Is it possible to move from big 4 into management consulting ?

age limit Big 4
New answer on Feb 21, 2021
11 Answers
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Anonymous A asked on Jan 26, 2021

Hi all,

I am currently a Manager in a Big 4 , advisory department in financial risk , and would like to go into strategic consulting in Europe.

Am I too old to apply being > 30 y.o. ? Does it change in terms of interviews the process?

Thanks a lot in advance for any hints.

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Florian
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replied on Jan 26, 2021
#1 rated McKinsey Coach | Top MBB Coach | 5 years @ McKinsey | Author of the 1% | 120+ McK offers in 18 months

Hey there,

It is definitely possible. I have seen it several times at McKinsey.

There are two things to consider:

1. Your assessment will be similar (cases, PEI), yet a bit more strenuous. The risks are higher for the firm to hire you, hence, more effort will be put into your evaluation

2. You will most likely move down a spot in the hierarchy. Usually, managers/ project leaders/ etc. in the previous firm will start as Senior Associates with the Firm. Another example: Junior Partners in the previous firm will start as Engagement Managers and so on and so forth. However, if you prove yourself, you will have a quicker promotion window.

Best of luck!

Cheers,

Florian

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Ken
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replied on Jan 26, 2021
Ex-McKinsey final round interviewer | Executive Coach

At McKinsey, I saw many people join as a consultant (i.e., Associate) in their late 30's and so it's definitely not too late. The interview process is exactly the same but with experienced hires, you will likely be asked more about your past experience and motivation to join.

It's worth noting that many management consultancies such as MBB have a risk practice/team who would also be excited about your profile. In such case, you maybe able to make a more lateral move and the interviews will be much more technical.

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Raj
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replied on Feb 21, 2021
Strategy&| ex-interviewer | 170+ coached over career |95% success @ MBB, S&, RB, LEK, OW, Big4 [SUCCESS STORIES BELOW]

It is possible. The easiest path would be moving into the Strategy team within the Big 4 you are at first, and then making a lateral move to a dedicated strategy house after that. Bear in mind you will sacrifice your title to make this move, although will probably get a bump in your comp

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Denis
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replied on Jan 27, 2021
Ex-Bain 5 yrs | Goldman Sachs Investment Banker NYC | MBA Chicago Booth | Passed > 13 MBB > 20 IB interviews

Hi,

absolutely possible and encouraged! A few of my best fellow Bainies and friends came from Big4 into Bain (or other MBB) and they rocked! Prep is all - make sure to leverage your unique perspectives as a Big 4 consultant!

Best,
Denis

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Gaurav
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updated an answer on Jan 27, 2021
Ex-Mckinsey|Certified Career Coach |Placed 500+ candidates at MBB & other consultancies

Hi there,

it is possible - I've seen it myself as a part of McKinsey recruitment team and after in my career as coach.

As to the age, It is possible that at first your younger colleagues will have a higher level, but as an experienced hire you'll be able to get promoted faster.

Good luck!

Cheers,

GB

(edited)

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Ian
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replied on Jan 26, 2021
MBB | 100% personal interview success rate (8/8) and 95% candidate success rate | Personalized interview prep

Hi there,

100% possible! In fact, I've just coached 2 candidates from big 4 into MBB! Interestingly enough, I mostly see moves from Deloitte specifically.

These moves also tend to happen at the manager level (rarely below).

When this does happen, remember that you're being hired for your expertise/specialization. So, make sure to apply as a specialist (i.e. specific industry/function). For reference, my 2 most recent candidates were being hired in the Energy practice and the Digital/IT practice, respectively.

The interview process is absolutely different. You may get cases, and, if you do, they will be specific to your industry/function. If you do not get cases, you will have a number of "brainstorming" questions and unstructured cases...they're testing not only your critical thinking and communication abilities but also your industry/function know-how.

Feel free to reach out for any additional clarity/questions!

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Clara
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replied on Jan 26, 2021
McKinsey | Awarded professor at Master in Management @ IE | MBA at MIT |+180 students coached | Integrated FIT Guide aut

Hello!

Not at all!

Actually, for many experienced hires, changes come precisely at a later stage, hence with 30 you are not too late.

Hope it helps!

Cheers,

Clara

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Antonello
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Jan 26, 2021
McKinsey | MBA professor for consulting interviews

Hi,

Of course, definitely possible!

I recommend you to talk to professionals who have done this move from Big 4 to MBB. I'm sure they'll help you move forward with your career shift.

Hope this helps.

Best,

Antonello

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Vlad
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Content Creator
replied on Jan 26, 2021
McKinsey / Accenture Alum / Got all BIG3 offers / Harvard Business School

Hi,

That's a very common transition, so why not? I don't see any single obstacle.

The age is not a problem. Most likely you'll interview for a post MBA role (Associate at McK, Consultant at Bain, BCG)

Best

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Adi
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replied on Jan 26, 2021
Accenture, Deloitte | Precision Case Prep | Experienced Interviewer & Career Coach | 15 years professional experience

Yes absolutely! If you genuinly want to make the change then age is no problem. Such moves are not uncommon but does require holistic prep- CV, cover letter, referrals and interview performance.

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Henning
Expert
replied on Jan 26, 2021
Bain | passed >15 MBB interviews as a candidate

Yes, it's possible. Especially if you can highlight overlaps in the skillset you developed with the skillset required for consulting firms.

And your age is not an issue. I was 34 when I joined Bain. The process for your application is much more driven by the tenure you're applying to than by your age.

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Florian gave the best answer

Florian

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