Moving from Boutique to Top 3 Firm


I have a question regarding hiring people who already have a background in consulting. What are the chances of small-time boutique consulting firm alumni to apply successfully to a top tier firm?

I'm pretty sure I could easily land a gig at some boutique consulting firms, there are LOTS of them where I live and worked for one before going to graduate school (I'll be out of it in 6 months). And I thought could use some experience as leverage to get into a bigger firm, Im even considering working in a small firm again and wait out a year or so before applying to top tier.

Disclosure: I´m not on the US and top-tier firms DO recruit in my university, but it is normally limited to undergrads applying to BA type positions.

My Reply:

One of my colleagues at McKinsey had exactly the same background as you do. Here's what she did. She got in to Harvard Business School and graduated as a Baker Scholar (top 10%). I think the b-school serves as a good transition point especially if you get into a top program and do well.

When I was at McKinsey, it was policy to interview 100% of all applicants from Stanford GSB or HBS irrespective of consulting resume or CV.

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