MBB 20-21 Campus Recruiting Thread

I'm starting to get kinda anxious because everything is remote and there's no one around me I could talk to about consulting recruitment. Just wanted to know how everyone else is doing and where you are in the process. I can start by sharing mine first: I'm a target school candidate in the Midwest applying for FT consulting jobs. I've already submitted my application for MBB and am still waiting to hear back from all 3 of them. 

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Comments (151)

  • Prospect in Other
Sep 15, 2020 - 6:31pm

I'm a target school candidate in the East Coast applying for FT consulting, have submitted McK/BCG apps, received BCG Rejection, waiting to hear from McK; applying to Bain later this week.

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  • Intern in Consulting
Sep 15, 2020 - 10:28pm

Heard McK is reviewing SA apps by end of month. Bain has first round on the 25th and second round on Oct 2. Don't know BCG off the top of my head but know they're doing a web-based case for the final round and got their first test screen already.

  • Prospect in Consulting
Sep 16, 2020 - 11:50am

Target school in the east coast applying for FT. For my school, Mck sent out 1st round interview by 15th and all interviews would take place the weeks of 21-28. 

  • Prospect in Consulting
Sep 18, 2020 - 11:36pm

Guys! OP here. Just got a first-round interview with Mckinsey. Best of luck everyone!

  • Prospect in Other
Sep 25, 2020 - 3:19pm

How soon after first rounds do you hear back? Do they give you a call only if you've moved on, or regardless of decision? I had a first round yesterday and haven't heard anything yet, so not too hopeful since I expect they probably called yes's on the same day?

  • Prospect in Other
Sep 25, 2020 - 5:00pm

Mine was for the second B haha but I guess they're all figuring it out right now hopefully? They did say everyone would hear back in 48 hours, but it seems unlikely they'll be calling kids over the weekend

Sep 29, 2020 - 4:19pm

Fat L from BCG, target with 3.9+, and the bells and whistles.

Array

Oct 2, 2020 - 3:19pm

Yup, had a referral and went to a few of the events

Array

  • Prospect in Consulting
Oct 7, 2020 - 12:15pm

Applied for McK summer analyst role and took the problem-solving game over two weeks ago but haven't heard anything. I go to a semi-target. One friend got first-round invite to a different office (I'm applying to northeast office). Anyone know if they are just behind on SA recruiting or is this not a good sign?

  • Prospect in Consulting
Oct 7, 2020 - 11:27pm

Had a 1R for Bain yesterday, thought the cases went really well except for a small math error, got the reject today while all my friends got 2R. FeelsBadMan. This process is crushing my confidence. 

Oct 10, 2020 - 10:40am

Did anyone else have a second round interview for Bain Northeast offices yesterday? Didn't hear back but received a response from a thank you note. A little anxious that will end up as a rejection

Oct 10, 2020 - 2:07pm

Not yet. I don't have super close connections going through the process with me, either, so I have no idea if people got calls last night or not. Wouldn't want to ask acquaintances and stress them out. 

  • Prospect in Consulting
Oct 11, 2020 - 7:34pm

Currently at a target and had my final round interview for Bain AC position on Friday -- no one else that interviewed from my school has heard back yet so I'm assuming we'll get the calls tomorrow. 

Oct 12, 2020 - 10:31pm

Did anyone do the BCG online assessment and found it much more difficult than a live case? I felt really strapped for time and wasn't even able to submit the last question. How did everyone else feel about it?

  • Prospect in Consulting
Oct 17, 2020 - 12:18am

This is a bit late but the BCG online case was incredibly difficult for me, I know I messed up the math questions. However, I got a FR anyways - don't think they take it that much into account

  • Prospect in IB - Gen
Oct 16, 2020 - 12:17pm

General rule of thumb seems to be you'll hear within 24 business hours (ie Friday interviews will result in Monday callbacks/offers) if it's positive. One McK office promised final round responses by Monday EOD for Friday AM interviews.

