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State of MBA 2Y Full Time Recruiting Given Economic Conditions

recruiting
New answer on Jul 10, 2024
7 Answers
223 Views
Anonymous A asked on Jun 15, 2024

Hi All, 

I'm currently a second-year MBA student that will be applying for full time roles in Y2. I intentionally did not apply for consulting internships, wanting direct experience in industry. I am currently interning in Strategy & Development at a F500 company that has significant brand recognition, and my background is in Investment Banking. 

 I've had initial coffee chats with 9 consultants and have been told the following: 

  • My narrative for the career shift and not applying for consulting internships is compelling. 
  • I have a strong resume and “in different economic conditions” this would be a straight forward process for me. 
  • 8 out of 9 of the consultants mentioned that second-year recruiting will be minimal at best this year, with firms focusing on filling their demand for MBAs through internships. 

I would appreciate hearing from the community, especially current employees of these firms, about any advice they have. More specifically my questions are: 

  • I have reached out to the recruiting teams representing my school. What is, and is not appropriate to ask concerning this topic when I meet with them? 
  • Should I take these comments with a grain of salt considering my positive interactions with consultants regarding my narrative?
  • How should I adjust my approach to maximize my chances given the current recruiting landscape?

Obviously this is out of my control, and I want to focus on making myself the best applicant and strongest interviewer I can. However, I am mainly trying to understand how to best perform amidst these changing constraints. 

Thanks!

Overview of answers

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Best answer
Cristian
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Jun 16, 2024
#1 rated MBB & McKinsey Coach

This is a great and very structured set of questions. Let me take them one by one.

  • I have reached out to the recruiting teams representing my school. What is, and is not appropriate to ask concerning this topic when I meet with them? 
    • Aim to speak with the recruiters from each of the offices that you're interested in.
    • Ask them directly whether they are currently recruiting and what role would be best for you (maybe they would recommend something that is not along the generalist path and you'd only find out about it through this sort of conversation)
    • Then clarify with them the timeline and the recruitment process. At least this way you know that somebody is actually waiting for you application to come and you have the certainty that they're recruiting
  • Should I take these comments with a grain of salt considering my positive interactions with consultants regarding my narrative?
    • If you've had 9 coffee chats (good job btw), then you can assume that the positive trend of reactions reflects what people actually think about your situation. So if anything I would assume it's a good thing
  • How should I adjust my approach to maximize my chances given the current recruiting landscape?
    • Aside from the conversations you should have with the recruiters, please make sure you get your CV and CL professionally reviewed (it's the best ROI you could get at this point and a big advantage over other applicants) and then go about getting referrals for each of the firms you're applying to. Sharing here a link for how to ask for these referrals: Expert Guide: How To Get Referrals Via LinkedIn?

Best,
Cristian

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Florian
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Jun 16, 2024
1300 5-star reviews across platforms | 500+ offers | Highest-rated case book on Amazon | Uni lecturer in US, Asia, EU

Hi there,

I have a few clients with very similar backgrounds and aspirations at the moment. It's on everyone's mind right now and the situation in the US is quite fluid…

  1. Everything related to recruiting chances, hiring numbers, etc. is appropriate to ask. Don't worry!
  2. The thing is, even the HR of MBB does not know at the moment how the situation will evolve. They are waiting for confirmation and hiring goals themselves and from what I have gathered a. the process is slightly delayed in some firms due to this and b. rather than committing to FT hires this year, they would prefer to hire interns for a potential return offer later down the line (with the hope that business and demand have picked up by then). Hiring interns gives them more flexibility to adjust to the evolving market.
  3. You need to excel at every stage of the recruiting funnel. You are already working on the first step, networking. Next would be to score definitive referrals, then polish your resume, etc. Please reach out if you want a free guidebook on how to navigate the current market.

All the best,

Florian

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Francesco
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Jun 16, 2024
#1 Coach for Sessions (4.500+) | 1.500+ 5-Star Reviews | Proven Success (➡ interviewoffers.com) | Ex BCG | 10Y+ Coaching

Hi there, 

1) I have reached out to the recruiting teams representing my school. What is, and is not appropriate to ask concerning this topic when I meet with them?

I guess you mean the fact that they are not hiring many second-year students? I don’t see why raising this topic could be useful. The main goal with networking, if the objective is to maximize the chances of an invitation, is to get a referral from a consultant, so I would focus on that.

2) Should I take these comments with a grain of salt considering my positive interactions with consultants regarding my narrative?

I don't see utility in the comments, as they won't help in terms of getting an offer.

3) How should I adjust my approach to maximize my chances given the current recruiting landscape? 

I assume you have already optimized your CV and Cover. If that’s the case, I would focus on getting a referral. You can find more on that at the link below:

How to Get an MBB Invitation

Good luck!

