In consulting, MBB is an acronym that stands for the three most prestigious management consulting firms in the business: McKinsey, The Boston Consulting Group and Bain & Company. Occasionally, the top firms are called the MBBB, with Booz & Company thrown into the mix.
McKinsey & Company employs about 17,000 people globally, including 9,000 consultants. Its clients include top organisations, businesses and governments. The company is particularly known for its expertise with issues related to senior management. It is one of the best graduate employers in the business. It was founded in 1926 in Chicago by James O. McKinsey, a former accounting professor at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.
The Boston Consulting Group was founded in 1963 by by Bruce D. Henderson, who graduated from Vanderbilt and Harvard Business School and was recruited by Arthur D. Little and subsequently The Boston Company, where he started his own consulting unit. Today, The Boston Consulting Group employs about 4,400 consultants in 71 offices across 41 countries worldwide.
Bain & Company is based in Boston, Massachusetts and employs over 5,000 people in 30 countries worldwide. It was founded in 1973 by seven former partners from The Boston Consulting Group, headed by Bill Bain. The company’s line of service include strategy consulting, private equity, mergers and acquisitions, operations, organization and technology.
MBB consulting firms are not to be confused with the Big Four, the world’s four largest audit firms; Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu, Pwc (Pricewaterhouse Coopers), Ernst & Young and KPMG.
Starting a career in management or strategy consulting can be a stressful, trying task. Competition for jobs, especially at major consulting firms like Deloitte, Accenture, Bain, Ernst & Young or McKinsey, is insane, and to stand out from a crowd of overachievers is not always easy.
Many professionals who leave their businesses and careers in industry to try their hand at management consulting do it because consulting pays better. The better the market, the more businesses are out there looking for experts to carry out specific assignments without having to hire them full time.
If you have a wide network of professional contacts and a knack for selling your services, you should consider starting your own independent consulting business. Getting a business off the ground can be trying at first, but once you have a list of clients, it gets easier and there is no substitute for the freedom you will have as your own boss.
If the marketing and administrative aspects of running a business do not appeal to you, there are always consulting firms. If you feel your future lies at a consultancy, there are usually a number of ways to apply for a job, the company’s website being the easiest.
Reach out to your contacts and browse through industry forums to see which companies are hiring, which ones are best suited to your set of skills (and the other way around) and what the recruitment process is like.
Once you have decided on a list of companies at which you would like to work, do not simply send the same resume and cover letter to all the recruiters. Try to think how these companies could benefit from your expertise and how you could add value to their clients if they hired you. Feature your achievements and successes prominently in your CV; instead of simply listing what your duties and responsibilities were, focus on the end results of your activities at your previous firm. And make sure that both your cover letter and your resume paint you not only as a skilled professional, but also as a person a recruiter would like to meet face to face. If you have never had a consulting case study interview, make sure you know what it is and what it is designed to assess in a job candidate.
If you are looking for your first consulting job, know what salary range to go for and how to negotiate your salary without putting the job opportunity at risk. Most industry experts who move to management and strategy consulting do it for the money, so there is no need to leave any of it on the table when a job opportunity presents itself.
Management consulting is an attractive career choice, especially to experienced professionals who like to be challenged and are looking for some variety in their work and opportunities to travel, meet new people, work across different industries and generally have a wider range of experiences in their professional lives. Consulting companies, on the other hand, are always looking for good hires, ones who will help them offer their clients top notch service and meet the growing demand for business management and strategy expertise on the market.