Comments (69)

Jun 18, 2020

Thanks for doing this! What would be the best strategy when networking? What are your do's and don'ts during an interview?

    • 6
Jun 19, 2020

Hi there,

Best strategy during networking - some of this may sound cliche but I really think it works.

Figure out what excites you about consulting. Your excitement will really come through in conversations, so don't underestimate how important this can be.

Listen to stories and build your own story. The more conversations you have and the more you learn about the experiences of consultants, the more it will help you figure out what about consulting makes you excited. This can help you be much more concrete in your own story, when you're sharing why you want to be a consultant. You can say, 'I spoke with person X and they were on this project focusing on Y and they learned Z. This is exactly the type of experience I want to have so I can learn Z and have this type of impact." You can of course phrase it however you'd like, but hopefully this paints the picture.

Interviewing:
Do's:
Practice a lot and be prepared. There is no substitute for this.
Be personable instead of robotic when working through the case. Remember, it's client service.
Bring in your own experiences, whether it's something you've worked on in the past, or even something you've read about. You don't have to go out of your way to do this.

Don't:
Freak out if you make one small math mistake. This is unlikely to be the make it / break it. There is much more to a case interview. It's also a lot about how you recover from the mistake and whether / how you can address the mistake and keep going to solve the problem.
Try to fit every case into a cookie-cutter framework. Practice enough to where you can get comfortable with many versions of frameworks. Ideally you get comfortable enough to where you can adapt frameworks you have learned to the specific case or problem at hand.

Let me know if this is helpful and if you have any other questions.

    • 5
Jun 18, 2020

I've been networking a lot and I've only been invited to an interview only once. I must say, it didn't went well. Any tips for newbies like me? It's frustrating especially during this trying times.

Jun 19, 2020

Hi there,

I'm sorry that it's been a challenging start. Don't worry, I've had interviews that didn't go so well too. It happens, but you can bounce back and it can still work out.

General networking suggestion:
Ask about the consultant's experience. People are generally happy to share and talk about their experience at different firms.
Try to use what you learn to be able to tell the story of what gets you excited about consulting. What about all the stories you've heard is exciting to you and what would you like to experience or learn yourself? The more stories you have to reflect on, the more concrete you can be in your own storytelling and the more relatable it will be.

General suggestions on interview prep:
My thought is, there is no over prep. Prep a lot and work hard. More tactically, here are some suggestions:
Strategy and Case book: there are a lot of case books out there, and different ones can be helpful for different people. Some of this is trial and error. But, what's most important, is that you find a case book that helps you learn the strategy and approach to tackling a case. It's like studying for the SAT or GMAT. At the end of the day, there are many test prep companies and many ways to tackle the test. It really matters which one you resonate with. So try to figure this out as soon as you can.

Practice: once you learn the basic dance of the case, and you have your strategy and approach, it's important to know what materials to use to practice and how to practice. For materials, there are a lot of good PDF's online from MBA programs / business schools. For example, you can simply type in name of the business school and "Case Book: and you'll find many PDF's online. These will usually be older versions, but the cases are still good! These tend to have great practice cases, and if you get multiple books, you can easily find hundreds of practice cases you can work on.

Self practice vs. live case. My opinion is you have to do both. If you play a sport or chess or any instrument, you know that there are competitions or performances where you're performing and testing/showing your skill, and then there is practice. Practice is usually much more focused on strengths you're trying to build further or weaknesses you're trying to overcome. Casing is similar. Find time to 'perform' and do live cases with someone. But also figure out what you need to work on, and find time by yourself or with drills that can help you work on these things. E.g., if you need to get better at calculating percentages, doing practice percentage math drills is far more effective than doing 10 more cases. But at the end of the day, you have to do both.

Let me know if this is helpful and if you have any other questions.

    • 3
Jun 18, 2020

What made you decide to switch from IB to consulting? Can you elaborate more about the differences in terms of work environment, working hours, comps & bonus between IB and consulting?

Jun 19, 2020

Hi there,

Really good question. I'm actually thinking about hosting another Q&A specifically on banking vs. consulting so stay tuned. In the meantime here are some quick thoughts:

Reason I switched:
I wanted to learn more about strategic decision making from the inside of a company. I also wanted to understand the inner workings and operations of a company. For that, consulting is the way to go.

General comparison based on skills/training, lifestyle and exit options:

Skills/Training:
Banking:
A slightly narrower but more focused skill set: quantitative and modeling focused. By the end of it, you'll be an expert at valuation and typical models like M&A, LBO, and capital raises.
Consulting:
Broader skillset. By the end of it, you'll get very good at structuring an ambiguous business problem, identifying a path to solve it, figuring out data and information needed for analysis and then executing analyses to get the job done. Also will help you figure out how to draw up an implementation or execution plan.

