Meeting with Country Managing Partner

Referral
New answer on Jan 22, 2021
5 Answers
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Anonymous A asked on Jan 20, 2021

Hello,

After months I finally managed to get a meeting with an MBB Managing Partner for an entire country. Given his position, what are things I should or shouldn't say to secure a referral?

Thanks!

(edited)

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Allen
Expert
replied on Jan 20, 2021
Ex-McK Experienced Hire and EM - I show you how to perform at your best

Interesting question!

Firstly, just a minor point. Please don't spend 2 whole minutes describing how busy you know he must be and therefore how deeply appreciative you are of his time. A simple, sincere "Thank you for taking time for me. I appreciate it." is enough, followed by some discussion that demonstrates your appreciation. Sorry, rant over!

I believe that a country managing partner sets the direction for the client service and the success of all the offices in that country. So, I would discuss factors that influence his strategy for both of those. Examples:

  1. The dynamics of the pandemic in that country, how are they impacting his clients and client service. (better, worse, different, no difference). What positive impacts has the pandemic had on his client service? What lessons has he learned? How has it impacted the the employees?
  2. Social issues in that country: what does he think about the office taking a stand on BLM and how does he make those decisions? How does the office promote women's successes?

Whatever, you choose to discuss, you should be able to demonstrate why these topics are important to you so that you are demonstrating your ability to determine whether the company is a good fit.

Your ability to have relevant, interesting, and purposeful conversation with a senior leader will go a long way to securing the referral you are after!

Hope this helps,

Allen

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Denis
Expert
replied on Jan 20, 2021
Ex-Bain 5 yrs | Goldman Sachs Investment Banker NYC | MBA Chicago Booth | Passed > 13 MBB > 20 IB interviews

Hi,

it is all about to connect with him on as many levels as possible. Generally, try to connect things either to the progress in the career or the clients.

Talk about:

  • Obviously COVID (low hanging fruit), its impact in his business, his clients, ways of how under his leadership the firm reacted etc.
  • Talk about how the im​portance of certain industries for his firm has changed - i.e. HC, FS, CR etc 10 or 5 yrs ago, vs. what those practices will develop in the next 5 yrs. What client group (e.g. Financial Services practice) does he want to focus on?
  • Talk about his views on Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and to what extent his clients could benefit from this
  • Talk about the current frequently mentioned trends (AI, digitization, IoT, Blockchain etc) and what his views are on how to best set up his firm to create most value-add for his clients. This includes also Biden and Brexit
  • Talk about his career - would he do sth differently if he was to start all over again?
  • Talk specifically about his views on the importance of mentorship and perhaps his experiences
  • Talk about his goals for the firm over the next couple of years
  • Talk about his thoughts on the importance of Private Equity given the sheer amount of dry powder in the market opposed by the everly increasing competition among funds leading to increased asset prices
  • Ask him what his interactions with more junior consultants is like and what he would recommend to someone breaking into consulting - what are the key success factors of (not getting the job) but outperforming consistenly in the job
  • ...

Best,
Denis

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Ken
Expert
replied on Jan 21, 2021
Ex-McKinsey final round interviewer | Executive Coach

Sounds like a fantastic opportunity - congrats for securing the meeting! A lot of great advice from other coaches and so my only addition would be to also think about developing a connection and longer-term relationship than just asking for a referral. You will get much much more out of your relationship with such senior people over time through their network, mentorship and sponsorship; you don't want a referral to be the end all be all. To be frank, you can get a referal from any partner or consultant where your chances of succeeding is largely on you. It may not be a comparable scenario, but if you had the chance to meet Warren Buffett for 10 mins, would you just simply meet him to ask for money or would you prioritise developing a connection with him that will be more lasting? :)

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Gaurav
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Jan 22, 2021
Ex-Mckinsey|Certified Career Coach |Placed 500+ candidates at MBB & other consultancies

Hi there,

Great opportunity!

Here's what I can think of:

  • Be honest and be yourself. You've managed to secure a meeting - it means you were networking right and you have something that made him say yes.
  • You have something in common? Shoot it.
  • Talk about topics you're interested in! Don't ask about stuff you have no idea about just to make an impression.

Fingers crossed for you!

Cheers,

GB

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Ian
Expert
Content Creator
updated an answer on Jan 21, 2021
MBB | 100% personal interview success rate (8/8) and 95% candidate success rate | Personalized interview prep

Hi there,

First, well done on getting that call!

Second, don't be nervous and try to be yourself as much as possible!

Third, remember you probably have a 5-10% chance of referral (at most) regardless of what you do...don't beat yourself up if you don't get a referral from them.

I have the following tips:

Ask For Yourself

While an informational call is a way for you to make a good impression, please remember that it's also about you making sure this job + path are right for you!

To prepare, think about things you'd like to learn about the company. Ask about your person's experience at the firm, where they've come from, if they have any advice for you etc. Be inquisitive and interested in what they have to say, and feel free to ask thoughtful follow-up questions.

Most importantly, remember this is a conversation! Keep it dynamic, two-way, etc.

Have Your Pitch Ready

In terms of what they'll ask you, make sure you have your 30 second pitch prepared! Who are you in a nutshell and why are you interested in Bain and strategy consulting?

Ask About Them

People love to talk about themselves. Just ask them what they've worked on recently or what their journey at BCG has been like. Importantly, do your research beforehand - find out what they've done and try and pick something from their past that looks interesting to you. Tailor your questions just like they tailor their FIT questions to your resume.

"So, how did you end up in the Industrial Goods sector?" "I saw you worked on a big digital transformation for a financial services company - I experienced one myself and it seemed so hard to move such a big organisation. What did you see as the major challenges and breakthrough moments?"

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GENERAL NETWORKING TIPS

a) Reach out to people in your network

b) Reach out to people once removed from your network

c) Reach out to people with a similar backgorund to you (i.e. same alma mater, same historically underrepresented demographic i.e. gender, orientation, ethnicity, etc., same career switch, etc.)

d) Tailor a message to them specifically both showing interest in them and their journey and demonstrating that you have done your research and could be a valuable hire

e) Play "tag" across calls you get so that you can work your way towards the company/office/role you want

f) Never directly ask for a referral, but "hint" at needing one (this is nuanced and important...happy to talk through wording)

(edited)

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Allen gave the best answer

Allen

Ex-McK Experienced Hire and EM - I show you how to perform at your best
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