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Moving from the US back to Germany - what are my chances?

germany job MBB
New answer on Mar 07, 2024
6 Answers
217 Views
Anonymous A asked on Feb 02, 2024

Hi there,

I've been living in the US for the past 6 years, and have 3 years of work experience at a boutique management consulting firm and 2 years at a Big 4. Both with focus on strategy, plus some branding/customer experience. 

I'm currently considering moving back to Germany and am wondering what my job prospects would be? I'd love to join MBB, but realistically probably am not the most attractive candidate to them. I'm a bit at a loss with what jobs I'd be suitable for and where to find them. Also, is the job market as dire in Germany as it is in the US right now? 

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Cristian
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Feb 02, 2024
#1 rated MBB & McKinsey Coach

Hi there!

I'm not sure why you believe that MBBs won't be interested in your profile. And also, yes, Germany is struggling too now in terms of hiring though I wouldn't be able to say how it compares exactly with the US. 

My recommendation would be to apply broadly within Germany for consulting roles and have a crisp motivation in your cover letter that informs why you are making the geographic change.

Sharing with you a guide on how to build the application process:

Also, do investigate whether you could do an internal transfer with your Big4 back to Germany. That should also be a possibility.

Best,
Cristian

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Francesco
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replied on Feb 02, 2024
#1 Coach for Sessions (4.500+) | 1.500+ 5-Star Reviews | Proven Success (➡ interviewoffers.com) | Ex BCG | 10Y+ Coaching

Hi there,

Q: I'm currently considering moving back to Germany and am wondering what my job prospects would be?

It is difficult to comment without having a look at your full profile. On paper, you should be able to have a chance to interview based on the experiences you shared.

I am not sure about the exact situation in Germany right now but this is what I would recommend:

  1. If the Big 4 is the most recent experience, or if the boutique has any offices in Germany, check if there is an option to move internally there.
  2. Define the list of target companies. Even if the final target is MBB, I would recommend expanding the list to include as many companies as possible that could allow for the transition there after a few years, such as Strategy&, OW, RB and Kearney.
  3. Connect with alumni of your school in Germany if any. Try to get a referral.

You can find more on referrals below:

▶ How to Get an MBB Invitation

Good luck!

Francesco

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Florian
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replied on Feb 02, 2024
Highest-rated McKinsey coach (ratings, offers, sessions) | 500+ offers | Author of The 1% & Consulting Career Secrets

Hi there,

With your background in both boutique and Big 4 consulting, focusing on strategy and customer experience, you're in a good spot for job hunting in Germany, even aiming for MBB. 

Hiring is still happening at MBB in DACH, yet at a slower pace, and even strong resumes are often shelved at the moment. However, despite the current job market being a bit slow, your profile looks good enough for MBB experienced hire positions. The benefit of this is that experienced hires often face less competition due to the specific demand for certain profiles compared to graduate hire generalists.

To improve your chances, especially with MBB, start reaching out via LinkedIn and your extended network. Talking to people inside your target firms can give you a clearer picture of the hiring situation and might even lead to a referral, which can be a big help in getting noticed and going through the screening.

In short, your prospects look good. Use your network, stay persistent, and keep your unique international experience front and center. 

Good luck with your job hunt!

Cheers,

Florian

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Dennis
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updated an answer on Feb 02, 2024
Ex-Roland Berger|Project Manager and Recruiter|7+ years of consulting experience in USA and Europe

Hi there,

the good thing about Germany is that most firms are hiring year round. As an experienced hire, you need to emphasize the kind of expertise you are bringing to the table (strategy and customer experience in your case from what it sounds like). 

Start networking with partners across various consulting firms who are active in the space that you have a lot of experience in based on your 5-year tenure. Since strategy and customer experience are rather “generic”, you should consider narrowing down your emphasis to the industry segments you have worked in before to make it more relevant. You might find advocates amongst the partners who want you on their teams and potentially provide you with referrals.

In general though, I agree that you should apply broadly across many consulting firms to maximize your chances.

Just one additional aspect you probably have considered but I'm mentioning anyway: 
The work-life-balance in consulting in Germany is just as bad (if not worse) as in the US. The big difference is that you have significantly higher consulting salaries in the US and you pay considerably less taxes on your income. So in Germany you would be working just as much but for a lot less take-home pay. That might not be such an exciting prospect after having done the consulting grind for 5 years already.

Best

(edited)

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Ian
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replied on Feb 03, 2024
#1 BCG coach | MBB | Tier 2 | Digital, Tech, Platinion | 100% personal success rate (8/8) | 95% candidate success rate

Hi there,

Do you have working rights? I.e. Citizenship of an EU country?

If so, high! If not, much much lower.

Ultimately, it does all come to persistence and hard work. The better your resume (i.e. professionally reviewed), the better your networking/referrals, and the more firms you apply to, the better the odds. It's that “simple”! (not easy, but simple).

Here's some reading to help:

How to Get a Consulting Internship - Tips and Tricks
 

Application Tracker – Keep Track With This Free Template

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Pedro
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replied on Mar 07, 2024
30% off in April 2024 | Bain | EY-Parthenon | Roland Berger | Market Sizing | DARDEN MBA

Germany is worse than the US right now.

Regarding your target firms… most likely would be similar to the companies you worked with, but doesn't hurt to apply to Top Strategy Consulting firms as well.

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Cristian gave the best answer

Cristian

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