How to switch from a boutique consulting firm working with major clients to one of the bigger consulting firms?

Bain BCG BCG McKinsey and Bain boutique firms consultant
New answer on Apr 30, 2020
7 Answers
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Anonymous A asked on Feb 28, 2020

Hi there,


I've been working for a boutique consulting firm in New York City for a couple of months now. While our company size is small (less than 50 people) our clients tend to be Fortune 100 companies. So far, the experience has been great and I'm learning a lot. In the next one to two years, I would like to switch to one of the bigger consulting firms and have a couple of questions:


1. Will I need to complete an MBA to be able to switch/ successfully apply to one of the bigger firms?
2. What can I do to increase my chances?


Thank you!

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Anonymous replied on Apr 30, 2020

Hi A,

MBA will help you a lot as well as fast track career/quick promotions and other achievement.

Try to approach the firms thorugh referrals and headhunters.

Good luck,

André

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Nathaniel
Expert
replied on Mar 01, 2020
McKinsey | BCG | CERN| University of Cambridge

Hello there,

Typically, an MBA is a sure-fire door opener to get your foot at least on getting the interview stage, even for many people who doesn't exactly fits the standard profile searched by the firms.

However, given your strong trajectory and exposure, if you can approach consultants on your target firms and ask them to refer you, then the effect would be the same as getting an MBA, an interview opportunity.

What matters next is to actually ace the interview.

Hope it helps.

Kind regards,
Nathan

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Clara
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Feb 29, 2020
McKinsey | Awarded professor at Master in Management @ IE | MBA at MIT |+180 students coached | Integrated FIT Guide aut

Hello!

It is for sure not necessary, since you need to take into consideration all the cost it has -opportunity cost, tuition, time invested, etc.-. However, for sure a good MBA is one of the classical doors to MBB.

Good luck!

Cheers,

Clara

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Luca
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Feb 29, 2020
BCG |NASA | SDA Bocconi & Cattolica partner | GMAT expert 780/800 score | 200+ students coached

Hello,

An MBA is not required, even if it could increase significantly your chances to get the offer.
Have you had the possibility, in the past, to interact with other consulting teams working for the same client? A good strategy is to develop and leverage a network of people working in your target company that could make a referral for you.

Best,
Luca

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Antonello
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Feb 29, 2020
McKinsey | NASA | top 10 FT MBA professor for consulting interviews | 6+ years of coaching

Hi,
an MBA will boost your chances, but before looking for it, I recommend to text every ex alumni of your University/company now in MBB to ask for a referral.

Best,
Antonello

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Francesco
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replied on Feb 29, 2020
#1 Coach for Sessions (4.500+) | 1.500+ 5-Star Reviews | Proven Success (➡ interviewoffers.com) | Ex BCG | 10Y+ Coaching

Hi Anonymous,

I replied to your questions below:

1) Will I need to complete an MBA to be able to switch/ successfully apply to one of the bigger firms?

Not necessarily, you can apply for an analyst position first and if that doesn’t work, then target an MBA and apply for a post-MBA one. The main advantage is that you may get sponsored for an MBA in this way.

2) What can I do to increase my chances?

As mentioned by Udayan, networking is the best thing to receive a referral. You can find more on networking here:

https://www.preplounge.com/en/consulting-forum/hey-everyonehope-all-is-well-3176

Best,

Francesco

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Udayan
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Feb 29, 2020
Top rated Case & PEI coach/Multiple real offers/McKinsey EM in New York /12 years recruiting experience

I think if you read answers to similar questions posted on here the following advice is what you will hear consistently

1. Networking is the best way to switch. Assuming you did work that was relevant and impactful, with the right networking you should be able to land an interview. There are many ways to go about this, happy to guide you on what approach would suit you best.

2. An MBA from a top 10 or 15 program will definitely give you a huge leg up. MBB recruit heavily from top B schools in the US and you will very likely get calls for all 3 interviews

3. Non MBA degrees I would not recommend as they typically don't work as well for MBB

All the best,

Udayan

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