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Tier 2 strategy to MBB

#1 Tier 2 strategy to MBB
15/02/2011 06:44


Hypothetically, if I join a small but respectable strat house (along the lines of OCC/RB/LEK in London) straight from uni without any work experience to speak of, and outperform expectations, how much tenure should I get under my belt before MBB would consider me for a lateral move?

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#2 RE: Tier 2 strategy to MBB
15/02/2011 07:59

D to Anon (#1)

Personally I would just go and work at any of them and if you like it then stay. If you don't like it, then you won't like the others either - there really is little to no material difference in the type of work or the quality of people.

If you outperform and the company likes you, what is your rationale for leaving?

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#3 RE: Tier 2 strategy to MBB
15/02/2011 08:15

Mars A Day to Anon (#1)

In addition your post suggest you see OCC/RB/LEK as being easier to join - you will find that these so called 'Tier 2' firms are Tier 2 in size only - the application process will be just as rigorous as MBB.

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#4 RE: Tier 2 strategy to MBB
15/02/2011 08:39

Fury to Mars A Day (#3)

Plus they pay just as well (sometimes a tad better), you do the exact same work and the exit opportunities (aka prestige) are the same.

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#5 RE: Tier 2 strategy to MBB
15/02/2011 08:42

Fury to Fury (#4)

Good luck with 'outperforming' btw, as it's nearly impossible to be smarter than the people these companies hire and I'd say that you won't be able to put in more hours either. If you do outperform however this means you are building a good internal and external network and are on the promotion track. You'd lose these credits when moving to another firm.

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#6 RE: Tier 2 strategy to MBB
15/02/2011 11:40

D to Fury (#5)

Notwithstanding the above very valid comments, my answer to the question:

Less than one year - unlikely to happen, given that they will have rejected you shortly before that

One year to four years - possible, but would they bring you in at the level you would be moving into at your prior firm, or will you be taking a lateral/backward move, in effect losing at least a year?

Post-MBA, the only one that makes any sense to me, assuming you are mad enough to want to continue in the industry

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#7 RE: Tier 2 strategy to MBB
20/02/2011 11:45

Anon to D (#6)

Thanks for above replies - all very valid but you seem to assume that I know less about the industry than I do! D, thanks for your response which pretty much confirms my suspicions.

Would I be wrong to expect that MBB would have better ('fairer') auxiliary procedures (HR, resourcing, appraisals, pay reviews etc.) than the Tier 2s of which I speak? I have plenty of contacts in the latter, none in the former - and I have heard enough bad stories about preferential staffing, clueless appraisal procedures etc.

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#8 RE: Tier 2 strategy to MBB
22/02/2011 10:55

Anon to Anon (#1)

join RB and transfer to Germany. Easiest way to turn your tier 2 into a tier 1. You have to speak German though

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#9 RE: Tier 2 strategy to MBB
22/02/2011 11:12

Tony Restell ( to Anon (#7)

Anon - a number of interesting points here. I would highlight the following:

- You're unlikely to find the milkround hiring process for "Tier 2" strategy firms to be any easier than MBB. More often than not successful candidates will have a range of offers that span the two. You don't give your reasons for potentially joining a "Tier 2" rather than MBB firm straight from university, but if it's because you perceive this to be a more credible entry route into strategy consulting then I'd question that assumption.

- Pay at "Tier 2" is often higher than at MBB as they know they have to do something to counter the perception that their brands are not as strong. This means at Milkround level they tend to be able to attract candidates from the very same pools as MBB; but it also means that it's by no means certain you'd gain financially by making such a move (as opposed to moving to another Tier 2) a few years into your career.

- The most favoured points for bringing new blood into strat firms is at the Milkround and graduating MBAs levels, as firms can then put hires through a rigourous and consistent training programme. Experienced hires are also made, but they tend to be to plug specific skills gaps within these organisations, so are more likely to be achievable once you've reached a level within your firm where you have become something of an expert in certain sectors or project types. This is unlikely to happen within your first couple of years in strategy consulting.

- A bit of LinkedIn research could undoubtedly confirm this, but my own instinct would be that once consultants have joined a strategy firm they predominantly either stick with it or leave consulting altogether. Moving to another firm once you've built up a track record - and hopefully a fast-track career path - with one of the strategy firms risks derailing your career momentum, so it happens far less than strong candidates just deciding to leave the sector altogether.

- My advice would be to meet and interview with as many of the firms as possible during the Milkround hiring process and then decide on who to join based on the "fit" that you felt there was during the interview process. You want to join a firm where you feel at home and surrounded by like-minded individuals -- something that can't easily be captured in forum responses or online research.

Hope this helps and all the best with your decision Anon.

Tony Restell

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#10 RE: Tier 2 strategy to MBB
23/02/2011 06:57

Anon 2 to Anon (#7)

Consulting firms are notorious for advising clients on how to run their businesses but then failing to do justice to the running of their own businesses. I would expect to bump up against frustrating appraisal processes, resourcing, pay review procedures, etc. with pretty much any consulting firm you join.

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#11 RE: Tier 2 strategy to MBB
23/02/2011 21:42

Anon to Tony Restell ( (#9)

Thank you, Tony, this is very helpful advice.

A note on the Tier 2 vs MBB at Milkround level comment that a few have made. I have a Tier 2 offer and none from MBB, hence the question. I'm well aware the process isn't necessarily easier and the pay is better!

Again, thanks all for a series of helpful comments.

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#12 RE: Tier 2 strategy to MBB
24/02/2011 11:52

Tony Restell ( to Anon (#11)

Anon - congratulations on the offer. Provided you felt comfortable with the people you met from this "Tier 2" firm during all your interviewing process (ie. there's a good fit between you and the firm) I wouldn't think twice about this. Grab the opportunity adn don't look back. The calibre of clients you'll be working for and the nature of the projects you'll be staffed on will be indistinguishable from those at MBB - it's just the culture and the scope for specialisation and early responsibility that may differ (asides from the obvious difference in brand).

Good luck with your choice - and again well done.

Tony Restell

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