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Preparation time needed for someone with MBB internship experience and second round offer?

Anonymous A

Hi there,

I did an internship last summer at BCG and got the second round as result. Now I am finished with my master and want to apply for a job at the top 3, with second-tier firms as backup options. Ideally, the job would start in October, but the major concern is that prep time would be too tight because most of the firms require an application at least three months in advance. What would be the estimated preparation time needed for someone with my background and is it possible to apply for an entry in November or January? Does the timing of the application influence my chance of getting in?

Thanks in advance for the comments!

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replied on 06/18/2018
Ex-Oliver Wyman with 100% interview success rate - specialized in female career coaching

Hi there,
regarding preparation time: From my experience, once you went through the consulting application cycle once, preparation gets easier, meaning all the case basics and case solving skills can be refreshed quite easily. I would suggest:

  1. Take a couple of days to go through all the case theory again until you know the concepts by heart (2-3 days should be enough)
  2. Do a couple of cases with different interview partners (both as interviewee and interviewer) - you will notice pretty quickly where you stand (adjust the number of case meetings accordingly) and figure out how much more time you need (typically 2-3 weeks)
  3. Prepare the personal fit part and focus especially on what you liked about your internship at BCG and how this made you decide to start full-time (but don't forget about reasons why McK or Bain may be a better fit than BCG, if you go there)

The case part should be comparable to the internship interviews, but for the personal fit part you should be able to fully convince the interviewer that you are motivated to do this job for a couple of years instead of only a few weeks (may this candidate become partner at some point in time?).

Regarding your second question: It is always possible to ask HR whether it is possible to start in November, January or whenever you would like to do so. They should know best.

When it comes to chances of getting in however, the question is whether the office you are applying for has a specific recruiting target for the year. If so, it is obviously a bit harder to start towards the end of the year than in the beginning. However, I have never seen a consultancy who would reject a super strong candidate only because they have already met their target…

Hope this helps!

Guennael replied on 06/17/2018
Ex-MBB, Experienced Hire; Case prep seminar leader; I will teach you not only the how, but also the why of case interviews

Quick question: you interned at BCG, but they didn't offer you a job?

To your own question: you obviously had to learn case interviews to get the internship in the first place, and saw at least one project during your internship. I'd have to think you are therefore ready or nearly so. You can still (and should) review the basics and do a few case interviews ahead of your full time interviews, but won't face anything you haven't seen the first time around.