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Pre-MBB job/internship

#1 Pre-MBB job/internship
18/02/2013 19:26


I graduated (last year) from a good UK university with an MSci in Physics but only recently decided to go into strategic consultancy- in particular MBB. I have decided to apply in September of this year for a September 2014 start.

I have to fill this next year with something good- I've read alot about brands (high prestige employers) increasing your chances dramatically. So I have come up with the following options and would like some of your options:

(1) Rolls Royce full time role (however I have already done an internship with them)

(2) Morgan Stanley - Global Markets / IB Internship

(3) EADS - Project management internship

(4) Any other suggestions (however I only want to work for 1 year so grad schemes are potentially out of the question)?

After this year I will definitly move into consultancy, whether or not I get into MBB.

All advice appreciated - thanks guys!

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#2 RE: Pre-MBB job/internship
19/02/2013 08:15

Arby the Manager to Kaito (#1)

It's a year of your life, so why not do something you enjoy rather than something you believe is expected of you? Anyone of those positions will be reputable brand names on your CV...

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#3 RE: Pre-MBB job/internship
19/02/2013 08:49

marsday to Kaito (#1)

All good options and will enhance your CV. But MBB specifically will more or less discount any prior experience. It's also worth considering other options, as Arby said - something enjoyable before you start your career in earnest. If you can combine some leisure with something challenging so much the better - really want MBB will want is some evidence of achievement in that year, and all consulting firms will want to see how the year has developed you as a person. As you have an internship on your CV already (Rolls Royce) you can tick that box and be a little more open minded about what to do with your year (aside of getting your consultancy applications in of course).

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#4 RE: Pre-MBB job/internship
19/02/2013 09:21

Happy to Kaito (#1)

I am going to be a bit more negative here as I think you are potentially setting yourself up to fail.

Your chances of getting into MBB, or in fact another 'top-tier' consulting firm are not great - this is simply a numerical fact based on applicants to places, irrespective of your background.

You graduated in 2012, and so by September 2014 will have over 2 years to fill on your CV.

As a recruiter I would be looking to see evidence of really strong work experience and career progression within a big name company. But even with that you would be struggling as you would be difficult to place, falling between the experienced hire/MBA candidates and the undergrads.

Your solution to this seems to be to 'maintain' your undergrad status for longer by further internships. Despite the big name brands you mention, if I was a recruiter I wouldn't find this impressive, I would ask you why you haven't managed in this time to complete two years on a grad scheme.

I think you are playing with your future here due to your 'consulting or nothing' attitude. If it turns out to be nothing, what is your plan B? and plan C?

If I was you I would apply to every good undergrad job I can find, accept the first one that comes along, do it well and, if still obsessed with consulting in a few years time, then reapply from a position of strength, or go to business school and come in at a higher level.

That's just my 2 cents though. My third cent is that I would personally much rather work at Rolls Royce than in consulting anyway...

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#5 RE: Pre-MBB job/internship
19/02/2013 13:24

Arby the Manager to Happy (#4)

I was considering a response along the lines of "Rolls Royce really is the Rolls Royce of Rolls...." very, very poor joke....

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#6 RE: Pre-MBB job/internship
19/02/2013 19:28

Kaito to Happy (#4)

The idea is that I would be to apply for a load of consultancy firms in September- so not just MBB (big 4 also). I have decided that I want to do consultancy- but I just realised this a bit late.

Surely there is not much difference between two 1 year internships post university, and one 2 year graduate scheme?

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#7 RE: Pre-MBB job/internship
19/02/2013 19:48

Happy to Kaito (#6)

The difference is how your CV will look in mid-2014 should consulting not come off. And I still think you need a plan B and plan C for that eventuality.

One more question: what will be your short- and mid-term gameplan if you are rejected by all the 'pure strategy' firms and get a Big4 offer?

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#8 RE: Pre-MBB job/internship
19/02/2013 20:23

Kaito to Happy (#7)

Plan B would be to go back to RR in September 2014- I've been offered on their graduate scheme.

My CV in 2014 would say two 1 year internships- so are you saying this would put me in a weaker position than someone just coming out of a 2 year graduate scheme? Surely the former shows that I have had more variation, does it not?

If I got into the big 4 instead, my short term strategy would be just to make as much impact as possible and then maybe go on to business school after 2/3 years.

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#9 RE: Pre-MBB job/internship
19/02/2013 21:14

Happy to Kaito (#8)

Ok, so the scenarios are:

Plan A: Do an internship and then go work in McKinsey or equivalent from Sept 2014.

Plan B: Do an internship and then go work in a Big 4 from Sept 14, with a view to going to business school and then applying to MBB.

Plan C: Join the Rolls Royce grad scheme from Sept 2014.

In my view:

Plan A is a long shot

Plan B is settling for second best and I don't believe that Big4 firms are that great feeders to business school, or into strat firms subsequent to business school

Plan C provides you blue chip experience. After 2 years on a grad scheme and another year or two you could apply to business schools, enrol in 2016ish and be working at McKinsey at post-MBA level in 2018ish. No guarantees, but I imagine the recruiters there would look more favourably on Rolls Royce than Big 4.

I just don't see why you wouldn't opt for Plan C, as it appears to me to be the safest option career-wise and the one that is most likely to take you to where you want to go...

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#10 RE: Pre-MBB job/internship
19/02/2013 22:11

Kaito to Happy (#9)

I've heard it's comparitively a lot harder to get into MBB from MBA than it is from a graduate/minimal work experience position?

You bring up a good point about risk though. I think I would

Plan B could potentially be a botique firm.

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#11 RE: Pre-MBB job/internship
21/02/2013 07:12

Happy to Kaito (#10)

I would say that, as long as you go to a to a top business school, it will be easier to get in to a top tier consulting firm than it will from the position in which you currently sit.

A boutique would offer you neither the training of a large consulting firm, nor the brand recognition of any large firm. It would limit your options in all respects. Why would you do this?

It honestly seems to me like someone has fed you a gigantic dose of consulting Kool-Aid...

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#12 RE: Pre-MBB job/internship
21/02/2013 11:51

Oily to Kaito (#10)

Kaito – for a non-MBA route a boutique may be a more realistic ambition; but I would suggest taking the full-time position at RR rather than having a series of internships with “gaps” on your CV. After all, you will need to demonstrate some sense of commitment – otherwise, why should they hire you over the hundreds of other eager graduates?

Granted, the top-end boutiques lack the brand of MBB, but I disagree with Happy’s suggestion that they have limited exit options. Even if you joined one and hated it, there is scope to move to MBB afterwards (several of my colleagues have).

But as others have pointed out, your best bet would be a top-tier MBA.

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#13 RE: Pre-MBB job/internship
21/02/2013 16:59

Happy to Oily (#12)

Sure, there are examples of people that have moved from boutiques to top-tier consulting firms, but I am not sure this is exactly the norm. My experience of this area is minimal, but I would suggest that getting into a top business school and then to MBB would be more likely from Rolls Royce than from a boutique - both of them love a brand. In that context, I will revise my assessment of boutique exit options to "relatively limited".

Anyway, we agree that RR would appear to be the best option here. I don't think, though, that this is the answer that Kaito wants to hear...

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