For banking, think making deals. For consulting, think strategic decision making and execution.
Both are highly valuable. I think having both is great!

Lifestyle:
Banking is notorious for longer hours and having more of a 'facetime' culture where you have to be in the office and show face. Like many analysts, I've seen the all nighter in banking, but not in consulting. But, it didn't happen often and it was during a very important deal phase.
Consulting tends to now have the rep of a high flying lifestyle (although who knows in this new world). You get to travel all over, experience different cities, rack up points for personal travel etc. The hours are arguably better as lifestyle is actually part of team conversations. But, that being said, it can still be 70+ hours a week depending on the project, especially in your early days when you're still working on getting more efficient at the job).

Exit options: It used to be that banking was the sure path to Private Equity. It isn't the case any more. Depending on the PE shop, both bankers and junior consultants can exit into PE. Generally speaking banking experience can make you more competitive for jobs that require deal diligence and deal process as well as modeling. While consulting experience could make you competitive in these areas (if you do diligence projects or finance focused projects), but consulting can also open you up to other strategy and operation focused roles. Consulting arguably offers broader exit options, while banking can make you more competitive for a narrower more focused set of options.

I'd say, both are going to be great training for the first part of your career. Not to sound cliche, but talk to people and see which one gets you more excited. Go with that as it will likely make you happier and lead to better performance and options.

Let me know if this is helpful and if you have any other questions.

    • 5
Jun 18, 2020

can you give a few examples of projects you worked on - it seems that the majority of projects have become more tactically-oriented rather than strategically-focused even at the strategy consulting shops. to what extent is that true?

Jun 19, 2020

Hi there,

Good question. It's a mix, I would say.

It is true that consulting firms are expanding their line of work. They are shifting from being purely strategy focused to expanding their offerings: Operations, Implementation, Specific solutions (e.g., design or digital marketing).

In my opinion it is driven by multiple factors: some of it is client driven as clients have pushed consulting firms to help implement solutions that they are suggesting. Some of it is also driven by consulting firms as it allows them to offer more solutions and stay more closely connected to clients for longer projects.

I can't get into too much detail on the projects I've done for confidentiality reasons. But I can say that I've done both strategy and implementation projects. Generally speaking, as one gets more tenured in consulting, there seems to be more flexibility in choosing the type of work you do and specialize in. So if you prefer one type over another, you can definitely focus in over time.

Let me know if this is helpful and if you have any other questions.

    • 3
Most Helpful
  • Analyst 1 in IB - Ind
Jun 18, 2020

During an MBB interview I had while trying to lateral from IB to Consulting, my last interview was with a partner and before I even introduced myself, I was asked what school I went to. I responded my non target school name and the partner proceeded to take out his phone, text someone, say "thanks" and left the room. I was left standing in front a white board with my solution for about 5 minutes, until someone walked in and thanked me for coming. I was then asked to leave and before I was even a block away I got a call saying I did not get the offer. I know this was a bad experience but is there a general hatred/disdain for non targets at MBB?

    • 9
Jun 18, 2020

Wow this is terrible and completely classless. I'm sorry you experienced it. If you're OK with sharing, which MBB and what geography?

    • 2
  • Analyst 1 in IB - Ind
Jun 18, 2020

Not going to disclose bc of personal reasons but this was NYC. There were 3 other people interviewing with me and none of us got offers. They were all Ivy background.

    • 1
Jun 18, 2020

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm pretty sure it's McK.

    • 2
Jun 18, 2020

Betting BCG.

    • 1
Jun 18, 2020

Definitely getting McKinsey vibes

Array

  • Intern in IB-M&A
Jun 18, 2020

from my exp at a non-target, MBB are very particular about the school you're from at the undergraduate level ... unless you have a referral from someone very high up

Jun 19, 2020

It's terrible that you had this experience.

To my knowledge, there isn't any disdain, but it could have been a very individual (person specific) situation. I have worked with consultants from a range of schools.

I would say, if you can, don't let this discourage you and keep networking and keep at it. There will be other interviews and there is more than one consulting firm.

Let me know if this is helpful and if you have any other questions.

    • 1
  • Analyst 1 in IB - Ind
Jun 19, 2020

It really bummed me out at the time because I had yet to receive my FT offer from Summer. I am still interested in consulting because of the different work you do. Hopefully, I'll try again later and make it. Thanks for responding tho and making the thread.

Jun 18, 2020

thanks for doing this. Current CS major here. So i understand that the San Francisco office is the most competitive but with a CS background does it make it worthwhile to apply or still total crapshoot? Which offices give the most weight to CS backgrounds? I'm planning on applying to Atlanta DC and Boston as those offices have the most alumni from my school.

