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Let referral expire or possibly perform worse?

BCG McKinsey and Bain casing summer internship McKinsey Referral referrals
New answer on Feb 28, 2024
6 Answers
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Anonymous A asked on Feb 23, 2024

Hey! I have received a referral and subsequently received an ‘Invitation to apply - Fellow Intern’. (I am still in my undergrad). 

However, as I am just starting to practice cases, etc., I feel like going through the application process might result in me being rejected now and receiving a ban. 

In any case, as I have two years of my undergrad left, it would be better to pursue the internship next year. If I do not apply now however, my referral will expire and I might not get to the CV screening via the normal route next year. 

 

What is better: let the referral expire and apply again next year or apply this year with the chance of performing poorly? 

Could the person in theory refer me again next year, or do I also receive a ban when I let the referral expire? 

 

Thank you for your help and insights. 

Overview of answers

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Ian
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Content Creator
replied on Feb 24, 2024
#1 BCG coach | MBB | Tier 2 | Digital, Tech, Platinion | 100% personal success rate (8/8) | 95% candidate success rate

Hi there,

It sounds like you'd like to not apply now, so as to apply next year? (Not later this year as in a few weeks/months later).

Remember that you can re-apply each year (i.e. for next year's internships).

Absolutely apply this year to at least see - in the worst case it's phenomenal practice. The person could indeed refer you next year.

Of course, make sure to do your best this year - accelerate your case prep and really hit the pedal to the metal!

The Most Common Pitfalls in Case Interview Preparation
 

Dos and Don'ts in a Case Interview
 

How to Shift Your Mindset to Ace the Case
 

Candidate-Led Cases: What to Expect With Example Cases

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Pedro
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replied on Feb 28, 2024
30% off in April 2024 | Bain | EY-Parthenon | Roland Berger | Market Sizing | DARDEN MBA

I am glad you asked this question because you are about to do a mistake.

You can apply this year and again next year without any downside.

You can use this referral this year, and ask again for it next year (but to be honest, if you don't use it this year, you are less likely to get it next year). To be honest, I can't precise whether the referral from last year can be reused, but I am sure it is registered in the system, i.e., good chance it will be factored in again next year. But you need to use it this year for it to be in the system.

Finally, going through the interview process, even if you are not 100% ready, gives you invaluable experiece. You get to know a real consultant, get a real case, get asked real fit questions, and see how you perform under that pressure. YOU LEARN A LOT. If you fail, you will have the opportunity to reflect on what went wrong and how to improve. 

You don't get 20% of this with peer practice (you may get it with a good coach, which you have to pay, but will still lack the experience of feeling the pressure of being in a real interview. And getting used to that pressure is important)
 

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Francesco
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replied on Feb 24, 2024
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Hi there,

1) What is better: let the referral expire and apply again next year or apply this year with the chance of performing poorly? 

If you have a referral, and you are fine with having an internship this year, I would recommend applying this year for the following reasons:

  1. With enough practice, you should be able to get to the level needed for an offer
  2. If you understand you really don’t have enough time and they refuse to postpone the interview, you could ask to put off the invitation until next year
  3. If you are rejected this year, you should be able to apply again next year anyway, so there is not really a downside (you can check the exact length of the ban with the person referring you)

2) Could the person in theory refer me again next year, or do I also receive a ban when I let the referral expire? 

Most likely they could theoretically refer you again, but if you are rejected I would rather look for a new referral. I don’t think you are going to have any ban if you withdraw from the process before a formal rejection.

Good luck!

Francesco

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Cristian
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replied on Feb 26, 2024
#1 rated MBB & McKinsey Coach

The re-application ban extends for one year. 

So that means you can try this year, and if it doesn't work out, you can apply again in one year (hopefully with more prep). 

Check also whether you can delay your application this year so you can get more preparation done in the meantime. 

And yes, you can also ask somebody to refer you next year again. 

The reality is that it's always best to give it a shot because you then learn a lot more from the experience of interviewing than from not doing it at all. 

Good luck and do reach out if other questions pop up in the meantime!
Cristian

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Benjamin
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replied on Feb 24, 2024
Ex-BCG Principal | 8+ years consulting experience in SEA | BCG top interviewer & top performer

Hi,

The person who referred you could refer you again next year, definitely in terms of passing your CV to HR. Whether or not said person gets a referral bonus (normally for full time roles) would depend on the firm.

I would say there is little risk of going through with the process now given you still have 2 years of undergrad left. 

The cycles open again for you in your penultimate year, so why not? You get to “jump into the deep end”, and gain experience on what is expected in the interview :)

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Nikita
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replied on Feb 28, 2024
MBB & Tier2 preparation | 85+ offers | 7 years coaching | 2000+ sessions | PDF reviews attached

Hey,

Even if you apply now you have some leeway in terms of scheduling your interview dates. I'd still go through with the application this time and see how it goes. If it doesn't work out this year, you can try again next year.

Good luck!
Nick

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Ian gave the best answer

Ian

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