  • Prospect in PE - Growth
Oct 17, 2020 - 11:46am

How many rounds of interviews are there with BCG now with the online case? Is it just online case/behavioral and then final round or is there another round in-between?

  • Prospect in IB - Restr
Oct 16, 2020 - 9:50am

Just had my BCG interview. Bombed. Didn't get the case at all. She literally had to tell me the numbers for the sake of expediency. 

  • Prospect in Consulting
Oct 16, 2020 - 2:15pm

Heard back from Bain Boston today, got my rejection call. Best of luck to everyone still in the process! 

  • Prospect in Consulting
Oct 16, 2020 - 10:19pm

Got the McK offer! Wouldn't go through this again for the world though. Best of luck to everyone still in it, you guys got this

Most Helpful
  • Prospect in Consulting
Oct 17, 2020 - 9:01am

+1 one more for McK :-) 

Think we're near the end of the FT process, so advice for the 2021 BA/intern applicants who find this thread:

1) Do not neglect PEI. McK clearly spells out the qualities they look for on their website. There are useful guides floating around the interwebs - find one. Unlike the rest of MBB, the PEI is an equally important component to your case proficiency.

2) McK offers 4 practice cases. Once again, unlike rest of MBB, they're actually relevant and helpful to fine-tune your casing and give you an idea for the type of thinking McK seeks out in candidates.

3) Do not waste time trying to memorize too many frameworks or industry insights. A successful caser will always synthesize unique frameworks per the situation. Deep insights about a specific industry only marginally accentuate an already good case performance. But what's more important is an ability to analytically approach with airtight structure any one of infinite combinations & permutations of business opportunities spanning public/private sectors. And ultimately the case is just a backdrop to demonstrate your Exec-level ability to collate findings over the course of an interactive (often unpredictable in the later rounds) discussion with your interviewer. Your goal is to keep your eye on the prize. What is the core question of the case? Never lose sight of that. And always - answer first then provide justification. Your thought process, structure and presentation matter more than the specifics of your recommendation. There isn't always one right answer to the case (especially when going down idiosyncratic discussion paths with partners). 
4) Get comfortable with #s. Be able to quickly clear exhibits. Be able to do fast mental math to sanity check obvious financial metrics like growth and margins (where is the profitability issue?). Identify which variables matter (ie influence key outcomes) and offer subjective interpretations. The "quant" piece of a case interview may only last 5min so you have a very narrow window here to show your agility and intuition. And exercise logic and optimize. You can't make every calculation and slice/dice data every which way. What's the relevant lens? How does it help drive your case?

5) Do not conflate performance in one MBB with another. All three processes have their nuances and index on different things. 
6) Budget time for preparation. Sure, there are some savants who quickly pick up case mechanics and PEI delivery. That's not most people. In my experience, the most successful are the most prepared. Often people who've invested months (or sometimes years of being involved in student consulting clubs practicing casing along the way).

7) Network. It's not just about securing the interview. But it's rather about gaining perspective on identifying your strengths/weaknesses and accordingly tailoring prep. And, going further, a familiarity with the process (from speaking with people who've gone through it) helps quell some of the game-day jitters.

8) Get involved on campus (and in your summer internships). Having genuine leadership and teamwork experiences naturally lends itself to formulating compelling PEI anecdotes.

9) Be kind to yourself. Doing all the above is no guarantee of an offer. Every successful candidate will recall some fortuitous/serendipitous element over the course of their prep and interview processes.

All the best :-)

  • Prospect in Consulting
Oct 17, 2020 - 12:26pm

This is an incredible post. Also got the McK offer & made FR at a B. But didn't even make it out of 1R at another B. These firms may be looking for completely different things, and doing poorly in one interview does not mean that you will do poorly in all. To give my own takeaways from the process for all next year:

1. Bain cases in 1R are entirely by the book, your most classic profitability/market sizing/pricing cases. Be extremely careful here with your math. I felt really good about my framing, much better than I ever felt about McK cases, but made a few math errors. Now, there could have been a hundred things that sunk me that I didn't know about (personality, connection with the interviewer, whatever) but I have a little bit of a feeling that they are intense about those math mistakes. 