Jun 19, 2020

Hi there,

Good question and one that's asked a lot. Unfortunately, I've heard a lot of speculation but haven't seen any data or information that gives a definitive direction on this.

I would push to re-frame the problem statement or question here. Instead of asking which offices really like CS majors, I'd urge you to ask:
Where am I open to living?
Which offices have people that I'm really connecting with?
Do the offices focus on the type of work I'd be interested in doing? Any offices that don't have the work I want to do?

The reason I say this is two things:
1. It can be easy to see the genuineness and excitement in a candidate. If you're genuinely excited about an office or work area or the people, it will show and it will go a long way. If you're not, it will also show.
2. From personal experience, it's hard work, and it's much easier to put in the hard work for something you're excited about.

Let me know if this is helpful and if you have any more questions.

    • 2
  • Prospect in Other
Jun 18, 2020

Thanks for doing this! Do you have tips on networking during a virtual time, in addition to 15-minute phone calls with analysts / associates?

Jun 19, 2020

Hi there,

In all fairness, I didn't have to network completely virtually, but we are all now living in somewhat of a virtual world, so I'll give my best thoughts based on the experience here.

While 15-minute phone calls are great, we can't underestimate the power of good emails. Great thank you notes, that touch on points of the conversation that you found helpful go a long way. Additionally, quick check-in notes every 2-4 weeks that give the consultant a quick update on your application process or any recent accomplishments are also very helpful and a great way to keep the conversation going without having to necessarily jump on another call or ask for more time.

It's also about the mindset. In my experience, consulting has a mentorship model and mindset. So if a consultant is taking the time to connect and you have a good conversation, it can be worthwhile to essentially bring them on your journey as you navigate your application process. These updates could really help the consultant keep up and feel invested in your process and your success.

Let me know if this is helpful and if you have any other questions.

    • 4
  • Prospect in Other
Jun 19, 2020

Thank you so much, that's really helpful! If I'm networking earlier in the summer, say June, is it okay to send updates about my summer internship or that would be conflicting with my goals of applying for their company full-time?

Jun 18, 2020

thanks for doing this. any advice on how an experienced hire could join a MBB firm? 6+ years in tech, most recent 3&1/2 years have been in a leadership BD role of a PE backed firm. hoping to join MBB within their PE team.

Jun 18, 2020

Hi there,

Good question. There are a few paths to this I'd recommend. I'll comment based on my knowledge of each Firm (note I recruited with all three and had multiple offers, so know something about each).

Bain: Has a strong PE Group (PEG). I'd start networking with folks on LinkedIn or WSO who are current Bain folks or alumni and leverage those connections to talk to people who have worked in PEG. Main thing is to learn about specific experiences and be able to communicate why you'd like to have those experiences or why you're interested in that type of work.

McKinsey and BCG: Also have strong PE and diligence focus. Each has pathways for experienced professionals like joining a specific practice (e.g, Sales and Marketing or Private Equity Diligence, or Implementation). Similar approach as above, connect with current consultants or alumni and figure out which practice areas make most sense given your interests. Then focus your networking there.

Let me know if this is helpful and if you have more questions.

    • 4
Jun 19, 2020

Thanks! Very helpful. What would you say is the most important aspect to highlight both when networking as well as when speaking with recruiters to better the overall chances of getting an interview & earning the role? Given some of my experience overlaps, but for the majority of things I have been doing, there is not much overlap. Also, from my understanding, coming in at the level around post-MBA as an experienced hiring, your focus is more general instead of just the PE/DD ring fence. Is there anything I can highlight that would show a more well-rounded/relevant experience?

    • 1
Jun 19, 2020

Hi, thanks for doing this thread.

I'll be starting at a target in the UK in autumn but would like to do internships in MBB in NYC, I know this is really competitive but I'm just wondering if you have any tips on how to reach out to people in a different country entirely and how best to start navigating the process?

Thanks

Jun 19, 2020

Hi there,

It may be challenging but it's doable. Here is what I think:

Have very strong and concrete reasons as to why NYC. If you just want to be there to hang out and check out a new city, I don't think it's going to be that compelling. Are there specific personal or professional experiences that draw you to NYC? Is there a personal reason like family or significant other which are draws to NYC? It's important to really convey the concrete reasons why NYC over a local office in the UK.

Build a network with NYC consultants. Reach out over phone, video call, whatever means makes sense and tell your story to consultants in NYC. Ask them to connect you with others in the office. Build a network and do your best to make sure several people in the office know your story and your reasons for wanting to be there.

