Accept T2 offer or hold out for MBB interviews?

Hoping someone else has been in this same situation and might be able to provide some advice.

I currently have an internship offer from a T2 firm (B4 strategy consulting arm) - I've been through 4 hours of interviews, had congratulations emails/calls from two of my interviewers, really like the people and culture, and would be really happy to do an internship there. The deadline for accepting the internship is in a couple of weeks.

However I am also interviewing at an MBB firm. I've been upfront with the T2 recruiter about this (they called and pushed quite hard on whether I would accept the offer or not), but tried to give the impression that I was waiting until my first MBB interview to decide what would be a better fit. I've now had my first interview, but the timelines are such that if I do get a second interview and subsequent offer it will be after the acceptance date for my T2 internship. 

I am inclined to accept the MBB offer if possible just for the extra pay/prestige/exit opps, but for obvious reasons don't want to make this to clear to the T2 firm. Tbh they have probably worked this out but I really like the people I've spoken to so am trying to manage the whole thing graciously.

I am definitely going to email the MBB firm about recruiting timelines and try to leverage my current offer to get things sped up. But if that doesn't work, and I do end up getting to final round interviews and an offer from MBB, my other options are:

a) Get in touch with T2 recruiters to ask for an extension of acceptance date, this will only be a couple of weeks but will probably make it quite obvious that they are second choice. 

b) Accept the T2 offer by the date, and then potentially reject it later if the MBB offer comes in. This is obviously pretty rude, and I'd like to avoid it, but I'm not sure what the consequences would be - I've seen elsewhere that City recruiters tend to talk to each other, but not sure how true this is in London?

Any insight from those who have been in a similar situation (or observed this happening at their firm) would be incredibly helpful. In particular, has anyone successfully managed to speed up the London MBB process by telling recruiters they had another offer? Thanks :) 

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Comments (5)

Feb 28, 2021 - 10:15am

Hey there!

Caveat that my experience was based in the US, so it may be different from MBB to MBB. I know that my firm was pretty similar, but regardless, take this with a grain of salt.

I had a friend that ended up at my MBB that had a similar situation, had an exploding offer from PWC that would explode before they were able to make it to final rounds with MBB. I got in contact with his school's recruiting team lead and told them about the situation, and they expedited his interview (he got to final rounds) and he got the offer at my MBB before the exploding deadline.

If I were you, this is what I would do:

- Email recruiter at MBB, tell them that you have an exploding offer and that you'd much, much, much rather work for them than the T2 place

- Ask if it would be impossible to push up the decision to go to final rounds, and if you could expedite the process (From the above experience best case scenario is that you have a friend on the inside that can advocate for you--I got questions like, "Is this kid going to get the offer if we expedite?" and "Realistically, is he better than the average candidate?"

- Politely but firmly let the T2 recruiter know that you simply need more time to decide. They impose artificial deadlines, I know of a dozen cases where the "exploding date" was pushed back for various reasons.

In a perfect, perfect world, you wouldn't need to renege on an offer, and the best advice I could give is to do everything you can to make sure that that is not a scenario that you have to consider. However, at the end of the day, if you have an MBB offer, you should take it, even if it means turning down the other offer. It might piss some people off, but your life isn't captive to their frustrations, and frankly in this industry, people move around all of the time. Do everything you can to make it do you don't have to renege, but don't be afraid of taking a better job if the offer comes. MBB vs T2 is not like a marriage.

I'm sure other people will have other opinions, but that's my 2 cents.



Remember, always be kind-hearted.
  • 2
Mar 1, 2021 - 1:32pm

Thanks so much, that's really helpful! I think second round interviews are likely to happen before the offer explodes so hopefully it won't be a massive inconvenience for them to be flexible with offer dates. 

Mar 26, 2021 - 3:20pm

At the end of the day we hear stories of firms cancelling whole SA programmes so no one should feel guilty about reneg.

Take the big 4 and then take the MBB if it comes. Big 4 can easily find another intern, you can't probably can't (easily) find another MBB offer.

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