Reapplying to MBB: 2 short-term jobs or 1 year-long?

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New answer on May 27, 2021
5 Answers
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Anonymous A asked on May 26, 2021

Hi everyone,

Thanks for the helpful advice you all provide here.

I have been unsuccessful with an Associate Consultant MBB application but encouraged to reapply in a year's time. I have managed to secure a couple of boutique strategy consulting offers in the meantime, so was wondering which would give me the best chance of being successful when reapplying to MBB; 3-6 months at two different strategy consulting firms, or 9 months at one of them? A few pros of each that come to mind are:

Pros of doing 3-6 months at either company: Broader experience, different industries, different people/cultures

Pros of doing ~9 months at one company: Looks more loyal/reliable on a CV, take on more responsibility

Any other thoughts would be much appreciated. Thanks!

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Best answer

No doubt here, in my opinion. You should go for the 9 month internship.

In a 9 month internship, as you mention, you have the opportunity to take on more responsibility. You spend the first few months learning the ropes (and getting people to trust you). If you move to another company after 3-6 months you have to start from scratch again.

The pros you mention for the 3-6 month internship are only apparent. MBB will not see you as knowleadgeable on several industries if you only spent 3-6 months on them (and there's no downside on knowing well an industry, quite the opposite). Moreover, unless the boutique is specialized in a single industry, you may still have the chance to experience several industries in the 9 month internship.

On the downside, when someone has several short interships following each other, the recruiter may become worried that something went wrong in their first internship.

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Hey there,

I'd definitely go for the longer option, mainly for two reasons:

  1. Learning and impact. As with every new job, it takes a while to get used to. Switching after a few months comes at the worst possible period. At that point you have found into your role, know how the firm works, build a network, and are able to actually provide value to clients and your company. Leaving at this point would reset that learning experience.
  2. Consistency on the resume: You want to demonstrate that you can work at one company for longer rather than job-hop around.

Cheers,

Florian

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Hi there,

Personally I would go for 12 months minimum with a single company (the one you like the most/ with stronger brand). I see the following advantages:

  • More learnings on key areas (each time you start with a company you will have to spend some time getting used to it and to the general structure)
  • More opportunities to create deeper relationships
  • More opportunities to learn about the company – you may like it a lot and decided to stick there longer
  • More likely some seniority may be recognized at MBB
  • If you choose the company you like the most in terms of projects/people, you will work more on what you enjoy most/people you like
  • Hopefully this will be irrelevant, but it would also be a better backup option if MBB won’t work again and you want to apply again in the future

Additionally, if you choose the company with the stronger brand, that should make it easier to be invited to MBB (you can check how likely looking on LinkedIn if people move from there to MBB).

Hope this helps,

Francesco

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Hi, I recommend going for the longer option, it's going to become a more solid experience to leverage in your cv

Best,
Antonello

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Hi there,

It's our pleasure!

In regards to your question, I agree with the other coaches - all things equal, you should go for the single role. You'll develop more and should get a wide range of projects.

That said, brand/company/industry etc all matter. So, right now we're assuming all 3 of these boutiques are the exact same offering the exact same internship!

It's worth digging a bit deeper to see which one will really mentor you the best, give you the best opportunities/projects, etc. etc.

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Pedro gave the best answer

Pedro

Former Head Recruiter for EY-Parthenon and Recruite for Bain, Roland Berger and Internal Corporate Strategy
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