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Non-trad background - get MBA/masters or try to break into MBB?

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 

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Edited by merkur - 7/31/11 at 6:36am
post #2 of 16
I think it will be extremely difficult for your cousin to break into MBB at this point without an MBA. (I don't think masters in finance will be that helpful for this.) As far MBA impact on long term career prospects if he does break in, depends on his education background today & what he wants to do. Corporations tend to give MBAs meaningful weight, and for getting promoted to partner at MBB its also pretty valuable (not necessary but makes it much easier). I'm still early in my career, so definitely interested to hear what others say about the long-term career question.
post #3 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by maverick View Post
I think it will be extremely difficult for your cousin to break into MBB at this point without an MBA...for getting promoted to partner at MBB its also pretty valuable

MBB (and especially McKinsey) recruit a large number of people with advanced professional degrees / alternative professional backgrounds (army officers, medical doctors, lawyers), so there is a relatively well-trodden path (though I don't personally know of any vets).

As for making partner - I don't think the MBA helps at all. Once you're in, you're in - and it all depends on your performance. An MBA will help you in your first couple of years, but very marginally thereafter
post #4 of 16
you do realize MBB recruits out of college/ugrad? if he has the credentials, he has a chance. If not, then no. at the same time, there is no harm in applying now to MBB, getting rejected, and applying later after (or during) MBA. it's not a one and done deal. it's a company. I'm not familiar with what ceilings non-MBAs have in MBB, I was under the impression that most associates on a partner track are encouraged to get an MBA so they can stay on track. could be wrong. What % of partners have an MBA? shouldn't be hard to find.
post #5 of 16
Thread Starter 

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Edited by merkur - 7/31/11 at 6:44am
post #6 of 16
do you mean veteran or veterinarian? big difference
post #7 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by pebblegrain View Post
you do realize MBB recruits out of college/ugrad? if he has the credentials, he has a chance. If not, then no. at the same time, there is no harm in applying now to MBB, getting rejected, and applying later after (or during) MBA. it's not a one and done deal. it's a company.

I'm not familiar with what ceilings non-MBAs have in MBB, I was under the impression that most associates on a partner track are encouraged to get an MBA so they can stay on track. could be wrong. What % of partners have an MBA? shouldn't be hard to find.

Only pre-Associate hires (Business Analysts at McKinsey) are encouraged to get MBAs. As an Associate hire you'd:
- already hold an MBA
- be an experienced hire
- hold an advanced professional degree

I'd guess that ~50% of recent partner elects hold MBAs
post #8 of 16
engineering is a popular route
post #9 of 16
Thread Starter 

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Edited by merkur - 7/31/11 at 6:44am
post #10 of 16
The only person I know in MBB is a math major.

Any tips for the engineer to MBB route?
post #11 of 16
Thread Starter 

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Edited by merkur - 7/31/11 at 6:43am
post #12 of 16
I know absolutely nothing about veterinary science, I don't see an easy path to becoming an associate there, I could be dead wrong. Why does he want MBB? why not a different top 10 consulting company?

Ideally you need to demonstrate being smart (sounds like he can do that), fit with the requirements of consulting ie long hours, travel, extra effort for the last 1% (not clear if his experience shows that), and relevant expertise in a field MBB needs expertise in (is there veterinary science a big field that often hires consultants?).

Again, no harm in trying. I'm sure he can apply once per year. Perhaps he should spend the next year trying to meet someone who works there who will refer him?

There are some exMBB on sf (maybe current) but I don't remember their IDs.
post #13 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by merkur View Post
This is actually a pretty common route to MBB.

As mentioned before, McKinsey is the leader in recruiting non-traditional human capital into their practice. They feel it diversifies and broadens their skills as a consulting company. They like the applicant who isn't fed the spoon of the traditional B-school; they like the applicant that can be molded and developed within McKinsey. In this sense, your friend won't be put at a disadvantage with his background.

With that said, MBB are already hard enough to land as it is. Your friend will probably be gunning for a baseline analyst position, and needs to be comfortable working hard to ascend the ranks. This is not even considering if he is even capable of management consulting. How did he decide on consulting anyways?

I would suggest him to volunteer or get an "in" somewhere at a smaller, boutique firm. This will go a long way in showing he is committed to the industry, develop the skills and mindset of a consultant and whether he even likes it or not. Who knows, if he wants to back out of it, he can then get his MBA and segway that way into the business world. If you're working with any of the top 10's, you got it pretty good, ie: Deloitte etc.

Hope this helps!
post #14 of 16
just to put things in perspective, there is pretty much zero chance.
post #15 of 16
So here's my opinion as an ex top 10 consultant and MBB summer intern.

Breaking into MBB is VERY heard if you are just applying through the websites. If he can make or has some (2-3) strong contacts in one firm and those people will recommend him, he has a shot (assuming he can pass the interviews). If he can get in then yes, it can be a substitute for an MBA but MBA is a huge feeder to them (I'd argue that 75% of partners have one) so it can be hard. Any experience at an MBB (even pre-partner) is valuable on a resume and can open doors for you, that being said i agree once you are in, it doesn't matter what your background is, if your preform you'll make partner.

A masters in Finance could be a substitute but an MBA is def. the preferred route. one reason that an MBa is really usefull is that any good school will train you on how to do a case interview, which is the method all good consulting firms use to interview. If you are not familiar with how they run it can be hard/impossible to land a job.
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