MBB in Eastern Europe versus Oliver Wyman in Western Europe

BCG MBB McKinsey Oliver Wyman
New answer on Oct 01, 2022
4 Answers
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Anonymous A asked on Sep 08, 2022

Hi guys,

I'm in a huge pickle! I currently have a full-time offer at Oliver Wyman in Western Europe (Think London, Amsterdam, Etc.) and an internship offer at an MBB in Eastern Europe. I was told that the vast majority of people that get into the MBB internship progress to full-time immediately after the 3 months.

Everyone I've spoken to at the MBB company told me that they are the absolute clear choice, regardless of what offer I have from OW, so I am curious, how much better is MBB than OW? How could they possibly know?

Here's what I know:

Location - I lived in both cities and do not have a preference

Salary - MBB is about 50-60% of OW, but monthly savings get closer to even after accounting for expenses in the 2 countries.

Projects - I am looking to learn as much as possible and try out different industries. Both companies have a lot of mobility, but I hear that Oliver Wyman is much more focused in Finance and Retail, areas that I'm not particularly excited by.

Training and human development - The MBB company told me that they invest a lot, but I would imagine so does OW.

Responsibilities - The MBB company stressed that responsibilities there are a lot bigger, since it's a smaller pool of talented people, so they are entrusted with more responsibilities. However, I am not sure how this could be, since projects are regionally staffed, so most often I wouldn't be working in my country.

Risk - Regardless of MBB's promise that they'll work with me to make sure that I turn the internship into full-time, it's still riskier than taking a full-time job directly.

I would like to know:

1) Do these “facts” sound right to you?

2) Is there something I'm missing?

3) Is there a clear winner here?

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Ian
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replied on Sep 09, 2022
MBB | 100% personal interview success rate (8/8) and 95% candidate success rate | Personalized interview prep

Hi there,

Ultimately you can't go wrong - well done!

If it were me, I would take MBB. That said, it does depend on how risk averse you are (there is a non-zero chance you do not get a return offer…it happens).

Good luck with the decision - trust your gut here!

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Sofia
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replied on Sep 08, 2022
McKinsey San Francisco | Harvard graduate | 5+ years of coaching| Free 15 min intro call | Personalized approach

Hello,

I think there are pros and cons to each option. Think about to what extent you are excited about each job (e.g., you say you are not as excited about finance and retail), whether you prefer to live in Western or Eastern Europe, how much the salary differential matters to you, and how comfortable you are with the risk of the internship. So I don't think there is a clear winner.

Personally, I would agree that internships at MBB generally lead to full-time roles (unless something goes very badly wrong - as long as you are professional and do your job, it shouldn't be an issue). I recommend talking to HR at your local office and some people at the firm to confirm that this is their understanding of the situation too.

I think some of the considerations Cristian mentioned about the relative prestige of OW vs MBB are also useful to think about. Ultimately, they are both great firms so there is no wrong choice. The MBB name carries a bit more weight than MBB, and may yield a broader network for exit opportunities, but you will certainly have great opportunities at OW too. 

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Cristian
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replied on Sep 08, 2022
#1 rated and most recommended McKinsey Coach | 97% success rate (tracked) | Honest feedback: no sugar-coating

Hi there, 

You're in a very fortunate position! Good job on getting these offers. 

In short, I would choose MBB, but of course, I am also biased having been in McKinsey myself. At the end of the day, if you want to be in consulting long-term, both are going to give you access to highly international careers working on top projects with some of the biggest clients in the world. I also think that in the analysis you did already you are covering most elements that are worth considering. 

The other element that is crucial and that will follow you for the rest of your life, is the prestige that is associated with each of these firms. MBBs are seen by most clients / consultants / people in general as being the absolute top firms in management consulting, the cream of the crop, and whatever you choose to do after you leave MBB, having been a part of one of these firms is going to be a major advantage (for instance in getting better offers to work in the industry). 

And as a one last point, you really can't go wrong whichever way you go. It's easier to go from MBB to OW, so in case you don't feel comfortable in MBB, you could always move to OW or something equivalent. 

Best,

Cristian

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Pedro
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replied on Oct 01, 2022
Bain | EY-Parthenon | Roland Berger | FIT | Market Sizing | Former Head Recruiter

Your facts are more or less right, but you have to focus on what really matters. Where you want to live, if you did like the people you've met, and the impact on the long run, and the industries you want to focus (if you care about this).

Regarding the long run, MBB is a great advantage to you in terms of brand.

Regarding where you live, it impacts your networking, which then also impacts your career. So having a great network in a place where you don't want to be in the long run isn't really useful.

Hopefully the stars align, but please take into consideration my previous point, as it is quite relevant. I've found it to be more relevant that just the brand itself (versus a not as good but also great brand).

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Ian gave the best answer

Ian

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