Do you guys think MBB has a risk of layoffs?

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Risk of course, but likelihood feels very low. There may be a higher bar for promotion and therefore slight increase in involuntary attrition, but MBB know very well the problems that layoffs cause in the pyramid down the track

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If you lay people off in an industry with significant voluntary attrition you don’t have people at the right level in a few years time. For example let’s say an MBB firm just axed all first years because they don’t have as much skills and aren’t as productive. Well in 2 years when the economy is recovered and client studies have high demand you’re going to be missing an entire class of managers. Coupled with promotion of those ready for promotion and the natural attrition that’s already present you’ll either need to 1) slow down promotions (not good for motivating high performing people who are ready for associate partner or higher), 2) bring in lateral hires as managers (not good because they don’t know the culture and system), or 3) promote people early to fill gaps (not good because they don’t have the skills and experience needed yet). All of this causes strain on the pyramid. On the flip side instead of a horizontal layoff if there’s a vertical one (i.e., people at all levels get axed), this issue is compounded at all levels of the organization.

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BCG and other consultancies have already freezed hiring, cut intern pay or put internships on a pause. So yeah, a few will be wiped out

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As BCG2 said above, this is false

So in the hypothetical situation that we are interviewing at an mbb and get an offer at the pre-mba level, you guys think it is not a good idea to take right now

I certainly wouldn’t say that, at BCG you’d have two years of runway to the next promotion window. I’d expect this will be “over” by then.

It’s more of a worry for those people who are:

i) already here
ii) approaching a promotion window
iii) middle performers who would get promoted in good times, but ‘promoted to customer’ in tough times

If you get an offer, and were planning on taking it anyway, I’d still recommend that you take it.

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