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reject for full time after final round by mbb can I ask for internship?

Anonymous A asked on Nov 29, 2019 - 4 answers

Had my final round for one of the mbb and unfortunately got rejected. I actually have about a year to go before I graduate, but I was interviewing for full-time, which is a bit tougher than getting an internship... I kind of regret that I didn't apply to internship. And my question is, can I ask them to consider me for internship based on my full-time interviews? I am asking this also because my case, according to the feedback from the MD, is not very straightforward (and very different from my first round - which was I "aced" the interview, great communication style, fit etc). This MD said they had some debates, as I don't have a conventional background both in terms of experience, academics and identity, which is my strength. However, it is also part of the reason they decided against me based on fit.

So that was a bit weird as this is really not my impression as well as what i have got from other interviewers before or from the people inside. I asked him to clarify what he meant and he said 1. they sensed my energy was trailing down during the interview 2. when I asked clarifying questions I came off as a bit arrogant sometimes (which I really didn't think was the case, at least not my intention). I asked if that was because I was quite direct, due to living in the US...(and I am an Asian female interviewing for an European office in a pretty conservative country eg no asian at all in the office). He said ya we thought it might be culture, but given that our clients who share similiar culture with us might have similar concerns, it might be risky blablabla.

I found such feedback quite hard to accept, but there is nothing I can do. That being said, I am just wondering, given that mine was not a straightforward case, and if I have applied to internship, I would have needed only one round which means I would probably have passed given my good performance in the first round...can I approach the hr (or maybe even my interviewer?) and ask to be considered for an internship?

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Nathaniel
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replied on Nov 30, 2019
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Hello there,

I'm sorry to hear about your predicament.

I have to agree that you would need to excel on the interview in order to be considered for any roles within the MBB firms. Culture fit is indeed one of the more tricker aspect of the case interview. However, it is a crucial element of management consultant recruitment.

As a client facing role, a consultant needs to make sure they are acting in accordance to the client's preferred culture, else the firm is risking their reputation. Merely solving the case and completing the project is one half of the equation, managing the relationship is the other.

Typically, MBB firms are background-agnostic. Especially if you are an undergraduate or recent fresh graduates, as long as the prospective candidates displayed strong performance in the case interviews and showcase cultural fit with the firm (passing the "airport test"). Hence, I would presume it is either the case performance or culture fit which was the key reason that underlies the final decision.

With regards to applying for internship, there are 2 types of internship. The structured summer internship program as well as the unstructured project-based internships.

  • For the first one, it might be challenging to request for consideration to be included within the program, given that they would cross-reference your previous performance. Even if HR is willing to consider, you will likely need to go for another round of interviews.
  • The second one is generally more flexible than the first one. I know some people who have been rejected on full-time basis that underwent project-based internship. Later on, they leveraged their experiences and managed to get a full-time offer. Mind that not every office / region offered this type of internships.

In summary, I would suggest trying to inquire about the second internship type to the HR as well as see if there are other offices that might be more suitable to your communication style / culture. It would work best to rethink of why are you particularly interested in this particular office, which as you said is located on a different region, with different cuture than what you are used to.

Feel free to DM me if you wish to discuss further on the matter.

Hope it helps and all the best for your last 1 year in university.

Kind regards,

Nathan

Francesco
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replied on Nov 30, 2019
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Hi Anonymous,

you may ask to be considered for an internship, but you will probably still have to respect a waiting period and have to go through interviews after that, in which case it won’t probably make sense since you are graduating in one year.

Besides considering the other MBB, you could apply instead for an internship in a second-tier consulting company and leverage that experience if you want to you re-apply for the MBB who rejected you.

I would also clarify with HR how long would be the ban for the full-time position, if they consider you a borderline case they may limit that to 12 months instead of the standard 24 months which means you could reapply next year.

Best,
Francesco

Antonello
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replied on Nov 30, 2019
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Hi,
it usually takes 12 to 18 months to apply for any other position. Meanwhile, I recommend trying for the other 2 MBB for an internship and work on the negative feedback in order to not give anymore these impressions during your interview

Hope it helps,
Antonello

Vlad
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Hi,

It would help if you provide the name of the company.

But For MBBs it doesn't work. If you don't solve the case - it's assumed that you don't fit for any position. It doesn't matter whether the cases was conventional or not (especially at McKinsey where 30% of the cases are non-conventional).

For non-MBB companies, you can try.

Best

By case, I mean me as a candidate overall. The comment was I did well in 2 out of 3 in the final round for the case part. — Anonymous A on Nov 30, 2019