2. McK cases are entirely useless to memorize frameworks for. They won't fit nicely. I don't think I ever got asked a case that fit into one of the Case in Point or Victor Cheng frameworks. You can use Company - Customers - Competition - Product as a jumping off point, but you've really gotta come up with your own frameworks and feel comfortable with these very weird cases. 

3. BCG is in the middle: their cases are not entirely standard by the book, but they're not as hard as McK's. Still, having unique frameworks for their cases can only help you. 

4. To second what the post above me said: TAKE THE PRACTICE OPPORTUNITIES THEY GIVE YOU. For my 1R at McK and BCG, both gave me connections to mock case with. Bain did not. You have no idea how helpful this was. One, the case is extremely similar in format, length, and difficulty to what you will get. Two, the feedback is very personal and directed, much more than your roommate or friend could give you. Three, it certainly made me less nervous because I knew how the case was going to play out on the day of. 

5. Be able to read and comprehend charts. Often, the charts/graphs they give you will be confusing and poorly designed. Take a second to make intuitions about what each number means. Ask if you have questions. I literally asked "What does this row mean?" in one of my McK interviews because I did not want to calculate on a wrong assumption, and it turned out I was completely right to ask because the row had nothing to do with what I thought it did. My interviewer had no problem with me asking, and even guided me a little bit into what the next step of a fairly complex calculation needed to be. Be comfortable with numbers. Don't mess up your zeroes. Do some mental math but importantly WRITE calculations down so you can make sure you are making sense. 

6. I'll disagree slightly with 6. I did not case prep for months or years, I started late summer (think late Aug) and I was fine. The most important thing is to case prep on quality cases and with many different people who have experience in the industry. Ask friends, alumni, etc. 

7. PEI is indeed huge for McK. Prep at least 6 stories. Be involved in leadership & teamwork. They are obsessed with teamwork and leading diverse teams or teams that have conflict. I think all 5 of my PEIs were about teamwork in some way. 

8. Care about yourself. The difference between an offer/not offer can be if your 1R had a good or bad day. It's not reflective on you. This is too competitive and too unpredictable for you to tie your self-worth to it. Honestly. I cried many times throughout this process out of pure stress, and I am NOT normally a crier. It's insanely hard work, and it feels like it's the only thing that matters in the moment, but I promise you, it's not. 

  • Prospect in Consulting
Oct 17, 2020 - 12:50pm

This is an incredible post. Also got the McK offer & made FR at a B. But didn't even make it out of 1R at another B. These firms may be looking for completely different things, and doing poorly in one interview does not mean that you will do poorly in all. To give my own takeaways from the process for all next year:

6. I'll disagree slightly with 6. I did not case prep for months or years, I started late summer (think late Aug) and I was fine. The most important thing is to case prep on quality cases and with many different people who have experience in the industry. Ask friends, alumni, etc

8. Care about yourself. The difference between an offer/not offer can be if your 1R had a good or bad day. It's not reflective on you. This is too competitive and too unpredictable for you to tie your self-worth to it. Honestly. I cried many times throughout this process out of pure stress, and I am NOT normally a crier. It's insanely hard work, and it feels like it's the only thing that matters in the moment, but I promise you, it's not. 

On 6. TOTALLY FAIR counterpoint. I veered on the conservative side for sure. Also, I wouldn't encourage people to spend years in a student consulting club for the express purpose of casing proficiency. Only do it if you're passionate. And, as icing, you'll naturally get casing practice. But to the above poster's point, quality > quantity. Casing is an art and not something you brute force practice/memorize. It's incremental and intentional adjustments to your thought structure, casing principles and presentation poise.

