First of all thank you so much for sharing all your knowledge over the web, it has given me the courage and confidence to challenge what I thought would be impossible.

My question is about applying to multiple firms, and internationally – the process itself, advantages, and disadvantages (particularly with regards to MBB).

I’m sure there are many others like me with a complicated international background, who are having trouble deciding where (which countries) to apply for, and who are confused by the process.

I am a [Asian country] national, but have done most of my education in [a second country]. I did an engineering degree at a target university in [the second country], had one year of work experience in [my home country], and am now doing a Masters in Energy/Environment at a target university in [a third country]. Since I don’t speak [the third country’s language] well enough, applying to an office there is out of the question.

I want to apply to two offices, my first preference being the office [in my home country], and my second preference being the office [in the second country].

What happens if I apply to these two offices simultaneously, considering they have different intake periods? Does the outcome of one application affect the other (result in PST, interview, etc.)? I read for some companies that you have to wait a certain period before reapplying, does this restriction hold even if applying to another office in a different country?

I speak fluently [my native language], but will my application even be seriously considered, given the fact that I did not attend a university in [my home country]? How much are international experience/language skills valued in general?

Once again, thank you for this wonderful site, and it would be greatly appreciated if you could help me clear up my queries!

My Reply:

This is a tough one. It’s really important that you make your resume easy to understand from a multinational reader’s point of view. See my Consulting Resume Toolkit for specific examples of how to explain your education in the second country so a reader in your home country can appreciate it.

The multinational education is a real challenge for resume readers. In your cover letter, you need to explain why you want to live and work in the target country and explain the academic performance. It would really, really help if you applied via a contact instead of online. Search my blog for articles on “networking” and “non-target schools” which should give you the general idea of the recommended approach.

The easier application channels favor “standard” resume profiles. Since yours is unusual, you really want to get your application into the hands of someone you know or have developed a relationship with. You might find my guide on How to Network to Get a Management Consulting Interview useful.

Good luck!