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Can someone speak the honest truth to a newly post-graduate?

 
#1 Can someone speak the honest truth to a newly post-graduate?
14/10/2010 02:18

Alby

Hello. I would like an honest evaluation on the chances of getting hired by a top tier MC firm (i.e. Bain or BCG) with the following profile:

EDUCATION

2009-2010 MSc International Business:

Distinction (first class) - Birkbeck College, University of London

2004-2007 BA in Business Administration & Management: 2.1 (honours) - Bocconi University, Italy

2000-2004 International Baccalaureate 28/45 at American School of Milan (kind of crap I guess!)

WORK EXPERIENCE

2008-2010 (1,5 years) Deloitte Italy Analyst (promoted to Analyst II) in the tax division

2004-2007 During the undergrad two internships: 6 months at a law firm (business law division) and 3 months at a real estate fund.

Other relevant info: I am bilingual Italian and English and can write and speak fluently in French.

What do you guys think? Do I have the requisites to join as a graduate (associate consultant) in the firms mentioned above? Should I go for it or will I get slaughtered by the Oxford people?

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#2 RE: Can someone speak the honest truth to a newly post-graduate?
14/10/2010 08:11

QT to Alby (#1)

Is Bocconi not a core school for these firms?

Would you not have a far greater chance in the Milan offices of these companies?

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#3 RE: Can someone speak the honest truth to a newly post-graduate?
14/10/2010 08:15

Mars A Day to Alby (#1)

As QT also said, you should stand a better chance in Italy, but generally speaking you have a reasonable chance - apply, you're not losing anything by doing so.

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#4 RE: Can someone speak the honest truth to a newly post-graduate?
14/10/2010 09:38

Shoe Polisher to Mars A Day (#3)

Definitely worth a shot.

We'd take you.

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#5 RE: Can someone speak the honest truth to a newly post-graduate?
14/10/2010 11:23

Alby to Alby (#1)

I think Bocconi is a target school but I was hoping that after having obtained the MSc from a Uni of London I could apply to the MC's London offices.

Given the fact that I attended an American School, the BA was fully taught in English, and the MSc is from Birkbeck, I was hoping to not be doomed to go back to Italy to work.

As I explained I have worked for Deloitte for a year and a half in Italy: the office only has Italians! The same goes for Bain Milan.

Don't get me wrong I don't mind being Italian but I have always been used to international environments and I believe I am not really apt for the Italian work environment.

Also I am not very keen in applying for the Milan offices because I was told their projects are 90% Italy based or for Italian companies (clearly), instead the London offices deal with all sorts of clients globally and make you travel the way it's meant to be!

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#6 RE: Can someone speak the honest truth to a newly post-graduate?
14/10/2010 12:10

QT to Alby (#5)

Yeah yeah, that all makes sense, but bear in mind that you are trying to enter the hardest market out there. The real question here is what are you actually looking to do? Work for Bain or BCG, or work in London?

If the former, then I would apply to Milan and then try to transfer, or at least exchange for 6 months / 1 yr in due course.

If the latter, then go right ahead, but I would expand your target companies well beyond the top tier

Moving geographically as well as up a level or two in prestige will be a much bigger ask than trying to do one and then the other.

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#7 RE: Can someone speak the honest truth to a newly post-graduate?
14/10/2010 12:13

anon to QT (#6)

Why Birbeck out of interest?

Probably best to apply via italy then hope for intl assignment or transfer at first opportunity. language skills should help.

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#8 RE: Can someone speak the honest truth to a newly post-graduate?
14/10/2010 12:42

Alby to Shoe Polisher (#4)

For Shoe Polisher: "We'd take you" meaning?

For QT: The fact is firstly I want to work for Bain or BCG specifically for the culture they have and for the scope of the projects they do. Secondly, I'd like to work in London because the aforementioned culture of the two MCs that attracts me so much seems so to be different in the Milan offices (at least this is what I deducted from the Deloitte experience and after having spoken to two associate consultants of Bain, one in Milan the other in London, and comparing their comments)

For Anon: The choice of Birkbeck is quite straightforward actually. It is part of the University of London, a leading university for research, and the MSc is £9,000.

If you compare it with LSE and Cass Business School, which are £15,000 and £18,000 respectively, you are saving quite a lot of money and getting the same educational standard. Bear in mind that all members of the University of London need to abide to certain standards and exams are always graded by external professors also (i.e. my finance exam was graded both by a Birkbeck professor and by another professor possibly from Cass, Kings, LSE,...)

