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Is working in commercial banking sector a good addition in resume to reapply for a consulting role?

Application Banking entry level
New answer on Feb 29, 2024
6 Answers
Anonymous A asked on Feb 12, 2024


I got rejected in the screening stage by BCG and McKinsey for entry-level roles in Southeast Asia whilst Bain told me to reapply in June 2024. As for the Big 4 and the like, only Deloitte is opening for an entry-level role, from which I haven't heard back. 

So, it became obvious to me that I have to diversify my applications away from consulting. Openings in the commercial banking sector look interesting to me.

However, I am also aware that I have a strong interest in consulting due to finding it enjoyable to crack cases, international exposure, and (strangely enough) the prospects of working long hours. So I am eager to reapply in the future.

Just a glimpse of my background, I graduated with a Masters in Management (not MBA) at Warwick University, UK. I ranked top 10% within the cohort. Had some organisational leadership as well.

Many thanks 


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Best answer
replied on Feb 12, 2024
Ex-McKinsey interviewer & Senior Consultant | Harvard MBA

Hi there,

Sorry you got rejected from MBB - I got rejections in the past as well so I know it can be hard, but kudos for bouncing back quickly and thinking about other potential opportunities.

Yes, banking (incl. retail banking) can be a good option for future consulting roles (most large consultancies have banking practices), with a few caveats:

- It should be a top bank 

- You should be in a position where you develop consulting-related skills (e.g., analytical work, client-facing if possible)

- Consulting remains very selective, even as an experienced hire, so there is no guarantee that even a very strong banking position leads to future interviews (plenty of other exciting opportunities though, such as fintech, etc.), so better to enter banking if you actually enjoy the industry


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Content Creator
replied on Feb 12, 2024
#1 rated MBB & McKinsey Coach

Strange indeed that you find the prospect of working long hours appealing :) Please let me know how it feels after a couple of years of doing it haha. 

Back to your question, yes, commercial banking roles can help amplify your profile. 

But what makes your profile better is not so much whether it's commercial banking, a management role at a gold mine or being part of a VC, but rather the extent to which there is an alignment between the skills and type of work that you do in that role and the work you would be doing at the consulting firm that you're applying to. 

Consulting firms look for evidence in your CV of you having done similar work or having the transferable skills that would enable you to do it. So that's what you should be looking for when applying for non-consulting roles but planning on eventually getting into consulting. 

Sharing with you a guide on how to plan your strategy for consulting applications:


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Content Creator
replied on Feb 12, 2024
Highest-rated McKinsey coach (ratings, offers, sessions) | 500+ offers | Author of The 1% & Consulting Career Secrets

Hi there,

Sorry to hear about the rejections. However, keep in mind, that at the moment rejection rates are higher than before (in this already tough industry).

Your forward-thinking approach toward exploring alternatives is a positive step and I believe you will score an offer at the end given your determination.

Banking can offer valuable experiences relevant to consulting, such as analytical and client-facing skills. However, success in consulting applications depends on how closely your experiences align with the consulting skill set, rather than the industry itself.

Also, creating an attractive profile for a new application depends on what you do and on how well you do it. While the skills play a role it is equally important to demonstrate that you had an impact and took on leadership roles ahead of your peers / more than what is expected of you in this role.

On top of that, you could also engage in extracurricular leadership roles to boost your profile as well as networking to score referrals!

As you consider your next steps, focus on gaining diverse experiences that showcase your analytical abilities, leadership, and client impact. 

All the best,


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Content Creator
replied on Feb 14, 2024
#1 Coach for Sessions (4.000+) | 1.500+ 5-Star Reviews | Proven Success (➡ | Ex BCG | 10Y+ Coaching

Hi there,

Sorry to hear about the rejections. In terms of your question:

Q: Is working in the commercial banking sector a good addition in resume to reapply for a consulting role?

In general, a banking experience with a top brand (eg GS; MS, JPM) will help to strengthen your CV. Experiences which are useful for consulting include:

  • Banking
  • Strategy roles in big brands
  • Strategy roles in growing startups
  • Own entrepreneurial experience
  • PE/VC

or similar roles showing problem solving / strategy skills / work ethic.

How you structure your CV and, if required, the cover letter, are also important. Besides that, a referral is very useful to increase the chances of an invitation.

You can find more on referrals below:

▶ How to Get an MBB Invitation

Good luck!


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Content Creator
replied on Feb 12, 2024
#1 BCG coach | MBB | Tier 2 | Digital, Tech, Platinion | 100% personal success rate (8/8) | 95% candidate success rate

Hi there,

Sorry about the rejection. A few thoughts:

  1. Strange indeed regarding the hours :P
  2. Did you apply to 40+ consultancies? MBB and Big4 aren't the only fish out there…
  3. Yes, banking “works” but, remember, take jobs that you want and open doors up. If you're doing banking just for the sake of MBB, you are setting yourself up to potentially be disappointed
  4. Tech/start-ups are another option
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replied on Feb 29, 2024
Bain | EY-Parthenon | Roland Berger | Market Sizing Expert | 30% discount in Feb & March

Hi there,

I have commercial banking experience (after consulting and… before going back to consulting again). I don't think it is particularly positive to get a role in consulting (unless they financial sector focused). It is also not negative. Basically it is not something that makes you stand apart from the crowd.

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