Transfer from Tier 2 to Tier 1

Big 4 MBB
New answer on Dec 02, 2022
11 Answers
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Anonymous A asked on Nov 30, 2022

Hi there,

quick question. How high are the chances of being able to transfer from a tier 2 firm (Big 4/RB/OW) to MBB after 1 or 2 years work experience in London/NY?

 

Many thanks!

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Maikol
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updated an answer on Dec 02, 2022
BCG Project Leader | Former Bain, AlixPartner, and PE | INSEAD MBA | GMAT 780

Over time is becoming more complex to shift from Big 4 + Accenture to MBB.
Switching from OW-RB-AP-A&M is easier, but getting tougher.

At Big4 + Accenture, problem-solving, communication, type of projects, speed of execution, challenges are so different to those you face at MBB that many MBB have noticed that people coming from Big 4 + Accenture take a lot of time to learn how to work the MBB-way.

In some real Tier-2 firms (OW, RB, AP, A&M) more than 50% of the senior people have some kind of MBB experience and that makes junior resources more aligned with MBB's requests. 

The slowdown we have seen recently in the consulting hiring makes everything more complex.

The other thing to consider is that if you stay 2 years at Deloitte, to make an example, and you move to McKinsey, your seniority will be lost, and you'll have to start from entry-level. In my view, this should not be an issue, but you have to be aware of it. 


 

(edited)

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Anonymous A on Dec 01, 2022

What about from Monitor, S& and EY P? Same as big4 or more aligned with "true" tier 2?

Maikol on Dec 01, 2022

I have never seen Monitor, S&, EY P, or Accenture Strategy in proposals against MBB. I mostly focused on PE (both DD and portfolio management) or strategy/corporate finance projects. Therefore, I would say that those firms are more aligned with Big 4 than real Tier-2.

Ian
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replied on Dec 01, 2022
MBB | 100% personal interview success rate (8/8) and 95% candidate success rate | Personalized interview prep

Hi there,

The short answer is that it is hard. MBB don't “target” Tier 2 because those consultants have learned a different way of working/operating. That said, it's not at all impossible. You need to work hard for it by showing success in your current role (lots of experience, promotions, strong network, etc.). Then, you need to network extensively and get to know people at the Tier 1 firms. 

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Anonymous A on Dec 01, 2022

how would you recommend networking with tier 1 folk while working for a tier 2?

Florian
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replied on Dec 01, 2022
#1 rated McKinsey Coach | Top MBB Coach | 5 years @ McKinsey | Author of the 1% | 120+ McK offers in 18 months

Hi there,

It is possible but it happens way less often than transfers from industry > MBB. Ian pointed out some reasons. Additionally, I believe many folks in tier-2 firms are happy where they are and do not want to go through the whole recruiting hassle again (all while working a lot already).

If you are interested in switching, I would recommend targeted networking (reaching out to the right EMs, Partners, and Associates within fields that are interesting for you or people you share a common background with).

Big 4 would not fall under tier 2 and chances are lower to transition.

Cheers,

Florian

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Rushabh
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replied on Dec 01, 2022
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Hello,

It should be fairly doable as long as you can crack the interviews :) For sure you have a higher chance of receiving the interview invites given your work experience.

All the best!

Rushabh

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Mario
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replied on Nov 30, 2022
Ex-Mckinsey (analyst->associate->manager) and now in tech (Bytedance) + Part time interview coach and mentor

Hi there,

 

It's possible but it's not guaranteed at all. You really need to put in a lot of efforts in securing a good referral, and ace the tests and the interviews.

Mario

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Adi
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replied on Nov 30, 2022
Accenture, Deloitte | Precision Case Prep | Experienced Interviewer & Career Coach | 15 years professional experience

Nothing is impossible but its very hard to give you pointed advice without knowing details of your background. But it can be done with good planning, networking and strong application.

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Anonymous A on Nov 30, 2022

started at tier 2, no previous experience. non-business degree.

Dennis
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replied on Nov 30, 2022
Seasoned project leader with 7+ years of consulting and recruiting experience in USA and Europe

I know people who transferred from Tier 2 to MBB - both at the junior level as well as tenured consultant / manager levels. So it is possible. 

In general I would say your chances are higher if you bring a certain expertise to the table (industry/functional). But this is something you usually don’t pick up after working in consulting for only 1-2 years. It depends on the individual case

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Emily
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replied on Nov 30, 2022
Ex McKinsey EM & interviewer (5 yrs) USA & UK| Coached / interviewed 200 +|Free 15 min intro| Stanford MBA|Non-trad

It’s quite hard to say how high the percentages are as it depends a lot on what you’re doing at the T2 firm. Any experience is great to be able to bolster your answers to the FIT questions - but it needs to be the type of experience which gives you opportunities to get great stories. 

Good luck! 

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Pedro
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replied on Nov 30, 2022
Bain | EY-Parthenon | Roland Berger |Former Head Recruiter | Market Sizing

You have chances… but not sure how to give you a more precise answer… 

Your chances will be higher from a Tier 2 than from a Big4, more so if not coming from one of their strategy brands.

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Anonymous on Nov 30, 2022

So coming from EY-P is more challenging than say RB/OW?

(edited)

Pedro on Dec 01, 2022

Yes, it is. Unless you are coming from the corporate strategy / due diligence team and target the PE practices of MBB.

Benjamin
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replied on Dec 02, 2022
Ex-BCG Principal | 8+ years consulting experience in SEA | BCG top interviewer with ~5 years of interviewing experience

Hi there,

I dont have experience in London/NY, but sharing my POV making a switch from Tier 2 to Tier 1 in SEA.

  1. It is possible, but whether your chance is high or low will depend on
    • Strong referral (this helped me personally)
    • Office growth & demand
      • At least in SEA, I know MBB has been actively recruiting from Tier 2
      • The reality is that MBB is not averse to hiring laterally from Tier 2 but that it is just difficult to find qualified candidates
    • Relevancy of experience (2 years exp may be relevant enough to join a specific practice area
  2. Based on my experience, consulting transfers at times are preferred (if they come from a strong Tier 2) because they at least have some consulting background vs MBA hires 
  3. Yes you will give up your network and reputation in your current firm and you will have to rebuild everything from scratch
  4. However, speaking from experience, it is 100% worth it to make the switch if you can

All the best!

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Anonymous A on Dec 02, 2022

Hey Benjamin, thanks for sharing! Was your referral from someone within your tier 2? How did you go about finding someone willing to write one for your switch?

Udayan
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replied on Dec 01, 2022
Top rated McKinsey Case & PEI coach/Multiple real offers/McKinsey EM in New York /6 years McKinsey recruiting experience

Coming from a T2 firm is a good background to get into MBB. Some points to note - MBB are highly aware that many roles in T2 are not strategic (a lot of work is pure ops or pure project management) which does not translate to the work MBB does. So have very clear examples on your resume that highlights the work experience that they are after.

Additionally, the hiring market seems to have slowed considerably in Q4 so timing may also play a role in your chances of getting in. If the economy and demand for consulting accelerates as it did in Q4 of 2020 and Q1 of 2021 then your chances are much higher (assuming you have the right work experience).

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Anonymous B on Dec 02, 2022

I've worked for a T2 and a MBB, and this is not my experience. In fact, I did more PMO and transformation work at MBB and by far much more pure strategy at a Tier2. That was actually one of the things that surprised me when I joined MBB - the ammount of PMO work across the office (and the region) was significantly higher than in my previous T2 job.

Maikol gave the best answer

Maikol

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BCG Project Leader | Former Bain, AlixPartner, and PE | INSEAD MBA | GMAT 780
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