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MBB Associate referral after rejection 9 months ago?

Anonymous A asked on Jul 10, 2019 - 5 answers

I applied to two MBB on-cycle around 9 months ago and received direct rejections.

However, recently I had an informal phone call with an Associate from one of those two firms and he told me to send him my CV (indicating that he is willing to give me a referral). I didn't tell him at all that I have gotten rejected by the firm in that particular country in the past.

Now, I have doubts whether I should send him my CV or not, and probably reach out to people in higher positions (partners etc.). On the one hand, it is rather unrealistic that a partner even agrees to have a phone call with me to talk about the firm (especially if I contact him by email/linkedin), but on the other hand, if a partner refers me, the interview is pretty much a done deal, whereas an Associate's referral will most probably not have a large weight (especially if I'm blacklisted).

So, does it make sense here to send my CV and get a referral from an Associate while blacklisted, or should I rather seek out for partners?

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replied on Jul 10, 2019
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I would forward my CV regardless. You don't need to mention that you got rejected 9 months ago. For instance, I received an interview invite from BCG after being rejected only 8 9 months ago. The office needed new hires, and thus my timing was right.



Francesco replied on Jul 11, 2019
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Hi Anonymous,

I would be clear with the associate and mention you applied before – it would be weird if he finds that out from HR. He could also suggest you what could make sense to do in your particular case – maybe the office is looking for candidates and they are willing to reconsider.

In terms of referrals, unless you directly know a partner, I would suggest to target Manager/ Principal level as they still have relative leverage and higher response rate than partners.

At the link below you can find some tips on referrals:



replied on Jul 10, 2019
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Hi there,

A few thoughts here.

  1. Why not? It does not hurt. Worst case scenario is that HR throws your resume into the trash bin (totally fine), while in the best case scenario, they give your application a second look and decide to give you an interview (very unlikely though, given you were rejected only 9 months ago).
  2. However, if you do decide to pass over your resume. Please make sure that it is NOT the same as 9 months ago.
  3. Let the Associate know and let him/her decide for you.
  4. Yes, getting a referral from a partner will be much more effective. Yes, you should go seek out for partners. But this does not affect whether you should get an Associate referral right? How about getting referrals from both an Associate and a Partner?

Hope this helps. Good luck!

I didn't know that it is possible to get referred by 2 persons at the same time. — Anonymous A on Jul 11, 2019 (edited)

Yep you can certainly do that. — Leif on Jul 11, 2019

replied on Jul 11, 2019
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While there's no harm in sending in your resume, they tend to be quite strict about the 2 year rule so just be realistic in your expectations

Vlad replied on Jul 10, 2019
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Just tell him that you were blacklisted 9 months ago - most probably he will not refer you in that case. Also, I recommend waiting for 3 months before reaching out to partners


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