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PhD or Master before MBB consulting?

Master MBB phd
New answer on Dec 29, 2021
3 Answers
5.6 k Views
Anonymous A asked on Apr 12, 2017

Hello preplounge community,

I need your advice. My situation is the following: I am about to graduate M.A. in the UK. Now, I have the possibility to do a phd in a topic that really interests me or to start a consultant position at an MBB firm which is also a long term goal of mine. Sooner or later I would want to get the phd, but for now I'm wondering which should I prioritise? Will it be easier for me to get a higher position with the phd?

Thank you so much for your feedback, you guys rock ;)

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Anonymous replied on Apr 13, 2017

Hey there!

Great question.

I'm about to finish my Ph.D. so I can give you my view of it.

Both options present their own set of Pros/Cons that you should take into account:

1) Go straight away for MBB:

Pros: Starting early in consulting, MBB may fund your further education, seeing if you really enjoy it, etc.

Cons: A PhD is usually from 3 to 5 years so if you're in MBB maybe you don't want to stop that for 5 years to do something unrelated that won't help you that much (especially if not related to Eng., Manage. or Finances in any way)

2) Doing PhD first:

Pros: You just finished your masters so it's easier to follow your academic and start the PhD right away; Gaining advanced degree could allow you to move straight away to a more advanced position once you apply for consulting.

Cons: Sometimes with a PhD you will be seen as not having any real work experience and too old to start from an entry-level. Some firms/geographies don't care for PhD.


Overall: like everything in life, there is more than one way to accomplish something. As long as you are willing to put in the time and adjust to the circumstances facing your path you can accomplish anything you put your mind into.

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replied on Apr 13, 2017
x-BCG Dubai, x-Recruitment lead for BCG, Case Interview Expert (350+ interviews, 100% recommendation rate), Ops Manager @ Uber
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Content Creator
replied on Dec 29, 2021
McKinsey | Awarded professor at Master in Management @ IE | MBA at MIT |+180 students coached | Integrated FIT Guide aut


I have seen multiple questions lately in the Q&A regarding doing masters, which one to choose, MBA vs. MiM, which schools to choose (both in US and Europe).

I joined McK after finishing my master in Architecture (totally not related field of study, and still), and I am doing an MBA in MIT atm. Happy to talk about this, and also happy to guide you with MBA applications, something that I have been doing lately. 

Furthermore, I have been a professor in the Master in Management from Instituto de Empresa, in Madrid (MiM in IE Business School). 

Feel free to PM! Cheers, 


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