MBB application success chance without MBA

BIG3 MBA
New answer on Jun 06, 2021
7 Answers
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Anonymous A asked on Jun 02, 2021

Dear Colleagues,

I’d like to ask for advice regarding the possibility to switch to MBB. I’ve been living and working in CIS, now I’m considering opportunities to change jobs and move to Europe.

Short background:

Education: Bachelor’s degree in Economics with honors from #1 University in Russia (high quality education, strong emphasis on quants)

Work experience:

9+ yrs working experience – in audit function, 3 yrs in Big4, remaining - in internal audit in financial sector (local holding, #1 on the local market).​

Holder of professional certifications: ACCA, CIA – fully complete, membership obtained + in progress: FRM

Why I want to shift to MBB:

I’ve always been interested in consulting mainly due to diversity of clients and projects (during my time in Big4 I audited clients in oil&gas, transportation, construction, etc + now added financial sector). At this moment my job seems to have ran out of challenging projects, so I want to try something new.

Fast paced environment where I can constantly learn and interact with a lot of people suits me perfectly.

My current company is a long-term client of Big3 with a wide range of projects (strategy, risks, hr, etc) and I participated in communication with consultants, review of the presentations, etc ​ from the client side. So, I have a feeling of how it works.

Challenges:

I don’t have an MBA, and just by looking at company names, my CV does not seem “catchy”.

I can obtain an MBA if necessary – the program is not difficult for me considering strong Bachelor’s degree+professional certifications+work experience, however full-time MBA will leave me without a job for 1-2 yrs, and an executive MBA is too costly.

Considering all of the above, kindly ask you to advise me on my chances to be recruited without an MBA (might get an executive MBA later in case I get accepted to consulting firm). I’m not a fresh graduate and very time conscious now, so the perspective of becoming a consultant at 35 (in case with obtaining MBA prior to applying to MBB) is not an option for me:)

(edited)

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Best answer
Francesco
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Jun 03, 2021
#1 Coach for Sessions (4.000+) | 1.500+ 5-Star Reviews | Proven Success (➡ InterviewOffers.com) | Ex BCG | 9Y+ Coaching

Hi there,

You can definitely apply without an MBA – there are zero downsides compared to not applying at all. Worst case, you may opt for an MBA if you get rejected.

Given you lack strong brand names in the CV, I believe a referral would be very important. You can find more on referrals at the link below:

https://www.preplounge.com/en/consulting-forum/hey-everyonehope-all-is-well-317

I helped several people to land MBB offers in Russia и чуть-чуть говорю по-русски, if you need help please drop me a message.

Best,

Francesco

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Torrey
Expert
replied on Jun 03, 2021
EX-BAIN INTERVIEWER WITH 250H+ OF PRIVATE COACHING EXPERIENCE

Totally agree with other folks here. MBA is definitely not a pre-requisit for joining MBB, while it does provide you with an extra application window.

MBB normally has 2 large recruiting window, 1 for graduate (joining as associate) and 1 for MBA (join as consultant). If you are one of these W cohorts then you benefit from their formal recruitment window and normally more open headcounts.

However with your experience you can always apply as an experienced hire. To increase your chance you might need to re-think about the level (e.g. normally 9 years of experience means case lead/manager, but given you are not from consulting, joining as a consultant or even a senior associate might be more likely) and lower your expectation.

You should start with re-working your cv, as I often see this to be a main weak point when it comes to experienced applicants.

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Ian
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replied on Jun 02, 2021
MBB | 100% personal interview success rate (8/8) and 95% candidate success rate | Personalized interview prep

Hi there,

I agree with the other answers - you can absolutely switch to MBB without an MBA.

Moreover, why not try first, and if you fail, THEN do an MBA? You may as well take a shot now before you spend 2 years and a few hundred k!

In terms of optimizing your odds, you should do the following:

1) Network extensively

2) Get your resume/CV into the best shape possible

3) Get started casing now so that you can take a slow-and-steady approach and be ready to ace the interview when it does come.

Best of luck!

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Adi
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Content Creator
replied on Jun 02, 2021
Accenture, Deloitte | Precision Case Prep | Experienced Interviewer & Career Coach | 15 years professional experience

Its totally doable without MBA for someone like you with plenty of work experience in the bag. Dont think about doing an MBA just "to get into MBB". You must have a strong desire & good reason to learn, fill skills gap and steer your career through the MBA.

I think you need to get your CV reviewed, network with people in your target company & assess where you stand. Have a clear story- what are your functional skills and which industry you are exprienced in?! How will you build on these and be a successful consultant?

While MBB is great, dont ignore the likes of BIG4, Accenture.

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Antonello
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Jun 03, 2021
McKinsey | MBA professor for consulting interviews

Hi, if your first goal is strategy consulting I recommend applying directly to tier1&2. If things go wrong I would then look for a good MBA

Best,
Antonello

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Gaurav
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Jun 06, 2021
Ex-Mckinsey|Certified Career Coach |Placed 500+ candidates at MBB & other consultancies

Hi! Having an MBA is not a crucial point if you are planning to apply to MBB. There are a lot of coaches and candidates who got offers without having MBA. Though it is widely assumed that candidates with MBA are more preferable by the companies, I would say that other things play much more role: your professional skills, networking strategy e.t.c

I'm an ex-McKinsey myself, so if you have further questions, feel free to PM me.

Best,

Gaurav

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Anonymous B replied on Jun 02, 2021

You definitely don't need an MBA to join MBB (I don't have one, and I will be joining one of the MBB's soon). If you already interact with consultants from MBB as a client, you can develop these relationships further so you can request a referral when you feel ready to interview. If they like you and your work, they might be happy to help. You only need one referral/firm. I suggest preparing for cases and fit while you network.

This is for NAMR, rules and etiquette may be different for your location and your company so please be aware that my advice may not apply directly.

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Francesco gave the best answer

Francesco

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