Bring them on your journey. Send quick email updates every 2-4 weeks. It can be as simple as "Thanks for putting me in touch with X person. I connected with them this week and had a great conversation and learned more about Y. They have also put me in touch with Z person in the office as well and I'm working on connecting with them over the course of the next week." Of course, phrase it in your own words but hopefully you get the picture. Bringing consultants along with you on the journey helps them keep up with you and helps you stay connected.

Let me know if this is helpful and if you have any other questions.

    • 3
Jun 19, 2020

Hey thanks a lot for the insight, mind if I pm about some more detailed questions ?

Jun 19, 2020

How does the MBB to VC recruitment process work? What are the general timelines, what are the interviews like, and how common is that exit after 2 years of MBB post-undergrad?

    • 1
Jun 19, 2020

Hi there,

Wish I could be more helpful here, but I don't know much about making this transition as I haven't transitioned to or worked in the VC space.

Let me know if you have trouble finding information on this and I can speak with WSO colleagues and try to get you connected to another mentor who would know about this.

Jun 19, 2020

Whats the outlook on the consulting industry over the next couple years if we stay in a recession and F500 co.'s tighten up their budgets?

Jun 19, 2020

Hi there,

This one is tough to say. A lot of things are moving right now. Generally speaking there are a few trends I've observed in the consulting industry:

More specialization. Firms are becoming more specialized. There are more experts and more niche consultants than before. If you look at the professionals of profiles and even some of the acquisitions that have been made over the last few years, this trend starts to show.

More offerings and longer term projects: There are more project types and more solution types than before in the consulting industry. For example firms are now getting into the implementation and design spaces where they are actually helping companies design physical products etc.

With respect to down turns and current corporate budgets, it's tough to say. What we can speculate is that consulting firms are helpful to large co's during this time when it comes to cost cutting and restructuring projects. There is also opportunity for firms to help companies think about the post down-turn strategy.

I know this doesn't give a specific answer as to what may happen. But that's very difficult to preduct.

Let me know if this is helpful and if you have any other questions.

    • 3
  • Prospect in Other
Jun 19, 2020

Hello, thank you for doing this. I had two questions:

  • When networking with people in an office, is it considered over-bearing if you network with 3-5 people in an office or is that okay?
  • How would you suggest going about case preparation, given that memorizing frameworks can only take you so far, in a time where it may be harder to do live cases with friends because of COVID?
Jun 19, 2020

Hi there,

Generally speaking 3-5 people is great! I'll caveat this by saying, if it's a small firm and a small office (of let's say only 10 people in that office) then you may have a harder time even finding 5 people to connect with. But again, this can vary based on situation.

For your case prep question, I'm going to paste something from an earlier post since I think it's pretty comprehensive:

General suggestions on interview prep:
My thought is, there is no over prep. Prep a lot and work hard. More tactically, here are some suggestions:
Strategy and Case book: there are a lot of case books out there, and different ones can be helpful for different people. Some of this is trial and error. But, what's most important, is that you find a case book that helps you learn the strategy and approach to tackling a case. It's like studying for the SAT or GMAT. At the end of the day, there are many test prep companies and many ways to tackle the test. It really matters which one you resonate with. So try to figure this out as soon as you can.

Practice: once you learn the basic dance of the case, and you have your strategy and approach, it's important to know what materials to use to practice and how to practice. For materials, there are a lot of good PDF's online from MBA programs / business schools. For example, you can simply type in name of the business school and "Case Book: and you'll find many PDF's online. These will usually be older versions, but the cases are still good! These tend to have great practice cases, and if you get multiple books, you can easily find hundreds of practice cases you can work on.

Self practice vs. live case. My opinion is you have to do both. If you play a sport or chess or any instrument, you know that there are competitions or performances where you're performing and testing/showing your skill, and then there is practice. Practice is usually much more focused on strengths you're trying to build further or weaknesses you're trying to overcome. Casing is similar. Find time to 'perform' and do live cases with someone. But also figure out what you need to work on, and find time by yourself or with drills that can help you work on these things. E.g., if you need to get better at calculating percentages, doing practice percentage math drills is far more effective than doing 10 more cases. But at the end of the day, you have to do both.

Let me know if this is helpful and if you have any other questions.

    • 5
  • Prospect in Other
Jun 19, 2020

Hello! I'm a rising senior from a target school. I have boutique consulting and tech internship experience, but nothing brand-name/F500 on my resume. I understand that this disadvantages me in the resume screening process and I am wondering if you have any tips on how to position myself to be able to get a first-round interview, in addition to networking with people in offices I'm interested in?

