MBB Cross Movement

Hi all,

I was just wondering if anyone knew what movement between MBB firms was like - and more specifically, thoughts on the following things:

1) Moving from a summer internship at one MBB to another MBB for full time. Is it hard to do and are your chances better coming from another MBB?
2) How is it viewed by the full-time hiring MBB? I've heard of these people being called "mercenaries," which seemingly carries a negative connotation.

If anyone has any personal experiences with this that, please feel free to also PM me.

Thanks guys.

Comments (18)

Jul 30, 2011

Ive heard it done on several occasions. You can probably linkedin people. Its usually done between contracts, so if you sign a 2 year contract, typically you would stay for 2 years and not transfer to MBB. I would say its best to stick with one firm unless there is a good reason, a really good reason, some that I have heard of are (not exactly sure if they qualify as good or not):

-You are unable to move up without getting MBA at one firm, so transfer to another
-You move for personal reasons (family, location, etc)

Jul 31, 2011

Re: summer internship to a different MBB, not aproblem unless you weren't given an offer following the internship. I think in many cases with the latter, you're blacklisted for 1-2 yrs from MBB full time positions - they actively talk amongst each other when recruiting, especially at the top b-schools

Nov 7, 2013

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Aug 1, 2011

I had the same question - moving from BCG summer to McK FT. I talked with people at all levels at BCG and they warned me that McK, prestige aside, is not the firm I want to work for - poor mentoring, strong industry verticals all the way down to BA level that prevent truly diverse experience etc. I talked to family friends who were retired senior partners from Bain (as a less biased verification test) and they gave me the same story. Furthermore, both BCGers and Bainies said that McK's work tended to be templatized - little creativity, heavy focus on "the McKinsey way" etc. Finally, they warned me that it'd be a tough sell to convince McK to take me: interviewers would assume: a) I didn't get the offer at BCG OR b) my wanting to leave an MBB is a sign that I'm just as likely to jump ship at McK as at BCG. I questioned whether a "but McK is the awesome-est!" rebuttal would work, but none of the interviewers I know at either BCG or Bain felt that would be sufficient.

However, everyone who did either a summer or FT stint as a McK BA had a pretty different story, including close friends - not just minions of recruiting/PR ;) And McK has been reaching out to me pretty actively (I did get referred by someone) over the summer.

On the personal side, most of my friends and family (including my long-time gf) encourage me not to pursue McK just from a firm culture perspective. On top of that, I really like the people at BCG (although I might prefer a calmer office than NY - Boston seems nice, West Coast would be except that BCG is so much weaker out there relative to the other two firms) and I had an amazing summer. For the sake of transparency, I should also mention that I have a tendency towards being a prestige whore, so being aware of that is something holding me back from McK as well.

I'm now beginning accelerated recruiting/interviewing for McK and am wondering whether it's worth it, whether there is any serious reason I should go for McK that I'm overlooking or whether I should take everyone's advice and just leave well enough alone.

Best Response
Jan 19, 2017

If you're going only for the prestige and you like everyone at BCG, don't bother recruiting at McK. This sounds like the most obvious choice: stay at BCG.

What do you get from the additional "prestige"? Absolutely nothing. Exit opps are very similar between all of MBB.

Also remember that if you like the people you're working with, it is SO MUCH easier to be a high performer. The best thing you can do for your personal brand, "prestige", and exit opportunities is to be a high performer.

If this was a question between Accenture and McKinsey, totally different answer. But BCG is an incredible firm and will provide you an excellent experience.

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Nov 7, 2013

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Jan 19, 2017

bump

Jan 19, 2017

A bschool friend of mine interned at Bain and went to BCG for FT, both same city. Didn't seem to be much of an issue, but he did have a clear reason though (mostly local staffing at BCG with travel expectation at 20-30% where Bain would have had him travel 70-80%). I would think not getting your preferred geography would be a good reason, unless you want to be in a very competitive office (ie. NYC, London, SF)

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Jan 19, 2017

Thanks! If you get a full-time offer from the summer from a firm, is the expiration date on the offer such that you can still re-recruit during the fall without the date going by? i.e. offer expires in September and you're still interviewing mid-October with the other firms.

Jan 19, 2017

Would probably be easier to get an office transfer at the end of the summer (usually doable depending on the firm).

Jan 19, 2017

Friend of mine went from BCG to Bain after summer. He said his career centres required firm to give non-highly explosive offers, giving time to re-recruit if you like. Check how that is at your school. Easier way is probably to transfer if you have a legitimate reason why you recruited at your SA office in the first place and now want to change

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Aug 1, 2011

Interestingly enough, that's a way of approaching it you rarely hear about. Thanks for that. Solid reality check.

Jan 19, 2017

Most firms don't do lateral hires without the attainment of an MBA - that being said, it's possible and I'd still like to hear experiences in this realm. Deloitte is on the implementation side.

Jan 19, 2017

There are lateral hires at the analyst level, but the process is extremely hard - I went through it almost a year ago and successfully moved over to MBB.

In terms of making yourself more "attractive" from the firm perspective - I wouldn't sweat that. Focus on getting as broad a range of experience as your firm allows. Try to focus on tasks where you would be building complex models or managing your own piece of the presentation - these are valuable skills emphasized at the analyst level at MBB firms, but often tasks that get shifted up the ladder at smaller firms.

More importantly, you need a few things in your background. Having gone to an Ivy or comparable (everyone here calls them targets so they can slide their mid-level school in, but let's be honest, we're talking Stanford, Cornell etc.) is a huge, huge plus. It's going to be very difficult to even get a foot in the door no matter how good your experience if you don't have a brand name school on your resume - from my experience, I'd recommend you just go back for an MBA if you're state school-type (no slur on state schools, just the honest truth - plenty of Yale and Harvard kids want these jobs...). You need to have a solid GPA, and make sure your resume reads well - others have given advice on this front already, look those up.

Finally, make sure you have a solid message. No one wants to hear you bitch about your old firm or talk about how much you sweat Bain - talk about how you enjoyed your experience (use specifics) but felt like you were ready for a new, more diverse challenge - eg management consulting.

Here's the good news. If you can pull off a lateral - and it's not easy at all, I'll be honest - it's actually a badge of honor. I've spoken with a bunch of PE firms who have often explicitly stated that they're interested because I was a lateral, and that's uncommon enough that it "must mean" I'm hot shit.

Am I hot shit? Eh, probably not, but I'll take it.

Good luck!

Aug 1, 2011
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