plenty of 1 year programs AND scholarships that you may want to look into. This is honestly the highest probability route (though I agree, can be financially risky)

Option 1 (Work for FAANG or Big Banks as a Software Engineer/Strat/Quant.)- This won't really get you there. It's an excellent career path and opens many doors. But, while it's common to go from MBB to Big Tech, it's far less common to go the other way

Option 2 (Stay as a technical consultant, and move to Big 4 or Tier 2 firm in an implementation role) - Can work and is the most likely route for you. It also has the lowest downside risk, as, you just keep doing what you're doing but get paid more/progress in your career. However, what you have to accept is that you would then only come into MBB as a specialist/expert hire. So, you've be hired in BCG Platinion, McKinsey Digital, etc. NOT GENERALIST

Option 3 (Pursue positions as a Tier 2 generalist consultant) - Probably the option with the combination of highest % chance of success and loweest financial risk. As you note, this will be hard. However, a lot of the Tier 2s are strategy comnpanies within tech/IT companies so this could work. Your best bet in this context would be IBM, Accenture, EY, PwC, Drloitte.and KPMG. You basically want to target companies that are big/broad as they have tech, IT, etc. AND strategy consulting.

Hi there!

I actually transitioned from a Technical/IT Consultant into MBB so I'd be happy to help advise here!

There was actually a very interesting post on this earlier today: https://www.preplounge.com/en/consulting-forum/what-roles-can-i-pursue-from-being-in-technical-consulting-to-move-into-mbb-8116

My Answer

My path was Option 4 (Pursue an MBA) - to pair my hard/technical skills with soft/business skills. If you're worried about cost there are plenty of 1 year programs AND scholarships that you may want to look into. This is honestly the highest probability route (though I agree, can be financially risky)

Option 1 (Work for FAANG or Big Banks as a Software Engineer/Strat/Quant.)- This won't really get you there. It's an excellent career path and opens many doors. But, while it's common to go from MBB to Big Tech, it's far less common to go the other way

Option 2 (Stay as a technical consultant, and move to Big 4 or Tier 2 firm in an implementation role) - Can work and is the most likely route for you. It also has the lowest downside risk, as, you just keep doing what you're doing but get paid more/progress in your career. However, what you have to accept is that you would then only come into MBB as a specialist/expert hire. So, you've be hired in BCG Platinion, McKinsey Digital, etc. NOT GENERALIST

Option 3 (Pursue positions as a Tier 2 generalist consultant) - Probably the option with the combination of highest % chance of success and loweest financial risk. As you note, this will be hard. However, a lot of the Tier 2s are strategy comnpanies within tech/IT companies so this could work. Your best bet in this context would be IBM, Accenture, EY, PwC, Drloitte.and KPMG. You basically want to target companies that are big/broad as they have tech, IT, etc. AND strategy consulting.

Book a coaching with Francesco

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Hi there,

Answering your questions:

  1. Yes, your profile will be perceived as technical. But you may still manage to get invitations if your current company has a strong brand and you manage to find a referral. You can find more on referrals here: https://www.preplounge.com/en/consulting-forum/hey-everyonehope-all-is-well-3176
  2. No, they won’t reject you based on your work experience if you get invitations for interviews. They would do this before interviews if they have doubts. However, they will test your motivation for career change and may reject you based on that
  3. If I were you, assuming your brand is strong enough, I would apply now via referrals. If you don’t manage to land an offer, you can then go through the MBA route and have a second chance after it

Please feel free to PM me for more information.

Hope this helps,

Francesco

Hi there,

Answering your questions:

  1. Yes, your profile will be perceived as technical. But you may still manage to get invitations if your current company has a strong brand and you manage to find a referral. You can find more on referrals here: https://www.preplounge.com/en/consulting-forum/hey-everyonehope-all-is-well-3176
  2. No, they won’t reject you based on your work experience if you get invitations for interviews. They would do this before interviews if they have doubts. However, they will test your motivation for career change and may reject you based on that
  3. If I were you, assuming your brand is strong enough, I would apply now via referrals. If you don’t manage to land an offer, you can then go through the MBA route and have a second chance after it

Please feel free to PM me for more information.

Hope this helps,

Francesco

Book a coaching with Henning

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USD 169 / Coaching

As a software engineer without MBA you are of course not in the direct target demography for MBB. However, all of them are open to exotic profiles, so that absolutely leaves a door open. Just make sure to build good business judgement before going into the interviews as that might be an area they emphasize.

Once you got the interview, the only thing that counts is your performance. They won't waste your time and theirs to interview you and then reject you because of a datapoint they already had before.

As a software engineer without MBA you are of course not in the direct target demography for MBB. However, all of them are open to exotic profiles, so that absolutely leaves a door open. Just make sure to build good business judgement before going into the interviews as that might be an area they emphasize.

