Can someone explain what post MBA MBB exit opportunities are really like?

mba2019's picture
Rank: Monkey | 39

I am headed to a business school in the fall and my goal is to exit into a rotational program in industry. But I am also exploring other options because well, the full time MBA is my one chance in life to totally change the trajectory of my career. So why not look at what's out there.

With that said, can someone explain and be very specific with what exit opportunities look like out of MBB after 2 years post MBA? I have 0 background in consulting and I don't know a single person in consulting and the search option didn't really yield the specifics I am looking for.

A see a lot of, "Well you will exit into manager/senior manager roles after 2 years of Post MBA MBB experience." Or you will have a lot of good corporate jobs lined up. But that's pretty much all people really say. No mention of industry or function. Maybe this is obvious to those in consulting?

What kind of industries are people talking about? And is it limited to strategy/corp dev functions? The reason why I ask is, coming from a traditional manufacturing company, I find it incredulous (not trying to offend anyone) that someone with 6-7 years of total experience (2 years post-mba, 4-5 pre-mba) and zero management experience can land a senior management or even a management job, in any capacity at any F500 manufacturing firm. A senior manager at my firm manages about 80-100 people, managers around 20.

MBA exit opportunities

from certified user @aspiringchimp"

Typically, consultants will exit into strategy teams for F500 (if they decide to go that route). It's only once proving themselves within their new firm that they can take on P&L responsibility (which is easier said than done). However, don't underestimate how much of a career rocket ship consulting jobs (MBB in particular) can be - the oft quoted stat is that 1 year of MBB is 2-3 in industry, and I've found that has held true for both myself and for my peers who have exited onto better things.

from certified user @Winnfield"

Let's see who are the first half dozen MBA friends who left MBB at roughly the 2 year mark to come to mind:

  • Investor relations/strategy at a VC-backed startup
  • Strategy manager at a European fashion retailer
  • Entrepreneur, raised some VC money
  • Director at medium sized corporation in the midst of international expansion
  • left business entirely and went into academia
  • Entrepreneur, raised some VC money

I can think of a few other cases but a lot of them are still at MBB; not necessarily actively choosing to stay.


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Comments (14)

Best Response
Jan 6, 2017

"I find it incredulous (not trying to offend anyone) that someone with 6-7 years of total experience (2 years post-mba, 4-5 pre-mba) and zero management experience can land a senior management or even a management job, in any capacity at any F500 manufacturing firm. A senior manager at my firm manages about 80-100 people, managers around 20."

My buddies worked for a global 500 firm straight out of school as managers at a manufacturing facility. I think they each managed about 20 people straight out of school.

Jan 6, 2017

Sorry I should have been more clear. I know management opportunities exist in a MBA -> Industry path, especially in the rotational programs. I am wondering what that path is like from MBA -> MBB -> Industry.

Do you know if your friend already had pre MBA experience in that industry?

Thanks.

Jan 6, 2017

zero experience. these were 22 year olds straight out of undergrad - engineering guys.

The information I was providing was simply to show that past experience managing people is not necessarily criteria companies look for when hiring managers.

Based on my understanding, two years of post grad experience at MBB can land you a corporate "manager" type role because of the expertise you have gained with MBB, not necessarily your ability to manage people. Although, there are probably people more knowledgeable than I who can comment on this.

Jan 6, 2017

Worked at an F50 manufacturing company think (GE, UTC, Boeing) and some of the people I graduated college with who were engineers were managing people as a part of their first job. I didn't go to MIT either.

The answer to your question is 1) network 2) get involved 3) beef up your resume 4) repeat -happypantsmcgee

WSO is not your personal search function.

Jan 7, 2017

I suggest taking a look at Charles Aris' strategy compensation study. It also provides some of the exits, for both pre and post-MBA employees: http://files.ctctcdn.com/b27df4bb001/2c058648-cc78...
Typically, consultants will exit into strategy teams for F500 (if they decide to go that route). It's only once proving themselves within their new firm that they can take on P&L responsibility (which is easier said than done). However, don't underestimate how much of a career rocket ship consulting jobs (MBB in particular) can be - the oft quoted stat is that 1 year of MBB is 2-3 in industry, and I've found that has held true for both myself and for my peers who have exited onto better things.

Jan 8, 2017

Big difference between managing 20 floor guys in a manufacturing plant vs. 20 people in a corp dev team (don't think you get to that easily)

Jan 9, 2017

Post MBA post MBB exists are typically in functional areas and industries that relate to the work you did as a consultant. Don't forget, when you are interviewing at corporates, they will definitely ask you questions to confirm whether you know their business and market. Which makes it all the more important to get on projects aligned to your interests while you are at MBB.

Jan 27, 2017

OP - you need to look at it differently. MBB can be and is a "trampoline" of sorts, but usually we are talking about people with previous industry experience pre-MBA that are looking to climb the ladder faster. Case in point - one of my associate buddies was an older guy with ~10 years in Automotive before coming into MBB. There he got to learn to interact with EVPs and C-suite executives while honing his presentation skills and creating a good network. Naturally, it does not hurt to have MBB on the resume, as people understand you are smart and driven. He got out to a great job and today he's a SVP and will likely go higher.

Not saying you can't learn an industry while at MBB, but then you will need to stick around longer and that is hard.

Jan 28, 2017

Let's see who are the first half dozen MBA friends who left MBB at roughly the 2 year mark to come to mind:

  • Investor relations/strategy at a VC-backed startup
  • Strategy manager at a European fashion retailer
  • Entrepreneur, raised some VC money
  • Director at medium sized corporation in the midst of international expansion
  • left business entirely and went into academia
  • Entrepreneur, raised some VC money

I can think of a few other cases but a lot of them are still at MBB; not necessarily actively choosing to stay.

The truth is you're the weak. And I'm the tyranny of evil men. But I'm tryin', Ringo. I'm tryin' real hard to be the shepherd.

    • 1
Jan 28, 2017

At the end of the day, it's all about how you perform and the results that you drive. Educational pedigree doesn't matter once you're inside the firm.

Yes, the HBS community may be more tight-knit and supportive, but at the same time if you can't do your job no alum is going to go to bat for you.

If you already have past internship experience and stellar reviews, you should be fine.

If you'd like to make more connections with people at the firm, join in-office initiatives: do pro-bono consulting, join a network based on shared personal interests (sports, fundraising, etc). Get a drink with your colleagues.

Another recommendation is to go through the internal database at your firm and send a friendly message to consultants who also graduated from your undergrad/B school.

Jan 28, 2017
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