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Is doing a master in Marketing bad for MBBs/consulting in general?

Advice Advisory career consulting MBBS
New answer on May 07, 2024
9 Answers
216 Views
Anonymous A asked on May 05, 2024

Hi there,

I am about to graduate from a taget university with a master in Marketing of one year (HEC Paris) and I have a bachelor in management at Bocconi Univeristy. However, I have been rejected from all my consulting application this year… do you think that the fact that I have done marketing instead of a master in management might be the reason? or is it simply the job market that is very bad at the moment?

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Yousef
Expert
replied on May 05, 2024
I make it easy for you to master case interviews! (ex-McKinsey |Stanford University | Imperial College London | ex-P&G)

Hi there--I hope you are doing well!

First of all, I am really sorry to hear that you have been rejected from your consulting applications. I know how difficult and distressing it feels to face this under any circumstance. So I totally understand where your question is coming from. 

It is highly unlikely that a recruiter would simply disregard an application with a masters degree simply because it is marketing or a “non management” major from a target school. From my experience at McKinsey, I have seen students from target schools join the firm from a wide variety of backgrounds including history, law, and architecture. In other words, you can still make it into MBB with a masters in marketing. 😊

However, the industry remains as competitive as ever even as consulting firms slow down on recruiting. So if consulting remains your north star career at the moment, you have to double down on networking and making your CV stand out between now and the next application cycle by taking on roles/ initiatives that would likely impress recruiters next cycle e.g., brand management in luxury fashion or FMCG. 

Happy to support you thinking through your next career steps and be best prepared to case when you hopefully receive your consulting interviews soon! 🙏

Yousef

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Francesco
Expert
Content Creator
replied on May 06, 2024
#1 Coach for Sessions (4.500+) | 1.500+ 5-Star Reviews | Proven Success (➡ interviewoffers.com) | Ex BCG | 10Y+ Coaching

Hi there,

Sorry to hear about the rejections. In terms of your question:

Q: Do you think that the fact that I have done marketing instead of a master in management might be the reason?

I would not expect this to be the main reason, but you can double-check it by looking at the track record of your master on LinkedIn as follows:

  1. Go to LinkedIn
  2. Add HEC as "School" and, if possible, target the Master only via keyword in the search bar
  3. Filter by each target company as “Current company” for your target geography
  4. Check how many school alumni who did your master joined your target firms versus the master in management
  5. Normalize the results for the size of the Master intake

If you find a similar percentage of alumni from both masters, your master should not be the reason for the rejection.

If you don’t find the same percentage, it doesn’t necessarily mean your master is the reason (it could be that the alumni of your master target other companies), but you cannot exclude it had an impact. 

Even if your master has a lower success rate in terms of placement, you can still improve your chances for the next application cycle. I would recommend the following for that:

How to Get a Consulting Interview Invitation

Best,

Francesco

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Hagen
Expert
Content Creator
replied on May 06, 2024
#1 Bain coach | >95% success rate | interviewer for 8+ years | mentor and coach for 7+ years

Hi there,

First of all, I am sorry to hear about the rejections!

I would be happy to share my thoughts on your situation:

  • First of all, please keep in mind that the consulting job market is both highly competitive and cyclical. Economic downturns such as we are currently experiencing can have a significant impact on recruiting rates.
  • Moreover, I would highly advise you to broaden your application scope, depending on how broad it already is, so that you might still get a consulting offer.

You can find more on this topic here: How to deal with a rejection from a consulting company.

If you would like a more detailed discussion on your specific situation, please don't hesitate to contact me directly.

Best,

Hagen

 

You can find the consulting salaries report 2024 here!

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Cristian
Expert
Content Creator
replied on May 06, 2024
#1 rated MBB & McKinsey Coach

Absolutely not. 

Your Master in Marketing is one of the least likely things to have affected the outcome of your applications. 

Yes, the market is bad. 

Yes, the majority of candidates underestimate how a great CV and CL should look like. 

Yes, the majority of candidates don't get referrals. 

Yes, the majority of candidates don't clarify upfront with the recruiter whether they are actively recruiting for the position they are applying to in that specific office. 

And so on. 

There can be many reasons. 

I'm sorry to hear it didn't work out in this cycle. 

Sharing with you a material that will walk you through how to apply for consulting in an economic downturn: 

And do reach out if you need extra help in making it happen on the next go.

Best,
Cristian

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Dennis
Expert
Content Creator
replied on May 07, 2024
Ex-Roland Berger|Project Manager and Recruiter|7+ years of consulting experience in USA and Europe

Hi there,

I'm sorry to hear about the rejections. This is a very frustrating experience. The underlying market environment drives up the competition for the limited open positions even more. That will certainly have played a role.

But it is impossible to narrow it down to one aspect like the choice of your masters degree without having seen all of your application documents. And even then it might be just a factor of stiff competition. In general though, people with majors in history, sociology, psychology or journalism have made it into consulting. So marketing is not really an outlier here, especially since you already have another degree in management.

Have you applied to any of the companies with a referral? That would be a way to increase your chances to at least make it to the first interview round if you can secure a referral. 

Best

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Udayan
Expert
Content Creator
replied on May 05, 2024
Top rated Case & PEI coach/Multiple real offers/McKinsey EM in New York /12 years recruiting experience

Hi,

 

Sorry to hear about your experience. It is a difficult year to recruit given the market conditions and when that happens a few things change. Most importantly, competition goes up much higher and as a result consulting firms get more restrictive in their outreach. It is likely that in a different year your major would not have mattered but in 2024 it could play a role. The best way to know is to reach out to a recruiter or an alum that is currently in consulting and ask for honest feedback.

 

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Agrim
Expert
Content Creator
replied on May 06, 2024
BCG Dubai Project Leader | Learn to think like a Consultant | Free personalised prep plan | 6+ years in Consulting

The limited information you have provided about your profile has no components that could be super-responsible for any rejection.

Other possible reasons for rejection could be:

  • Poor application (CV, letter, etc.)
  • Direct application (v/s referral)
  • No openings in your target offices/firms

Happy to take a look at your application content and provide a better perspective. Feel free to share additional details over message.

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Florian
Expert
Content Creator
replied on May 06, 2024
1300 5-star reviews across platforms | 500+ offers | Highest-rated case book on Amazon | Uni lecturer in US, Asia, EU

Hi there,

The degree itself is not that important (50% of MBB consultants don't even have a business degree), yet the prestige of your university is.

Having said that, HEC would usually be enough in that regard.

However, there are other things as well:

  • GPA and other achievements
  • Work experience
  • Time spent abroad
  • Extracurriculars

The market this year is extremely competitive and it could be a combination of the factors above. 

All the best,

Florian

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Pedro
Expert
replied on May 06, 2024
Bain | Roland Berger | EY-Parthenon | Mentoring Approach | 30% off first 10 sessions in May| Market Sizing | DARDEN MBA

I don't think it is a major reason. Sure, maybe it decreases your chances, but I doubt they cross your application just because of that.

It's probably a mix of multiple things, with the job market situation ranking higher at this moment.

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Yousef gave the best answer

Yousef

I make it easy for you to master case interviews! (ex-McKinsey |Stanford University | Imperial College London | ex-P&G)
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