New contract cancelled due to COVID-19, engineer looking into consulting

BCG McKinsey and Bain covid19 Engineering HR working professional
New answer on May 05, 2020
7 Answers
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Kevin asked on Apr 20, 2020

Dear community,

I am a French engineer and CFA level 2 candidate living in Singapore, with a 2-year experience in investment banking as a project manager (IT/innovation/payment systems). I am reaching out to you as my new contract was cancelled due to COVID-19, to seek your advice.

Now having a lot of free time at my disposal, I started practicing case studies and PSTs as consulting always sparked my interest. However, I am worried about my chances of getting through the MBB HR filtering as I am a working professional without a MBA. Given this COVID-19 situation, do you believe I could land an interview (SEA region) ? Or am I simply wasting my time ?

I appreciate your honest feedback.

Thank you.

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Anonymous replied on May 05, 2020

Hi Kevin,

I agree with Luca that MBA is not needed to apply for MBB. And there is no strict or clear answer on whether you have chances to land your interview. However, if you aim at consulting you can try to apply at tier-1 our tier-2 company to get some experience.


Hope it helps.

Good luck!

Best,
André

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Emily
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replied on Apr 20, 2020
BCG Project Leader | 3+ years interview experience for BCG SEA recruiting | Kellogg MBA, NTU, Peking University

Hi Kevin,

Some quick thoughts to your question:

1) It is not required to have an MBA to pass the filtering. So that would not be a hurdle. When the firms want to hire MBA, they go for campus recruiting. E.g. they are now interviewing INSEAD students this week in Singapore (I have 2 coachees interviewing with BCG). When you apply, it goes through another pipeline for experienced hire.

2) I don't think anyone can tell you whether you would land an interview or not given COVID. This is a situation totally unexpected and new to almost everyone. It is also hard to assess without knowing more details of your background.

3) If your end goal is still consulting sometime down the road, I don't think it would be a waste of time preparing, since you need to do it anyway. But if consulting is just a short term interim thing for you, then maybe you should evaluate how it would help you achieve your long term goal, and whether it is worth the effort (compared to some other alternatives you may have).

Hope it helps.

Emily

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Antonello
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replied on Apr 30, 2020
McKinsey | MBA professor for consulting interviews

Hi,
unfortunately, nobody now is able to predict the precise effects on each business. The 2 true facts today are that interviews are taking place regularly but online instead than face to face, and that many new consulting projects are being paused. Therefore if this lockdown continues for long it can cause a shrinking in new hires.

Best,
​Antonello

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Luca
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replied on Apr 26, 2020
BCG |NASA |20+ interviews with 100% success rate| 120+ students coached |GMAT expert 780/800 score

Hello Kevin,

MBA is not needed to apply for MBB and a 2 years as project manager in investment banking is really valuable also for a consulting company.
If you would like to join consulting anyway, even in a tier-2 company, I would suggest to go ahead wiith your preparation (forget about the PST for now, it's not used by many officies anymore and you will have time to prepare it). If you would be interested only in an MBB, I would suggest to reach out to HR or people of your network actually working there to understand if your profile fits with their requirements.
Feel free to send me your CV for a quick more detailed assessment of your chances.

Best,
Luca

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Thomas
CoachingPlus Expert
Content Creator
replied on Apr 22, 2020
150+ interviews | 5+ years experience | Kearney & Accenture | Sold consulting startup| London Business School

Hi there,

It seems that you have relevant working experience. Having said that joining with a few years in between undergrad and MBA is usually a tough spot as places are limited, but it is absolutely not impossible. I do think this is a great time to prepare for your consulting career.

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Clara
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replied on Apr 21, 2020
McKinsey | Awarded professor at Master in Management @ IE | MBA at MIT |+180 students coached | Integrated FIT Guide aut

In line with what has been said before, you have a very good case.

CFA content actually is not that far from MBA one and you have very relevant work experience.

Good luck!

Cheers,

Clara

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Francesco
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replied on Apr 21, 2020
#1 Expert for Coaching Sessions (3.600+) | 1.300+ Reviews with 100% Recommendation Rate | Ex BCG | 8+ Years of Coaching

Hi Kevin,

as mentioned by Emily, you won’t need an MBA if you apply for an Analyst (McK) or Associate (BCG/Bain) position, which is the level you may target with 2 years of work experience in IB.

I believe the only sensible thing to do at this stage is to apply with a referral – you can find more on that at the following link:

https://www.preplounge.com/en/consulting-forum/hey-everyonehope-all-is-well-3176

An internal connection will be at least able to tell you if it makes sense to apply now given the available slots. It would be risky to do an application without a referral, as you may just get an automatic rejection.

Given the uncertainty in terms of hiring at this stage, if you are planning to get a job soon I will at least consider some backup options.

As a side note, you may not have to do the PST at all (it has been replaced by the Imbellus test in many countries) and even if you have, my suggestion is to concentrate the practice for the test close to the interview day, I would thus concentrate on networking (as a priority) and case prep at this stage.

Best,

Francesco

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