Now having said this it is important to point out that although you do get the same standard the name definitely does not weigh as much as LSE or Imperial. For example one of my professors had a double role Birkbeck/Imperial teaching basically the same class but the Imperial one has the Imperial brand on it.

I have two friends from Bocconi which did my same MSc at LSE and not only did they pay double the fees but they also had only 6 modules plus dissertation, whereas at Birkbeck the modules were 8 plus dissertation (could be that LSE goes more in depth for certain modules or they simple have less exams).

In the end combine all the above and the choice was to get a good degree from a good university, with renown professors in the academic world, and avoid being short £9,000 pounds for an eventual MBA. Also since I had to pay for the MSc myself I could only afford £11,000 at most from my savings earned at Deloitte. I didn't feel like getting a bank loan to pay for LSE or Cass (which both gave me unconditional offers) and couldn't have since in Italy student are considered inefficient organisms and in the UK I wasn't eligible for one.

Birkbeck seemed the best value for money in terms of preparation and quality. Clearly, it lacks a big name but if I can get in a good MC firm then I would recommend it and saving the £9,000 for the MBA. If I can't then I guess there is no other way than to spend a five figures on you MSc and aim for the name.

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#9 RE: Can someone speak the honest truth to a newly post-graduate?
14/10/2010 15:55

Shoe Polisher to Alby (#8)

Alby,

From the profile you describe, we would be interested.

We are not big4 though.

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#10 RE: Can someone speak the honest truth to a newly post-graduate?
14/10/2010 18:25

Alby to Shoe Polisher (#9)

Shoe Polisher,

What is the name of your firm and what do you specialize in?

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#11 RE: Can someone speak the honest truth to a newly post-graduate?
14/10/2010 19:32

anon to Alby (#10)

Shoe Polisher,

Alby couldn't make out which firm you work for despite of you giving the clue 2 times!! Is this the quality of candidate you would be intested in?

I don't mind even if you were pretending to work for BCG/BAIN but definitely Alby is not a right fit for these companies.

Regards

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#12 RE: Can someone speak the honest truth to a newly post-graduate?
14/10/2010 20:11

Alby to anon (#11)

What do you mean Anon?

Shoe polisher simply said I should give it a shot and that they would be interested. This implies Shoe was saying go for it (apply to the two) and that "they," most likely implying it's neither a Bain nor BCG person, would take me. In addition "they" are not big4, a comment probably originating given my prior position at Deloitte, leading me to conclude that Shoe Polisher is not part of Bain/BCG or any Big4.

So how is my question out of scope given the little information (which you define as distinct clues!) and that fact that disregarding Bain/BCG and other Big4 there are thousands of consulting firms? Furthermore, on the light of this, how can you imply that Shoe Polisher is pretending to be BCG/Bain?

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#13 RE: Can someone speak the honest truth to a newly post-graduate?
14/10/2010 21:26

informed to Alby (#12)

Alby,

Give it a go, your credentials might get you an interview.

As some other posters already hinted, for the London offices of Mck/BCG/Bain (you don't mention McK when you talk of 'top tier MC firm', but I presume you'd be interested in them too?), you would have probably stood a better chance of getting in had you got your MSc from the LSE, or - better - Oxford or Cambridge. Yes, Birkbeck is part of the University of London, but so is Goldsmiths (no disrespect to anyone)

The London offices of the MBB are hard to break into (though I would disagree with QT that they're "the hardest"), mainly because they tend to recruit almost exclusively Oxbridge graduates; officially the have target unis outside of Oxford and Cambridge, but the Old Boys network is so radicated in the MBBs in the UK that if you're not from Oxbridge, you have to be a lot better than the average Oxbridge grad to even get invited for interview.

As for applying to the Milan offices of the firms: Bocconi is a target uni for all three firms, so worth considering applying there. I fear that you're application may be let down by the 2.1 (depends how converted you're grade into the anglo-saxon scale, but I suspect it is around the 105 mark in Italy: consultants at McK and BCG in Milan graduated almost all with 110 or 110/L). If you decide to apply to Bain Italy, be warned that it's not really Bain, in the sense that it is an affiliate firms that operates under the Bain brand (it pays royalties to corporate, but is seen as a half-brother of Bain&Co and treated as such - as a result, transfer opportunities tend to be scarse). With BCG and Mck, the Milan offices are part of the firms and transfer opportunities to other offices abound - and they're hiring, especially BCG (but it's very hard to get into as they have a lot of applicants and with the job scarsity in Italy at the moment, they can cherry pick their employees)

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#14 RE: Can someone speak the honest truth to a newly post-graduate?
14/10/2010 21:50

anon to Alby (#12)

Alby,

read read read!!

