Cookie and Privacy Settings

This website uses cookies to enable essential functions like the user login and sessions. We also use cookies and third-party tools to improve your surfing experience on preplounge.com. You can choose to activate only essential cookies or all cookies. You can always change your preference in the cookie and privacy settings. This link can also be found in the footer of the site. If you need more information, please visit our privacy policy.

Data processing in the USA: By clicking on "I accept", you also consent, in accordance with article 49 paragraph 1 sentence 1 lit. GDPR, to your data being processed in the USA (by Google LLC, Facebook Inc., LinkedIn Inc., Stripe, Paypal).

Manage settings individually I accept
expert
Expert with best answer

Robert

96% Recommendation Rate

318 Meetings

3,653 Q&A Upvotes

USD 219 / Coaching

6

Targeting English speaking MBB office strategy?

Hi everyone, I am new here and obviously still a long way to go regarding absorbing all the materials here, however my inquiry is rather a delicate one. I am a master student of a technical university in the Netherlands, with still 1 year to go before graduation. In addition I currently have an internship with a fortune500 company (top10) + another master degree from mech. engineering (outside of netherlands as I am not Dutch, cum laude) + a publication in an academic journal.

My main problem is that based on my previous research, McK & BCG for instance, require Dutch fluency in the Netherlands (even for their networking events!!!), while as for Bain, I have found a source here saying that they are okay with English only (though I cannot confirm or deny that on their website so its still up in the air) but they don't even have networking events in the next X months in the netherlands. I have read here that Nordic offices could be an option next to the UK of course but I fear that if I apply out of the blue my application will not go through as the prestige of technical uni is lost when you cross the border as it is not like top50 or something. And in that case I can't reapply for a year or so. Don't want to get rejected for no reason (ie language fluency)

I am not sure how to approach the people in these office's as I am sure they have their own target group (ie Swedish office targeting swedish uni/ppl) and wouldn't be interested in me seeing I don't have a fancy business school on my resume. Another way down the road in improving my resume is doing my thesis in Big4 but that's as far as it goes at this point, I still do not think that its a resume for passing the screening stage in a completely different country.

edit: ME offices are of course a great option and I would be willing but due to visa requirements I think they would be even more improbable (+ even harder networking I imagine)

I'd appreciate any insight you folks could offer!

Hi everyone, I am new here and obviously still a long way to go regarding absorbing all the materials here, however my inquiry is rather a delicate one. I am a master student of a technical university in the Netherlands, with still 1 year to go before graduation. In addition I currently have an internship with a fortune500 company (top10) + another master degree from mech. engineering (outside of netherlands as I am not Dutch, cum laude) + a publication in an academic journal.

My main problem is that based on my previous research, McK & BCG for instance, require Dutch fluency in the Netherlands (even for their networking events!!!), while as for Bain, I have found a source here saying that they are okay with English only (though I cannot confirm or deny that on their website so its still up in the air) but they don't even have networking events in the next X months in the netherlands. I have read here that Nordic offices could be an option next to the UK of course but I fear that if I apply out of the blue my application will not go through as the prestige of technical uni is lost when you cross the border as it is not like top50 or something. And in that case I can't reapply for a year or so. Don't want to get rejected for no reason (ie language fluency)

I am not sure how to approach the people in these office's as I am sure they have their own target group (ie Swedish office targeting swedish uni/ppl) and wouldn't be interested in me seeing I don't have a fancy business school on my resume. Another way down the road in improving my resume is doing my thesis in Big4 but that's as far as it goes at this point, I still do not think that its a resume for passing the screening stage in a completely different country.

edit: ME offices are of course a great option and I would be willing but due to visa requirements I think they would be even more improbable (+ even harder networking I imagine)

I'd appreciate any insight you folks could offer!

