Manager to associate

Bain BCG Mck
New answer on May 19, 2020
8 Answers
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Anonymous A asked on May 17, 2020

Hi-

would you leave a manager position (2nd year) at big 4 / ACN for post-MBA associate / consultant role at mck? US based

(edited)

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Vlad
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replied on May 17, 2020
McKinsey / Accenture Alum / Got all BIG3 offers / Harvard Business School

Hi,

Absolutely. I left from Accenture (not a Manager role though). Multiple reasons:

  • The quality of work you are doing at big4 and the level of insights is much lower
  • The career growth at MBB is much faster
  • You can become a Junior Manager just a year after joining and a Manager officially after 2 years
  • Associate salary at MBB is comparable (if not higher) to 2nd-year manager at Big4

To be honest - I don't see any single argument to stay at Big4

Best

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Anonymous replied on May 17, 2020

Hi there,

I had to make a similar decision not too long ago - I understand how tricky the answer is.

What I did is I answered the following questions:

1) For how long do you want to stay in consulting? (if you are planning to stay for another 3+ years, then maybe the change makes sense because by then you could be a PM at McK which could offer you much more attractive exit options than being a PM at Big4)

2) Would it be ok for your to lose the project leadership role? Is it ok for you to "demote" yourself from a manager having full delivery responsibility back to the associate level? (if you can see this transition as an opportunity to fine-tune your toolkit and you can accept not being the captain of the ship for another 2 years, then the change makes sense)

3) Do you still have the energy to go the extra mile to prove yourself and rebuild your office brand in a new environment?

I have friends who made the switch not too long ago and they were both very happy with it - so I decided to do the same. Therefore, it wouldn't hurt if you ask some people from that office to see what they have to say.

I hope that helps.

Best

Khaled

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Clara
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replied on May 18, 2020
McKinsey | Awarded professor at Master in Management @ IE | MBA at MIT |+180 students coached | Integrated FIT Guide aut

Hello!

For sure, 100%. Some toughts:

  1. Scope and job description have nothing to do
  2. Same with the people who surround you and from whom you will learn daily
  3. Carreer wise it´s much better, both if you decide to grow in McK or leave later
  4. You will be soon promoted to JEM, that is indeed team management, as you are doing now. Then, the promo to EM comes shortly after
  5. Powerful network outside the firm, with ex-McKs
  6. Altough maybe pay is lower at the beggining, it will be higher later on

Hope it helps!

Cheers,

Clara

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Anonymous replied on May 18, 2020

Dear A,


It also depends on the financial sector. If you get higher pay at McKinsey in your new position as an Associate, then you previously got as a manager at Big4, then definitely, go for it, because in the long run, I think, you will be on the fast track to manager at McKinsey, and exit options at McKinsey are simply incomparable better to those from Big4. So go for it.

Good luck,

André

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Ian
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updated an answer on May 17, 2020
BCG | 100% personal interview success rate (8/8) and 95% candidate success rate | Personalized interview prep

Hi there,

I could provide a framework/list of pros/cons, but I have one fundamental question for you:

Are you happy/fulfilled in your current role?

^Start here. Figure out why/why not. If not...what will fix it.

(edited)

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Anonymous replied on May 18, 2020

Hello,

It is obviously a personal decision and there is no right answer to this question.

However, I know this situation because I left a Manager position at Capgemini Consulting a few years ago to join the BCG as a Consultant.

The start is a little bit psychologically tough because you are clearly "juniorized" and it is not always pleasant. You must also find your bearings and rebuild your network internally.

However, I absolutely do not regret this choice because working for a firm that has another positioning is very interesting and complements the vision of the consulting job. In addition, with hindsight, I understand why you need to be "downgrade" (e.g. from manager to consultant) when entering an MBB cabinet. It really takes time to adapt even if you are a former consultant. On the other hand, it is still largely offset by a significant salary increase.

Hope it helps.

David

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Anonymous replied on May 17, 2020

I think one of the angles you might think about it is "to go for something great rather than to leave something bad". Another useful angle is to choose what fits your longer-term targets.

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Emily
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replied on May 19, 2020
BCG Project Leader | 3+ years interview experience for BCG SEA recruiting | Kellogg MBA, NTU, Peking University

Hi,

Obviously McK would be better. The short term seemingly "downgrade" would give you a much bigger upside in the longer term that Big 4 cannot provide you. It would be worth it.

Best,

Emily

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Vlad gave the best answer

Vlad

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McKinsey / Accenture Alum / Got all BIG3 offers / Harvard Business School
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