Top-strategy boutique to MBB or Exit ?

boutique growth strategy MBB
New answer on Sep 01, 2020
7 Answers
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Anonymous A asked on Aug 29, 2020

Hello,

I am reaching a certain tenure at a top-strategy boutique in Europe. I was lucky enough to do all sort of projects (strategy, ops, implementation, etc.) yet "pure strategy works" (growth & due diligence) are 90% of my expertise. I am considering an exit move in the upcoming months. I am tempted to join a MBB, but afraid I would be disapointed in the type of strategy work they do. Would anyone, who went from a top strategy boutique (such as CVA, Estin, Mars&CO, etc.) to MBB, could help me see clearer what type of strategy work is available at Mck/BCG? I would like to be sure I can progress / learn within their strategy practice.

Thank you everyone for a great website/Q&A section!

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Clara
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replied on Aug 29, 2020
McKinsey | Awarded professor at Master in Management @ IE | MBA at MIT |+180 students coached | Integrated FIT Guide aut

Hello!

I honestly don´t think you would be disappointed since:

  • Scopes will be bigger
  • Impact also will be higher
  • The tenure of people with whom you will be working in the client side will be C levels

Hence, the opportunities for sure will be different, but I don´t think disappointing.

Furthermore, you would bring so much value to the table as an experienced hired by being an ex consultant already, which would allow you to hit the ground running!

Hope it helps!

Best,

Clara

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Anonymous replied on Aug 30, 2020

Dear A,

I'm sure that you can conquer and open for you new horizon in your career.

As other experts said, the only difference are with scope of work and project.

So go on.

Best,

André

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Francesco
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replied on Aug 30, 2020
#1 Expert for Coaching Sessions (3.600+) | 1.300+ Reviews with 100% Recommendation Rate | Ex BCG | 8+ Years of Coaching

Hi there,

Not sure why you should be disappointed with the strategy job at MBB:

  • Projects are top-notch
  • All the areas you mentioned are covered by them with big clients

It is true though that MBB don’t do only strategy projects nowadays.

Exit opportunities are also one important variable to consider. For most people, consulting is a journey that lasts 2-3 years before an exit. Even if the strategy projects you find there are not as good as your current ones (which I don’t think is the case), the new brand in your resume will help to open several more doors.

Best,

Francesco

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Udayan
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replied on Aug 29, 2020
Top rated MBB coach with many offers /Ex McKinsey EM in New York /6 years McKinsey recruiting experience/Real cases

Hi,

Great question. In reality the work itself is not very different. You will be doing similar type of projects overall. But here is what is different

1. Scale of projects - you will typically be working on larger clients with a greater overall impact

2. Scope of work - A LOT of projects in MBB have more than just blue sky strategy. Many use advanced analytics, designers, implementation coaches etc.

3. Branding/Presitge - for better or worse, there is more prestige associated with doing strategy at MBB - practically this means better exit opportunities in strategy/p[s roles.

At the end of the day it depends of your longer term plan. If you see yourself having a career in strategy it may be a good move. You will be challenged in different ways. If a career in strategy is not your longer term goal there are better alternatives open to you

Best,

Udayan

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Robert
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replied on Aug 29, 2020
McKinsey offers w/o final round interviews - 100% risk-free - 10+ years MBB coaching experience - Multiple book author

Hi Anonymous,

Quite some of my coachees also moved from a boutique strategy consulting firm to MBB.

Key take-away: the nature of work isn't that much different, but the studies done are mostly of a larger scale with top-notch firms on C-level, with quite more powerful knowledge inside the consulting firm.

So not sure if it's reasonable to expect that big of a change - but I'd still say you can progress and learn further within MBB!

Hope that helps - if so, please be so kind and give it a thumbs-up with the green upvote below!

Robert

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Anonymous B replied on Aug 29, 2020

MBB projects have a higher profile and scale so although work is similar - you will most definitely learn more. Beyond strategy frameworks - people skills are another asset that MBB will give you

Finally - this will also enhance your exit opps and there is almost nothing to lose from the move so I would recommend

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Ian
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replied on Sep 01, 2020
BCG | 100% personal interview success rate (8/8) and 95% candidate success rate | Personalized interview prep

Hi there,

While I agree with the other coaches that MBB are, on paper, the best places to progress and advance your career, they are not necessarily the best places for you as an individual to learn.

So, while I absolutely would state that MBB is an excellent choice if you're looking to progress / learn and get exposure to incredeible projects, I would also caveat the following....

At boutiques you really are a "family". So, you'll generally get better mentorship, feel more supported/engaged, and feel like you're making more of a difference. Boutiques also can't afford to just rely on their name, so need to really make sure their work is top-notch. If you currently have a great supportive boss you're learning from, enjoy the work, etc. then just take a breath and think things through. You may end up at MBB and have an amazing career, but you also may get "unlucky" with a bad boss or two, getting lost in the system, etc.

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Clara gave the best answer

Clara

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