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Is there an upper age limit for experienced hires at MBB?

hiring MBB
New answer on Mar 31, 2024
11 Answers
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David asked on Jan 27, 2024

I'm in my late 30s and thinking of applying to MBB with a background in finance and tech companies. Is it too late to get into MBB?

Thanks!

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Brad
Expert
replied on Jan 27, 2024
Expert coach | Head of recruiting for Bain | 8+ years interviewing | Free intro call

Not at all! I was in my mid-30s when I joined.

 

Though the process will be the same as MBAs, you’ll need to be a bit more thoughtful about how your approach this. I think the follow are worth considering:

  • Narrative – The firms will be wondering why you would be giving up a successful career in tech and finance, and why you’ll success at the career change. You need to draw a straight line between your past experiences and your future ambitions.
  • Networking – Once you’re clear on your narrative, you’ll want to create some promoters for you in your target office. Your profile will be a bit off the beaten path, so you’ll want people to vouch for you to ensure that when you send your application package it will get bumped to the top of the pile.
  • Cover Letter and CV – Similar to your narrative, the way you construct your CV and CL will be important, particularly since you’ve got much more experience and you have this in built paradox of having a successful career that you’re prepared to transition out of.

I’ve worked a lot with a-typical candidate so let me know if I can help shape your application approach and/or prep you for case studies.

 

Cheers,

B.

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Dennis
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Jan 29, 2024
Ex-Roland Berger|Project Manager and Recruiter|7+ years of consulting experience in USA and Europe

Hi David,

it is not too late. 

You need to have a credible reason as to why you want to join them at this stage. You also need to highlight your domain expertise that you bring to the table that the consulting firm might find very valuable. It is unlikely that consulting firms would hire a mere generalist at that age - you need to be able to hit the ground running in some form or fashion. Try networking with partners at MBB who are active in Financial Services, for example, to gauge their interest. You might even get a referral if they think you could be a good addition to their teams.

Additionally, in terms of expectation setting for your potential role in consulting: 
While you might hold a somewhat senior role in your current company, you might not automatically get the equivalent seniority at a consulting firm, especially if you don't have any prior consulting experience. It is safe to assume that you will be expected to develop own content and conduct own analyses in your day-to-day work. And you might end up reporting to someone younger than you. Such aspects should not be issues for you if you are planning to join a consulting firm.

Best of luck

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Yuval
Expert
updated an answer on Jan 27, 2024
free 30 min consultation call | 1st try offer from BCG and McK | BCG Associate | 100+ hours of coaching sessions

Hey!

I think it’s great you’re considering moving into consulting, it’s a really interesting career, especially for topic experts like yourself.

I don’t think there’s an age limit for expert hires, I know people who joined BCG in their 40’s and 50’s, if their career experience justified it. 

I would take into account the opportunity available in any firm based on where you are in your career. It’s hard to say without having more information, but you might not have enough experience to get an interesting enough opportunity in consulting that would make sense to your current career stage, salary and title wise.

My best advice would be to reach out to people in specific firms and locations that interest you and start researching relevant opportunities for you. 

Feel free to reach out if you any more questions about consulting. 

 

Best of luck,

Yuval

(edited)

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Cristian
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Jan 29, 2024
#1 rated MBB & McKinsey Coach

David, 

I've coached late 40-year-olds to transition into consulting. 

You're still young, no worries. And since you have prior experience, you can leverage that so you don't start from the bottom. 

Look into expert or specialist roles within firms where you can use the knowledge you already have. 

Sharing with you a guide on what are the basics that you need to put an application together:


Best,
Cristian

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Benjamin
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Jan 27, 2024
Ex-BCG Principal | 8+ years consulting experience in SEA | BCG top interviewer & top performer

Hi David,

Typically MBB does not really care about age, and I personally know people in SEA who have joined MBB in their late 30s and are still doing well. 

If you can prove to them that you have what it takes, no reason why they won't hire you. 

All the best!

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Alberto
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Jan 31, 2024
Ex-McKinsey Associate Partner | +15 years in consulting | +200 McKinsey 1st & 2nd round interviews

Hi there,

No. I have seen several partners joining McKinsey at their late 40's.

Best,

Alberto

Check out my latest case based on a real MBB interview: Sierra Springs

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Francesco
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Jan 29, 2024
#1 Coach for Sessions (4.500+) | 1.500+ 5-Star Reviews | Proven Success (➡ interviewoffers.com) | Ex BCG | 10Y+ Coaching

Hi David,

Q: I'm in my late 30s and thinking of applying to MBB with a background in finance and tech companies. Is it too late to get into MBB?

You can still get into MBB in your late 30s, I personally helped candidates in that age range to land into MBB. However, you might want to target an expert role if applicable as it might be easier to land a position compared to a generalist role.

Good luck!

Francesco

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Udayan
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Jan 28, 2024
Top rated Case & PEI coach/Multiple real offers/McKinsey EM in New York /12 years recruiting experience

No upper age limit - Brad has a great answer here and touched on all the relevant points.

One thing to notice is that you will be competing with people in their 20s and they have more energy, less responsibilities and can spend more time playing the rat race. Of course you may also be able to do that - but you will be better off focusing on winning by bringing your extensive knowledge to the table. This usually means consulting in a field you already know a lot about so you can leverage that to get ahead.

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Ian
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Jan 28, 2024
#1 BCG coach | MBB | Tier 2 | Digital, Tech, Platinion | 100% personal success rate (8/8) | 95% candidate success rate

Hey David,

Technically, no. MBB will still hire you in your late 30s.

That said, I find people in their mid/late 30s do tend to struggle more when joining. Basically, the brain is less of a sponge and therefore it's harder (read: harder, not impossible) to learn the fundamentally new approach/way of doing things/working.

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Nikita
Expert
replied on Jan 31, 2024
MBB & Tier2 preparation | 85+ offers | 7 years coaching | 2000+ sessions | PDF reviews attached

Hey David,

Late 30s should be fine. The oldest student I coached who joined MBB was 41 at that time.

Good luck!
Nick

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Pedro
Expert
replied on Mar 31, 2024
Bain | Roland Berger | EY-Parthenon | Mentoring Approach | 30% off first 10 sessions in May| Market Sizing | DARDEN MBA

No not really. But of course, the older you are the more difficult it becomes. But joining in your late thirties is not unheard of (but not very common).

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Brad gave the best answer

Brad

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