“Having someone on the inside [at BCG] who had experienced the company first-hand for a full summer was incredibly valuable”
What started out as grabbing coffees with a fellow student led to a major career move for Ben Jeffery. In his first year on London Business School’s (LBS) Masters in Management (MiM) programme, Ben would meet Mark Hosking, who was taking the MBA, for advice on how to impress recruiters.
That was in September 2015. Today, Jeffery works as an associate at Boston Consulting Group (BCG) in London – on the same corridor as Hosking, who is a strategy consultant for the firm. “We met through the peer leader sessions run by the Career Centre at LBS,” Jeffery says. “We then started having 30-minute chats to discuss career opportunities and life at the School, with Mark eventually becoming my mentor.”
The pair went through the types of questions that Jeffery would face when interviewed for consultancy roles. They also staged mock interviews, with Hosking critiquing Jeffery’s performance. “I felt I had strong analytical and quantitative skills, but wasn’t familiar with how to present ideas to interviewers at a consulting firm,” Jeffery says. They also discussed BCG’s culture.
When the two met, Hosking was taking his second year at LBS and preparing to join BCG in May 2016. The job offer came after he had interned at the firm the previous summer. “It was really helpful to speak to someone who had been through the interview process and had worked at the firm,” Jeffery says. “Mark was candid about BCG’s approach to recruitment and gave me feedback on what I was doing well and what I needed to work on.
“Having someone on the inside who had experienced the company first-hand for a full summer was incredibly valuable. I learnt about the firm’s DNA and how the people at BCG saw themselves differently to their counterparts at other consulting firms. It’s hard to get that from talking to someone for 10 minutes at a recruitment event.”
The sessions paid off, with Jeffery securing an offer to join BCG while in his second term at LBS. He joined a firm with 30 LBS alumni in the London office and many others working for BCG around the world.
Since taking up the role in October 2016, Jeffery has consulted to clients in several industries such as retail, healthcare and travel and tourism. He has also kept in close contact with Hosking, turning to him for advice when needed. “Having a friendly face around the office is great,” he says. “If I’m not sure about something, Mark’s my first port of call.”