What should I choose? (Big4 Abroad vs MBB Local)

Big Four - Strategy MBB
New answer on Jul 13, 2021
6 Answers
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Anonymous A asked on Jul 10, 2021

- Currently, work at a Big 4 as a Senior Associate (think PWC, EY) in India - Have an offer to transfer to their West Coast US offices by end of this year.

- Also received an offer from one of the India offices of MBB.

- Long term goal: Get into Tech S&O or Product and would prefer to be in the US for the next 5-7 years and then eventually return to India at a Senior role in startups

- Currently 28 YO, Already have an MBA from India

- Which choice makes sense given my long term goals? 

- Does India MBB experience trump experience working in the US for Big4? How easy would it be to move to Tech in the US if not coming from a MBB background?

(edited)

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Ian
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replied on Jul 11, 2021
MBB | 100% personal interview success rate (8/8) and 95% candidate success rate | Personalized interview prep

Hi there,

I'm sorry but here you ultimately need to think about what you value most!

Do you care more about West Coast US Tech or do you care more about the brand/reputation/career implications for MBB?

Two considerations to keep in mind here:

  1. Always take any "promises" a company makes with a grain of salt. You cannot be sure that that office transfer will occur (even in the best of times, let along with a pandemic raging)
  2. Moving to the US will also be do-able with MBB but this will obviously not be for the next 2-3 years at least (and comes with a high risk that it never happens).

Where do you want to be? Only you can make this decision!

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Anonymous A on Jul 11, 2021

Makes sense Ian. Appreciate your inputs. The quality of life in US is something I feel I value more and feel if I am able to move to Big Tech - lack of MBB on my resume might not matter. India MBB are infamous for being sweatshops compared to the US counterparts - the work life balance is even worse so I am definitely wary of that.

Adi
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replied on Jul 11, 2021
Accenture, Deloitte | Precision Case Prep | Experienced Interviewer & Career Coach | 15 years professional experience

Hey,

Congrats on both offers!

If you examine closely, they are both two very different options. If mid-term goal is to be in India in the Tech/Start-up sector, am not sure whether going to US will help that case very much. If you genuinly want to do this, you should start setting yourself early, network, learn while you are at MBB in India. Plus the Brand is stronger and you will learn a hell lot quickly.

US BIG4 is also good, but with current visa issues and on-going COVID situation, I dont think its going to be an easy ride. Plus, who knows whats going to happen in 5-7 years and you career path may look very different. Choose this option, if you are flexible about future plans.

 In addition have a look at this article I have recently published on "How do I know which Career is Right for me". Plenty of tips you can borrow: https://www.preplounge.com/en/how-do-i-know-which-career-is-right-for-me

All the best choosing.

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Anonymous A on Jul 11, 2021

Thanks Adi. I feel if I am able to make the move to BigTech in SF - Having that on my resume will compensate for the lack on MBB in my resume and once I return to the country - start ups will value me more for the Tech experience rather than working for 3-4 years in an India MBB. I already have a approved US Visa so just need to move now.

Adi on Jul 12, 2021

If you have qualified this i.e. startups will value you more with SF experience then good.

Francesco
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replied on Jul 11, 2021
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Hi there,

Congratulations on your MBB offer!

I think it depends on whether you can move to the US from India with the MBB company you got an offer from.

If that’s possible (even not this year), I would definitely go for MBB given your goals – the brand is going to open several more doors than Big4.

If that’s not possible, I would check on LinkedIn how likely it is that you move from your current company in the US to your target tech companies in the US. If that’s feasible, then you have to assess whether it is better to have a US career with the Big4, or a career in India with MBB. I think both can lead to your long-term goal of a Senior startup role in India. The MBB brand is still going to open more doors but it is up to you to decide whether that compensates for the fact you are not going to be in the US.

Best,

Francesco

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Ken
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replied on Jul 11, 2021
Ex-McKinsey final round interviewer | Executive Coach

I would go for the immediate option to move to the US if that is where you want to be. Joining MBB in India may not offer you that option in the future. Tech is quite a broad space and so although it may not be as common as MBB, I would be suprised if someone with a strong profile didn't manage to get in.

Good luck!

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Florian
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replied on Jul 12, 2021
#1 rated McKinsey Coach | Top MBB Coach | 5 years @ McKinsey | Author of the 1% | 120+ McK offers in 18 months

Hey there,

Good answers here already. My 2 cents.

  • 2 years at MBB will open many more doors and opportunities than moving to US with a B4.
  • Depending on the MBB you can also get staffing in the US and your foot in the door in one of their US offices.

I'd definitely choose MBB.

Cheers,

Florian

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Anonymous A on Jul 12, 2021

Thanks Florian. The MBB I have converted does not usually easily do transfers as it follows a country model rather than a global staffing model. My thinking is given my ultimate aim is to work in Tech - wouldn't US West Coast be a better place to be in and then try to move to one of the Big Tech?

Udayan
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updated an answer on Jul 13, 2021
Top rated McKinsey Case & PEI coach/Multiple real offers/McKinsey EM in New York /6 years McKinsey recruiting experience

Hi, 

As someone who worked in MBB in India and the US I can tell you that the brand value alone makes it worth the switch if you want to be in either country long term. However you will lose at least 2 years in terms of your move to the US (maybe even more). That being said after you do move you will have more options coming from MBB.

Ultimately you need to prioritize what is more important - a move to US right now or a move later with higher brand equity. There is no right answer it really depends on your priority.

If you want to be in the US (like your comments suggest) just come now, no one can predict the future so might as well go with what you have.

Udayan

(edited)

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Ian gave the best answer

Ian

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