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Is age an issue to start a career as a consultant?

Anonymous A

What would it be the threshold? Is there any different policy among the firms?

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Vlad replied on 03/05/2018
McKinsey / Accenture / Got all BIG3 offers / More than 300 real MBB cases / Harvard Business School

Hi,

For generalist positions, It's not officially an issue, but you would no join as an analyst role later that probably 30 and as an associate (consultant) later than 35-37. There is a number of reasons for that:

  1. You will like to be led by Managers who are much younger (up to 10 years) than you - communication that is difficult both for you and for him
  2. The older you are - the harder it is to survive long hours. When you are 35 overnights are not as easy as 25. Travel is not easy as well, but even partners have to travel.
  3. The older you are the harder it is to learn and to change your existing knowledge and beliefs

On the other hand, there are lots of experienced people of elder age who are hired as industry experts, implementation coaches, agile coaches, etc. MBB companies are switching to a more specialized model and there will be more and more roles for older experienced people within the company. I recommend monitoring the websites or even proactively reaching HRs for these roles if you have the right competencies.

Best!

Currently non-active expert
Expert
replied on 03/04/2018

Hey anonymous,

there is no threshold at all in any of the MBBs, it’s more a matter of mindset - are you at certain age willing to be leaded by much younger people? And to restart from lower level in terms of profession? If so, there’s no issue with age - know a 35+ years old guy who joined McKinsey as associate

best

Bruno

Andrea
Expert
replied on 03/04/2018
Former BCG decision round interviewer with 300+ real interviews in 8 years

For obvious reasons (discrimination) age is not an issue. However due to lifestyle of job it’s rare to see anyone 40+ joining at a consultant level. You see a lot of people joining at 45+ as partners or experts. In other words if you want to make career progression in consulting, it becomes really hard thing to do if you join after 30ish. If you want to spend your last working years in consulting and join at the top, that’s definitely an option.

hope it helps,

andrea

Amina replied on 03/21/2018

It depends on the company. I have an impression that smaller companies tend to hire older applicants

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