Jun 19, 2020

Hi there,

Here is what I would consider doing given your description:

GPA and accomplishments:
If you have a strong GPA or other accomplishments in school (student athlete / tournament wins or titles, winning debate competitions, a major leadership position where you've accomplished something impactful or really anything else that is a notable accomplishment) I would highlight that on the resume and cover letter (if the firm wants one of these). You can also highlight this in your networking conversations. If you're in an honors program or accelerated class program (some universities offer this) or if you have a scholarship that's competitive, these are all things you can mention and have on your resume. Bottom line, it's about showcasing the impactful things you've done and are doing no matter where you go to school or where you've worked.
As far as GPA goes, work really hard on this if you still have time.

SAT or GMAT or other:
If you have a strong SAT or ACT score, this can go a long way as well. If you don't have a strong SAT / ACT score or a strong GPA and if you feel the work you do on your GPA still won't get you fully there, then consider taking a graduate school test. Yes, consider taking the GMAT or LSAT or GRE or MCAT depending on whichever grad school you think you may wan tto attend (if at all). If you can nail this test and be in the top 5 or 10 percentile of scores (depending on the test), this can also help one really stand out from a resume perspective. And if you're planning on going to grad school some day anyway, may as get the test done since they are good for multiple years (GMAT is good for 5 years I believe).

Networking:
I would really spend time learning about the experiences of consultants and working on your story of how / why you think you would be a good consultant and why you would enjoy it. Think about the experiences and skills you do have and how they can be applied (quantitative and analytical skills, logic and problem solving, leadership and influencing direction with facts and analysis, project planning and executing. These are examples of skills that are very useful in consulting work.

End of the day, it's very possible if one works at it.

Let me know if this is helpful and if you have any other questions.

    • 3
  • Intern in CorpFin
Jun 19, 2020

Hi,

Thank you so much for doing this. I had two questions:

1) I haven't had too much a problem connecting and networking with consultants whether that be MBB or Tier 2. I'm at a semi-target in the South with a strong alumni network. However, many consultants have told me that networking can only do so much for me because it is HR and the recruiters who decide which applicants receive first round interviews. Is this true or is it more like banking where the analysts choose give inputs.

2) My GPA is on the lower end ~3.4 but my resume is strong. Two corporate finance internships at F500 companies, and a Summer Analyst position at a top CRE firm. I've also interned at two start-ups. Beyond that, I have leadership positions in organizations on and off campus. I have also done a pre-MBA Summer program at a top 7 business school (Not HBS VVMP lol). I know my GPA hurts me significantly and it's on me how low it is, I don't really have a justification for it. Do you have any advice on how to get firms to look past this and still get first round interviews?

Thanks again for your time and help!

Jun 19, 2020

Hi there,

To your questions:
1. Glad you've had good traction and are feeling good about the networking side of things. Every firm is different by in my experience, it's a holistic process and it's usually not just one person in the room making a yes or no decision on your interview. Consulting firms are pros at collaboration and multi-step processes with multiple inputs (not surprising). Each firm has their own process but generally there are many different data points that go into an interview decision. One part of this is your story and why you're excited about consulting. This is where networking comes in. If you feel you have made a good network and there are people at the consulting firm who know and can tell / share your story, I think this can be very helpful.

  1. A few things here. First, do you have a major specific GPA? If so, you can put that on your resume if it's higher and show that at least in a specific area of study (or usually in your later years) you have done better or performed at a high GPA level.
    Otherwise, do you have a strong SAT or ACT score? If not, consider taking a grad school test: GMAT, LSAT, MCAT, GRE depending on which graduate school you may want to consider going to. If you're not sure whether you want to go to graduate school, it may still be worthwhile to take the test because A) you never know whether you change your mind about grad school and B) it is a score that is a measurement vs. many around the country or globe who also take this test. So if you're in the top 5 or 10 percentile of a grad school test,I think it can really stand out on your resume and help, even if you have a GPA that's not super high.

Let me know if this is helpful and if you have any other questions.

    • 2
Jun 19, 2020

Thanks for doing this!

1) What are the most important soft skills for consultants to be good at?

2) How much would the average MBB consultant vary from the average B4 one? What would be the biggest difference?

3) Do you have any advice on how to value career progression/money vs WLB?

    • 1
Jun 19, 2020

Hi there,

Good and challenging questions. I'll do my best here:

  1. Influencing people and teams toward decision and action with facts and analyses.
    Building strong trusting relationships. Very important if you want to be effective in a client setting.
    Being a team player. You may not always have the most glamorous spot on the team, but every role matters and every person can help or hurt the team. So, which one will you be?
    Managing high pressure situations. Consulting can be hard work and high pressure, sometimes when you're most tired or sleep deprived and jet lagged. It's important to be willing and able to manage high pressure situations.
  2. This is tough to say. There are talented people at all firms and it's hard to really speak to a difference without having much data or having at least worked at multiple firms.
  3. Great question. There are so many ways of thinking about this. The simplest way I can think about this the two big trade-offs:
    How much do you value your free time vs. how much do you wan to make. This sounds simple, but let's think about two scenarios to make it a bit more concrete.
    Scenario 1:
    You focus on WLB. You make $X and you work 45 hours per week. You have time to work out, travel, go to weekday happy hours, and maybe even weeknight dates. You're probably sleeping about 7 to 8 hours per night.

