Office Transfers

A.T. Kearney Bain & Company BCG McKinsey Oliver Wyman
New answer on Aug 31, 2020
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Iago asked on Sep 07, 2018
Undergrad student current pursuing BCG, McK and Bain.

Hi everyone,

I'm a undergraduate student in a top 10 federal brazilian university and my goal is to work at a top consultancy firm in Europe.

I understand I have two options:

1. Apply for the brazilian office and request the transfer after some time;

2. Apply directly for some European office;

Let's first assume I choose option 1, could you tell me:

A. How long should I wait to request a transfer for an internacional office?

B. What could influence the outcome of this transfer request?

On the other hand, if I choose option 2:

A. Do I have to be in Europe to apply to an office there (presencial tests and interviews) or can I do that from Brazil?

B. Does being a foreigner have any influence in the perception of interviewers?

So, can anyone who had worked at BCG, McKinsey, Bain, Oliver Wyman A.T. Kearney and other firms offer the perspective on the questions above?

Thanks in advance and have a nice weekend!

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Vlad
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Content Creator
replied on Sep 08, 2018
McKinsey / Accenture Alum / Got all BIG3 offers / Harvard Business School

Hi,

See below:

1. Apply for the brazilian office and request the transfer after some time;

2. Apply directly for some European office;

Let's first assume I choose option 1, could you tell me:

A. How long should I wait to request a transfer for an internacional office? - you can not request a transfer unless you have a valid reason for this. The valid reasons are:

  • Spouse living and working abroad
  • Support from the EU office - basically the partners should want you work there.

However you can do the projects in Europe / have a rotation (depends on the particular company)

B. What could influence the outcome of this transfer request?

On the other hand, if I choose option 2:

A. Do I have to be in Europe to apply to an office there (presencial tests and interviews) or can I do that from Brazil? - You can be anywhere but you should have a work permit to work in Europe. Or you should be graduating from a top MBA (in that case MBBs are ready to make you a visa)

B. Does being a foreigner have any influence in the perception of interviewers?

So, can anyone who had worked at BCG, McKinsey, Bain, Oliver Wyman A.T. Kearney and other firms offer the perspective on the questions above? - if you have a work permit and know the local language - you are in the same boat with the other candidates

Best!

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Anonymous updated the answer on Aug 31, 2020

Hi Iago,

I had two transfers in my career:

  1. From the Financial Services practice to Automotive within the same region
  2. From Munich to Dubai office

I need to say that transfers are a pretty tricky thing and require a lot of sensitive political skills.

Different companies offer three types of transfers:

  1. Temporary project assignment abroad (for the duration of the project)
  2. Short-term office exchange programms (usually between 3 and 12 months depending on the company)
  3. Permanent office transfer

All of them are different in terms of difficulty to get. While project assignments abroad are quite common and easy to get, permanent office transfers are very challenging and require hard work from your end and a bit of luck.

In any way you would need the support of your mentor, the staffing manager in your region as well as partner in the targeted office, who will push your transfer.

If you need any help, just drop me a PM.

Happy to share my experience.

Best,

André

(edited)

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Benjamin
Expert
replied on Sep 09, 2018
ex-Manager - Natural and challenging teacher - Taylor case solving, no framework

Hi,

- MBB an other top firs do have office tranfer opportunities.
- This is usually possible after a year, when they have validated your current performance and can recommand you to another office without doubt.

Of course I would recommand to start with the office you want know, if you can apply there (language speaked, awarness on your diploma, etc.)

Best
Benjamin

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Guennael
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replied on Sep 07, 2018
Ex-MBB, Experienced Hire; I will teach you not only the how, but also the why of case interviews

What is your question?

Some companies have exchange programs, and pretty much all do office transfers. You probably would need to work a year in your home office first however, and these opportunities are typically reserved to the best people in each class.

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Vlad gave the best answer

Vlad

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McKinsey / Accenture Alum / Got all BIG3 offers / Harvard Business School
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