(edited)

6 answers

  • Upvotes
  • Date ascending
  • Date descending
Best Answer
Book a coaching with Robert

96% Recommendation Rate

318 Meetings

3,653 Q&A Upvotes

USD 219 / Coaching

Hi Anonymous,

Thanks for all the information provided.

For non-experienced hires (like in your situation), offices usually require to speak their local language, at least up to some level (it's not black or white..). It's also important for yourself on office Fridays to not be left out from some information conversations and being really part of that office. Also, for local projects it's important to speak local language - even though official language might be English, you will never bond the same as in local language though.

(For experienced hires - if there is a need for a certain resource/skill-set in the respective office for staffing some projects - the language is less important ..).

The most secure way to get to on-site interviews is always to network your way into that, and have some consultant (the higher in the ranks, the better) forwarding your application to HR. Unless your application documents are a complete mess, with that route you surpass the first HR screening and get invited to on-site interviews directly. Oftenly this is easier said than done - but with Xing/Linked-In etc. you have good tools in your hand to do some research and try to find some connections, unless you anyway have some acquaintances "somewhere" around close to those firms you are targeting.

In respect to the real requirements, you can always give HR a call upfront just to find out if local language is an absolute requirement from their side as well. Don't by shy to call them on the phone, it's their job to service potential hires!

Hope that helps - if so, please give it a thumbs-up with the upvote button!

Robert

Hi Anonymous,

Thanks for all the information provided.

For non-experienced hires (like in your situation), offices usually require to speak their local language, at least up to some level (it's not black or white..). It's also important for yourself on office Fridays to not be left out from some information conversations and being really part of that office. Also, for local projects it's important to speak local language - even though official language might be English, you will never bond the same as in local language though.

(For experienced hires - if there is a need for a certain resource/skill-set in the respective office for staffing some projects - the language is less important ..).

The most secure way to get to on-site interviews is always to network your way into that, and have some consultant (the higher in the ranks, the better) forwarding your application to HR. Unless your application documents are a complete mess, with that route you surpass the first HR screening and get invited to on-site interviews directly. Oftenly this is easier said than done - but with Xing/Linked-In etc. you have good tools in your hand to do some research and try to find some connections, unless you anyway have some acquaintances "somewhere" around close to those firms you are targeting.

In respect to the real requirements, you can always give HR a call upfront just to find out if local language is an absolute requirement from their side as well. Don't by shy to call them on the phone, it's their job to service potential hires!

Hope that helps - if so, please give it a thumbs-up with the upvote button!

Robert

Book a coaching with Clara

100% Recommendation Rate

55 Meetings

14,641 Q&A Upvotes

USD 229 / Coaching

Hello!

First of all, regarding the languages, it totally depends on the office. As a thumb rule, you should think: in this determined geography, do local clients speak English? Or would they need local language to communicate?

Regarding how to best secure an offer without coming from a target school, don´t worry, since i´ts not impossible. There are plenty of cases, I am one of them -I am actually an architect!!-. I would suggest you to (1) leverage or build a network and (2) attend to networking events -the ones from the firms, from Unis, specially targetted for groups, etc.-.

Hope it helps!

Cheers,

Clara

Hello!

First of all, regarding the languages, it totally depends on the office. As a thumb rule, you should think: in this determined geography, do local clients speak English? Or would they need local language to communicate?

Regarding how to best secure an offer without coming from a target school, don´t worry, since i´ts not impossible. There are plenty of cases, I am one of them -I am actually an architect!!-. I would suggest you to (1) leverage or build a network and (2) attend to networking events -the ones from the firms, from Unis, specially targetted for groups, etc.-.

Hope it helps!

Cheers,

Clara

Book a coaching with Luca

100% Recommendation Rate

45 Meetings

2,590 Q&A Upvotes

USD 189 / Coaching

Hello,

It depends on the specific country, but usually to join countries where company's clients speak english, the local language it's not mandatory.
Another option could be to enter an office of your home country or an english speaking country (USA, UK, ME..). Once that you enter is easier to move between the offfices wihout bein required for the local language.

