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Pivoting From Career As Professional Athlete

Anonymous A asked on Nov 05, 2018 - 3 answers

Hello all,

I am looking for advice on how to go about transitioning from a seven year professional baseball career into management consulting.

Completed econ degree with strong GPA from an HYP school 4 years ago and worked during off-seasons for small NYC real estate development consulting firm.

Many I've spoken to suggest only way to make this move would be by getting a top MBA and going through recruiting process there. However, if it is realistic for me to get a foot in the door through networking towards referrals and preparing for interviews I would prefer to concentrate my efforts in this direction.

Would love to hear any thoughts as to which route makes most sense for me.


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replied on Nov 05, 2018
Ex-MBB, Experienced Hire; I will teach you not only the how, but also the why of case interviews
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Agree with Elias. Professional athletes regularly make their way into MBB, we had a former NFL player in the Houston BCG office a few years ago. By playing at that level, you showed dedication, grit, resilience, ambition, top level performance... and tons more good things.

No harm in trying out before the MBA. I'd reach out to other athletes who made the jump. If you can't find any, ping me and I'll try to hook you up w/ that former NFL player.

replied on Nov 05, 2018
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MBA is definitely not the only way. MBB companies love people with non-standard careers. The companies are a bit selfish here, since they will show these people on every event as examples of the career transitions.

The best approach here will be the networking directly with the partners (ideally the partner responsible for recruiting). Here are some tips on how you can do that:

1) Leverage your own network - find friends or friends of friends who work at MBB and who can introduce you to the partner responsible for recruiting as a person with a non-standard background

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. 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 partners 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) Asking for advice. All people like giving an advice. So don't hesitate to ask consultants for an advice about your career change. Tell your story and ask how consulting fits into it

Good luck!

replied on Nov 05, 2018
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Hi Anonymous,

since I don't know what country you're from, I'll have to speculate a bit.

But I absolutely don't believe there's only one way and that that way leads through an MBA. I believe that being a professional athlete is actually quite a good qualifier. After all, it shows that you are goal-oriented and that you can work hard to achieve these goals, you are a team player, are able to focus and are competitive. All important qualities for a consultant.

And a strong GPA from one of the Big 3 is nothing to scoff at, either.

So yes, definitely try to get your foot in the door now. What's the worst that could happen? You get turned down. Then you can still try to do the MBA route. But I honestly don't think that will happen.

Cheers and good luck,


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