Once you got the interview, the only thing that counts is your performance. They won't waste your time and theirs to interview you and then reject you because of a datapoint they already had before.

Book a coaching with Robert

96% Recommendation Rate

313 Meetings

3,626 Q&A Upvotes

USD 219 / Coaching

Hi Anonymous,

You are right with your concerns that your profile is not perfectly matching MBB search criteria. So in any case I'd recommend to start networking so that you are essentially bypassing the CV screening stage.

Based on your short summary you are clearly lacking a track record of leadership and other interpersonal skills for a general consulting role. Try to figure out if there is any extra-curricular activity showing those traits, or some specific aspects you can highlight in your past experience.

Hope this helps - if so, please be so kind to give it a thumbs-up with the green upvote button below!

Robert

Hi Anonymous,

You are right with your concerns that your profile is not perfectly matching MBB search criteria. So in any case I'd recommend to start networking so that you are essentially bypassing the CV screening stage.

Based on your short summary you are clearly lacking a track record of leadership and other interpersonal skills for a general consulting role. Try to figure out if there is any extra-curricular activity showing those traits, or some specific aspects you can highlight in your past experience.

Hope this helps - if so, please be so kind to give it a thumbs-up with the green upvote button below!

Robert

Book a coaching with Udayan

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Your work experience is not something to worry about. However a few factors are at play here - the most important being where did you work and what was your role. The more prestigious the combination the higher your chances at both interview and an offer (e.g., Software developer at Google, or at a high growth startup, vs Backend engineer at Wells Fargo bank)

It appears that you are not worried about securing an interview, in which case why not go ahead and try to do that leveraging your current network. MBB will typically not interview you if your profile is not interesting (although they still might do that if the recommendation came from a partner).

Honestly your best bet is what Ian did which was to go do an MBA from a top 10 school and then apply. Yes that is not a guarantee of getting in but your odds are MUCH higher as that is a pipeline for talent they leverage heavily. Also if you go to a top school even if you do not get into MBB you will get some other role that is equally impressive at the end of the program.

All the best,

Udayan

Your work experience is not something to worry about. However a few factors are at play here - the most important being where did you work and what was your role. The more prestigious the combination the higher your chances at both interview and an offer (e.g., Software developer at Google, or at a high growth startup, vs Backend engineer at Wells Fargo bank)

It appears that you are not worried about securing an interview, in which case why not go ahead and try to do that leveraging your current network. MBB will typically not interview you if your profile is not interesting (although they still might do that if the recommendation came from a partner).

Honestly your best bet is what Ian did which was to go do an MBA from a top 10 school and then apply. Yes that is not a guarantee of getting in but your odds are MUCH higher as that is a pipeline for talent they leverage heavily. Also if you go to a top school even if you do not get into MBB you will get some other role that is equally impressive at the end of the program.

All the best,

Udayan

(edited)

Book a coaching with Mehdi

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Hi there,

Just to add to what was already mentioned by other experts, I believe you can have two major options:

  1. Join an MBB in a technical role: nowadays, most management consulting firms have IT & Data Science branches (McKinsey Digital, BCG Platinion, BCG Gamma, etc.) so you can definitely apply to join those firms if you aspire to stay in a technical role. Some of those firms offer comparable career paths of their generalists, so you can get the chance to climb the ladder by having a good mix of technical and business skills.
  2. Join an MBB in a generalist role: going for an MBA is the most straight forward (but the riskiest) path. Getting a referral can also be very helpful here. If you do not want to pass through education to change your career, I believe you should transition by a less technical role in one of the top firms you mentioned. You can definitely joing MBB after 2-3 years in a Project/Product Manager role for instance. So there can be multiple paths to get into an MBB if you are strategic enough in your approach.

I will be happy to discuss these options further if needed.

All the best,

Mehdi

Hi there,

Just to add to what was already mentioned by other experts, I believe you can have two major options:

  1. Join an MBB in a technical role: nowadays, most management consulting firms have IT & Data Science branches (McKinsey Digital, BCG Platinion, BCG Gamma, etc.) so you can definitely apply to join those firms if you aspire to stay in a technical role. Some of those firms offer comparable career paths of their generalists, so you can get the chance to climb the ladder by having a good mix of technical and business skills.
  2. Join an MBB in a generalist role: going for an MBA is the most straight forward (but the riskiest) path. Getting a referral can also be very helpful here. If you do not want to pass through education to change your career, I believe you should transition by a less technical role in one of the top firms you mentioned. You can definitely joing MBB after 2-3 years in a Project/Product Manager role for instance. So there can be multiple paths to get into an MBB if you are strategic enough in your approach.

I will be happy to discuss these options further if needed.

All the best,

Mehdi

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