Mckinsey associate post MBA. 4 years mandatory?

and Bain associate BCG MBA McKinsey
New answer on May 26, 2020
9 Answers
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Howard asked on Mar 08, 2020

Hi there. I read on MBB's websites that for an associate(Mck system), MBA/ PhD degrees are preferred coupled with 4 years experience (sometimes 5 years depending on office). Just want to know whether 4/5 years exp is a mandatory with a decent MBA?

Asking as I'm currently in an inhouse consulting team within FS. Lucky enough to get promoted to an equiv. senior associate position but I only have less than 3 years exp. at the moment. I'm considering whether I should take MBA now (by intake I'd still have less than 4 years exp), or should I wait till I have ~5 yrs exp to start MBA?

Of course I'm assuming that I can get a great offer from target schools (INSEAD, Kellogg etc.). My consideration is that if I finish an MBA from one of these schools and the expectation is still to be considered as not experienced enough for an associate role, I better just stay where I am for another year and commence MBA application later.

PS. Location doesn't matter much for me. I don't have visa issue in the US and wouldn't mind working in SG/HK. And I reached out to some current MBBers the common feeling is that it's difficult to break in as a Junior Associate now with my level of experience (content is largely similar though).

Thanks in advance. Any suggestion would be much appreciated.

(edited)

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Emily
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replied on May 06, 2020
BCG Project Leader | 3+ years interview experience for BCG SEA recruiting | Kellogg MBA, NTU, Peking University

Hey,

As long as you get a top MBA, you should just go ahead in my opinion. No need to wait for 1 more year before doing your MBA.

I knew someone with a short working experience but a top MBA, who joined BCG as Senior Associate. Usually after MBA you join as consultant in BCG, but because her prior working experiene is shorter than usual, she starts as Senior Associate (1 year junior than consultant). In this case, instead of spending the 1 year waiting before MBA, she spend the 1 year post MBA in BCG. I'd say this is probably better since she managed to get her foot in earlier.

Best,

Emily

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Anonymous replied on May 26, 2020

Dear Howard,

If I were you, I start considering an MBA program from the top school. And with this you will be able to trump the handicap in working experience which you have.

If you need any help, reach out.
Good luck,
André

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Clara
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replied on Mar 09, 2020
McKinsey | Awarded professor at Master in Management @ IE | MBA at MIT |+180 students coached | Integrated FIT Guide aut

Hello!

Don´t worry about that. Once you have your MBA, particularly from a target school, the previous experience does not matter. I know plenty of examples to show.

MBB also rely on the selection criteria from the MBAs schools, and once you pass that... you are fine.

Hope it helps!

Cheers,

Clara

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Udayan
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replied on Mar 08, 2020
Top rated McKinsey coach with many offers /Ex McKinsey EM in New York /6 years McKinsey recruiting experience/Real cases

Not sure where you read that but that's absolutely not true. Many folks came in as associates in the new york office after an MBA with 2 to 3 years work ex.

Focus on getting into a target school for MBA and you'll be fine. All the best!

Udayan

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Nathaniel
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replied on Mar 08, 2020
McKinsey | BCG | CERN| University of Cambridge

Hi Howards,

Prior experience of 2 years at minimum should suffice to be qualified for MBA, and then post-MBA, you'll automatically be qualified for Associate position in McKinsey, irrespective of your previous experiences.

Hope it helps.

Kind regards,
Nathan

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Luca
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replied on Mar 08, 2020
BCG |NASA |20+ interviews with 100% success rate| 120+ students coached |GMAT expert 780/800 score

Hello Howard,

Don't worry too much about the job description, the years of experience is only a way to give an idea of the level that they expect from new hires. To give you an example, a BCG associate should be something equivalent to 2 years exp. but there are a lot of (smart) fresh graduates.

Of course it depends on the MBA, but if you are in a good school you won't be asked for 4 years of working experience.

Best,
Luca

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Howard on Mar 09, 2020
Thanks Luca this is inspiring:)
Robert
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replied on Mar 08, 2020
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Hi Howard,

Once you have your MBA in your pockets, it will automatically take you to associate level (unless you have big holes to cover in your application, which I don't assume for now).

So you can definitely speed up your career progress and gain 1 year of time when starting your MBA sooner. The +1 year work experience won't make a difference for McK.

Hope that helps - if so, please give it a thumbs-up witht the green upvote button below!

Robert

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Howard on Mar 09, 2020
Thanks Robert! My 'non traditional' consulting experience would potentially be looked unfavorably. But I think you're right one additional year at my current role won't help much anyway. I'm expecting a uphill ahead:)
Giulia
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replied on Mar 08, 2020
McKinsey Business Analyst | 3+ years Experience | MBA at LBS

Hi,

if you have an MBA (even better from a target school), the years of experience don't matter (because the school already screen candidates on that) for the MBB, thus you can get an offer as Associate from them.

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Howard on Mar 08, 2020
Thanks Giulia! Great to hear this:)
Francesco
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replied on Apr 01, 2020
#1 Expert for Coaching Sessions (3.600+) | 1.300+ Reviews with 100% Recommendation Rate | Ex BCG | 8+ Years of Coaching

Hi Howard,

with 3+ years of experience before the MBA you would be fine, I cannot think about issues in joining a top consulting company with such background.

Best,

Francesco

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Emily gave the best answer

Emily

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