Get Active in Our Amazing Community of Over 457,000 Peers!

Schedule mock interviews on the Meeting Board, join the latest community discussions in our Consulting Q&A and find like-minded Case Partners to connect and practice with!

MBB Middle East Referral - how important is the level?

Application MBB Middle East Referral Referral program at MBB
New answer on Jan 18, 2023
7 Answers
745 Views
Anonymous A asked on Jan 17, 2023

Hello,


I am a MSc graduate with 1.5yrs full-time work experience, and I am considering a consulting career in the Middle East. 

More specifically, I am planning on applying to MBB and Tier 2 entry-level positions (Associate/Business Analyst depending on the firm).

As I speak to different people working in the offices I am interested in , I would like to better understand how important is it who is referring me for the position.

I understand that the higher the level the better, but is a referral from 1 or 2 levels above my target position (Consultant/Senior Consultant) considered “enough”?
Or is it strongly recommended to secure one from a more senior person (Engagement Manager, Partner etc)? 

Thank you!

(edited)

Overview of answers

Upvotes
  • Upvotes
  • Date ascending
  • Date descending
Best answer
Hagen
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Jan 18, 2023
#1 Bain coach | >95% success rate | interviewer for 8+ years | mentor and coach for 7+ years

Hi there,

I think this is an interesting question that may be relevant for many people. I would be happy to share my thoughts on it:

  • The level of the person referring you is important, as referrals from more senior people may carry more weight. However, it's worth noting that a referral from someone one or two levels above your target position can still be valuable.
  • It's also worth noting that the quality of the referral is more important than the level of the person referring you. A referral from someone who can speak to your skills, experience, and fit for the role can be more beneficial than a referral from a more senior person who may have only a superficial knowledge of you.

If you would like a more detailed discussion on how to address your specific situation, please don't hesitate to contact me directly.

Best,

Hagen

Was this answer helpful?
Cristian
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Jan 17, 2023
#1 rated MBB & McKinsey Coach

Hi there, 

Ideally you'd be going for someone who is at least at the same seniority level as the position you're applying for. 

I wrote an article on PrepLounge regarding how you can connect better with consultants in order to get such referrals. You can check it out HERE.

Best,

Cristian

Was this answer helpful?
Florian
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Jan 17, 2023
1300 5-star reviews across platforms | 500+ offers | Highest-rated case book on Amazon | Uni lecturer in US, Asia, EU

Hi there,

Love Pedro's answer!

Your focus should be getting ONE referral - this is what makes the difference. 

From my personal, purely observational data set, it makes little difference if the referral comes from BA up to EM level. APs/Junior Partner/ Principal referrals and higher do weigh more. 

If you score a Senior Partner referral, I would say that its almost guaranteed that you will be interviewed; then again, I have never seen a Sr. Partner give a referral or know someone who has received one…

Cheers,

Florian

Was this answer helpful?
Moritz
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Jan 17, 2023
ex-McKinsey EM & Interviewer | 7/8 offer rate for 4+ sessions | 90min sessions with FREE exercises & videos

Hi there,

In my experience, it doesn't make much of a difference whether you're being referred by an Associate or an Associate Partner if you applied for a BA position, for example. Hence, if you have a referral lined up already and are generally ready to apply, go for it!

The only good reason to wait, in my estimation. would be a legitimate shot at getting a Partner referral. However, if you haven't been networking with this goal in mind, this might take some time, which you may or may not have.

Hope this helps. Best of luck!

Moritz

Was this answer helpful?
Udayan
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Jan 17, 2023
Top rated Case & PEI coach/Multiple real offers/McKinsey EM in New York /12 years recruiting experience

I have a slightly different take. While a referral is always better than no referral, it makes a significant difference if it is from a partner vs an EM. A partner referral to HR (especially with a personalized note) has a very high chance of leading to an interview invite.

 

Was this answer helpful?
Pedro
Expert
replied on Jan 17, 2023
Bain | Roland Berger | EY-Parthenon | Mentoring Approach | 30% off first 10 sessions in May| Market Sizing | DARDEN MBA

0,9 * “Having a referral” + 0,1 * “Rank of the referee”

What really makes the difference is having a referral.

Was this answer helpful?
Ian
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Jan 18, 2023
#1 BCG coach | MBB | Tier 2 | Digital, Tech, Platinion | 100% personal success rate (8/8) | 95% candidate success rate

HI there,

I have to disagree with most here (and agree with Udayan).

A Partner/Principal referral is much more imppactful to an analyst referral. 

That said, you should be very happy to get any referral period.

Aim to get a higher one, but be glad you have the one you have (if you can't get higher, don't kill yourself trying to do so)

Was this answer helpful?
Hagen gave the best answer

Hagen

CoachingPlus Expert
Premium + Coaching Expert
Content Creator
#1 Bain coach | >95% success rate | interviewer for 8+ years | mentor and coach for 7+ years
530
Meetings
18,037
Q&A Upvotes
98
Awards
5.0
452 Reviews
How likely are you to recommend us to a friend or fellow student?
0 = Not likely
10 = Very likely
You are a true consultant! Thank you for consulting us on how to make PrepLounge even better!
^