ex-Manager - Natural and challenging teacher - Taylor case solving, no framework
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Networking on Linkedin

Anonymous A

Hi,

As someone who's not in college I am finding networking opportunites very limited and can see only LinkedIn as the avilable platform. What approach/steps should I follow in order to reach out to people from MBB? My eventual goal is to request for a referral.

Thanks

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Benjamin replied on 07/25/2018
ex-Manager - Natural and challenging teacher - Taylor case solving, no framework

Hi,
If you have no other option then I would recommand the "growth hacker" method :) :

- Find somoene in common to introduce you : your success rate in getting connected will be much higher

- if you don't find anybody, try to add people directly on linkedin. When asking for connection with this person you have the opportunity to write down a short msg

- add several person from the same firm. If one of them accept you, the other will be more likely to accept once they see you have someone in common

Best

Benjamin

Kay replied on 07/25/2018

Hi Anonymous,

Personally I don't like the direct approach, especially if it is a clear benefit only for the other person. I would suggest meeting MBB consultants at networking events. I'm not sure about your city, but they usually hold career events in most major cities where they are based. Have you had a look for those on their websites?

Good luck!

Vlad replied on 07/25/2018
McKinsey / Accenture / Got all BIG3 offers / More than 300 real MBB cases / Harvard Business School

Hi,

Linkedin will have very low conversion rates and this is the least favorable method. However, the overall approach may be the following:

  1. Find something in common with the person - same grad University, same career path, etc
  2. Reach the person on LinkedIn and describe in a short message why you've chosen him (smth in common) tell him that you are applying for MBB and ask for a short call
  3. Prepare and ask interesting questions about the company and the preparation
  4. Keep fingers crossed. Maybe the consultant will kindly propose you to help further
  5. If so, follow up with the e-mail. I use the following template to follow up:

"Hi..., I just wanted to thank you again for today’s call. I’ve learnt a lot about ... and I'm excited by... You’ve mentioned you could help with... I would appreciate a chance to meet with you to... I would also be happy to be a resource for you, now or in the future for any expertise in.."

Here are some other ways to get a referral:

1) Leverage your own network - find friends or friends of friends who can practice cases with you or make you a reference.

2) Attend company events. Consulting companies do a lot of events both for graduates and experienced hires. Find the social network groups related to consulting or websites, subscribe to newsletters and stay tuned. Also, check if they have events in your University since you are a PHD.

While some of the events will be open to everyone, others will require a resume and a cover letter, so make sure to prep.

3) Talk to people on the events and send Thank You notes. After each event, there is a Q&A session where you can talk to consultants 1 on 1 or in a group. Ask for contact info or send a thank you note after the event ("I just wanted to thank you for visiting our University... It was especially interesting to hear about... Would be happy to keep in touch and apply in the nearest future.). Alternatively, you may use linkedin for that. If you are an experienced hire I strongly suggest to ask for a 1 on 1 meeting in a thank you note.

4) 1 on 1 meetings via Linkedin. All people like giving an advice. So don't hesitate to ask consultants for a career advice. Tell your story and ask how consulting fits into it.

5) Mock interview Depending on where you are in your prep process you may ask a consultant for a mock interview. Consultants are very much opened to help even if it is a cold call e-mail. The main problem is a lack of time on their side. So don't be afraid to remind about yourself if the consultant has already committed but finds it hard to find the time

6) Talking to partners If you are an experienced hire I suggest to talk directly to the partners in your industry or the partner responsible for experienced hires (in consulting partners also have additional roles). Get an intro from the HR or from your friends working there. Partners care a lot about experienced hires with relevant industry expertise. Chances to get referral are much lower though. They also will not be interested in giving mock interviews.

7) If you are an MBA graduate Just talk to your section mates and ask for a reference or a mock interview - they will be happy to help. Make sure you attend all the consulting events.

Good luck!

(edited)

Anonymous B replied on 07/25/2018

I believe your question has been asked several times already in this forum. There is a very neat search function in this forum with which you could easily find several great answers to the very same question. How about you start with the key words "LinkedIn" + "referral"?