His question is similar to ones that I’ve received a few times before, so, luckily, I was able to refer him to a few specific past blog entries to check out the other advice that I’ve provided on this topic.
First I would like to thank you for providing such helpful information to everyone interested in consulting, MBA, career advice, etc. Also I hope the following question brings value to everyone else who is reading this.
Marquis, I am currently a Search Marketing consultant and would like to break into the management consulting industry more specifically working for the big three firms MBB.
I am planning on getting my MBA from a top tier program, however I am more interested in a firm that would be willing to cover my MBA expenses, also I would like to enhance my chances of getting into either of the top three firms (MBB) after I get an MBA.
So I am thinking of applying as an Analyst to either of the top three firms, and take the Analyst route to break into the Management Consulting industry.
Let me know what your thoughts would be?
I hope this message finds you doing well. I’m sorry that it took me a few days to respond to your email. I try to respond to my Platinum website members ASAP, but the past week was a killer for me at my day job and I’m just now getting a chance to really read your email.
Your desire to move into the Consulting industry into one of the Big-3 firms as an experienced hire Analyst is a very common one and, as such, you have to go into this realizing that you’ll have a lot of competition if you apply to McKinsey, Bain, and BCG as an experienced hire. It’s not an impossible transition, but it isn’t an easy one either. I actually knew a few kids who did it back when I was at McK and the commonalities in their cases is that there was high demand for new hires at the time, these folks had rockstar profiles as applicants (interesting work experience, good undergrad performance, etc.), and they did a fantastic job at the case interviews once they were invited to interview.
If you are fortunate enough to be invited to do a case interview, you’d HAVE to knock it out of the park to ensure that you are invited to continue in the process. The bar is high when it comes to getting in as an off-cycle experienced hire, so your case interview game has to be top-notch. I’d recommend buying “Case in Point” by Mark Consentino (if you haven’t already) and starting to read through it to learn how to tackle the case interview process like a champ.
I’ve had several people email me over the years asking me questions similar to yours, so you might want to peruse my blog archives for those entries. I took a quick look and found the following 2, which could be informational to you:
- Reader wondering about his chances at a Big 3 Consulting firm
- Advice for making a career change to consulting
The last point that I’d like to make is that, if you want to go to a Consulting firm that would pay for your MBA studies, you don’t have to restrict yourself to the “Big 3″. Plenty of other firms sponsor their Analysts to pursue graduates studies and allow them to return for a couple of years to eliminate the educational debt. Off the top of my head, I know folks who have done with with Accenture, Deloitte, Booz & Co, and AT Kearney. Because the transition that you’re trying to make is such a tough one, you might want to widen the scope of firms that you’re considering as destinations.
Hopefully, this message was helpful to you. If you have any other questions, please let me know.