Scenario 2:
You work 70 hours per week, travel Monday-Thursday and make $1.5X (I'm just making this number up). You don't really have time during the week to see friends or go on dates. You may get the chance to work out 1x during the weekdays, realistically, and optimistically maybe 2 times. With all this, you're probably sleeping about 6 hours per night on weeknights. If you want to work out more or see friends, you may sleep 5 hours per night on that particular week night. But, with the extra money you make, if you end up saving it, you could get compounding returns over many years. Assuming a 7.5% annualized return (compounded), you pretty much double your money every 10 years (assuming no interim trading and taxes due).

So the big questions are:
1. If you make more, will you actually save? Or will you spend it and get utility out of whatever you're spending it on?
2. If you have more time instead, will you actually use it for useful things and things you enjoy? Or will you appreciate having that time vs. having 2X your savings in 10 years?
3. How long do you plan on having a challenging work life balance? Even if you do it for 2 years, the amount you save could arguably continue to grow over decades. So you don't have to do it for 10 years or even 5. But you can if you want to of course.
4. How much do you value money or need money for your lifestyle or your long-term goals? Not everyone values it the same way.

Aside from all of this, there is also the general question of career progression. So it's not just the immediate dollars you make in those 2 or 3 years of consulting or another job. It's about what types of jobs or career paths that experience opens up. This is a whole different discussion, but something to factor in.

One other caveat to this is: if you know what you want to do and let's say it's working at company Z. It could be worthwhile to just go do that and do it for 5, 7, 10 years. It's possible to set yourself up for great career progression within that one company if you're there for many years and some of the above listed tradeoffs may matter less.

Finally, I have to put down a disclaimer that I'm not a retirement, tax or financial planning professional or expert. These are simply some of the ways I've thought about evaluating this type of decision in hindsight.

Let me know if this is helpful and if you have any other questions.

    • 5
Jun 20, 2020

Hey, thanks for doing this! How difficult would it be for a JD (from H/Y/S) to break into MBB right after their 3L year? Additionally, would a high GMAT score (along with a high LSAT score) help?

Array

Jun 20, 2020

Hi there,

As far as I know, MBB recruits at law school as well. There are definitely law school grads at these firms, I've worked with a few myself.

You can also simply ask the partner business school at H/Y/S to let you attend their career fair event if the Law School is not hosting MBB at any events (which would be unlikely).

Generally speaking, it may be better to try to do an internship during one of the summers in Law School and try to convert that to a full time offer. However, you can always try for straight to full-time as well.

A solid GMAT and LSAT score can definitely help! Would put this on the resume.

Also, may be worth considering a JD/MBA if you really want to go the route of MBB and eventually have a career on the business side.

Let me know if this is helpful and if you have any other questions.

    • 2
Jun 20, 2020

You mentioned you're a former MBB consultant - what role are you in now? What level did you switch at, and what prompted you to make the switch?

For context, I'm currently a 2nd year BA / A / AC at MBB and wondering whether or not I should leave to try out industry for a bit or take the b-school sponsorship and continue at my firm.

Jun 21, 2020

Hi there,

I left MBB after two years because there was something else that was exciting that I wanted to try. Will refrain from current work details to maintain anonymity if that's alright.

What I can say about the decision to leave, is there are a series of questions that are worth asking:
Personal preference questions:
Do you really enjoy the work?
How curious are you about other roles or industry? What makes you curious?
What experience do you hope to gain from leaving that you're not getting currently? If you can be concrete with this, then it can really help answer the question of whether it makes sense to leave.

Pragmatist questions/considerations:
What sort of return policy does your firm have? Some firms allow you to come back to the firm within 3-5 years and sponsor you for graduate school during that time as well. If you have these options then the risk is lower to try something else. The main risk is taking time away from the accelerated growth path you may have at one of these firms.
Also note that if you take sponsorship from a firm, doesn't mean you are necessarily bound for good. My understanding is that you can buy out your debt obligation, or essentially pay the firm back for your grad school to remove the obligation to return. I've also had friends who have had their obligations bought out by other firms in other industries. So if you end up going to bschool lets say and you find another job with another company that really wants you to start right away, they may be willing to buy out your 2-year return obligation to an MBB by paying off your bschool.

