How does engagement manager experienced hire work at MBB? Left My firm over a year ago (finished 21 months as an Associate and was on track to get promoted in 3 months) to join a PE fund...contd.

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I’m with M1 on this, there’s no negotiating upfront that you’ll get a promotion after X amount of time. The way to get designated (at least at McK) is to demonstrate mastery of the associate job expectations and propensity for the ability to manage a study. A partner is going to have to decide they’re ready to staff you as an EM, so recruiting can’t make you a promise that you’ll EM at a year. I’ve seen very experienced folks (think captain / major in armed forces) come in and EM after 8-10 months and I’ve seen other people take 2.5 years, and then still other folks never make it. Its not a “boom you’ve accumulated X amount of time prior to being a manager therefore you’re now a manager” concept.

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Appreciate that! It’s great to hear that it’s still possible to make EM after 8-10 months, I am looking for the chance to prove myself and totally fair if doesn’t work out in that time frame

I came in at Associate (EM-1) level at McKinsey as an experienced hire w 6 years experience. Trust me you don’t want to be on the hook for delivering a McKinsey study without understanding how it works. The only real laterals into EM are if you’re the equivalent at say BCG/Tier 2 and swap in - even then super tough as you’re responsible for the study without knowing how the company typically operates. You can make it to EM in 18 mo if you’re demonstrating the intrinsics

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Latering into MBB as an “Engagement Manager”, BCG’s version of a “Project Leader”, would be quite tough...best opportunity is through MBA career pathing, which would still only land you at a Consultant at best.

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It’s not just a matter of “can you do it” or “if you have the right skill sets”, there is a huge learning curve and expectation that is thrown in at a PL level which are hard to demonstrate to a recruiter going in (e.g., demonstrating trust to partners that you can effectively manage executive level relationships, being able to manage a team to produce the right output via slides, knowing the BCG culture and ways of working, etc.). The risk and return is generally too high bringing in a lateral Project Leader. For context, I know a F50 bank VP with 8-10 years, still come in as a C.

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^ this. The only person I know of who came in as a lateral as a manager was a manager at a very similar firm before, and to my knowledge, that person had with strong leadership support and also filled a particular niche. And even that was a rare case. You can’t become a manager until you’ve proved that you can do the job. It may seem like taking 2 years is too much but promise it goes by quickly and will help you in the long run. If things are going well in your current role and you see long term potential there, why leave? I don’t think it makes sense to jump ship to MBB at this stage if you don’t plan to stay for the long haul anyway (hence why the 2 years as C feels like a negligible issue and would be worth being up well to be a rockstar on the long term).

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Now thinking of coming back but hoping for a manager role as I was almost there at my previous firm (nonMBB tier 2), I have 6 years of total work experience and would only consider leaving PE for an MBB.

Think it would be tough - especially since you wouldn’t have the network to succeed to principal. Might be in your best interest to come in at the post-MBA level (which is why that’s normally the path laterals have taken) so that you can build that network and have a shot at a longer career here. By network, I mean both junior employees and senior leadership. Few will want you on their team in a manager role until you’ve been in one before at the firm! Unless you actually made manager at your prior firm, and it’s a firm comparable to the kind of work we do, it’s hard to give you credit for that promo unfortunately. This is true for pre-MBA MBB folks who went off to PE and came back too.

Thanks both, it’s a comparable firm, but I just feel like giving two more years at the Post MBA level would be a bit too much. Is there a way to negotiate coming in so a promo is discussed after 12 months? I’m very confident I can show the relevant skills to manage a project.

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