Former MBB Consultant / MBB campus recruiter - Ask me anything! Watch

That'sGreat
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#41
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(Original post by rob1060)
All,

It's that time of year again, where everyone is applying for full-time roles, internships and related entry points into one of the hardest graduate industries to get into: Management / strategy consulting.

I am a former MBB consultant (7 years) in their London office and latterly one of the leaders of campus recruiting at the same firm.

Ask me anything you want about the industry in general, reputation of different firms, application process, what we look for, university reputations, interviews, what life is like as a consultant, myths vs facts, etc. etc.

Please note that I can't review CV's.

Look forward to hearing from you!
Rob
I'm doing History or History and Politics at uni but want to become a strategy consultant when I leave, for either BCG or McKinsey preferably - though of course it will be hard.

As I know economics, finance etc. degrees are likely to be favoured, I plan on setting up my own side business at uni, joining the finance/enterprise etc. societies and will have look leadership roles such as coaching the uni football teams amongst some other extra-curricular.

Will this be enough to stand a competitive chance? I'll be going to either Durham, Exeter, Oxford or St.Andrews btw
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username4148304
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(Original post by That'sGreat)
I'm doing History or History and Politics at uni but want to become a strategy consultant when I leave, for either BCG or McKinsey preferably - though of course it will be hard.

As I know economics, finance etc. degrees are likely to be favoured, I plan on setting up my own side business at uni, joining the finance/enterprise etc. societies and will have look leadership roles such as coaching the uni football teams amongst some other extra-curricular.

Will this be enough to stand a competitive chance? I'll be going to either Durham, Exeter, Oxford or St.Andrews btw
subject degree is fine - history is good because of the amount of analysis

those extra curriculars sound great

atm, try to get the best a-levels possible and try to get into the best possible uni. for strat consulting, oxford will help a lot thanks to its brand & academic setup. if oxf doesn't work out, don't fret, the other ones look decent too. good luck with your oxf interview

out of interest why do you prefer Mck and BCG?
Last edited by username4148304; 1 year ago
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username4148304
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i just noticed the former part of the title. what is the plan now?
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TakeTheL
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Any tips you would give a first year who will be applying to the insight programs at McK and BCG? Anything particular which is seen favorable on an application/anything in particular to be careful about? And do you have any idea what sort of experience is expected at this stage?

Thanks for doing this
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rob1060
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(Original post by That'sGreat)
I'm doing History or History and Politics at uni but want to become a strategy consultant when I leave, for either BCG or McKinsey preferably - though of course it will be hard.

As I know economics, finance etc. degrees are likely to be favoured, I plan on setting up my own side business at uni, joining the finance/enterprise etc. societies and will have look leadership roles such as coaching the uni football teams amongst some other extra-curricular.

Will this be enough to stand a competitive chance? I'll be going to either Durham, Exeter, Oxford or St.Andrews btw
We don't really worry about what undergraduate degree you have done, as long as you demonstrate absolute excellence throughout. Economics and finance degrees are by no means favoured, indeed, in this year's graduate class we have the majority who don't have either economics or finance degrees. What you are proposing is all fine and well, but won't have a massive impact on whether you get called for interview or not.

The four universities you have mentioned don't really help me determine your chances, for one (i.e Oxford) is a core target school, whereas the others are not. Probably would narrow it down.
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rob1060
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(Original post by lowwkey)
i just noticed the former part of the title. what is the plan now?
I'm now head of strategy and planning at a private equity fund. Almost 7 years of weekly travel between London and (New York, Singapore, Moscow, Dubai, Riyadh, Mumbai, Toronto, depending on the case) became a little tiring!!
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rob1060
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(Original post by TakeTheL)
Any tips you would give a first year who will be applying to the insight programs at McK and BCG? Anything particular which is seen favorable on an application/anything in particular to be careful about? And do you have any idea what sort of experience is expected at this stage?

Thanks for doing this
Easy - just show some preparation, why you want to be a strategy consultant and what work in this industry entails. No experience is expected as its an insight week and not an internship.
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MrMusician95
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Hey Rob,

What is it you do now? And what made you leave MBB consulting/recruitment?
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rob1060
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(Original post by lowwkey)

out of interest why do you prefer Mck and BCG?
Bain are a truly great firm and well deserved in their place in the MBB, but they are massively focused on private equity and consumer / retail, where they excel.

On almost all the other topics and functions, they are wiped clean by the other two. That's why a lot of applicants prefer McK or BCG to Bain.

I would also argue that Bain's culture is far better (more relaxed, friendly, etc.)
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That'sGreat
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(Original post by rob1060)
We don't really worry about what undergraduate degree you have done, as long as you demonstrate absolute excellence throughout. Economics and finance degrees are by no means favoured, indeed, in this year's graduate class we have the majority who don't have either economics or finance degrees. What you are proposing is all fine and well, but won't have a massive impact on whether you get called for interview or not.

