Get Active in Our Amazing Community of Over 451,000 Peers!

Schedule mock interviews on the Meeting Board, join the latest community discussions in our Consulting Q&A and find like-minded Case Partners to connect and practice with!

Start with an unknown consulting firm

Career Advising career progression
Edited on Jan 21, 2020
4 Answers
1.5 k Views
Anonymous A asked on Jan 20, 2020

Hello all and hope some experienced people from MBB can shed some light. I am in an individual contributor role (no consulting duty at all) at an F50 company and have a job offer from a small consulting firm that is not well known but expands pretty fast. Its clients range from mid size to F500 companies. I am wondering whether I should move on to this consultant position or work up to a managing position in my current company if I want to apply for MBB in a couple of years. Thanks.

Overview of answers

  • Upvotes
  • Date ascending
  • Date descending
Best answer
Content Creator
replied on Jan 20, 2020
#1 Coach for Sessions (4.500+) | 1.500+ 5-Star Reviews | Proven Success (➡ | Ex BCG | 10Y+ Coaching

Hi Anonymous,

honestly none of the positions would make easy to be considered for MBB. The standard profiles for top consulting firms are:

  • Top new graduates – either undergrad or MBA
  • Consultants from other MBB or Tier 2
  • Strategy roles in big brands

This doesn’t mean you cannot move from a non-strategy role in F50 or from a small consulting to MBB but it will be hard.

My suggestion is to try to freeze the offer and apply now for MBB and Tier 2. If that doesn’t work I would choose looking at where the alumni of your company and the consulting firm ended to make a decision. Once chosen, you could then reapply in due time and if that also doesn’t work apply for an MBA and reapply after that.



Was this answer helpful?
Content Creator
replied on Jan 20, 2020
BCG |NASA | SDA Bocconi & Cattolica partner | GMAT expert 780/800 score | 200+ students coached


If your long term goal is to join consultancy I would accept the offer. Having some experience as consultant is always a good plus in order to prove both your motivations and skills.
Anyway, try to start the selection process with MBB asap because spending too many years in an unknown consulting firm could be a problem for them.

I would then consider the following 2 points:

  1. Have you considered to freeze the offer and start MBB interviews in the meanwhile?
  2. Would you accept an offer from Tier-2 consulting firms? If not you should be careful because the risk of not being accepted from MBB is always high.

Hope it helps,

Was this answer helpful?
replied on Jan 20, 2020
McKinsey | BCG | CERN| University of Cambridge

Hello there,

In order to move to MBB there are several things need tro be considered between the 2 options:

  • What specialization would each enables you to develop - positioning yourself as an expert on a specific industries and functions woud translate well in improving your opportunities in getting to MBB firms, especially with the rapid acquisition made by these firms in recent years
  • Opportunity to step up to a leadership role between the two - having experience in managing a team, commbined with a specific expertise will make you a desirable candidate for MBB firms, not to mention this could enable you to come in on a higher role within the firms

How you might come in to MBB firms might be different between these 2 options.

  • For the large company, you might be poached as an expert Associate, EM, or Partner later on (focus on developing your individual skillset)
  • For smaller consulting firm, there's a possibility that the firm might be acquired by MBB firms, which in this case would put you inside the firms directly - do take a look if the function / industry focus / specialization of the consulting firm fits the current expansion plan for MBB firms

Finally, take some time to consider if a role as consultant, which often times requires morwe demanding work hours and intensity, while also encompassing a much broader functional and industrial coverage would suit your personal preference and long-term objectives.

Hope it helps.
I wish you the very best.

Kind regards,

Was this answer helpful?
Content Creator
updated an answer on Jan 21, 2020
McKinsey | Awarded professor at Master in Management @ IE | MBA at MIT |+180 students coached | Integrated FIT Guide aut


I´d say it depends on what your ultimate goal is:

  • If you are convinced that you want to get to MBB, I would:
    • Apply atm while you freeze the other offer
    • If it doen´t work out, reconsider with the options you have
  • If consulting appeals you, regardless of MBB, I would give it a shot
  • If not, and you are happy with your job, you can always pursue a carreer there and make the jump in a more senior level -tought difficult-.

Hope it helps.




Was this answer helpful?
How likely are you to recommend us to a friend or fellow student?
0 = Not likely
10 = Very likely