Francesco

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Ashwin
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Jun 18, 2024
Ex Bain Manager , Deloitte Director| 200+ MBB Offers | INSEAD

Question 1: Reaching Out to Recruiting Teams

Answer:
When meeting with recruiting teams, ask about the current hiring status, specific roles available, and the application process. Avoid questions about salary, benefits, or sensitive internal information.

Appropriate Questions:

  • "What opportunities and roles are currently available?"
  • "Which roles would you recommend based on my background?"
  • "What is the timeline and process for applications?"

Inappropriate Questions:

  • Personal benefits (e.g., salary)
  • Sensitive company information

Strategy Tip:
Engage with recruiters from all offices of interest 

Question 2: Interpreting Positive Feedback from Consultants

Answer:
Positive feedback from multiple consultants likely reflects genuine perceptions. Consistent positive interactions suggest your narrative is effective.

Strategy Tip:
Maintain your approach but seek additional feedback . Ask for specific areas of improvement.

Question 3: Maximizing Chances in the Current Recruiting Landscape

Answer:
To improve your chances:

  1. Get your resume and cover letter professionally reviewed.
  2. Network within the firms and seek referrals.
  3. Tailor applications for each firm, highlighting relevant experiences.
  4. Prepare thoroughly for interviews with case studies and company research.
  5. Stay informed on industry trends and firm-specific challenges.

These steps will enhance your application and improve your chances of success.

All the best,
Regards

Ashwin

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Nilay
Expert
replied on Jun 19, 2024
Former McKinsey Sr Engagement Manager | Trained McKinsey interviewer (100+ interviews, 500+ coaching sessions)

Hi there - thanks for the detailed and well structured question. Some great insights already shared by my colleagues here. So I would focus on your third question a bit more - few things to keep in mind to increase your chances of securing an interview 

  1. Resume screening: Consulting firms are attracted to brand names on your resume. If you attended a target school and your investment banking experience includes firms like Goldman Sachs or Morgan Stanley, your odds of getting picked increase. This is how screening is done, for better or worse. Ensure your resume includes key words screeners look for (e.g., led a team, strategy). Follow all standard layout guidelines, with action verb-leading bullet points

     

  2. Networking: the only referrals that guarantee an interview are partner referrals. So if you are going to spend time networking for referrals I would prioritize seeking partner referrals. Not saying that you shouldn't talk to other consultants definitely do that but telling you the hierarchy of how referral system works

     

  3. Generalists vs specialists: Not sure what you are targeting but if you are targeting a specialized role (e.g., digital, operations) your chances increase since the candidate pool shrinks. Generalist roles attract the maximum number of applications. BTW nowadays there is rarely a generalist engagement. Most of the engagements have an element of digital embedded

     

  4. Geographies: only the middle east region is recruiting actively so if you are open to it put that as an office choice. They do prefer candidates from the region (for language, cultural and boosting local economy reasons) but it never hurts trying. Might be worth talking to your school’s recruiting team whether this would be an option

     

  5. Expand the list of consulting firms: if you are truly interested in consulting now then I would not limit myself to MBB (not saying that you might be doing that). There are many great consulting firms (e.g., A&M, EY-parthenon, Roland Berger, Deloitte-monitor) so I would cast a wide nest

     

  6. Secure a return offer from your internship: try to convert your internship into a full time return offer. The economy is tough and consulting hiring has slowed down considerably. Even if you secure an interview does not guarantee you an offer. So having a fall back option would give you peace of mind


Hope this helps. All the best!!

Cheers

Nilay


 

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Hagen
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Jul 10, 2024
#1 recommended coach | >95% success rate | most experience in consulting, interviewing, and coaching

Hi there,

I would be happy to share my thoughts on your questions:

  • First of all, it certainly makes sense to take comments from people other than recruiters with a grain of salt, as only they know for certain. I am currently working with several MBA candidates who have been told otherwise, although it may also depend on the university.
  • Moreover, I think it's less about what you should and shouldn't ask and more about what you do and don't want to ask. Can you perhaps shed some light on this?
  • Lastly, the only aspects you can influence are polished application files and a strong referral, which I am happy to help you with.

If you would like a more detailed discussion on how to best prepare for your upcoming interviews, please don't hesitate to contact me directly.

Best,

Hagen

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Pedro
Expert
replied on Jun 17, 2024
Bain | EY-Parthenon | Private Equity | Market Estimates | Fit Interview

I consider that at this point you are doing the right things - I don't see anything obvious that you are missing. 

This means that for companies recruiting on campus keep doing what you are doing.

What you must do now is to add off-campus recruiting to your action plan, in order to maximize your chances.

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Cristian gave the best answer

Cristian

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