The four universities you have mentioned don't really help me determine your chances, for one (i.e Oxford) is a core target school, whereas the others are not. Probably would narrow it down.
So would St.Andrews, Durham and Exeter result in me being unlikely to get an interview, even if I got a First?

(Original post by rob1060)
I'm now head of strategy and planning at a private equity fund. Almost 7 years of weekly travel between London and (New York, Singapore, Moscow, Dubai, Riyadh, Mumbai, Toronto, depending on the case) became a little tiring!!
I thought the move was from IB to PE, and was under the impression PE was much harder to break into from a consulting background?

Also, in terms of consultancy firms wanting you to get an MBA, what kind of schools would MBB consultants look to go to? I believe this is after about the first 2 years, however, I have looked at top MBA programmes such as at INSEAD and they want nearly 6 years of experience.
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rob1060
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(Original post by MrMusician95)
Hey Rob,

What is it you do now? And what made you leave MBB consulting/recruitment?
Asked and answered above! Basically, the travel. While travelling in First / Business Class every week long-haul is great, it is super-tiring.
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rob1060
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(Original post by That'sGreat)
So would St.Andrews, Durham and Exeter result in me being unlikely to get an interview, even if I got a First?



I thought the move was from IB to PE, and was under the impression PE was much harder to break into from a consulting background?

Also, in terms of consultancy firms wanting you to get an MBA, what kind of schools would MBB consultants look to go to? I believe this is after about the first 2 years, however, I have looked at top MBA programmes such as at INSEAD and they want nearly 6 years of experience.
St.A / Durham / Exeter are all fantastic schools but much harder to secure interviews at the MBB, more so if they don't actively recruit there. Doesn't mean to say it can't happen, you just have a much steeper hill to climb than the target guys.

IB to PE is correct for investment roles. I'm in a pure-strategy role within a fund, roles which are almost purely populated by consultants.

MBB consultants almost always look at the US top-5 and European top-2. If they don't get in to any of these (which has never ever happened), then they simply won't do it. MBB brand is looked on very favourably by MBA admissions committees (much more than an IB, even Goldman). You can get into Harvard with 2 years experience.. we sent over 100 of our juniors globally this year to Harvard, Stanford or Wharton (and they all had 2-3 year of experience).
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MrMusician95
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(Original post by rob1060)
Asked and answered above! Basically, the travel. While travelling in First / Business Class every week long-haul is great, it is super-tiring.
Yeah I can imagine how tiring is must get. It's a big reason I'm not too keen on a career in consulting. But I bet it was a great experience!
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rob1060
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(Original post by MrMusician95)
Yeah I can imagine how tiring is must get. It's a big reason I'm not too keen on a career in consulting. But I bet it was a great experience!
It's what you learn in the job that sets you apart, and it's why the vast majority of CEO's of major companies have some kind of stint in a consulting firm. You quite literally work on everything (unlike an investment bank).. my last case was developing a conflict mediation strategy for a family-owned business where the father and daughter were at loggerheads on what role the daughter's husband should play in the business! Yes, that's a real case.
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NeedHelpAgain
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What is the opinion on MiM from schools such as LSE and LBS. Do MBB look favourably on this degree and would it be instead preferred to wait gain experience and then to do an MBA at a top tier insitituon rather than the MiM
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Doones
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(Original post by rob1060)
we sent over 100 of our juniors globally this year to Harvard, Stanford or Wharton (and they all had 2-3 year of experience).
Presumably you sponsor the fees? With a lock-in?
Last edited by Doones; 1 year ago
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NeedHelpAgain
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Also what is roughly the salary and bonus at each level and how long does it generally take to get promoted
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username4148304
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(Original post by rob1060)
Bain are a truly great firm and well deserved in their place in the MBB, but they are massively focused on private equity and consumer / retail, where they excel.

On almost all the other topics and functions, they are wiped clean by the other two. That's why a lot of applicants prefer McK or BCG to Bain.

I would also argue that Bain's culture is far better (more relaxed, friendly, etc.)
out of interest, what firm is super strong with aviation like cases?
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rob1060
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(Original post by NeedHelpAgain)
What is the opinion on MiM from schools such as LSE and LBS. Do MBB look favourably on this degree and would it be instead preferred to wait gain experience and then to do an MBA at a top tier insitituon rather than the MiM
Both are very well-regarded but you would still be competing against undergraduates. The only way we bring in people above the most junior grade is if they have an MBA or PhD, or 3-5 years of work experience.

Personally, I would wait. I did my undergrad and then went to MBA after 2 years. Much better academic experience.
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rob1060
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(Original post by Doonesbury)
Presumably you sponsor the fees? With a lock-in?
Yes we sponsor the fees and yes, there is a lock-in. If you wish to leave before the lock-in expires, there is a formula we use to calculate how much the consultant needs to pay back.
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