Lateral move at junior level

A.T. Kearney analyst BCG McKinsey and Bain Junior Consultant London MBB MENA Oliver Wyman & Roland Berger tier 2 UK
New answer on Jun 05, 2020
8 Answers
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Anonymous A asked on Jun 04, 2020

Is it possible to move from MBB/T2 in Asia/MENA to one of the UK offices at a junior level?

Would it be possible to get visa sponsorship or is it only limited to university grads for junior levels?

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Ian
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replied on Jun 04, 2020
BCG | 100% personal interview success rate (8/8) and 95% candidate success rate | Personalized interview prep

Hi,

Short answer: Yes, it's possible.

Longer answer:

It really fundamentally depends on a few things:

1) Your reputation/ranking in your cohort/role - the stronger performer you are, the better your odds.

2) How long you've been at the company - the longer your tenure, the better your odds

3) Who you know - don't forget that networking happens internally as well! The more connections you have in that office and the more "decision-maker" connections you have, the better your odds

4) The situation - unfortunately you can't control this. However, the more roles/opportunities that are physically open, the better your odds.

5) Logistics - The betterability to get a VISA, work through the legals, etc. the better your odds. Alas, you odds here in the current environment aren't great :/

One "Back Pocket" Consideration: Go for a temporary stint such as a rotation program, secondment, ambassador program etc. If you go over on a temporary role, it'll be much easier to more over. Once there, you can develop connections. As your time nears the end, you can ask (insist) that you stay permanently.

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Réka
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updated an answer on Jun 04, 2020
3+ years McKinsey consulting experience|Oxford MBA

Hi A,

Transfers in McK don't happen automatically, you need sponsors who support your transfer in both your home and host offices (especially if we are talking about a competitive office like London). I don't think there are explicit restrictions for transfers based on seniority, but most of my colleagues who transferred were at least Associates, likely because it's rare for a junior to have a very strong support network outside their home office. It might be a bit easier to move if you have a strong personal reason for the transfer (e.g., your partner has moved to the other location).

Once you have the support, I don't think visa is an issue.

Best,

Réka

(edited)

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Anonymous A on Jun 04, 2020

Thank you for your insight Reka. Alternatively, is it possible to shift firms in order to relocate? Eg- OW in Asia to Kearney in UK

Réka on Jun 05, 2020

Sure, that's possible. Although I'd always prioritize transferring within your current company: no need to prep for interviews for another company, you already have an existing network and it's also better from the "employment continuity" perspective.

(edited)

Anonymous replied on Jun 04, 2020

Dear A,

I think, it's pretty difficult to move across the regions. The only two option which I see are:

1. Temporary office transfer program (available in some companies. For this you need to work for the company for at least 2 years)

2. You can get lucky to be staffed in London out of MENA. And if you manage to find a sponsor in this particular office, then you can arrange it.

I did office transfer. But in my case I went from Germany to Dubai.

I would be happy to share my experience on this. Feel free to reach out.

Best,

André

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Emily
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replied on Jun 04, 2020
BCG Project Leader | 3+ years interview experience for BCG SEA recruiting | Kellogg MBA, NTU, Peking University

Hi there

Are you looking for a permanent move or a temporary one?

If you are top performer, you can take advantage of company mobility programs to go UK from Asia/MENA. BCG has ambassador / associate abroad program for junior levels that you can take advantage of to go for 1 year. After which, if you build a good relationship with the team and office there, it is possible to stay on. I guess other firms might have similar programs as well.

Visa sponsorship won't be an issue once the office sees you as a great talent and wants to keep you.

Best,

Emily

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Anonymous replied on Jun 04, 2020

Hi there,

Yes it is possible but you need to have a strong reason to have both offices (sender and recipient) agree

  • Personal reasons (significant other/ family is present in the target city)
  • Professional reasons - you have a specific industry skillset that is needed in the recipient office
  • Opportunistic - you had a project in your current base and a partner from your target office was supporting the project delivery team - you work well with him/her and he sees your capabilities and is willing to sponsor your transfer.

I haven't seen many transfer before they became associate though (2-3 years in the company)

Hope this helps

Khaled

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Clara
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replied on Jun 04, 2020
McKinsey | Awarded professor at Master in Management @ IE | MBA at MIT |+180 students coached | Integrated FIT Guide aut

Hello!

I see two scenarios there:

  1. Moving withing the same company: I would be exhibit A for this, so PM me if you want to discuss it. It´s not easy, you need to work very much on the relationship with the recipient office. However, yes, the VISA sponsoship is included, the more difficult thing is getting the two parts to agree.
  2. Moving companies: For sure, why not? However, here the VISA thing gets more complicated, since you need to find a company who is willing to sponsor them from scratch, without knowing you, and not all do it.

Hope it helps!

Cheers,

Clara

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Vlad
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replied on Jun 05, 2020
McKinsey / Accenture Alum / Got all BIG3 offers / Harvard Business School

Hi,

There are multiple paths:

  • Personal reasons (e.g. partner in the region). You have to be a top performer to increase the approval chances
  • You start working on projects in the region and get local connections. Once you have the support and demonstrate performance - it's relatively easy

Best

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Anonymous replied on Jun 04, 2020

Hi,

Permanent transfer is quite a long process and you'll need reasonable track record in your office in order to find sponsorship and apply for it. In case your application is received, you'll probably have a couple of interviews with the UK team.

You can also investigate temporary transfers (1 or 2 years); process is still a bit long but likely to be simpler and more adapted for a junior consultant.

Best

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Ian gave the best answer

Ian

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