Best,
Luca

Hello,

It depends on the specific country, but usually to join countries where company's clients speak english, the local language it's not mandatory.
Another option could be to enter an office of your home country or an english speaking country (USA, UK, ME..). Once that you enter is easier to move between the offfices wihout bein required for the local language.

Best,
Luca

Book a coaching with Vai

100% Recommendation Rate

17 Meetings

163 Q&A Upvotes

USD 149 / Coaching

I am a non-Swedish speaker working as a consultant in Stockholm. So I can share my first-hand experience here.

I agree with your assessment that once you cross the border, awareness of university declines and some countries do have stringent local language requirement (Southern Europ in particular in my experience)

In your case, I would advise as follows:

  1. Find alumni from your college who are working in your target firms, either locally or in other countries. They will be your best champion and if they provide a referral, the likelihood of interview call is higher despite the language barrier
  2. Some sectors have a higher propensity of clients speaking English (tech, consumer goods for ex.) than others (Public sector, Healthcare likely to work in local language). So shape your CV to be more suitable to sectors accordingly
  3. Prefer global firms over niche local firms
  4. Apply for an internship if direct recruitment is a challenge. work your way to a full-time offer
  5. Join an English speaking office (ME visa requirements are not stringent in my opinion) and then take an internal transfer

I hope it helps. Best of luck!

I am a non-Swedish speaker working as a consultant in Stockholm. So I can share my first-hand experience here.

I agree with your assessment that once you cross the border, awareness of university declines and some countries do have stringent local language requirement (Southern Europ in particular in my experience)

In your case, I would advise as follows:

  1. Find alumni from your college who are working in your target firms, either locally or in other countries. They will be your best champion and if they provide a referral, the likelihood of interview call is higher despite the language barrier
  2. Some sectors have a higher propensity of clients speaking English (tech, consumer goods for ex.) than others (Public sector, Healthcare likely to work in local language). So shape your CV to be more suitable to sectors accordingly
  3. Prefer global firms over niche local firms
  4. Apply for an internship if direct recruitment is a challenge. work your way to a full-time offer
  5. Join an English speaking office (ME visa requirements are not stringent in my opinion) and then take an internal transfer

I hope it helps. Best of luck!

Hi,

BCG and Bain Amsterdam are both ok with English only. And also a couple of tier-2 firms as well.

Try to network with your alumni, they will tell you more about the offices.

Hi,

BCG and Bain Amsterdam are both ok with English only. And also a couple of tier-2 firms as well.

Try to network with your alumni, they will tell you more about the offices.

(edited)

Are you sure about BCG? Since I've seen a bunch of networking events and they all require fluency in Dutch to participate. — Anonymous A on Mar 09, 2020

Book a coaching with Nathaniel

3 Meetings

447 Q&A Upvotes

USD 189 / Coaching

Hello there,

As Robert says, English is primarily being utilized at selected office such as UK, US, Singapore, Middle East, Australia, etc. Some Nordic offices does open to English speakers but there's competition with candidates with similar profiles with an added bonus of fluency in local language.

Typically, people would try to focus on their home country to break into MBB, as unless you have specific skillset, being in a new country plus without fluency of local language will put your profile at disadvantage.

One way to do this is having an exchange or some kind of exposure to the target country (internship, etc), and then network your way in to the consultants and partners there.

Hope it helps.

Kind regards,
Nathan

Hello there,

As Robert says, English is primarily being utilized at selected office such as UK, US, Singapore, Middle East, Australia, etc. Some Nordic offices does open to English speakers but there's competition with candidates with similar profiles with an added bonus of fluency in local language.

Typically, people would try to focus on their home country to break into MBB, as unless you have specific skillset, being in a new country plus without fluency of local language will put your profile at disadvantage.

One way to do this is having an exchange or some kind of exposure to the target country (internship, etc), and then network your way in to the consultants and partners there.

