2 answers

Should I apply to MBB etc consulting firms in my final year or have a year out after I graduate and have more time to prepare for interviews better?

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I am a UK business student wanting to apply to MBB and other similar firms but I realise that to pass interviews at these firms you have to do extensive prep work (50 live practices, 2 months full time, amazing maths skills, PST practice etc).

I am worried I won't be able to do a decent job of it all this year as I am moving to Austin in Texas to study for the Fall semester and will also be juggling my dissertation (done in a team of 5 solving a real problem for a business!). I am not used to the regular assessment at US universities and will also be travelling over christmas for 2 weeks with my family so may struggle to prep for january interviews if i were to get that far.

If I fail the interviews I believe I can't reapply for 2 years.

Alternatively, I don't apply this year and take a year out after graduating, do a notable summer internship and then apply, when I have more time to nail the interview process (and an even better CV - I have 2 strong internships already and am top 2% of my year)

Will taking a year out look bad to MBB recruiters?

Any advice would be hugely appreciated! #consulting #graduate-recruitment

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2 answers

Sarah’s Answer

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Hi there - First congratulations on your achievements thus far! And I know you are going to enjoy your semester in Austin -- I graduated from UT. I do not think that consulting firms would look down on a year off, as long as you are fully utilizing that time. It sounds like you will have an internship, which will be great. Be sure to keep yourself working or doing things worthwhile during that time. I'm sure during your interviews they will ask you about it, so be prepared to answer questions about why you took the time (i.e. you wanted time to have explore the internship, you were seeking personal growth experiences, etc), what you did with the time, and how that year has put you at an advantage to your peers because you've had x number of experiences.


That being said, I would suggest reaching out to your career counselor or any contacts you might know at consulting firms in the UK to get their opinion as well. If your classmates also have the same pressures and responsibilities they might expect you to also be prepared for the exam this year. However, if you do have some great experiences in the year off that will better prepare you for work it can't hurt.


Best of luck!

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Colin’s Answer

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Hi Georgie - sounds like an exciting/busy time for you. As long as you are smart, hard-working, and you keep making decisions that advance your career forward (strong internships, taking on more responsibility, making and maintaining connections), there will always be an opportunity to get your foot in the door at any of the top tier consulting firms. With that being said, top firms fill most associate/analyst level slots with campus hires rather than folks who have graduated already and have been working for 6 months or a year. I hate to use the word "easy", but it will likely never be quite as easy to land a role at a consulting firm as it is while you are still in college. Good luck and let us know if you have any other questions!
Also, one key rule of consulting is managing time efficiently. If you are able to prepare for the interviews while you are at school, it would be a practice for you to manage time and the interviewers respect this as well. Parth Damle
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