One other thing to consider is trade-offs and alternatives. Some industries are much easier to transition to pre-MBA after your first 2-3 years of consulting. PE is one example in my opinion. If you think you may want to try PE, it may be worth giving it a shot now and getting that experience earlier rather than later. I'm not a PE expert so may be worth looking into this further.

At the end of the day, it's about the personal preference of whether you are really wanting to try something else while you're early in your career and comparing this with the pragmatic trade-offs of optionality to return to a firm and whether you can/want to take sponsorship for grad school.

Let me know if this is helpful and if you have any other questions.

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Jun 21, 2020

Hi-Thanks for doing this. Here are my questions.

1) I am a rising 2nd year MBA at a T20 school. Very strong resume pre MBA but working at a no name internship this summer. Will the no name internship hurt me during FT recruiting as most of my peers have internships at brand name cos?

2)According to you, how does the recruiting pipeline look like for people like me targeting 2021 FT intake?
3) As I am an international student (male), how should I go about networking and doing office selection? My odds are very low to begin with so office selection is very important to me.

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Jun 22, 2020

Hi there,

  1. While it may help to have a recognizable name on the resume, you can still benefit from your internship experience if you can demonstrate transferable skills through your experiences there. Are you leading any projects, structuring ambiguous problems, or doing analyses that are having an impact? What is the quantifiable scale of the impact you're having? If you can communicate these elements on your resume, it can go a long way.
  2. I'm no longer at an MBB so it's tough to say what the pipeline looks like for 2021FT. Current MBB consultants or consultants at other firms may have more data around this.
  3. Personally, I think there are three things when it comes to selecting an office and also communicating your story as to why that office. i) Do you have a community in the states, whether it's friends or relatives in a certain city that draw you to a particular place? ii) Do you feel like you have had good conversations and made strong connections with consultants in a particular office that allow you to feel like this could be a great work community? iii) Is there a particular type of work or industry you want to focus on, and does a particular office focus on this area? Having at least one or two of these is good in my opinion, having all three is even better of course. Bottom line is, it's about finding an office and location you're excited about, and communicating this story to the consultants and recruiters you speak with.

Let me know if this is helpful and if you have any other questions.

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Jun 22, 2020

Hi there, thank you so much for doing this. I am starting at an MBB soon and was wondering on if you had any tips on how succeed as a summer AC/C/BA. Is the expectation more along the lines of learning by making mistakes and asking as many questions as possible, or is there enough guidance given that you shouldn't have any issues? Also, given that things are virtual it seems more difficult to organize coffee chats and build relationships that would naturally occur in an office. I guess I'm moreso asking how I can make the most of my internship.Thanks!

Jun 23, 2020

Hi there,

Good question. My sense on what makes a successful summer experience is demonstrating a few core attributes/skills and also getting to learn about why the particular firm may be a good fit for you.

Demonstrating core attributes / skills:
1. Coachability: you don't have to know everything day one, it's definitely not the expectation. However, I think it is important to show that you're coachable and are willing to receive feedback and learn / grow from it. Consulting is generally an apprenticeship model where you learn from coaching and guidance you receive from your teammates and team leadership. So, this core skill of being able to take feedback and act on it in a constructive way is very important.

  1. Proactiveness: Don't just bring me a problem, spend some time and think through some potential solutions. Even if the solutions you come up with aren't ultimately the ones that are the path forward, it's important in my opinion to demonstrate this willingness to problem solve and ability to think of potential solutions. At the end of the day, Consultants are there to solve client problems, not simply communicate what the problems are to teams and team leadership.
  2. Ownership: This goes hand in hand with the first two, but this is about taking responsibility and full ownership of a task that's handed to you. There is an expectation that if you're asked to help with a part of a project, you own that piece of the project. That means it's up to you to push that piece of the project forward. Now you may not be able to solve the problem alone (and that's certainly not the expectation), and likely you'll need help from experts or others in your firm or the client organization. But, it's about making sure you're pulling in the right people, asking the questions and finding a way to push toward an answer / solution.
  3. Energy and excitement for the work: Whether it's your day-to-day attitude or the excitement you convey, this can go a long way. Consulting is hard work and I think firms ultimately want to know whether you really want to be there. The Summer internship is a great time to convey this and show your excitement for the role.

Getting to know the consulting firm and the people.
Outside of the core attributes and skills mentioned above, the summer is also a great time to really get to know the people at the consulting firm and in your specific office or region. Friday's are great days for this. Even now with mostly remote work, I imagine people are willing to do quick 15 minute video calls to connect and talk about their experience in the office. This is a great way to not only ensure that this is the right fit for you, but also build a strong community in your office, something you're excited to return to full-time.

Let me know if this is helpful and if you have any questions.

