Tips on reneging Big 4 for MBB?

I'm a graduating senior who received and accepted an offer for a Big 4 firm last October (I'm supposed to start in a few months), but this month I interviewed with MBB during their recent hiring spree and received an offer.

I really want to accept MBB - salary & prestige aside, I genuinely enjoyed my time talking to MBB throughout the interview process, and the start date is more preferable (it's in a month, while the big 4 start date is not for several months).

Does anyone have any advice on what to include in the renege email/call to salvage my relationship with the big 4 firm and minimize and other repercussions of reneging? Is it likely MBB finds out, and would they even care? Any other tips on what to write/expect from the firm would be appreciated. Thank you! 

Comments (13)

May 23, 2021 - 2:04pm
consulting_noob, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Had to do this recently, though my circumstances were a little different. I suggest scheduling a phone call with the recruiter saying you have a few updates, and let them know that your circumstances have changed and you will need to retract your acceptance. Emphasize that you thought you were a good fit with the B4 role and would have loved working there if things were different. 

If you have a personal reason to support, mention that. If not, keep it short and firm. Don't mention the other offer or firm you will be joining, It can be uncomfortable, but it happens and they likely expect a few retractions every cycle. MBB won't care, like I said, it happens a lot. If you went through on campus recruiting, your career center might. Not sure how to navigate that, but you might want to also schedule a call with them to explain the situation. Good luck!

Better to have tried and failed than never to have tried at all

  • 2
Most Helpful
May 23, 2021 - 5:45pm
devildog2067, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Salvaging the relationship with the Big 4 firm is not something that's under your control. It's unlikely to be torched forever, things happen, but there's literally nothing you can do to make it ok. Maybe you're forever blacklisted at that firm. Maybe by the time you want to apply there again there's no record at all. Maybe this recruiter moves on to work at your dream exit and when you apply there 10 years from now, they'll remember your name and ding you. Probably it'll be fine. Literally nothing you can do to control any of that. Just be polite and professional and it'll be whatever it will be.

MBB won't care unless you do something egregiously unethical while reneging.

May 23, 2021 - 9:09pm
ebitda-d, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Whatever you do, do not say you're staying in consulting, and absolutely do not say you're at an mbb firm.

May 23, 2021 - 10:12pm
CharizardFan, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Be professional and polite and firm. Don't worry about burning bridges - you won't ever work for that Big4 again. And they have better things to do than track 22 year olds who didn't even work for them

  • Analyst 2 in IB - DCM
May 23, 2021 - 11:39pm

1. Call the recruiter and tell them. Calling always goes down better

2. Don't mention where you're going even if they press... just say personal reasons

3. Don't update your LinkedIn 

4. Don't regret anything 

while all these steps reduce risk of MBB finding out/soften the blow to essentially zero, you'd probably be fine doing none of them. MBB probably won't care even if they find out & this is a no brainer decision. Good luck and congrats 

May 26, 2021 - 11:46am
Ruhm, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I would follow these points. Had to do something similar and went through roughly this, it worked out okay in the end.

On point 2, you can say that you have to do some additional thinking before deciding on anything at this point. Although tempting, do not update your LinkedIn for a little while (a bit after your initial start date at the big 4 feels about right).

  • 1
May 23, 2021 - 11:45pm
Sheikh Abu Muhammad Mithli Aljins Qadib Dakhm, what's your opinion? Comment below:

May Allah smite the Big 4 as you renege!

أمنيتي الوحيدة: جنسي مثلي الجنس العربدة وقذف القضيب

I bear witness that there is no deity but Allah, and I bear witness that Muhammad is the messenger of Allah.

  • 1
May 23, 2021 - 11:57pm
faceslappingcompilation, what's your opinion? Comment below:

don't do this in am email....only on a phone will be your recruiter contact and say you "need to talk"

Tell them you can no longer accept the position...don't say why...keep it vague...just say you can no longer accept the position due to life circumstances..thank them for their time and consideration.  Thay may ask "why" and this is where you just repeat, "due to life circumstances, i will not be able to work for Big4 firm...but i personally really wanted to thank you for taking the time to talk with me."

just google're welcome
  • 1
May 26, 2021 - 11:46am
Ruhm, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Omnis quia commodi minus consequatur voluptatem ut numquam. Dolorem similique id repellat provident molestiae sed eveniet. Iusto dolore repudiandae esse aut qui. Dolor qui perspiciatis dolores nostrum consequuntur culpa aut. Saepe corporis fuga voluptas cupiditate qui mollitia repellendus. Ipsa eius temporibus velit sequi. Vitae distinctio distinctio reiciendis cupiditate dolor voluptas.

Voluptates officiis soluta fugiat. Et odit et consequatur qui voluptas. Eaque sed labore temporibus vero. Accusamus aliquam eos quo aliquam voluptatem doloribus beatae fugit. Earum quos omnis quasi dicta. Tenetur ut rerum eligendi et totam libero. Aspernatur repellat rerum quia placeat non magni qui mollitia.

Voluptas delectus facilis esse doloremque illo consequuntur quidem. Neque est et molestiae mollitia excepturi sunt. Ipsam qui velit explicabo.

Atque odit aut et. Eum nemo quo deserunt quo vel reiciendis. Ab est consequatur fuga velit similique doloribus et repellendus.

Start Discussion

Career Advancement Opportunities

May 2022 Consulting

  • Bain & Company 99.4%
  • McKinsey and Co 98.8%
  • Boston Consulting Group (BCG) 98.2%
  • Oliver Wyman 97.6%
  • West Monroe Partners 97.0%

Overall Employee Satisfaction

May 2022 Consulting

  • Cornerstone Research 99.4%
  • Bain & Company 98.8%
  • Boston Consulting Group (BCG) 98.2%
  • McKinsey and Co 97.6%
  • Oliver Wyman 97.0%

Professional Growth Opportunities

May 2022 Consulting

  • Bain & Company 99.4%
  • McKinsey and Co 98.8%
  • Boston Consulting Group (BCG) 98.2%
  • Oliver Wyman 97.6%
  • West Monroe Partners 97.0%

Total Avg Compensation

May 2022 Consulting

  • Director/MD (48) $270
  • Principal (23) $268
  • Vice President (42) $244
  • Engagement Manager (88) $221
  • Manager (137) $167
  • 2nd Year Associate (133) $138
  • Senior Consultant (300) $129
  • 3rd+ Year Associate (100) $129
  • 1st Year Associate (486) $116
  • Consultant (531) $116
  • Engineer (4) $110
  • NA (12) $109
  • 3rd+ Year Analyst (122) $109
  • 2nd Year Analyst (275) $98
  • Associate Consultant (150) $96
  • 1st Year Analyst (931) $85
  • Intern/Summer Associate (158) $81
  • Intern/Summer Analyst (427) $67