Networking too early

networking newbie Non target Referral
New answer on May 28, 2020
7 Answers
1.2 k Views
Anonymous A asked on May 26, 2020

Hi everyone,
I am a first-year PhD student in natural sciences in Europe. All my studies were from non-target Universities. I am preparing myself to start networking, but my main preoccupation is that I am starting way too early (I am expected to graduate in late 2022). My goal is to get a referral for the MBB. In case I get it this or next year, would it be still to my advantage if I apply in 2022, a year or two after the official referral? Or should I wait for the referrals for my last year?

Thanks. Stay safe :)

(edited)

Overview of answers

Upvotes
  • Upvotes
  • Date ascending
  • Date descending
Best answer
Anonymous replied on May 27, 2020

Hi there,

Networking takes time and effort, as you need to build trust and relationship over a series of interations, not just one email or one chat. So you don't need to worry about starting too early. It Take the time to do multiple follow ups / updates after the first interaction.

Asking for referral should be much later, though, only after you have gain trust and the person is confident about putting you forward.

Best

Emily

Was this answer helpful?
10
Anonymous replied on May 28, 2020

Hi,

I suggest that you wait to ask for formal referral. Your application timeline is still quite far in the horizon and consulting firm will prioritize candidates that can start when they need it. The worry is that your application will fall through the crack.

However, I would suggest you to start networking early for few reason:

  1. You can understand the different culture in the firms that your are targeting
  2. You might be able to get 1-2 case interview practice along the way
  3. It will be easier to get referral if the referrer already know you better
  4. It is always good to expand you network and adding a couple of new friends

Hope this helps :)

Was this answer helpful?
8
Anonymous replied on May 26, 2020

Dear A,

I would recommend you to wait with official referral, but at this time you can start establishing your network and communication with your targeted firms.

If you need any further help, feel free to reach out,

Best,

André

Was this answer helpful?
8
Robert
Expert
Content Creator
replied on May 26, 2020
McKinsey offers w/o final round interviews - 100% risk-free - 10+ years MBB coaching experience - Multiple book author

Hi Anonymous,

Slowly buidling your network is a good thing to start early - usually it takes longer than anticipated anyway.

For the referral as such, definitely I'd wait since too early for now. Obviously you always have a risk that some persons of your network drop out until the point in time you are ready to take the referral - but that's part of the game and goes nicely with already starting to build a network now which comprises mulitple persons per target company!

Hope that helps - if so, please be so kind and give it a thumbs-up with the green upvote button below!

Robert

Was this answer helpful?
Clara
Expert
Content Creator
replied on May 26, 2020
McKinsey | Awarded professor at Master in Management @ IE | MBA at MIT |+180 students coached | Integrated FIT Guide aut

Hello!

It´s too early for asking for a referral now.

What you can for sure do is to start networking, to have your contacts ready.

Cheers,

Clara

Was this answer helpful?
Francesco
Expert
Content Creator
replied on May 27, 2020
#1 Coach for Sessions (4.000+) | 1.500+ 5-Star Reviews | Proven Success (➡ InterviewOffers.com) | Ex BCG | 9Y+ Coaching

Hi there,

since you are referred at the moment you apply to a particular company, a consultant cannot refer you without an application.

When I applied, I started to network (and look for referrals) a couple of months before my expected application date and it worked well without any issues; I don’t see advantages in starting earlier honestly.

Best,

Francesco

Was this answer helpful?
Ian
Expert
Content Creator
replied on May 26, 2020
MBB | 100% personal interview success rate (8/8) and 95% candidate success rate | Personalized interview prep

100% start networking now.

0% start looking for referrals now :)

Build up your network as much as you can, as it's a long game!

Was this answer helpful?