I'll briefly tell you my application history for MBB:
- McKinsey: I interviewed in October 2018 for offices in my home country and got rejected (I was really bad at cases back then). Not knowing that the 1.5-2 year ban is global, I re-applied after a few months for another country and got rejected. Furthermore, I applied for 3-4 other countries where English was the official office language, using a different email address and a shorter version of my first name in the application. It obviously did not work. In the very last rejection letter, they even manually added a small paragraph that the feedback applies globally and that I should reapply 1 year after my graduation.
- BCG: I interviewed with my home country offices in April, and did not make it (the interviewer encouraged me though to reapply, theoretically even after 1 year). Similar to McKinsey, I applied for other countries using another email address and nickname, and got rejected probably because I was in the system.
- Bain: not knowing about central recruiting, I applied in October last year for US on-campus interviews and got rejected. A couple months later for another country and some time later for my home country and one month ago again for the US with different email address and nickname, all applications were not successful.
To be honest, there is very much uncertainty floating around on the internet regarding global vs. local recruiting system in consulting. Even HR did not give me precise information at all. Before applying to my home country at BCG, I called HR and asked about this issue, they explicitly told me that even after a rejection I could continue applying to other countries and that the ban only counts country-wide. At McKinsey and Bain I asked the same questions to HR via email, they only said that I was welcome to re-apply whenever and to any international office I wanted and that the waiting period is only a suggestion from the firm (and did not answer the question whether recruiting was global or not and whether the ban period is internationally applied).
After being rejected once, I had informational conversations with multiple consultants on the phone, some of them agreed that I mention them in the cover letter and even forwarded my CV to recruiting. Meanwhile I know that MBB recruiting is global because a consultant told me so after trying to refer me.
Nevertheless, I am afraid of 2 things: 1. that I maybe got on their nerves and they banned me forever (although, as I mentioned, HR never clarified that the ban period is global and even told me I was welcome to apply at any time, for any country, so it would be weird if it has negative consequences to reapply within the waiting period when even explicitly told by them to be welcome to do so), and 2. that the waiting period is automatically extended after each application.
Therefore, I have 2 questions:
1.) Given that, at each of those firms, the maximum time between the earliest and the latest of my applications is 11-12 months (McK, Bain), could it be the case that they have extended the ban period each time? Therefore, should I wait a year and apply again, or rather 2 years from now?
2.) Meanwhile I have 2 interviews with Tier3 consulting firms, one with ATK Middle East (which, as often stated on threads here, will take place after January) and one with an Inhouse firm. For having a good starting position to be able to re-apply to MBB after 1 year, would the best option for me now to try to get into Tier2-Tier3 consulting, Inhouse Consulting or a trainee position in industry? Actually, would anything beyond Tier2-Tier3 Consulting hurt my CV for re-applying to MBB?
I am sorry, I know I sound quite desparate right now... It just feels like it is the end of the world, although it is probably not...