Recent MBA Grad, Re-apply to Consulting Firm as an Experienced Hire?

LuckyDuckling's picture
Rank: Monkey | banana points 44

There's a Tier 2 consulting firm that I've had a very long history of interactions with: I got to the final round pre-MBA but canceled the final round interview after I got into my MBA program, got to the final round for internship recruiting but no offer, did one round with them for full-time recruiting but didn't make it to the final round.

I graduated in the spring, I'm still looking, and I'm still interested in this company. They have some experienced hire/non-generalist consulting roles posted, and I have quite a few contacts in the company. I can't find any information about how soon you can re-apply, but what would be the most tactful way to re-apply? Should I reach out to contacts who I met through the MBA recruiting process? Reach out to contacts I knew before the MBA interview process? My concern is that I don't know what this company thought of me after I last interviewed with them, and I also don't want it to come off as me going back to them out of desperation. To what extent should I acknowledge my past recruiting efforts with the company?

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Comments (4)

Jul 6, 2017

I think it's doable.

I would use the people you know the best (classmates and recent alums) to get a sense of how that works. Maybe even reach out to a recruiter that you've worked with before and run it by them. In the end, you're gonna need to get a partner to vouch for you. So once you get some background information, then either get a warm introduction from your network or reach out to higher people in your network to get that in with a partner.

A key aspect is not to look desperate, but instead be passionate about the firm and make sure you identify something they only offer and fits with what you want to do ("best known firm for consulting for cruise lines", "new SaaS offering for HR evaluations", etc).

Jul 7, 2017

Thanks for the good advice. I think if I combine the advice with that of BreakingOutofPWM's, I could do some combination of checking in with one of the partners for feedback for applying later, while testing the waters on whether they would be open to reassessing me as an experienced hire.

Best Response
Jul 7, 2017

This advice is a combination of what I saw from classmates and advice I got from an MBB partner on this topic.

It sucks, but I wouldn't reach out now. You've interviewed with this firm less than 12 months ago and it's a faux pax to reapply for a role in under a year, even under different status. If you hadn't applied in the fall that might make the situation different, the firms do explore some experienced hires that slipped through their two years of recruiting.

But this firm's looked at you three times in three years and each time decided you needed something more (well, the last two times). I wouldn't come back to the table until you can at least bullshit your way through that conversation. It's very normal for folks to reapply/lateral/move up a tier about 12-18 months out of business school (note that I say out of school, not since your fall recruiting). I'd make yourself part of that cycle. Pushing on your contacts now risks burning those bridges when you haven't had the opportunity to make yourself more competitive yet. You mention that you weren't sure how the company thought of you after your last interview. Well, you had final rounds in year one, first rounds in year two - you can make some educated guesses that they didn't find you competitive at their second glance.

Also, realize that you're off the recruiting cycle now in general; a lot of your contacts that were very helpful with recruiting are going to start getting annoyed if you keep pushing to network. They need a break too.

It couldn't hurt to pick one of the more senior people you've connected with (whichever one you had the best rapport with), display continued interest and ask how you should think about re-applying in the future (also a good time to ask what you can brush up on, they might share more details about your last interview). They might be able to clarify how they think about these timeframes. I know you're desperate for a job now, but this is like dating. If you let them know you're desperate and need it now, you're not getting it ever.

    • 3
Jul 7, 2017