Lateraling into MBB 1-2 years out of undergrad

Hello,

I'd like to preface this by saying that I know what I'm trying to do is very difficult. I just graduated from a top target but was dinged from MBB during OCR due to my mediocre GPA (3.57) and internship experience. I ended up accepting an offer as a rotating associate at a quant HF where I'm looking to eventually specialize into either our internal strategy group or the IR/BizDev team, in marketing/sales supporting our fundraising efforts. My goal is to re-recruit at MBB after I've specialized, which will happen after a year of rotations. The window I'm looking at re-recruiting is between 1 and 2 years out of undergrad, otherwise I'll probably try to get a promotion to senior associate and then apply to bschool.

Here's the case I'm trying to build for re-recruiting:
1. In both cases, I'll be getting interesting strategic experience, either in general strategy or in marketing/sales specifically, which is client-facing. Additionally, it's at a well-performing HF, which could be considered as somewhat prestigious?
2. I'll be networking my ass off with alums at my target offices, something I didn't do enough of the last time around (speaking of which, is it weird to start networking now when I've just started working?)
3. I got a 780 on the GMAT when I applied for deferred bschool apps (didn't get in anywhere, sadly), which hopefully offsets my GPA.
4. My motivation for MBB is that I don't want to be siloed into the financial sector for the rest of my career. I'm much more interested in TMT so I'll likely be targeting west coast offices. I also want to go now instead of recruiting at bschool, because I think the earlier on you do MBB, the greater the impact on your career. Also, a sponsored MBA would be amazing.

Based on these circumstances, is this a realistic goal? Also, is it true that McK and BCG are more receptive to laterals at the BA/A/AC level, while Bain isn't? Is there a particular time of the year that's better for lateral hiring that I should be aware of?

 

You have a really solid profile for MBB and should be more than fine. Your school GPA and GMAT is very strong. You can also just wait for another year or so and go in as a post MBA hire after BSchool. Depending on your HF it’ll be fairly easy to get it into M7’s even HSW. I’d recommend going in as undergrad EH cuz then you can get sponsorship for your MBA. Just network and get a referral, practice cases, and crush the interview

 

I'd say it's quite realistic. Very strong lateral profile minus the GPA, but that crazy GMAT score should more than make up for it. If not for COVID times, you'd be in great shape to land an interview if you frame your story correctly. You're correct that BCG/McK are more open to laterals, but Bain does occasionally pick up strong candidates, which you definitely are

Recommend you try and crush your current job for the next 12 months or so then apply. Key to lateraling to MBB is framing story to not be 'i missed in UG and want a 2nd shot' and more to 'here's a unique perspective/skill set i bring'

 

Insane that you got rejected everywhere for deferred with that profile. I’m guessing ORM?

 
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So the fund I'm at is definitely not at the scale of AQR or DE Shaw - we're in the 1-10B range. I'm also not currently on that rotation. But from my conversations with the heads of bizdev, it doesn't seem too far off from what you would expect at a normal hf. You're still meeting with a bunch of LPs and trying to get them to give you money, but with special attention to marketing our technical talent/IP and how that differentiates us.

Our company is small enough that culture is relatively uniform across all of the operations side of things (basically anyone who is not software or research). I like it, lots of chill people, management all have interesting backgrounds, including a couple from MBB. Compensation is at the same starting point for all rotating associates regardless of what team they're on. Bonus varies by performance, though the senior associates have told me there's generally an upward trajectory of annual 20-30k bumps in TC, starting from ~100k year 1.

 

My guess: 1. Essays were ok but not amazing 2. Poor internship experience 3. First full-time job solid but not amazing 4. ORM Male 5. Recommenders didn't do a good job (I gave them minimal coaching, none were familiar with bschool apps) 6. Only applied to HBS, Sloan, and CBS. Didn't get an interview with a single one!

Anyway, I'm confident I can get into an MBA business schools">M7 in a few years, so these deferred results don't bother me that much - I know how competitive it was this year bc of covid.

 

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