Is experience abroad a must have to get into MBB?

experience abroad International MBB selection criteria selection process
Recent activity on Mar 03, 2017
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Anonymous A asked on Mar 02, 2017

Does anyone know if you need to have experience abroad to get invited to MBB interviews and how does it differ for the top consultancies?

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Srihari
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updated an answer on Mar 02, 2017
Former BCG consultant and teacher/adult trainer with experience in US, India, and Middle East

Generally agree with the prior response - can give you bit more color on the US scenario.

For post-undergraduates I can't imagine that it matters. Given that this will be your first full-time job anyway, and post-undergraduates are generally not sent abroad very early in their consulting careers, it doesn't matter at all.

For post-MBA or other adv degrees - This criteria isn't specifically looked for, but it's more a by-product of where top consultancies recruit from. If you are a Harvard MBA, it's most likely you've done something abroad. Having reviewed resumes and been part of recruiting at BCG, however, I know that international experience isn't a specific dimension that's looked at. As you would expect it's mostly about the quality of your past experiences and accomplishments (wherever they may be) and the quality of our interactions with you at recruiting events.

One situation where this DOES matter in case you are implying this-- you do want to have some tie to or experience in the region you will be working in. So related to what Andreas said, if you want to work in Europe, it's better to have experience there - same thing with any other region. You absolutely will not get an interview if you randomly apply to a place without any experience or convincing reason to be there (for example, a spouse being located there is typically a good enough reason - thinking it's an interesting place/has interesting sectors with no experience there isn't too convincing)

(edited)

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Andreas
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replied on Mar 02, 2017
Roland Berger Consultant I Tailored Training for your Success!

Hi there,

it really depends on where you're applying. In the US, it is more common to get invited even without international experience. If you're applying in Europe though, it should be very tough to land an interview, not to mention a job without it. The large consultancies mostly work with international clients and as a consultant, you will most likely work abroad or with international partners as well - hence, some experience is needed indeed.

Hope I could help and best wishes,

Andreas

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Anonymous B replied on Mar 03, 2017

I know many people who got invited to MBB interviews who didnt do a semester or internship abroad, also in Europe. I would say tho that to join MBB consultancies you definitely need some kind of international experience. It doesnt necessarily mean a semester abroad or something like that, but somehow experience in an international environment. For example maybe you helped international students at your university, you lived together with international people, did 2 weeks student exchange...think about when in your life you had international contacts and that should help you.

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Srihari

Former BCG consultant and teacher/adult trainer with experience in US, India, and Middle East
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