Only ex-McKinsey and Oliver Wyman Partner on PrepLounge
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Switching from a Tier 2 to MBB

Anonymous A

Hello everyone,

I was wondering how easy it is to switch from a Tier 2 to a Tier 1; if I receive no Tier 1 offer is it a good strategy to accept it then try to switch? What would be the timeline? That is, if my ultimate aim is to work at MBB.

My underlying question is - what exactly is the selection process when screening CV and more specifically when looking at work experience? What experience is valuable/prioritised?



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replied on 10/20/2017
Only ex-McKinsey and Oliver Wyman Partner on PrepLounge

I assume that you are talking about working for a Tier 2 post University (either Undergrad or MBA) and not an internship. In that case, it’s not necessarily a negative but that depends on what your other offers you are weighing the Tier 2 opportunity against. An industry brand name (e.g., Google, Microsoft, IBM) could likely be much more impressive when later when applying to MBB.

If you decide to go to a Tier 2, you will need at least 2, but really 3+ years to be seriously considered for an experienced hire position. The exception would be if you become very specialized quickly at the Tier 2 in an area that the Tier 1 is expanding its expert / experienced hiring.

To answer your underlying question about the selection process, it varies for University Hires and Experienced Hires. Since I'm assuming you are asking about Experienced Hires, the screening process depends on the Office / Practice needs. For instance, offices usually have 2-3 verticals (e.g., High Tech) / horizontals (e.g., Marketing & Sales) that they specialize in (usually dictated by geography) and tend to hire experienced hires that fit that profile based on prior experience. Practices obviously hire backgrounds fit for their practice. However, they can be based in any office or likely multiple offices. The experience that makes you attractive as an Experienced Hire can be gained from a Tier 2 consulting firm or a more traditional company. However, recognize that there is some chance that if you go to a Tier 2, you may only be a generalist for a couple of years and therefore have a hard time making your case to MBB.

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replied on 10/21/2017

Hi L,

If you want to join MBB but only have consulting tier 2 offers, one strategy is to join other industry tier 1 companies, in whatever field you're interested in, so that you bring the best of that industry in your resume for an MBB application a couple of years down the road.

Good luck!