What is a good pre - MBA career step that will help me get a tier 1 consulting job post MBA?

management consulting MBA Pre MBA work experience work experience
New answer on May 26, 2020
8 Answers
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Aditya asked on Feb 29, 2020

Hi, I'm 2.5 years out of college currently working in the IT industry as a QA engineer. I plan to join an MBA program 1.5 years from now. I want to know what could be a good intermediate career step for these 1.5 years that'll help me get a consulting job post MBA. Thanks in advance!

Some career options that I've thought about:

IT Business Analyst, QA role on site (international experience), Entry level role in tier 3 consulting firm, Non IT Business/Data Analyst role, Volunteer at consulting NGO

My profile:

Tier 1 engineering undergrad (Average grades), research publication, international internship, stong analytical orientation (GMAT 750), college leadership, state level sports

(edited)

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Anonymous replied on May 07, 2020

Hi there,

Given your engineering background, it would be better if you can find a role that involve more business related work.

  • Business Analyst sounds good (regardless of IT or not); otherwise a role with project management skills could be good too
  • I don't recommend QA role as it would still be very much technical; international experience wouldn't help you as much as business exposure, and you already had international internship anyway
  • I don't recommend tier 3 consulting either. Get a tier 2 or just leave it. Between an MBA with a tier 3 experience and an MBA with a business role in a well recognised corporate, the latter might be more preferred actually.

Best,

Emily

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Nathaniel
Expert
replied on Mar 01, 2020
McKinsey | BCG | CERN| University of Cambridge

Hi Aditya,

Given your background as IT engineer, I would strongly suggest to look for opportunities on digital transformation, data analytics (big data, advanced analytics), artificial intelligence, industry 4.0, and blockchain.

Having expertise on these fields would attract you even to bigger names like MBB which is expanding aggresively on these fields and require people with strong technical skills (even more if they also have consulting skillset: problem solving, cross-functional management understanding, structured communication).

Hope it helps.

Kind regards,
Nathan

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Anonymous replied on May 26, 2020

Dear Aditya,

I would definitely recommend you to look for roles in consulting, may be on the entry position, as well as look for more strategic or more general management roles.


If you have any specific questions and need some, feel free to reach out.

Good luck,
André

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Luca
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Feb 29, 2020
BCG |NASA | SDA Bocconi & Cattolica partner | GMAT expert 780/800 score | 200+ students coached

Hello Aditya,

If you do an MBA, the previous (short) working experience is not crucial. Anyway, if you have to choose one, I would suggest to go for a Data analyst or Digital roles. In the last years MBB are focusing their attention on these fields.

Best,
Luca

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Anton
Expert
replied on May 08, 2020
FREE 1st session in November | From Lawyer to MBB | Top in FIT | 10x your structuring skills | Message to get Free Prep Checklist

Hi,

The formula for the successful application in your case is the following one:
Interesting career progression + top mba + strong networking + strong interview skills = Big 3 offer

I think your current career would be of an interest to Big 3 recruitment teams and you should focus your effort on other parts of the equation!

Thanks,

Anton

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

Hello!

If you are confident that you will get into a good MBA, then it´s not relevant. MBA would precisely position you for consulting -network, name, CV, on-campus recruiting, etc.-.

I would focus better atm in seeing which experience is best precisely to ensure you are admitted in an MBA

Good luck!

Cheers,

Clara

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Francesco
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Feb 29, 2020
#1 Coach for Sessions (4.000+) | 1.400+ 5-Star Reviews | Proven Success (➡ InterviewOffers.com) | Ex BCG | 9Y+ Coaching

Hi Aditya,

the usual best path to a junior position in a top consulting firm is experience in:

  • Second-tier consulting companies
  • Strategy roles for a top brand

Given your background, you may consider applying for a position at a consulting firm before the MBA using the right networking techniques – this would have the added benefit that some companies may be willing to pay for it.

Best,

Francesco

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Antonello
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Feb 29, 2020
McKinsey | MBA professor for consulting interviews

Hi Aditya, the last experience on your cv (i.e. the MBA) will be the most important one. However, another international experience or 1.5 years in consulting will boost your application.

Best,
Antonello

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