You can absolutely make a quantum leap in a month's time with the right mentors/partners and cases. Typically, for solidifying fundamentals, ideal people are recent BAs/ACs, who can not only relate but also recently executed well in the process. On this topic, start building these connections early. Imagine a standard BA/AC gets bombarded with alumni requests in mid/late summer. If you're able to connect with a post-MBA consultant or manager level person, they'll be able to provide feedback on the Exec-presence/being conversational with senior staff piece (this becomes more relevant in final rounds).

On 8. absolutely. This process is mentally taxing. There's perception of a steep drop-off from MBB to T2 boutiques and/or Big 4 (EY-P, S&O, etc). Just remember in the long term arc of a career, hard work, persistence and pursuit of continuous improvement will matter more than your first job out of undergrad. The MBA can also provide a key reset or better platform to network/prep for non-target school folks.

  • Prospect in Consulting
Oct 17, 2020 - 3:16pm

5. Be able to read and comprehend charts. Often, the charts/graphs they give you will be confusing and poorly designed. Take a second to make intuitions about what each number means. Ask if you have questions. I literally asked "What does this row mean?" in one of my McK interviews because I did not want to calculate on a wrong assumption, and it turned out I was completely right to ask because the row had nothing to do with what I thought it did. My interviewer had no problem with me asking, and even guided me a little bit into what the next step of a fairly complex calculation needed to be. Be comfortable with numbers. Don't mess up your zeroes. Do some mental math but importantly WRITE calculations down so you can make sure you are making sense. 

THIS! In my FR, the interviewer helped prod me towards some necessary calculations at a key stage. My perception was that this was driven by goodwill I'd built earlier on. I had been vocal and thoughtful in my prior breakdown of exhibits. This helped establish me as someone contextualizing the information relative to the broader case vs. someone narrowly focusing on surface-level computations. As such, when we reached a point in the case where I needed a slight nudge the interviewer kindly and proactively offered it. 

I left the interview feeling ambivalent on how much I needed to be prompted. Later turned out that I was the only interviewee for that specific day/interviewer/case to successfully complete it. In retrospect, it suggested there was a meta-assessment at play - focused on an interviewee's ability to not get lost in deliberately over-exhaustive/complex exhibits and leverage/request support from the interviewer to connect the relevant dots.

You don't need to be perfect. But you need to be thoughtful, collaborative and coach-able. 

Oct 18, 2020 - 11:25am

This thread is fantastic! Thanks for providing so much insight. I have my first round for SA this week, and I had a few more specific questions. Do you think I can PM them to you?

  • Prospect in Consulting
Oct 18, 2020 - 12:44pm

Prefer the anonymity. So couple options: 

1) Depersonalize as needed and post your questions here.

2) If you peruse this thread (and similar ones), you'll note some non-anonymous posters (e.g. tash) have also offered fantastic advice and are presumably more open to PMs.

Oct 17, 2020 - 7:52pm

Endorse 100%. All this applies to the Post-MBA Associate level too.

10) Use the time for your questions wisely. Think of unique and genuinely relevant things to ask; especially in final rounds, you could have a lot of time with partners for this section. I came up with 5 unique questions per interviewer, and once ran out by the time we were done.

Great advice.

  • Prospect in Consulting
Oct 19, 2020 - 8:32pm

Had BCG FR on Friday, they said they'd let me know either way by Monday. It is now the end of Monday and I haven't gotten anything from them. Assuming it'll be a rejection but was anyone else in this position? 

  • Prospect in IB - Restr
Oct 20, 2020 - 8:32am

Not sure if this helps, but I had a BCG 1R on Friday. They said they'd let us know about 2R on/by Tuesday. Likely similar for you. 

  • Prospect in Consulting
Oct 20, 2020 - 5:38pm

Just heard back after reaching out to the recruiter. Rejected. 

  • Prospect in IB - Restr
Oct 23, 2020 - 11:39am

Have my FR with BCG West Coast office today. Based on past experience, do they typically call same day or post-weekend?

Oct 23, 2020 - 2:33pm

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  • Prospect in IB - Restr
Oct 23, 2020 - 3:55pm

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  • Prospect in IB - Restr
Oct 26, 2020 - 3:57pm

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