Transition to MBB for a generalist role

experiecedhire MBB Middle East UK
New answer on Jun 10, 2020
9 Answers
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Anonymous A asked on Jun 08, 2020

Hi everyone,

I am currently an entry level consultant with a specialist consulting arm of a well-known Tier-2 consulting firm in the UK. A few months into the job and I am already fed up with the specific sector, but like the job (I had a general management background during my MSc degree and took this job only because I wanted to get a consulting gig in London)

1. Is it possible that I apply to MBB firms for a generalist consulting role? If I apply in October 2020 for a position in September/October 2021, then I will have around 1 year of experience before starting the job with the MBB firm.

2. Is there any possiblity that I could get some sort of a fast-track role? I understand that I cannot get the role of an Associate in McKinsey/SAC at Bain/Consultant at BCG, but can I negotiate with the HR at the time of hiring for a faster promotion to the next level?

3. Is this sort of fastrack process more possible in another office like Dubai, instead of London? (Only because the process is very structured in the UK)

Thanks!

(edited)

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Vlad
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replied on Jun 08, 2020
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Hi,

1) Yes, why not

2) How can? The fact that you have 1 year at a Tier 2 company does not provide any arguments for a faster promotion. You can only negotiate the entry role (e.g. SBA). But even that is not really negotiable unless you demonstrate a distinctive performance at the interview

3) Nope, there is no fast track. You can get promoted really fast, but you have to demonstrate distinctive performance. It's not based on your previous merits, and 1 year in another company is not a huge advantage

In addition - as a generalist, you will not have a wide variety of projects. Chances are high - you'll get stuck with one industry / client (and to be honest that's the best way to grow in consulting)

Best

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Anonymous A on Jun 09, 2020

Thanks, Vlad! About my 2nd question, I meant if I could negotiate the entry role - like you mentioned SBA for McKinsey or SAC for Bain. Does this happen a lot for lateral hires or is the process entire based on the candidate's profile and conversations with the HR?

Anonymous replied on Jun 08, 2020

1. Is it possible that I apply to MBB firms for a generalist consulting role? If I apply in October 2020 for a position in September/October 2021, then I will have around 1 year of experience before starting the job with the MBB firm.

Yes of course, MBB consulting firms have a very generalist model and after 1 year of experience you will not be considered specialized yet, so no problem in my opinion!

2. Is there any possiblity that I could get some sort of a fast-track role? I understand that I cannot get the role of an Associate in McKinsey/SAC at Bain/Consultant at BCG, but can I negotiate with the HR at the time of hiring for a faster promotion to the next level?

Negotiating the fast track does not seem to me to be a possible option. The fast track is only due to the performance within the firm. On the other hand, you can try to apply for the 2nd grade (eg senior associate vs. associate at BCG) but this does not seem easy (generally you are downgraded by 1 position when you move for a T2 to T1). This is a discussion you should have with HR.

3. Is this sort of fastrack process more possible in another office like Dubai, instead of London? (Only because the process is very structured in the UK)

I don't have this answer :)

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Anonymous on Jun 09, 2020

x

Anonymous replied on Jun 08, 2020

Hi there,

1) It is very much possible - you would need to have the right CV (good educational background + good professional performance + CV tailored to consulting recruiters) - However, maybe consider spending a bit more time in your current industry to have enough time to prove your good professional track record.

2) You cannot negotiate a fast track role - it is very meritocratic, if you deserve a fast track, you will get it.

3) McK HR in Dubai is very abiding to their processes - Only a handful of consultants (out of their 400+ office) get fast-tracked each cycle.

I would encourage you to think again about why you are already fed-up with the sector so quickly - Is it related to the type of the job? or the office culture? or something else ... If it is the type of job, then a consultant in tier-2 will do very similar tasks to a consultant in tier-1. It won't change much. Maybe a switch to MBB is not the most optimal solution.

I hope this helps

Khaled

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Anonymous A on Jun 09, 2020

Thanks, Khaled! For the 2nd question, I meant that could I negotiate starting at Senior BA at McKinsey or Senior Associate at BCG due to the 1 year of experience?

Antonello
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replied on Jun 09, 2020
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Hi
1. yes, you definitely can be considered for a generalist position in MBB. However, in case of being considered for the inteake of Sep 21 I recommend applying after January
2. 3. No fast track once you enter with a specific role. In the phase of the applicatio - if you apply after 1 year of consulting - you can negotiate with HR the entry role, e.g. junior associate/senior business analyst (which is only 1 year distant from associate/consultant position)

Best,
Antonello

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Anonymous replied on Jun 10, 2020

Dear A,

My short answer is

1. Yes, it's possible

2. Not really

3. No

Best,

André

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Robert
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replied on Jun 09, 2020
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Hi Anonymous,

1) Yes.

2) No, HR has no saying in that. But you can be faster to be promoted than the regular scheme and get more responsibility earlier.

3) No - see point 2 as well.

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

Robert

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Clara
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replied on Jun 09, 2020
McKinsey | Awarded professor at Master in Management @ IE | MBA at MIT |+180 students coached | Integrated FIT Guide aut

Hello!

To your points:

  1. Yes, totally!
  2. Not really. 1 year is not enaugh, so for sure you will still apply for a BA position.
  3. Not really

Hope it helps!

Cheers,

Clara

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Ian
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updated an answer on Jun 09, 2020
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1. Yes, 100%! Just make sure you've shown good exposure, responsibilities, and progression!

2+3 forget about this. "Fast-track" is doing your job incredibly well, getting good reviews, and then getting promoted a bit early. It's also getting a bigger bonus because you performed better. Think of "fast-track" as already being built in.

(edited)

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Francesco
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replied on Jun 09, 2020
#1 Expert for Coaching Sessions (3.600+) | 1.300+ Reviews with 100% Recommendation Rate | Ex BCG | 8+ Years of Coaching

Hi there,

please find my answers below:

  1. For sure. You are not likely to have developed strong industry experience anyway after only one year
  2. Not really. You may be able to have some tenure compare to a new entrant, but you cannot negotiate fast track with your experience
  3. I don't think so, given the issue is your previous experience, which being 1 year will be too limited for any kind of negotiation for promotions

Best,

Francesco

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Vlad gave the best answer

Vlad

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