I am applying to an MBB firm. Should I cold-email a partner I barely know to ask for a referral?

MBB
New answer on Jan 12, 2021
7 Answers
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Anonymous A asked on Jan 11, 2021

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Henning
Expert
replied on Jan 11, 2021
Bain | passed >15 MBB interviews as a candidate

No. They have literlally have no incentive to give you that referral if they don't know you. Better reach out to other people in your network (friends of friends, alumns from your school, etc.). No need to only reach out to partners. Better folks around or just above the tenure level for which you're applying.

Don't ask them for a referral, but for help. Help in the preparation of your application, help to understand the ways of working, etc. At the end of a 20min call you can ask what the best path forward for your application will be. If they have a strong impression, they'll get the hint and offer to pass your docs through to the HR team.

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Francesco
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replied on Jan 12, 2021
#1 Coach for Sessions (4.000+) | 1.400+ 5-Star Reviews | Proven Success (➡ InterviewOffers.com) | Ex BCG | 9Y+ Coaching

Hi there,

You should not send an email asking for a referral.

However, you can send an email to a consultant you have some kind of connection with (eg an alumnus) to ask some questions. After you built rapport, you can then ask indirectly for a referral.

You can find more on referrals at the link below:

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

Best,

Francesco

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Antonello
Expert
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replied on Jan 11, 2021
McKinsey | MBA professor for consulting interviews

Hi,

I think you shouldn't.

Why don't you ask him/her for a call? It'll give you the opportunity to demonstrate your interest and experience to him/her and then maybe you'll get referred.

Hope this helps.

Best,

Antonello

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Ian
Expert
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replied on Jan 11, 2021
MBB | 100% personal interview success rate (8/8) and 95% candidate success rate | Personalized interview prep

No. This is honestly ridiculous! I'd even go so far as to say they would flag to HR NOT to bring you in if you ever apply.

Yes, you can cold email a partner to ask for a chat. No, you may not directly ask for a referral (at pretty much any point in time).

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Gaurav
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Jan 11, 2021
Ex-Mckinsey|Certified Career Coach |Placed 500+ candidates at MBB & other consultancies

Hi there,

I think you can try, but only if there is a chance to schedule a call with him instead of asking him for a referral in an email, which is not the most polite way. If you write a nice and honest email in the first place, you might get some help and advice on your application strategy etc.

Hope it was helpful,

Cheers,

GB

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Vlad
Expert
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replied on Jan 11, 2021
McKinsey / Accenture Alum / Got all BIG3 offers / Harvard Business School

Hi,

Nope, why should they do it? Ask for a call, but make sure you have the questions to ask. Ideally, you should be an experienced hire, since for fresh grads the recruitment is highly structured.

Best,

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Clara
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Jan 12, 2021
McKinsey | Awarded professor at Master in Management @ IE | MBA at MIT |+180 students coached | Integrated FIT Guide aut

Hello!

Nope, never ask directly for a referral.

Organize a coffee chat, and it´s ideal of you have some contacts in common.

Hope it helps!

Cheers,

Clara

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Henning gave the best answer

Henning

Bain | passed >15 MBB interviews as a candidate
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