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Is it a good idea to move to consulting from Tech?

career Digital MBB mbb exit change
New answer on Mar 21, 2024
7 Answers
225 Views
Anonymous A asked on Mar 20, 2024

Hello 👋

I'm a manager of managers in a tech position with 10 years of experience. TC is good. I'm interested in trying management consulting (MBB) for the following reasons,

  • Understand business management (may be switch to business position) and explore more opportunities.
  • Get a high-profile job in the middle-east. From What I've seen is jobs at director level and above are not advertised. I believe this will be my way to get into the market there, by building a good network.

However, I'm not sure about my hypothesis. Also is it good idea to move from Head of /EM position to associate consultant - Digital position? it feels like a demotion. Will I be able to exit MBB to high position in Tech or other industry after this switch?

I would really benefit from your insights. My experience is mostly product & tech. The whole consulting thing is black-box for me.

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Francesco
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Mar 21, 2024
#1 Coach for Sessions (4.500+) | 1.500+ 5-Star Reviews | Proven Success (➡ interviewoffers.com) | Ex BCG | 10Y+ Coaching

Hi there,

1) Is it good idea to move from Head of /EM position to associate consultant - Digital position?

In most cases, if you come from the industry (sometimes also from other consulting firms)  you will join at a lower level. Given the fast progression in consulting, this is usually not a big factor IF the switch makes sense in terms of your final goals. You also need to be fine with having a boss who could be much younger than you (for some people that’s an issue).

In terms of whether it makes sense overall, it really depends on whether the MBB position could allow you to reach options currently not available.

2) Will I be able to exit MBB to high position in Tech or other industry after this switch?

You can check it as follows:

  1. Look for alumni of MBB on LinkedIn in your target region
  2. Check how many moved to your preferred exits in your target region
  3. Repeat the process for your current employer
  4. Adjust for the size of the MBB/current employer to be able to compare
  5. Check which option provides the highest likelihood of reaching your goal

Good luck!

Francesco

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Anonymous A on Mar 21, 2024

Thanks for reply, I hear this a lot 'MBB has a fast promotion track' but not sure how fast? If I join as an experienced consultant from the bottom of the ladder. Do I follow the same route, every 2 years?

Francesco on Mar 21, 2024

Hi, that depends on your performance and the career progression of the particular firm that you will join. In general, if you perform well you could have a promotion every 2-3 years until you reach the Principal level. Hope this helps

Udayan
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Mar 20, 2024
Top rated Case & PEI coach/Multiple real offers/McKinsey EM in New York /12 years recruiting experience

Hi,

Answers to your questions below

1. Understanding business management - MBB firms help solve complex business problems faced by large corporations, governments, and non-profits worldwide. So yes, working in such an environment can provide you with a broader understanding of business management across different industries. It's also great for exploring diverse opportunities, given the variety of projects you would work on. 

2.Middle East - MBB firms have a strong presence in the Middle East, and consulting roles there often come with opportunities to work on significant projects with high visibility. The network you build at MBB, combined with the brand on your resume is highly likely to open doors to high-profile jobs that are typically filled through networks rather than advertised publicly. That being said, to do this you may have to move to MBB in the middle east first before you are able to fully take advantage of these opportunities

3 Position change - Moving to an Associate Consultant, is a  demotion in terms of title direct leadership responsibilities. However, the nature of consulting work, is such that the impact, learning, and networking opportunities can outweigh the apparent step back in title.

What you will need to spend time thinking about in particular are the long-term benefits and the potential career acceleration post-consulting. Will the benefits be applicable to you and is it sufficient for you to consider the move? The best way to do this is to talk to others who have followed a similar path.

 

Best,

Udayan

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Hagen
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Content Creator
replied on Mar 21, 2024
#1 Bain coach | >95% success rate | interviewer for 8+ years | mentor and coach for 7+ years

Hi there,

First of all, congratulations on the impressive career trajectory thus far!

