Get Active in Our Amazing Community of Over 451,000 Peers!

Schedule mock interviews on the Meeting Board, join the latest community discussions in our Consulting Q&A and find like-minded Case Partners to connect and practice with!

Joining date

Bain BCG McKinsey
New answer on Sep 20, 2020
4 Answers
4.1 k Views
Anonymous A asked on Sep 05, 2018

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?

Overview of answers

  • Upvotes
  • Date ascending
  • Date descending
Best answer
Anonymous replied on Sep 05, 2018

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!

Was this answer helpful?
Anonymous updated the answer on Sep 06, 2018

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.


Was this answer helpful?
Anonymous on Sep 10, 2018

Hi Elias, thanks for this comment it was very informative. I'm a grad student in Germany right now, and I will finish my MA at the end of November. I'm originally from the US but planning on staying in Germany/eventually getting residency, etc. Anyway, as I'm in my MA I've of course got a LOT of prep work to do for my interviews/case studies/etc. as I have no business background and German is my third language. Right now I'm very busy with my Masters/part-time job, however I know many German firms are now looking for new hires. Ideally I would like to go ahead and start applying while they are eager to find new employees, however my concern would be not being prepared for the interviews properly. My other option is to wait until November to apply once I'm done with my MA work, and then interview in December/January after I've had a few weeks to solely focus on interview prep, but that is then awkward timing for interviewing, what with it being around the holidays, is it not? Any advice would be very helpful! Thanks in advance!


Anonymous on Sep 16, 2018

Hi, sorry for not replying sooner. November is already around the corner, at least if we're talking 2018. So no biggie, firms will still be looking in November, December and January. So don't rush it, take your time to nail your MA and then apply and prepare with focus. No need to rush things

Anonymous on Sep 16, 2018

Thanks so much for your reply! That's very good to hear--my biggest concern would be getting asked for an interview and not being fully prepared. I appreciate it!

replied on Sep 05, 2018
McKinsey / Accenture Alum / Got all BIG3 offers / 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)


Was this answer helpful?
Anonymous replied on Sep 20, 2020

Hi B,

Yes, that's true. This practice is often for junior hires.

So, if they do give you freedom in picking a starting date on your own I would strongly recommend taking good rest before you join the MBB life. Because when you do there will be no much time for a vacation like you have now.

Best, André

Was this answer helpful?