Do I have a shot at MBB?

borntoconsult's picture
Rank: Chimp | 3

I'm a software developer who's looking to make a transition to consulting or finance (I'm leaning toward consulting).

I'm a part-time MBA student at a Top 30-40 business school school that is a non-target for MBB and investment banks (my ugrad school was also a non-target). In recent years my school has had strong placement at 2nd and 3rd tier consulting firms like Deloitte and Booz Allen Hamilton, occasional placement at McKinsey, and zero placement at Bain or BCG. There is Wall Street placement, but I believe it's primarily for corporate finance roles rather than investment banking.

Academically I feel I'm a strong candidate (750 GMAT and 3.95+ GPA). My ugrad GPA was only 3.1, but I was a STEM major. I have little demonstrable evidence of leadership at this point, but this should change by the time I graduate in early 2013, as I'm currently making a transition to project lead work at my job (at a non-glamorous F500 employer). I'm not planning on completing an internship, so I will be graduating with no prior experience in either consulting or finance.

Do I have a shot at MBB or investment banking? What steps could I take in the next year or so to make myself a more compelling candidate?

Thanks

Comments (19)

Sep 11, 2011

Are you under 30 and good looking?

Sep 11, 2011

realistically no, but i think you knew that. anything is possible, but I mean your odds are like nearly nonexistent

Sep 11, 2011

Why wouldn't you have a shot? If you want it bad enough you'll get it.

    • 1
Sep 11, 2011
pacman007:

Why wouldn't you have a shot? If you want it bad enough you'll get it.

Do you know how many struggling (insert creative job) in LA believe that crap? Odds are against him, it's possible but not likely. Think about it, you would have to give him a offer over another qualified person. I mean, he'd have to be so amazing and then some to bridge the prestige gap and sub 3.5 UGPA. Even then most qualified candidates are amazing too.It's like wanting to play basketball in the pros at 5'5''.

You should put more energy into areas that you a better chance of winning. I don't know why you couldn't start at a respectable 2nd tier firm. Hell, working at a boutique is cool too some of my friends did that and they enjoyed their time there. After their internship, they accepted a full-time offer from them. Later they might go for MBB but I doubt it since you grow out of the prestige whoring somewhat after working.

Sep 15, 2011
pacman007:

Why wouldn't you have a shot? If you want it bad enough you'll get it.

I think people need to stop spinning this bullshit now. It fucks with people's heads. Giving up one one dream to pursue a more realistic one is not defeat, it's smart.

Sep 15, 2011
manbearpig:
pacman007:

Why wouldn't you have a shot? If you want it bad enough you'll get it.

I think people need to stop spinning this bullshit now. It fucks with people's heads. Giving up one one dream to pursue a more realistic one is not defeat, it's smart.

I completely agree. Not everyone here is going to work for MBB or GS/MS or KKR/BX, but that isn't the end of the world... there are other options

Sep 11, 2011

What cibo said.

Apply to MBB, you've got nothing to lose, but don't hold your breath.

Make your real target Deloitte / boutiques, and don't look back.

Sep 11, 2011

A bunch of people have already told you that your odds at breaking through are extremely long, and that's the truth so I won't belabor the point. Don't take it as a reflection on your abilities or intelligence, its simply a numbers game. Each year MBB have ~1000 post-MBA consultant positions to fill. There are 900 kids in each HBS class alone, and a good shot more then half of them will apply to all three.

With that said, he's what you can do to take your odd from 1 in a million to 1 in a thousand.

1) Be under 30, preferably under 28. If your not, stop reading here and focus on other firms.

2) Be a US citizen. If your not, forget about applying to US offices. Apply only to offices in your country of citizenship.

3) Be charismatic. If you're not, figure out how to be.

Assuming you can do all of those things, then here's your next steps:

1) Look up who from your school went to McKinsey in the past 2-3 years and reach out them. If you have no recent alumni at Bain or BCG just forget about them cause it's a lost cause.

2) Use your contacts to figure out what the least desirable office in the McKinsey system is. Figure out what offices are hurting for people. Even McKinsey has trouble getting people to take jobs in some cities. THESE ARE THE OFFICES YOU NEED TO APPLY TO.

3) Apply online. As soon as you do, let the alumni you've spoken with know that you've done so. IF you've been charismatic, and IF you're under 30, and IF you've applied to the most undesirable office in a country where you are a citizen, and IF you pray a lot, then there is about a 5% you will get an interview.

Good luck.

Sep 11, 2011

Thanks for the responses, especially Reset and cibo. I appreciate it. I'll aim for second tier firms but still apply to MBB online and reach out to alumni.

Sep 15, 2011

Since I'm guessing you're 30-40 MBA is not from USC, I think you're pretty fucked, tbh. I just looked at the list of schools there and 30-40 is filled with trash.

You're just not doing the necessary work right now to work at MBB. I think your biggest problem is that you are not planning on an internship. If I saw your non-managerial Work Experience at some random F-500, which, by looking at your B-School description, would be an F-400-500, where you may graduate to team leader position after your MBA. Well thats the most uninspiring resume possible.

You are not branding yourself well. AT ALL!

And thats a pity because you've got excellent MBA grades AND a solid GMAT. You need to strongly rethink what you're doing. Get an internship. And a good one. Work your ass off and get something in consulting / finance. Mid-Office project leader after x years working there is bad, but even worse if it takes an MBA to get there.

If I were you, I'd use those MBA grades to try to rebrand some more. Apply for a MsF at a GOOD school and get MCL/SCL there and you'll get serious job offers. As it stands, you've just not put in the necessary work, and you're squandering what you have built up (grades/gmat) with subpar work experience and no attempt at at least an internship.

Rethink. My friend. You have potential, but you're not using it wisely.

Sep 15, 2011

I don't see strategy at any tier 1/2 place happening, but you have a more than decent shot at getting into accenture/ibm/deloitte/capgemini for tech consulting. It's not glamorous but you can have a great career in that as well.

Sep 15, 2011

"aim for the moon land among the stars..."

hapless optimism doesnt work for you sir?

Get it!

Sep 15, 2011
ConanDBull:

"aim for the moon land among the stars..."

hapless optimism doesnt work for you sir?

Unrealistic idealism is for kids and kids that refuse to grow up.

Realistic idealism is for adults.

Sep 17, 2011

Well, everything that I had to say has been said, but I'll say it anyway.

pacman007:

Why wouldn't you have a shot? If you want it bad enough you'll get it.

As was said above, this is just not true. The classic story, I guess, is Sylvester Stallone: he got rejected by like 500 studios, had to pawn his dog or something, and he only got to play rocky when he accepted a huge cut in money. But that's the exception rather than the rule - and if Rocky had been a huge flop, would his story really be so inspiring? The more realistic analogy is playing in the NBA: yeah, you might want it more than anything in the world, but if (like me) you're a slow 5'7" guy who can't jump, guess what? Ain't gonna happen.

But that's not really on point with the OP, who may very well have the skills to succeed at MBB. What is more on point with that case is that the part-time MBA profile, especially from a low-ranked school, is not a path that leads to MBB. Every now and then they'll make an exception for an undergrad from a big state school or something, but at the MBA level it's not like that.

karypto:

Are you under 30 and good looking?

Usually I'm not a karyoto fan, but this is actually pretty funny. Especially at Bain, where it seems to be worse than at the other two.

And to the OP, though your odds at MBB are very slim, there are worse fates. But if you wanted to keep the dream alive, so to speak, you could try to get into a full-time MBA program at a top school (I only say this because of your GMAT). Or maybe that's not doable, I don't really know.

Sep 30, 2012
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