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What roles can I pursue from being in Technical Consulting to move into MBB?

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New answer on Oct 16, 2020
5 Answers
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Sri asked on Oct 09, 2020

Hi all, I'm planning on applying to MBB in 2022, currently I have 1.5 years of experience working so far in a Tier 2 firm as a software consultant and pursuing a part time masters in a top 10 Computer Science school. Undergrad was a non-target in CS with a very low GPA (2.9). Strong extra-curriculars with founding a funded startup (<$100K) and undergrad research. GMAT is 760.

I know realistically now my chances are very slim, so I decided to pursue a master's while working to override my GPA for MBB. (Conditions are much different from undergrad, fully expect to get a good GPA)

Realistically, in the next 2 years I am wondering whether to pursue only big brand names or consulting/strategy type experience for a better entry-level application.

(Option 1) Work for FAANG or Big Banks as a Software Engineer/Strat/Quant. I know MBB values brand names like Google or GS, but is that only for strategy-esque roles?

(Option 2) Stay as a technical consultant, and move to Big 4 or Tier 2 firm in an implementation role. For long-term engagements I would have the opportunity to get exposure to much of the business side.

(Option 3) Pursue positions as a Tier 2 generalist consultant or entry-level strategy in a big bank. Considering my technical background, this would be quite difficult.

Pursing a target MBA after my current master's would be a reset, but is risky financially to do so solely for MBB. Which options, if not the ones above, would be best suited for applying to MBB in 2022? Fully intending to move away from technical roles (i.e. McKinsey Digital, Gamma)?

(edited)

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Robert
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Oct 09, 2020
McKinsey offers w/o final round interviews - 100% risk-free - 10+ years MBB coaching experience - Multiple book author

Hi Sri,

Obviously you have several possible options to pursue.

However, why not

  • Kick-starting your networking activities in MBB to jump over the CV-screening (currently a major liability on your balance sheet, as I understand from your summary)
  • Applying at MBB - with somebody referring you internally, only your interview performance counts anymore
  • In case you don't make it this time (economic situation is not highly favorable at the moment), you can still pursue big brand names meanwhile any re-apply after 2 years (which is the typically waiting period if you were rejected previousy).

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

Robert

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Ian
Expert
Content Creator
updated an answer on Oct 09, 2020
#1 BCG coach | MBB | Tier 2 | Digital, Tech, Platinion | 100% personal success rate (8/8) | 95% candidate success rate

Hi there,

I actually transitioned from a Technical/IT Consultant into MBB so I'd be happy to help advise here!

My path was Option 4 - Pursue an MBA to pair my hard/technical skills with soft/business skills. If you're worried about cost there are plenty of 1 year programs AND scholarships that you may want to look into. This is honestly the highest probability route (though I agree, can be financially risky)

Option 1 - This won't really get you there. It's an excellent career path and opens many doors. But, while it's common to go from MBB to Big Tech, it's far less common to go the other way

Option 2 - Can work and is the most likely route for you. It also has the lowest downside risk, as, you just keep doing what you're doing but get paid more/progress in your career. However, what you have to accept is that you would then only come into MBB as a specialist/expert hire. So, you've be hired in BCG Platinion, McKinsey Digital, etc. NOT GENERALIST

Option 3 - Probably the option with the combination of highest % chance of success and loweest financial risk. As you note, this will be hard. However, a lot of the Tier 2s are strategy comnpanies within tech/IT companies so this could work. Your best bet in this context would be IBM, Accenture, EY, PwC, Drloitte.and KPMG. You basically want to target companies that are big/broad as they have tech, IT, etc. AND strategy consulting.

(edited)

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

Hello!

I believe that, out of the 3 options, none of them guanrantees anything. Hence, you need to ensure that you are going to like the "way", since many times is more important than the arrival point itself.

This said, I agree that option 3 would be the one that gives you the better cards to play, and that referrals would help (however, I believe the power of referrals is also over stated, the CV needs to be there).

In any case, why not applying directly also? Nothing to loose there.

Hope it helps!

Cheers,

Clara

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Francesco
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Oct 09, 2020
#1 Coach for Sessions (4.500+) | 1.500+ 5-Star Reviews | Proven Success (➡ interviewoffers.com) | Ex BCG | 10Y+ Coaching

Hi Sri,

Option 3 is the best to land into MBB but also the more difficult as you mentioned. A top MBA would also be a suitable option if you can consider alternatives besides MBB (I agree that doing it only for MBB would not make much sense).

I agree with Robert that getting a referral would be critical. You can find more information on how to get one here:

https://www.preplounge.com/en/consulting-forum/hey-everyonehope-all-is-well-3176

Best,
Francesco

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Mehdi
Expert
updated an answer on Oct 16, 2020
BCG | Received offers from all MBB & Tier 1Firms | Supporting you secure your top tier consulting offer

Hi Sri,

Just to add to what was already mentioned by other experts, I believe you can have two major options:

  1. Join an MBB in a technical role: nowadays, most management consulting firms have IT & Data Science branches (McKinsey Digital, BCG Platinion, BCG Gamma, etc.) so you can definitely apply to join those firms if you aspire to stay in a technical role. Some of those firms offer comparable career paths of their generalists, so you can get the chance to climb the ladder by having a good mix of technical and business skills.
  2. Join an MBB in a generalist role: going for an MBA is the most straight forward (but the riskiest) path. Getting a referral can also be very helpful here. If you do not want to pass through education to change your career, I believe you should transition by a less technical role in one of the top firms you mentioned. You can definitely joing MBB after 2-3 years in a Project/Product Manager role in Google (or any other FAANG) for instance. So there can be multiple paths to get into an MBB if you are strategic enough in your approach.

I will be happy to discuss these options further if needed.

All the best,

Mehdi

(edited)

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Robert

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