MBB Referrals: I have two of them for same firm. Who should I choose?

Referral
New answer on Mar 10, 2021
6 Answers
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Anonymous A asked on Mar 09, 2021

I have two referrals available but to the same firm:

EM/PL/M -- US

He's an alumni of my MBA, so he's never seen me in action, but I'm assuming his title carries some weight.

Associate/Consultant -- Dubai

This person has been at the firm for lets say ~1.5 years post-MBA. We knew each other in class, and he has good opinion of me.

My concern is getting my foot in the door and less so other factors. Frankly, I'm single and can move anywhere. Both offices will offer work in my preferred sectors.

They've both agreed to refer. Which of the two should I choose?

My assumptions are I can't have two referrals at the same time, and that cross-office referrals are weaker.

Help??

(edited)

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Francesco
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replied on Mar 09, 2021
#1 Expert for Coaching Sessions (3.600+) | 1.300+ Reviews with 100% Recommendation Rate | Ex BCG | 8+ Years of Coaching

Hi there,

I would choose based on the office location you prefer. A manager referral is stronger, but given the Associate/Consultant is in Dubai, that should balance things if you apply there.

Unless the US city is New York or San Francisco, I am not sure Dubai is going to be less competitive. I coach a lot of people who target specifically Dubai given the fact they welcome international candidates and have zero taxes. Plus Dubai is not hiring much now for some companies and thus directing people towards Riyad and Doha.

In case you need additional help, please feel free to PM me.

Best,

Francesco

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Anonymous A on Mar 09, 2021
Thanks Francesco. The difficulty is that I truly don't have a preference between the two offices. And sorry I didn't mean to disparage the quality of the Dubai office. What I should've said is my chance of getting to interview rounds with Dubai would likely be higher, as I think having a Dubai referral really helps when so many "random" applicants apply with no connection to Dubai. Or at least that's my assumption.

(edited)

Florian
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replied on Mar 09, 2021
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Hey there,

I would go with the office you are willing to apply to.

While official channels work, never underestimate the power of inofficial recommendations. As a second consideration, I would go with the referral of the person who is actively working at the firm still, even though they might have a shorter tenure.

Lastly, two recommendations could work. Maybe not via the official channels but an email to HR from one of the two can help too. In general, I always argue that people need qualified leads paired with observation points. The more often your name is mentioned to HR, from different people, the more senior, etc., the better for your application.

Fingers crossed!

Cheers,

Florian

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Anonymous on Mar 09, 2021
Thanks Florian. They're actually still both with the firm. I meant alumni as in alumni of my MBA, I'll correct that. But great to know that I can get one official referral and one "unofficial" one!

(edited)

Anonymous B replied on Mar 09, 2021

"Beggars can't be choosers"... there's no need to over engineer this where I would just go with both!

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Anonymous A on Mar 09, 2021
Actually quite the opposite. I have the luxury of choice, but I can only choose one afaik.
Ian
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replied on Mar 09, 2021
BCG | 100% personal interview success rate (8/8) and 95% candidate success rate | Personalized interview prep

Hi there,

If you don't have a preference, I strongly think you should go with the Partner.

Apply to that city, with the Partner's referral. This will carry the most weight by far.

Secondly, let's say this doesn't lead to an interview. You'll still have another shot 1 year from now with your buddy (he isn't going anywhere)...but, if you went the other way the PArtner would lose touch/interest.

This maximizes your current odds AND let's you have 2 shots :)

Good luck!

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Anonymous on Mar 10, 2021
Thanks, yeah, I'm truly indifferent between the cities. Unfortunately, not a partner, but rather an EM/PL so probably not as much weight to their referral, but I agree with your logic. Thanks!

(edited)

Clara
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replied on Mar 10, 2021
McKinsey | Awarded professor at Master in Management @ IE | MBA at MIT |+180 students coached | Integrated FIT Guide aut

Hello!

As you say it´s a good problem, since honestly, it does not matter. On paper, anyone can refer.

This said, I would go with the person that sits in the office you are targetting.

Hope it helps!

Cheers,

Clara

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Gaurav
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replied on Mar 09, 2021
Ex-Mckinsey|Certified Career Coach |Placed 500+ candidates at MBB & other consultancies

Hi there,

I would choose based on office you’re willing to work. Go with which you prefer more personally.

Cheers,
GB

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Francesco gave the best answer

Francesco

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