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Is it possible to switch from Big 4 consulting to MBB?

Anonymous A asked on Jun 09, 2018

Hi PrepLounge community!

Actually I have three sequential questions:

  1. Do you think it is easier to get in Big 4 companies as an entry level consultant (than in MBB)?
  2. Which Big 4 is the best for strategy consulting?
  3. Is it possible to switch from Big4 to MBB?
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Andrea
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replied on Jun 09, 2018
Former BCG decision round interviewer with 300+ real interviews in 8 years
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1. At an individual level, yes, it is easier to enter in Big 4 than MBB. At an aggregate level there was an article about “Deloitte being harder to get into than Harvard”, but I would say that nowadays most job positions are flooded with applications (because, contrary to school ones, they are free) so I don’t believe that statistic is relevant

2. Deloitte is the one with the most developed strategic consulting arm, however EY and others all bought boutique strategic firms in past few years so they are present in the space (Parthenon, Monitor, Booz/Strategy&)

3. Possibile and more and more common. However, interestingly, in my personal experience the transition happens more from the transaction advisory services side or the accounting side of those firms rather than the consulting side.

hope this helps,

andrea

I think Andrea has it exactly right. I'll also point out that Deloitte is the only consulting/advisory/accounting company I have never heard any one criticizing: current & former employees, rejects, competitors, school career employees... everyone I have ever talked to about Deloitte only had good things to say about it. In contrast, I have had at least one person criticize every single other company I can think of. Put it another way: if I hadn't gotten into BCG/MBB, Deloitte is the firm I would have wanted to work for. — Guennael on Jun 09, 2018

Thank you, Andrea. This has been really insightful. Just curious- why do you think MBB prefers Big 4 transaction advisory/accounting candidates to Big 4 consulting ones? — Anonymous on Jun 13, 2018

Vlad replied on Jun 09, 2018
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Hi,

  1. Yes, it is, since they hire more people, the process is less structured and the criteria are less demanding
  2. If you want to work for MBB later I do not recommend thinking about strategy consulting or ops consulting separately. At MBB companies you are doing all types of projects. In Big4 it is a bit more specialized, however, the strength of the team really depends on the particular country and the partners of the particular team. (e.g. E&Y metals & mining team may be the best ops team in a particular country because of the strong partners and will be completely underdeveloped in another)
  3. It is quite common, and now it is happening both on the early levels and senior levels. So answering your question - this experience is very relevant
Anonymous B replied on Jun 09, 2018

Hi,

  1. Yes definitely
  2. I can talk about what I know, in Belgium, Deloitte without hesitations.
  3. Really common in Belgium. Know lots of people started at Deloitte/EY and joined McK a couple of years later. However it's not systematically people who came from consulting department within Big4. I imagine that they can share their expertise in one field like audit, accouting, etc.
Andrea
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replied on Jun 17, 2018
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This to answer the question in the "comments" section on what I think drives to have more transitions to MBB from TAS vs. other practices of Big 4.

In my opinion is all about the knowledge of PL and BS, the understanding of value implications of cash and non-cash changes and the practical approach in understanding what things need to get done to close a transaction.

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