First time shoe polisher said "Definitely worth a shot. We'd take you."

This means either he works for MBBB or pretending to work for them. hence, the reason he is encouraging you to apply on the basis that hiring manager at MBBB would be interested in your profile "from Shoe polisher experience".

Second time he menitoned "From the profile you describe, we would be interested. We are not big4 though" he is reconfirming that he works for MBBB and hiring manager at MBBB would consider your profile.

If you are so dumb in understanding these basic things and reading in between lines then I would never hire you and I don't work for MBBB (but ex- BIG4).

And stop asking silly questions i.e. Shoe polisher what do you mean we would take you!!!

Regards

Anon

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#15 RE: Can someone speak the honest truth to a newly post-graduate?
14/10/2010 22:30

Alby to anon (#14)

Thank you informed for the detailed info and for the clarification of Bain Milan. For what concerns the grades my degree was a 106/110 but I know two guys at BCG that got in with my same BA with a 103/110 (plus and MSc Marketing at Esade) and another guy with a 90/110 (guess he must have rocked the interview or had good connections)

For Anon, you are clearly an arrogant person and probably should look into an investment banking career for which you might be very well suited for.

I still stand by my point of view especially since Shoe separated the statements into two distinct sentences which I believe read "try it you may have a shot at getting into BCG or Bain" and "given the profile you have my firm would hire you." Note the discrepancy between "worth a shot" and "we'd take you."

It's not a question about reading but rather interpretation.

Maybe, and just for the fun of it, Shoe can solve this issue if he/she gives a further clarification by simply answering whether or not he/she is part of any top tier MC firm without disclosing any information obviously.

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#16 RE: Can someone speak the honest truth to a newly post-graduate?
14/10/2010 22:57

anon to Alby (#15)

It's shoe polisher you dumb not shoe!!

anyhow, all said and done...

But on a different note, I was just having fun with you...you seems like a nice guy who could hold on to your nerves despite of I tried to provoke you number of times...

Gud luck with your hunt!!

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#17 RE: Can someone speak the honest truth to a newly post-graduate?
14/10/2010 23:10

Alby to anon (#16)

Come on Anon you know I write Shoe to abbreviate Shoe Polisher. I don't think this would upset him/her.

But anyhow to get back to your comment here is what I found of a different thread:

"RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: How well is a degree from UCL regarded in the MC sphere? by Shoe Polisher 13/9/2010

As a recruiter just outside the top four , I'd look at you. You'd need to tell a good story, and you're 2:2 so expect to defend your position.

Forget MBBB, but trust me, life goes on beyond them."

Note the "As a recruiter just outside the top four" and the "forget MBBB." Consequently, Shoe Polisher does consider the 2.2 from UCL (obviously not Bain or BCG if there is coherence about only oxbridge candidates etc...) and says forget the MBBB.

If he/she looks at the 2.2 (which by all means is not bad considering its from UCL) and then advises to forget the MBBB he/she is clearly not recruiting from the top tier MC.

Having said so my silly question "what do you mean you would hire me" was simply because how is it possible that a person implicitly offers you a job on a forum??

Nonetheless, Anon I think you are a good guy in the end just testing the temper of people. If you worked for a Big4 as I am certain that you best quality is probably team working or reasoning and definitely not arrogance.

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#18 RE: Can someone speak the honest truth to a newly post-graduate?
15/10/2010 09:54

QT to Alby (#17)

Informed,

I was talking about the consulting market when I said it was the hardest market out there. As this is a consulting forum I am ignoring alternative career options.

I would be interested to hear if you think there is a more competitive consulting market out there...

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#19 RE: Can someone speak the honest truth to a newly post-graduate?
15/10/2010 10:58

Shoe Polisher to QT (#18)

Oh dear, what a pickle we've got ourselves into.

I'm not going to put a CV up, but I have done this for fifteen years and have been at MBBB, Big4, and a couple of niches. I am now just outside Big4. In short, I know who fits where.

When I said, we'd take you, I meant where I am now. Would I have looked at you in my previous lives? YEP YEP YEP>

I do find sometimes that people create strawman arguments on here just to pass the time.