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

I would highly advise you to opt for the option (here: staying with your current employer and transitioning into consulting) that best aligns with your professional (and maybe even personal) mid- to long-term goals. In order to make an informed decision, I would advise you to do the following:

  • Weigh the different criteria that are meaningful to you independently of the current options (e.g., building business acumen, location, leadership experience). After that, score the two options based on your criteria and their weighting, resulting in two scores. This way, you have covered the left-brain perspective.
  • Critically assess your initial reaction to the outcome of the scores. For instance, if you feel the urge to tweak the numbers, this is a solid indicator that you do not want this decision to become reality. This way, you have covered the right-brain perspective.
  • By doing so, you will be able to integrate both parts of the brain into the decision-making, guaranteeing a higher chance that you will still be happy with it years later.

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

Best,

Hagen

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Ian
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Content Creator
replied on Mar 21, 2024
#1 BCG coach | MBB | Tier 2 | Digital, Tech, Platinion | 100% personal success rate (8/8) | 95% candidate success rate

Hi there,

Yup, it's a good idea.

It's also a bad idea.

It depends.

1) From where to where? (Firm)

2) From what role to what role?

3) From what compensation to what compensation?

4) From what value basis (your values and priorities and likes and dislikes).

Please hire a career coach to understand if this move is right for you….and, more importantly, understand all of your options and create a holistic plan

With that good TC you can afford to get tailored expert advice that fundamentally affects the rest of your life instead of going off of a quick Q&A that will never have the depth required for such a big decision :)

Personally, I could get you Project Lead/Principal/Director at a Tech consultancy.

======================YOUR QUESTIONS=============

Also is it good idea to move from Head of /EM position to associate consultant - Digital position? 

I personally, in your shoes, would not.

it feels like a demotion. 

Of course it is!

Will I be able to exit MBB to high position in Tech or other industry after this switch?

So you want to leave a high position in Tech, to go to a low position at MBB, to then ultimately come back to a high position in Tech?

Interesting…

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Cristian
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Content Creator
replied on Mar 21, 2024
#1 rated MBB & McKinsey Coach

Hi there

You have a cool profile. At the same time, it sounds like you're at the start of the thinking process on whether this makes sense to you or not. 

Honestly, if I were you, I'd try to have a dozen or so chats with consultants at the level and in the area that you're targeting. 

Get a sense of what they're doing and how satisfied they are with it. Then reflect on whether it would make sense for you. 

Some of the things that you might be considering now might make less sense once you talk with them.

Sharing a guide on how to identify these people on linkedin and get in touch with them:

Best,
Cristian

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Dennis
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Content Creator
updated an answer on Mar 21, 2024
Ex-Roland Berger|Project Manager and Recruiter|7+ years of consulting experience in USA and Europe

Hi there,

it sounds like your objectives to enter consulting is to learn about business management and to position yourself for an exit opportunity. You also state that you don't really know what consulting entails as this is a “black box”.

Based on that, it seems to me that you are not really interested in consulting per se but more in what options you might have after consulting. This can be a slippery slope as a consulting job will be very demanding and likely vastly different from what you have been doing so far. So you should definitely check other pathways for you to take if your ultimate goal is a “high position” in Tech when you are currently in Tech already.

Experienced hires without consulting background are usually hired by consulting firms for their domain expertise in specific industry or functional areas. While they may not bring the consulting skill set right away, they can help consulting firms gain credibility with clients and support project teams with subject matter expertise. So the question for you would be as to where you see your expertise and to which practice(s) within consulting firms this might best apply. 

Entering at a lower level would be natural because you will have to learn the ways of working as a consultant. Starting out at a manager level from a black box perspective is a recipe for disaster. You will not have a good time and your chances of success will be heavily impaired because the expectations of you would be too high too soon. However, consulting companies are known to have fast career progression tracks if you perform well.

So in a nutshell, I would recommend for you to get a better understanding of the consulting profession (and the associated lifestyle) and then decide whether that is something you could envision for yourself and whether that is the best route if you want to stay in Tech longterm.

Best of luck

(edited)

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Pedro
Expert
replied on Mar 20, 2024
Bain | Roland Berger | EY-Parthenon | Mentoring Approach | 30% off first 10 sessions in May| Market Sizing | DARDEN MBA

To exit in a high position depends on your performance… this is the risk you have to evaluate. Please do a bit more research and reading… you need much more information that can be conveyed in a single answer here.

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Francesco gave the best answer

Francesco

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