Trying to enter MBB abroad

Advice experience abroad MBB
New answer on Jun 24, 2022
8 Answers
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Anonymous A asked on Jun 18, 2022

Hello guys, I am going to join a master in management next year after finishing my engineering degree. I want to join MBB after the business school. But it’s a low percentage that goes to MBB from this school and I don’t come from the best engineering school. What I am thinking because right now I live abroad and I love the feeling is to join a MBB office in a country where it’s maybe easier to get in. Like I am thinking south America or Czech Republic or Slovakia (I am currently living in Slovakia) but right now my Slovak is not the best. Did some of you actually did this and can give me advices ?

And by curiosity because we never know if one day I miss the home country. How hard it will be to switch back for example to a french office ?

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Francesco
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replied on Jun 19, 2022
#1 Coach for Sessions (4.000+) | 1.400+ 5-Star Reviews | Proven Success (➡ InterviewOffers.com) | Ex BCG | 9Y+ Coaching

Hi there,

1) Did some of you actually do this and can give me advice?

You should apply for a country where:

  • You have working rights
  • Can speak the local language (there are a few exceptions – eg the Middle East)
  • You can show some kind of connections

Plus, ideally, you should apply in a country where you can be referred, in particular if as in your case you are not coming from a target school. 

You can find more on referrals here:

 How to Get an MBB Referral

2) And by curiosity because we never know if one day I miss the home country. How hard it will be to switch back for example to a french office?

You may be able to switch to another country after joining.

To maximize your chances you should ideally:

  • Have one or more partners in your target office favoring the transfer
  • Have one or more partners in your home office favoring the transfer
  • Have a strong performance
  • Have or be able to get working rights in your target office

Hope this helps,

Francesco

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Lucie
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updated an answer on Jun 18, 2022
10+yrs recruiting & top BCG trainer and coach & BCG Project leader & experienced hire & ICF coach

Hi there, 

to be very honest, unless you have an impressive extra-curriculum activity or any other wow achievement all MBB will be very hard if you are just fresh from a non-targeted school. I would recommend not to give up, but also to apply to smaller boutique and 2nd tier consulting to gain a few years experience, that can offset the school and then you will have greater chances. 

Greater/longer working experience you have the less your education matters. 

Other option and probably safer is to try internship position, as all the strong performances get the permanent offer. 

The 2nd question if some offices are easier, I can definitely confirm that even offices with very strong need for staff (considering the YoY growth of MBB, actually all large ones), MBB never compromises. You must be 100% (not even 99% is good enough) fit. And as the last point, for most offices you need local language, exceptions are Dubai, Amsterdam, Nordics and few more

Lucie

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Cristian
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replied on Jun 20, 2022
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Hi there,

Make sure to check the language requirements of the target office. As long as you speak those languages at a close to native level, then there shouldn't be a problem with applying. 

To increase your chances of passing the screening, you should demonstrate some sort of link to that country. For instance, you studied or lived there or you have family there or some other personal reason that would show that you have an interest and long-term commitment of being there. 

Transfers tend to be quite easy once you get at around 2 years of experience. By then you have quite a bit of work experience, a clear value proposition and a good network to help you make the change.

Best,
Cristian

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Udayan
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replied on Jun 20, 2022
Top rated McKinsey Case & PEI coach/Multiple real offers/McKinsey EM in New York /6 years McKinsey recruiting experience

The way MBB recruiting works in general is, you typically have to be able to get into MBB in your home country (or country you are studying in) if you are looking to get into another country's offices (leaving aside all of the complications involved)

So for example, if you want to get into the Indonesia McKinsey office and are currently in France - your profile would have to be one that the french office would consider all things being equal. This is to ensure a global benchmark on candidates and to avoid gaming of the system.

At this stage, I would advise you to network as much as possible and ask your referrals for ideas on which office they think you should apply to. 

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Pedro
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replied on Jun 20, 2022
Bain | EY-Parthenon | Roland Berger | FIT | Market Sizing | Former Head Recruiter

If there's a connection with the country you are applying to (ideally that can be understood from your CV), there's a decent chance to get the interview. Having international experience is something that would have as an advantage vs. “local CVs", so that may help compensation other limitations you have. 

However, you have to speak the local language at professional level… or at least well enough to have a personal experience interview (if not a case interview) in that language. 

Moving back should not be an issue after a few years.

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Ian
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replied on Jun 19, 2022
MBB | 100% personal interview success rate (8/8) and 95% candidate success rate | Personalized interview prep

Hi there,

Here are the general “rules” for optimizing your applications:

  1. Apply where you having working rights
  2. Apply where you actually speak the language (at a business level)
  3. Apply where your resume “fits” (i.e. they can see you there)
  4. Network extensively and apply where there is traction
  5. Get your Resume + Cover Letter professionally reviewed by a coach
  6. Build up consulting experience
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Moritz
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replied on Jun 24, 2022
Unearth your spike & get the offer |ex-McKinsey | 120+ coachings & interviews @ McKinsey | ESADE MBA | Transition Expert

Hi there, 

I can help you with that based on my personal experience. I am German with an international work history and an MBA from a European target school who joined McKinsey in Chile (not because it's easy to get in, which it is not, but because my wife is Chilean).

Let me know if you'd like to discuss!

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Clara
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replied on Jun 21, 2022
McKinsey | Awarded professor at Master in Management @ IE | MBA at MIT |+180 students coached | Integrated FIT Guide aut

Hello!

It totally depends on the languages you speak tbh (e.g., it´s super hard to go to Latam without speaking Spanish, and you didn´t mention in your message that you do). 

Furthermore, check issues with VISAS, since this can be a huge deal breaker (e.g., US is almost impossible)

Hope it helps!

Cheers, 

Clara

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Francesco gave the best answer

Francesco

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