Just pure attention seeking if you ask me.

Mind how you go.

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#20 RE: Can someone speak the honest truth to a newly post-graduate?
15/10/2010 12:05

Alex to Shoe Polisher (#19)

Albi,

I think you have much greater chances at Milan office of any of these companies since your Bocconi degree is the primary target in Italy and Birbeck is a good place. In London, however, you are facing very strong competition from Oxbridge, LSE, Imperial and other top European business schools and some from top US universities/business schools. Its one of the few most competitive places in the world to break it into strategy consulting. Having said that, you should definitely give it a try. You have a chance to get that interview and than its really up to you and not the school you went to. Now, if you graduated this year, 2010, as you say, why didn't you already apply last year in autumn?

Alex

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#21 RE: Can someone speak the honest truth to a newly post-graduate?
15/10/2010 12:27

Alby to Alex (#20)

Shoe Polisher I wasn't questioning your competence just defending myself from anon and thank you by the way for proving me right. Thank you also for all the positive feedback guys.

The problem with Italy is that it renders any international organization "italianized." For example one could work for BCG in 10 different offices and probably feel unanimity and coherence, once he gets to the Italian one I assure you the experience is different: partners are older, promotions slower, fewer meritocracy, bureaucracy, and EVERYONE is Italian.

This is the reason why I would like to work at a MC office in London, or in any other place rather than Italy. Also if any MC firm "tries" to grant a slight work life balance (obviously in the MC world this would mean say 80-hour weeks rather than 100) you can forget that in Italy AND they pay you less.

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#22 RE: Can someone speak the honest truth to a newly post-graduate?
15/10/2010 12:40

QT to Alby (#21)

We know all this. Repeating your rationale for London doesn't make it any more likely.

I will be perfectly frank with you and say that I think it highly unlikely that you will get a job in London with BCG or Bain.

So by all means apply, but if I was you I would have a lot of other applications on the go at the same time. And really think about whether you would prefer BCG Milan or a (much) lesser brand in London

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#23 RE: Can someone speak the honest truth to a newly post-graduate?
15/10/2010 13:08

Alby to QT (#22)

QT wasn't repeating just clarifying and by the way thank you for being honest.

Of course I am also applying to second tier such as PWC, Deloitte, KPMG since I am well aware the brands such as Oxbridge will kill me (even with a degree in poetry). I just wanted to weigh out realistically the possibility of my profile getting into a top MC firm (for which I know have a better idea thanks to you guys). I also have a few offers from investment banks, always for the London offices, but wanted to use these as a last resort if I can't get into a good MC firm (I hate banks even though they run the world)

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#24 RE: Can someone speak the honest truth to a newly post-graduate?
15/10/2010 13:15

TI to Alby (#23)

Hi Alby,

I would give it a shot because you seem to be very articulate and those top MC firms know how hardcore Bocconi is (I did my MBA there an it was hell!). If it makes you feel any better two years ago I applied to BCG in London and wasn't granted an interview. I guess the magic of Cambridge's BA in philosophy didn't work for me. Hopefully next year with the MBA it will work.

By the way stop hating Italy it's a beautiful country gotta love the Italians.

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#25 RE: Can someone speak the honest truth to a newly post-graduate?
04/11/2010 20:24

Radiant to Alby (#23)

Hey, Alby,

Just a general advice: try being a bit more relaxed, don't take things personal and stop over-analyzing things.

Your answers to every post which seemed to push you were too aggressive I think. You seem trying too much to make a point. This is not a case interview :-). Btw, don't do this there.

If I were you I'd try to be more Italian than British, so that I'd be different :-) I guess London is full of brits already. (I assumed you are Italian, I didn't read entire post carefully, sorry)

Good luck! You really seem motivated at least.

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#26 RE: Can someone speak the honest truth to a newly post-graduate?
05/11/2010 08:45

Dave to Radiant (#25)

London? Full of Brits? LOL. London might as well be a foreign country these days.

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#27 RE: Can someone speak the honest truth to a newly post-graduate?
05/11/2010 23:17

Radiant to Dave (#26)

Haha, Dave, you have a point! I should corrent myself.

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#28 RE: Can someone speak the honest truth to a newly post-graduate?
09/11/2010 12:16

Sparky to Alby (#1)

Can someone speak the honest truth? as opposed to dishonest truth?

Behave yourself, this is a consultants forum. These people are paid to lie, or rather skew the truth somewhat

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