Bain & Company | University of Cambridge | CV/Resume writing | 770 GMAT
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Joining date

Someone asked on Sep 05, 2018 - 3 answers

I heard from a couple of folks that MBB usually is willing to give a joining date upto a year out from when the offer is made. Six months is common but the policy is that they can extend upto a year at most. I also hear that they are usually supportive and flexible in deciding on a joining date. Is this right?

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replied on Sep 05, 2018
Bain & Company | University of Cambridge | CV/Resume writing | 770 GMAT

Hi there,

I think this partly depends on if you are applying as a graduate cycle ("milkround") or offcycle/experienced hire.

For Graduate cycle, you are given a number of potential start-dates - ranging from right after you graduate from University to ~1 year after. However, I also know that they can be flexible to accommodate personal circumstances. One of my colleagues deferred his offer for 2.5 years (!) in order to undertake a research masters in China + Internship at Apple. For off-cycle, they usually expect you to start a bit sooner, but would also be reasonably flexible. This is all true for London, but may vary for some other geographies as individual offices can have their own rules.

It is also important to note that while they are flexible in when you can start, there are set start dates where a batch of new consultants start together - this is to enable firm to give training to a group before assigning them a real project. So, for example, one start date might be the 2nd of October - if you want to start later, your next available start date might be e.g. 15th of January.

Hope this helps!

updated his answer on Sep 06, 2018
Experienced strategy consultant, now running own consulting business

Agree with all the previous answers.

Assuming your entering at a relatively junior level, your starting date really doesn't matter that much. You're still at the "worker bee" level, so if you start a month or six months earlier or later really doesn't affect their business. They'll just put another worker bee in the seat they saved for you.

Of course in some regions (like Germany right now), all consultancies are shorthanded and scrambling for hires. So, of course, they will pressure you to start quickly. They may even throw in a signing bonus. But what should the do if you tell them you don't want to start before date X? Not make you an offer? That would be ridiculously stupid because then they won't get you AT ALL instead of a bit later. And they still would have to find someone and until they do, they have a permanent problem, instead of a temporary one.

So take the offer, pick a start date that works for you, sign the contract and then take a loooooong vacation. Your job will still be there when you get back.


Vlad replied on Sep 05, 2018
McKinsey / Accenture / Got all BIG3 offers / More than 300 real MBB cases / Harvard Business School


Several points here:

  • Usually, the joining date is 1-3 months from now
  • However, they can call you in the middle of the week and say that they need you urgently. This happens pretty often
  • You can extend up to 6 months - 1 year if you are still studying (MBA, joint degree, post-internship, etc)


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