Hi MBB 🐠! Struggling to get referrals despite seemingly "good" calls. Trying McK first; I have 1.5 years in boutique strategy since business analytics master's at target B-school. Thoughts or advice?

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If you were at a target B school id lean on classmates that are now at MBB

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I haven't, for a few reasons. For one, I think I've been framing my conversations too much as "I know that I want to apply", vs "I'm exploring and would like you to help me determine if this is right". I can tweak this and potentially ask the way you mentioned. But more importantly, I'm hesitant to ask because I've heard people sometimes refer without promising to do so, and I don't know if by asking I'm killing a potential resource or if it's already dead by that point. Throughout school recruitment, my calls generally ended with referral offers, so I'm honestly trying to understand if MBB folks have a different playbook when on the receiving end of the calls.

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People needs to know you before they refer you

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Lolol this wasn't an elaborate referral fishing expedition, promise. If you're serious, lmk if you're open to a DM and we can discuss further - I'd very much appreciate the help.

Your background is not MBB target. MBA is only degree from a top business school anyone cared about, especially from Fuqua.

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Lol. Thanks for the advice C1! Totally makes sense, and I'll work on tweaking my mindset a bit. For context, I'm a 2017 undergrad, did a business analytics degree right away. But planning on an MBA starting 2022! Hope I get in to MBB before that though 🤞

uplifting

Have you tried following up after call one building a stronger relationship over 2-3 calls? In person meetings if at all possible could also help - I feel like I was always more inclined to go out of my way for people who met with me in person (shows effort, more personal, etc.). Also this is just my personal experience and I’m sure you’re not doing this, but I sometimes got the “you’re just a box on my list” vibe from some candidates where I could tell that their end goal was just to say they did some call with some person at this company (most often when they came into the convo with a “sales pitch”)... whereas others I could have a very interesting/intellectual conversation with.

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I think the best convos I’ve had are those that ended up being not about “this is why I’m a good fit” or “tell me about the firm” as much. They tended to be people who already knew enough, so we just talked about tangentially related things (e.g. interesting articles or books you read, unique non-professional experiences, etc.). Sort of like the kind of organic conversation you would have with e.g. a manager over team dinner. Usually got a first feel for if I would be friends with the person if they joined the firm. But again, that’s just my personal take/experience so far. I imagine there are probably people who you prefer you to just get to the point.

smart

What school?

Makes sense. Went to Duke Fuqua

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