Moving from one MBB firm to another

MBB
New answer on Aug 31, 2020
8 Answers
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Anonymous A asked on Aug 25, 2020

Hi all,

I'm currently working for an MBB firm in a developing market and due to personal reasons, I would now like to transfer to an office in my home country. Unfortunately, my firm is not currently offering mobility, so I was looking to apply to one of the other MBB firms - I wanted to know:

1) Are these situations/ transfers common? i.e., a situation whereby your current firm does not offer mobility and therefore a potential applicant would seek a move to another firm?

2) How would the interview process differ? Would I be asked 'harder' interview questions as I am an experienced hire or would the expectation level just be simply higher given that I already work in consulting?

Thanks

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Francesco
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replied on Aug 25, 2020
#1 Coach for Sessions (4.000+) | 1.500+ 5-Star Reviews | Proven Success (➡ InterviewOffers.com) | Ex BCG | 9Y+ Coaching

Hi there,

It is rare to have no chance to move to another office, in particular if you have a good performance. Before applying to another company, I would try to network internally and to find someone that can support you in your new target office - maybe with that and with a more stable COVID situation in a few months things will be different.

In terms of your questions:

  1. It is not common, as usually there are options to move to other offices within the same company
  2. The process will be the same. Of course, the motivation for why you want to move will be key in the fit part

Best,

Francesco

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Udayan
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replied on Aug 25, 2020
Top rated McKinsey Case & PEI coach/Multiple real offers/McKinsey EM in New York /6 years McKinsey recruiting experience

Hi,

I think an easier solution for you could be to transfer to an office in your home country that is less competitive as opposed to applying to a new firm! You lose a lot when you quit a job and re-start and it is not a recommended approach in my opinion (for the exact same role)

For example if you want to come to NYC, look at the New Jersey office - that lets you stay in NYC without working in the NYC office. Similar examples could be the Philly office or Boston

With covid everything is a lot harder so you need to be flexible in your options

Best,

Udayan

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Anonymous replied on Aug 25, 2020

Hi there,

Not sure which region you are in. So my view might or might not be applicable.

In Asia, it is actually not uncommon to see consultants moving across MBB firms. As long as there is a valid reason, even moving within the same country/city is quite acceptable.

Interview would be similar. You still need to prep for case, esp if you haven't done it for a while. Also be prepared that interviewer would try to probe on your performance at the current firm, as well as your culture fit.

Best,

Emily

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Ian
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replied on Aug 26, 2020
MBB | 100% personal interview success rate (8/8) and 95% candidate success rate | Personalized interview prep

I've transfered a few times within companies and have the following advice:

1) Build a stellar reputation - do good work, work hard, and be known as "the guy/gal" for xx

2) Build your network - network agressively (yes, networking doesn't end once you've gotten the job offer). Make sure you're known by and have allies in people who make decisions such as staffing managers, Partners (specifically those responsible for recruiting/resources and who are heads of industry/function verticals), etc.

2) b). When I say network "aggressively" please don't be needy/annoying :) There's nothing worse than someone who is obviously working the room or trying to please!

3) Look out for opportunities - Look for office transfers, short-term projects, ambassadorships, etc.)

4) Practice patience and be flexible - This might take a year or two. And you need to be ready to go at the flip of a coin.

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Antonello
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replied on Aug 31, 2020
McKinsey | MBA professor for consulting interviews

Hi, usually MBB allow it (you should build a strong relationship with a high-seniority consultant in the target office). Regarding other firms instead, you would be assessed by the standard process. To review your CV for a strong application feel free to send it in chat

Best
Antonello

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Giulia
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replied on Aug 25, 2020
McKinsey Business Analyst | 3+ years Experience | MBA at LBS

Hi,

I've never heard of an MBB not offering mobility. Difficult to get them, yes, it happens in many countries, but a strong no is the first time for me. MBBs are networking companies, if you network with the right people internally, you can usually surpass many internal rules and barriers. Maybe that's a path you can try to take, before deciding to look elsewhere..?

To answer your questions:

1. No, definitely not. In some countries they try to force you to stay there, putting barriers and difficulties, but transfers should be promoted by the "global firm", thus the local office should be only able to raise barriers (e.g., transfer only for personal reasons, only if you have X years of experience, etc.), but not to entirely block the process

2. It will not differ, you will be treated exactly like any other candidate that is interviewing for the same position. Of course, knowing that you are coming from an MBB, they will probably be happier to have you because you already know how the work is done and they will expect that you can nail the cases because you have already done that :)

Hope it helps!

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Anonymous A on Aug 25, 2020

Thanks for the reply - what I meant is that the firm is not offering transfers to the office in question. (it is one of the most competitive offices in the world London/NYC etc.)

Giulia on Aug 25, 2020

Ok, I see. In McK your home office only offers transfer/no transfer, regardless of the office. Than it's the office you want to go to that has to decide if they want you or not based on your reasons/ranking. It's really strange, though. I would advise you to try and network internally before looking elsewhere. If these offices are the most competitive ones and you would like to go there without a personal reason (meaning a spouse/boyfriend/child living there), it becomes really difficult as an "outsider" as well, the more if don't have any close relative in the country (for example, I was told that I would never have a chance to enter London office if I hadn't any significant other in the country)

Anonymous B replied on Aug 25, 2020

Hi Anonymous

That's a shame about your firm not offering mobility but it may also be driven in part by the pandemic. If you can wait a few months and then ask again - might be better option. Also gives you time to network in your home country and try and work with some partners there. On your questions:

1) It does happen however you may need to consider moving to a tier-2 or boutique

2) Similar interview process. Expectations will be higher yes and motivation story will be a big factor. You cannot rely on mobility and you will need to make a compelling case of why the new Firm

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Anonymous replied on Aug 27, 2020

Dear A,

1) I don't think it's possible

2) Process is the same like for other applicants

Best,
André

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Anonymous A on Aug 27, 2020

Thanks for the reply - why would you say that it is not possible?

Francesco gave the best answer

Francesco

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