MBB Summer internship Referrals

BCG McKinsey and Bain Referral
New answer on Jun 24, 2022
8 Answers
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Anonymous A asked on Jun 21, 2022

I was wondering if it was true or not that MBB does not give referrals for a summer internship but only full-time offers? I have networked extensively but have not procured a verbal referral offer and wondering if I should even continue networking at these MBB if a referral is not coming

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Francesco
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Content Creator
replied on Jun 21, 2022
#1 Coach for Sessions (3.900+) | 1.400+ 5-Star Reviews | Proven Success (➡ InterviewOffers.com | Ex BCG | 9Y+ Coaching

Hi there,

Q: I was wondering if it was true or not that MBB does not give referrals for a summer internship but only full-time offers? 

Not true. I personally helped candidates to get referrals for internships (and I got a referral for an internship myself when I applied).

In terms of how to get referrals, this is what I recommend (you have probably covered some steps already).

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To find a referral, you should follow three main steps:

  1. Identify the people that can help you
  2. Write them a customized email
  3. Have a call and indirectly ask for a referral

As general tips:

  • Don’t use LinkedIn for your communication – emails work better. You should target 30% conversion for your messages; if you are not achieving that, there is space for improvement
  • When sending emails, your goal should be to organize a call, not to ask questions – you can then use the call for the questions
  • You need to close the call with an indirect request for a referral – don’t leave that to chances. There are specific ways to phrase it

You should prepare three main things before the call:

  • Your own pitch. 3-4 lines should be enough
  • 3-4 questions on the personal experiences of the person. Avoid to ask questions about the company
  • A closing question for the referral. It should be an indirect request to avoid being too pushy

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You can find more on how to get referrals here:

 How to Get an MBB Referral

If you need more help, I also do a 30min session with scripts to use, access to my network and every other info to land one. Please feel free to PM for more info.

Best,

Francesco

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Kurt
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replied on Jun 21, 2022
Conducted over 100 interviews for grads, interns & experienced hires

There are a few factors at play here to consider:
1) Most firms only offer referral bonus for candidates that would not have otherwise been picked up by the standard campus recruiting process. If you are at a target school and going for an internship then likely there is no referral bonus & hence no financial incentive for staff to refer you.
2) Referrals are usually based on long term relationships where the person knows and can vouch for the quality of your work. Meeting for one coffee etc. does not really give the person enough information about your professional competence 
3) It may not be the case, but the way you worded your question suggests that you are approaching networking from a very transactional point of view. It is absolutely worthwhile networking, but your goal in networking should be to develop long term relationships where you can give at least as much value as you take. It will rarely be successful if you are just looking to gain something for yourself in the short term

Hope this helps.

Kurt

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Ian
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replied on Jun 21, 2022
MBB | 100% personal interview success rate (8/8) and 95% candidate success rate | Personalized interview prep

Hi there,

I agree with Kurt here.

At face value it appears you are networking wrong. Consider hiring a coach to help you adjust your approach (referrals greatly improve your chances of getting an interview, so think about the immense ROI this can produce).

Remember referrals aren't just a system/online portal referral. They're also as simple as the Partner forwarding your resume to HR/The Recruiter, cc'ing you, and telling them to have a look at your profile.

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Florian
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replied on Jun 21, 2022
#1 rated McKinsey Case and PEI Coach | 5 years at McKinsey | Mentorship Approach | 120+ McK offers in 18 months

Hey there,

Definitely not true. You should definitely network and score some referrals!

However, I think summer internship applications are mostly done by now (not sure if you are talking about next summer?)

Cheers,

Florian 

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Ken
Expert
replied on Jun 21, 2022
Ex-McKinsey London final round interviewer

There are informal referrals for summer internships in the sense that if a consultant thinks you have high potential then they will let the recruiting team know.  This is the same way referrals work in the majority of cases where the formal referral process with the referral bonus is used mainly for experienced hires coming from industry (i.e., McKinsey won't give a referral bonus for someone to refer their best friend at HBS, etc.).

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Clara
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replied on Jun 22, 2022
McKinsey | Awarded professor at Master in Management @ IE | MBA at MIT |+180 students coached | Integrated FIT Guide aut

Hello!

 I can tell you by 1st hand experience that it´s not true: people do get referrals for internship. I made several myself in McK. 

Cheers, 

Clara

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Cristian
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replied on Jun 23, 2022
Highest recommendation rate / Top McKinsey coach / 100% success rate at >4 sessions / Honest feedback: no sugar-coating

Hi there, 

It depends on bit on geography / office, but generally referrals work for internships as well, so I would still do it. 

And even if somehow the referrals don't count, then you're still going to learn a lot from connecting with these people. 

Best,
Cristian

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Moritz
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Content Creator
replied on Jun 24, 2022
McKinsey | 100+ coachings & interviews @ McKinsey | ESADE MBA | Top rated for experienced hires & career transitioners

Hi there,

First of all, you can absolutely land a referral for any role - I have experienced this myself for all MBB when I did my MBA. 

That's of course if we consider an internal endorsement note from a firm member (Associate, Manager, Partner, etc.) to HR a referral and don't just focus on the ‘formal’ referral system. However, getting a commitment from someone to endorse your application/provide a referral is something you have to earn and doesn't happen automatically for everyone. 

It's possible you engage those people in the wrong way, which we should get to the bottom of. Coaching can help a great deal here, which I would recommend at this point.

Let me know if you'd like to learn more!

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Francesco gave the best answer

Francesco

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