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Jun 23, 2020

This was extremely helpful and makes total sense - I appreciate it! Just one follow up - how do I go about being proactive and push forward with the tasks assigned without coming across as someone who may be a know-it-all?

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Jun 23, 2020

Incoming analyst in MBB here. Given recent events, start date was pushed back into Oct. giving me extra time prior to starting remotely. How do you recommend using the additional time to best prepare? A partner told me to "have as much fun as possible", but I feel like there could be more to it, lol

Jun 23, 2020

Hi there,

Good question. I think there is a lot of truth to what the partner mentioned to you. It's good to enjoy this time and be in a good rested place and ready to hit the ground running when you start!

That being said, if you feel you can rest up and still do a few things on the side to prepare, here are a few things I would consider:

  1. Get to know people in the office. You can reach out to current consultants you know and ask them to put you in touch with others in the office. It's a good time to have quick 15 minute phone calls or video calls and introduce yourself. You can learn about the experience of others and get their story and their advice on navigating the first year of consulting. From my own experience, I know consultants are usually happy to share.
  2. Think about what pathways you're interested in. It's hard to know up front, but it's good to start asking yourself if you're interested in a particular industries or practice areas. You don't have to specialize or commit to it right away of course, but it will help you be more intentional about what you want to learn and experience during your first year or two at any firm.
  3. Consider quick tutorials on any skill area you're concerned about. For example, if you've never used excel or powerpoint before, it may be helpful to find some quick online tutorials and at least learn the basics. If you want to get more advanced with this and if it will make you feel more confident about day 1 that's works too (but I'm not necessarily advocating for this).
  4. Stay up to date on current events. You may already be doing this, but it's good to keep up with what's happening, particularly if you're interested in a specific industry area. It can also help in your conversations with consultants (#1 above) if you want to talk about the latest events or get their take on what may be happening in a certain industry.

Let me know if that's helpful and if you have any other questions.

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Jun 23, 2020

Very helpful - I appreciate you taking the time.

Jun 23, 2020

Thanks for doing this! I had some questions about networking the summer before full-time recruiting.

  • Do you reach out to recruiters or to analysts / associates?
  • Should I be networking with senior-level people at the office as well?
  • Should I be networking with offices in locations of interest or does location not matter when networking?
  • Is it okay to directly ask people to potentially look at my resume / help with a live case later in the summer, if they don't offer directly?
Jun 23, 2020

Hi there,

All good questions. Here are some thoughts:

  1. If you're in graduate school, full-time recruiting comes and goes very quickly. So it's good that you're taking the time during the summer to network and reach out. For undergrads, I imagine it's similar. Each firm handles recruiting a little differently. Some have more junior consultants (Associates and Analysts) more heavily involved in recruiting, whereas other firms have more senior folks involved. You'll get a sense of this pretty quickly, but main thing is to focus your networking efforts on people that are involved in recruiting because they are the most likely to be knowledgeable about the process and specific questions you have, and they are more likely to know who to put you in touch with for additional questions or things you may want to learn about.
  2. Generally speaking, if you get connected to a senior person through an event or a consultant, then it's definitely good to build that relationship. However, it's not necessary to know a senior person at all firms in my opinion (point above about different firms handle recruiting in their own ways and senior folks are not always involved in the early stages). So bottom line here is, if most of the people you encounter in the recruiting process are more junior consultants, I don't think it's anything to sweat about. It's likely that this is the way the particular firm approaches their early stage recruiting.
  3. I would say it's more helpful to get to know the people in the office you're interested in. Most firms make interview invite and offer decisions at the office or regional level. So it's good from this standpoint to get to know at least a few folks in the office of preference and even better if they remember and know your story well. It's also helpful from a personal standpoint, where it will probably help you be more excited if you have good relationships with specific individuals who will be colleagues and part of your work community.
  4. It depends on the relationship you've built with a particular person. If you have had a few conversations with them and you feel they are a supporter, then I think it makes sense to ask. Aside from this, I think there are plenty of upper classmates or even classmates in school who have successfully secured offers at consulting firms and can be very helpful with case prep. I highly recommend reaching out to upper classmates and classmates for help.

Let me know if this is helpful and if you have any other questions.

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Jun 23, 2020

Thank you so much for this! For reaching out to upper classmates, is it generally okay to reach out to people I don't know personally for help with case prep?

Jun 24, 2020

Hi, I'm curious to know if there are offices that are easier to recruit for in terms of internships and full time? Also, if I am interested in potentially working overseas as well, is recruiting for offices in Asia (i.e. ShangHai) through a similar process or easier? In addition, I know that most MBB internships take place right after junior year, but is there any chance of earning one after sophomore year? Thanks!

Jun 24, 2020
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Jun 24, 2020
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