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How difficult/easy would it be to go into MBB from a just outside M7 school, with 2-3 years of pre-MBA experience and strong performance at a smaller tier 2 firm? (Parthenon/S&/ATK/LEK/OW)

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Impossible

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But is S& really tier 2.....

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🚂 💥

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Thinking a Tuck, Darden, Fuqua, FYI

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You’ll be fine. I am at top 25. Both Bain and BCG recruit on campus and have events for all of us. You just have to be strategic about what office you want to interview for and network there i.e. go where most of the Alumni is going. Also if you are going to a smaller school then you can network yourself a bit better and get the interview. Once you have the interview you are in the same playing as everyone else. Also worth noting, Fuqua, Darden, and Tuck are amazing schools and you will have very similar or the same face time with MBB. I myself I am going to MBB after graduation and going to a top 25. Just work on your casing and networking.

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I hope you aren't approaching this with the attitude that it's a "shoe in". I'm not implying you are, but since you posted asking for advice, just thought I'd caution against such an approach. I like what BCG1 said: you're in a good position but will need to work exceptionally hard to get the role.

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Gathering information for how to approach it now. Impossible is one end of the spectrum, shoo-in the other. Just trying to gauge where exactly this particular path sits because it would help inform my decision on whether to go to b-school or not.

Would think and hope it would be a near shoo-in, but any insight would be helpful.

No such think as a shoo-in. It’s 100% dependent on how you do in the interview (assuming you’re selected for an interview). Ive seen a former kindergarten teacher get an offer the same day a former big 4 consultant didn’t. Your ability to speak to your leadership experiences + entrepreneurial mindset in behavioral as well as clearing the bar with your case interview is all that matters, and I’ve seen folks from all walks of life get offers (and not) based on that.

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We recruit pretty extensively at several schools outside M7.

All 3 will likely recruit at a school “just outside” M7...but not at schools ranked 15+. Things become virtually impossible beyond the low teens. Work experience from those 3 firms will put you in a good position to get an interview. You will still definitely need to network and show up to events to get on the list. No way around that. Ultimately it will come down to being able to do well on both rounds of interviews. I’d say you’re in a fine position...but there’s no such thing as a “shoe in”.

Even HSW isn’t a shoo in

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