How to select office preferences when applying to MBB

Anonymous A asked on Sep 29, 2016

Sorry, if it is a dumb question. I'm just wondering is there any factors we should consider when opting the office preference in MBBs. Also, do we need to contact the recruiter who works at our preferred office? Is there any distinction between offices regarding the competitiveness. Thanks for your thoughts. I am from a non-target school and exotic to the subject. So would like to have some insights while contacting people.

thanks in advance

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Anonymous B replied on Sep 30, 2016

Looks a bit different in Germany. Here, we have a centralized recruiting and interviews take place either in Munich or Düsseldorf. You choose your preferred office location after your offer.

Guennael replied on Sep 30, 2016
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Generally speaking, some offices are harder to get in than others - London, New York or San Francisco for example. As an applicant from a non-target school however, I think you need to apply where you know people who know you and may support your application. An exception would be if you have a very specific expertise, in which case you should probably apply where that skill would be in highest demand (oil and gas in Houston for example, or Moscow if you are Russian).

Hope this helps,

Guennael -

Ex-BCG Dallas

Anna replied on Oct 06, 2016
Looking for case prep partners in English or Spanish. Currently preparing for my final round of McKinsey and Bain interviews.

Especially for McK, the offices like to see that you have some tie to the place, e.g. you studied in Paris if you are applying for the Paris office. In addition you should be comfortable enough in the language of the office to do the interview.

I have heard from several sources that some offices are a bit harder to get (London and New York mainly). I could imagine that this is mainly due to the increased competition, you have incredibly talented people from all over the world that speak English that want to live in these cities. To some extent it is a trade-off between the city and your chances to get in. I would prioritise getting into MBB, but that is personal!

replied on Oct 04, 2016
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By the way: In Germany it usually is never a problem to switch offices once you're hired (Maybe don't try to switch in the fist 2 weeks ;-) ). I assume this should be similar in the US. Although some nicer destinations (NYC, SF) may be an exception to this rule.

Guennael replied on Oct 01, 2016
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A Ph.D. in Chemistry doesn't qualify as special expertise, sorry - no office will have a special interest in that specific degree. You have displayed fortitude, intellectual qualities and motivation that suggest you may have what it takes to be a consultant, but you won't be a special snowflake, sorry. Next best step is to do some networking and then apply based on where you know people

Anonymous A replied on Sep 30, 2016

Dear Guennael,

Thank you very much for your suggestion which opened a little of my insights. I have a Ph.D. in chemistry and would like to know which office likes my expertise at BCG. I am also trying to find this myself from their websites, but it would be the great help if you could suggest me any office which I should consider based on my expertise. I am in the USA.

appreciate any help

replied on Oct 25, 2016
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Here's how I picked:

1. consulting life is hard -- you are almost never home, so selecting a city to live in is less important than who you know in a city. I picked a place I knew I would find close friends to chill out with on weekends.

2. choosing a partner who leads studies at a particular office you work for is almost as important as choosing a firm (often more). Research them -- each partner has a pro/con.

3. lastly, select for the type of work you'll excel most in. If it's finance, do not pick SF. If it's tech, do not miami.