It seems I have done everything as wrong as it could possibly be in terms of approaching MBBs so far.
When I was a student some 10 or 11 years ago I have won the nationwide student competition organized by McKinsey in Central Eastern Europe coming at the 1st place over more than a few hundred students selected by McKinsey. I was a rising star for them at that time and was invited to join multiple events, e.g. fancy evenings in the top restaurants or meetings with partners in McKinsey office. Then there was a McKinsey Keep In Touch program that I have participated in for a few years. Unfortunately, the time has passed and I no longer have any contacts with current McKinsey employees (those I got in touch have already left McKinsey years ago). In the end, I never used that opportunity to apply for an internship or a full-time position with McKinsey as I felt I was not ready yet...
... so instead of MBB I started a career in one of leading corporates (5 years) and then switched to one of the large global consulting firms (not a strategy) and spent there the next 5 years doing mainly implementation/ operations/ project management/ change management/ digital transformation type of work. So 10 years have passed and... I started researching for opportunities with MBBs again as I have never come to terms with the idea that I have not tried my best to get a job at MBBs*
* Meanwhile 4 years ago I was invited to join BCG by a headhunter and failed the final interview with Partners but was told to re-apply in 2 years or so (I did not do it though).
My current observations are as follows:
1. MBBs have changed a lot as they no longer focus primarily on strategy, but do a full spectrum of consulting services they have not done 10 years ago, so seems they really started competing with Big4, Accenture, etc.
2. MBBs usually search for entry-level positions (up to 3 years of experience) for their traditional strategy consulting practice, so it seems impossible to get direct entry at EM/ Manager level
3. MBBs usually search for experienced hires to join outside of their traditional strategy consulting practice, e.g. implementation, operations, digital, technology, analytics, etc., where they are looking for some deep technical or niche skills that are currently in demand
Given the above and having the primarily non-strategy consulting experience myself, is there any good approach I could still try to land a reasonable offer in MBB? It seems that I am "too experienced" even in terms of my tenure and age to be a consultant, yet I realize that Managers/ EMs are almost solely promoted internally at MBBs.
On the other hand, I do not have any deep tech expertise, e.g data science or software engineering that MBBs are looking for employing experienced hires (and I am not even interested to join any of their non-core "support" teams).
Given the above does it still make any sense to look for opportunities with MBB now? Or is too late in this life already and I should stick with my current career (all in all quite successful)?
I am ready to invest some time and money but only if it really makes sense.