Hope it helps.

Kind regards,
Nathan

Related case(s)

MBB Final Round Case - Smart Education

Solved 16.6k times
MBB Final Round Case - Smart Education Our client is SmartBridge, a nonprofit educational institution offering face-to-face tutoring services. The client operates in the US. The mission of SmartBridge is to help as many students as possible to complete studies and prevent that they drop from the school system, in particular in disadvantaged areas. The client is considering starting operations for its services in the Chicago area. They hired us to understand if that makes sense. Due to the nonprofit regulation, SmartBridge should operate on its own in the market, without any partnership. How would you help our client?
4.6 5 585
| Rating: (4.6 / 5.0)

Our client is SmartBridge, a nonprofit educational institution offering face-to-face tutoring services. The client operates in the US. The mission of SmartBridge is to help as many students as possible to complete studies and prevent that they drop from the school system, in particular in disadvant ... Open whole case

Espresso, Whatelse?

Solved 9.8k times
Espresso, Whatelse? Espresso Whatelse is an Italian company that produces coffee and espresso machines since 1908. It is the Italian market leader and has a strong presence overall in Europe. In 2019, Espresso Whatelse has increased its revenues but it has seen declining profit margin. Your client wants to understand the root causes of this 2019 trend and how to increase its profit margin again.  
4.6 5 488
| Rating: (4.6 / 5.0)

Espresso Whatelse is an Italian company that produces coffee and espresso machines since 1908. It is the Italian market leader and has a strong presence overall in Europe. In 2019, Espresso Whatelse has increased its revenues but it has seen declining profit margin. Your client wants to understand ... Open whole case

Hot Wheels

Solved 5.2k times
Hot Wheels Problem definition: Our client is Korean Car Parts (KCP), a multi-national original equipment manufacturer (OEM) of car parts based in Korea. They've recently seen a decline in profits and have brought us in to understand how to address this falling profitability.
4.6 5 290
| Rating: (4.6 / 5.0)

Problem definition: Our client is Korean Car Parts (KCP), a multi-national original equipment manufacturer (OEM) of car parts based in Korea. They've recently seen a decline in profits and have brought us in to understand how to address this falling profitability. Open whole case

MBB Case: COVID-19 Vaccine

Solved 4.7k times
MBB Case: COVID-19 Vaccine The COVID-19 pandemic has killed millions of people worldwide and led to devastating economic impact. A vaccine is one of the biggest hopes for stopping the pandemic.  The World Health Organization (WHO) is working with multiple stakeholders to ensure groups at higher risk of becoming infected and dying (e.g. elderly people and healthcare workers) receive a safe an effective COVID-19 vaccine in the next six months. The WHO’s Director-General asked your help to build a plan to achieve this goal. What should be included in this plan?
4.6 5 247
| Rating: (4.6 / 5.0)

The COVID-19 pandemic has killed millions of people worldwide and led to devastating economic impact. A vaccine is one of the biggest hopes for stopping the pandemic. The World Health Organization (WHO) is working with multiple stakeholders to ensure groups at higher risk of becoming infected and ... Open whole case

Chinese Chess - Airline Business During COVID-19

Solved 3.7k times
Chinese Chess - Airline Business During COVID-19 Sky China, a government-backed Chinese airline, has recently seen profits plummet due to COVID-19. Profits are down 80% in the months of February and March, but are showing early signs of a rebound in April.  They've brought you in to first investigate what can be done immediatedly to prevent hemorrhaging cash and surive in the short-term. They are also looking to see how the current situation can be viewed as an opportunity, and what can be done to prepare for the future. 
4.3 5 108
| Rating: (4.3 / 5.0)

Sky China, a government-backed Chinese airline, has recently seen profits plummet due to COVID-19. Profits are down 80% in the months of February and March, but are showing early signs of a rebound in April. They've brought you in to first investigate what can be done immediatedly to prevent hemor ... Open whole case