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Seeking Career Advice: Transitioning to MBB/Tier 2 Consulting in the UK from a Big 4 Firm in APAC

Big 4 London MBA MBB tier 2 consulting UK
New answer on Mar 30, 2024
3 Answers
206 Views
Anonymous A asked on Mar 29, 2024

Recently, I applied to an MBA program at LBS (my only choice), but, unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately), I was rejected. While I initially felt the sting of rejection, I am gradually coming to terms with it, believing that rejection is merely redirection.

I am currently employed with a Big 4 practice in the APAC region, working on a value-creation project with a focus on operational improvements and cost optimization. Before this, I was in governance and risk consulting for about three years. Having been with the same firm for five years, I am now looking to broaden my horizons.

I have always aspired to have an international career and am particularly interested in working in the UK, with the possibility of extending my reach to wider Europe or the Middle East. While I am aware that I could leverage the network of member firms to achieve this, my preference is to move outside the firm if possible. To clarify, there isn't a strong push factor prompting this desire—rather, it's the allure of opportunities beyond my current scope that draws me. Moreover having a global career is something that interest me much. 

I aspire to move into MBB/Tier 2 strategy and operations consulting, intending to eventually transition into a PE operations role managing port cos. This ambition prompted my MBA application and my interest in moving abroad. However, given that my initial plan did not come to fruition, I am seeking advice on alternative paths that could lead me to MBB/Tier 2 consulting roles in the UK, specifically London, given my background.

I may consider applying for an MBA again, but certainly not for the Class of 2027, as my rejection was for Round 2 of the Class of 2026. The earliest I might apply would be for the Class of 2028, provided I still want to pursue an MBA and may not have achieved my desired career trajectory or am not on the path to it by then.

Any insights, advice, or experiences shared would be greatly appreciated.

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Best answer
Cristian
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Mar 29, 2024
#1 rated MBB & McKinsey Coach

Honestly, you should just apply for MBB and Tier2. 

That's it. 

You're overthinking it a bit at this point. 

Basically, you're already a consultant. You just want to move in the tiers. 

If you build a good application strategy and prep the right way, there's no reason why you wouldn't be able to secure at least an offer. This explains how:

The challenge is indeed that you want to change locations and to do so you typically need to have a clear motivation for it: you studied there, lived there, have family there, have some personal reason, etc. - so work on identifying a story that relates to this. 

Referrals will also help a lot. Some resources on how to get them here:

Best,

Cristian

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Pedro
Expert
replied on Mar 29, 2024
Bain | Roland Berger | EY-Parthenon | Mentoring Approach | 30% off first 10 sessions in May| Market Sizing | DARDEN MBA

1. Applying again doesn't hurt your chances of getting in for the 2028 class, and is not negatively impacted by being rejected in R2 2026.

2. The easiest round to get in is in Round 1. In Round 2 your “type of profile” may be already filled out and as such chances of getting in are lower. 

3. Nevertheless you can still improve your application. It may be a matter of reviewing your essays, improving your GMAT (easier to do when you did the test recently… otherwise you need to start all over again). To be honest some coaches may help with that. With what I know now, I would have gotten into more schools than I did when I first applied (and before doing my MBA). Going through the MBA process gives you a perspective you simply don't have beforehand.

4. Getting into the UK… do you have a work VISA? If you don't, it's not going to be easy. Why don't you apply to your home country, then do the MBA, and then start your international career? 

5. Applying to MBB and reapplying to the MBA at the same time is not incompatible. You can do both

6. You should consider other MBA schools. Sometimes the reason you get rejected is simply because it is not a good fit. There may be a school out there that is a better fit for what you want to do.

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Francesco
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Content Creator
replied on Mar 30, 2024
#1 Coach for Sessions (4.500+) | 1.500+ 5-Star Reviews | Proven Success (➡ interviewoffers.com) | Ex BCG | 10Y+ Coaching

Hi there, 

Sorry to hear about the MBA rejection. In terms of your question:

Q: Any insights, advice, or experiences shared would be greatly appreciated.

I would recommend the following:

  1. Apply now to MBB/Tier 2 in your region (it seems to risky to apply to the UK directly, unless you have connections/visa there)
  2. At the same time, apply now for the next intake for MBA (I would recommend targeting multiple MBAs and not just one to avoid the risk of being rejected from all)
  3. If you get an offer from MBB/Tier 2, join there, then work for a transfer in a few years to the UK. If you are rejected, apply again after the ban (12-18 months), before the MBA. If you are rejected again, do the MBA and apply again after it.

Good luck!

Francesco

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Cristian gave the best answer

Cristian

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