Another Major Consulting Firm Delays Start Dates For Its MBA Hires

Deloitte was named the No. 2 accounting firm to work for in 2021 by Vault, but has since sunk to 14th. Now its MBA hires are widely reporting having their 2023 start dates pushed back to early 2024. Deloitte photo

One of the top global consulting firms has deferred start dates for its new MBA hires and others, in some cases until spring of 2024.

Many of the MBAs hired by Deloitte, one of the world’s biggest accounting and financial advisory firms, have been informed that their onboarding with the company will be delayed until January or February 2024, or in some cases later in the spring. This comes after some start dates were already pushed back from July to August.

Deloitte, which employs more than 100,000 globally, joins the MBB firms — McKinsey, Boston Consulting Group, and Bain — in delaying new hire start dates this year. MBAs at other top firms, including Accenture and Ernst and Young, also report receiving deferments in the last three to four weeks, according to information provided to Poets&Quants and commentary on message boards at Reddit.


One of the memes being shared by Reddit users impacted by the latest wave of start date delays

Poets&Quants reported on the phenomenon at the MBB firms earlier this year (see Some MBAs With Consulting Job Offers Report Being Asked To Delay Their Start Dates and What Do The Consulting Hiring Delays Mean For The MBA Class Of 2023?). Though many of the MBAs hired by Deloitte whose lives have been put on hold report that their recruiters have promised that offers won’t be rescinded, they also are pointedly not receiving assurances that start dates won’t be pushed back again. For many, the stipends they have received from the company of between $3,800 and $12,000 are not enough to offset the lack of income from the high-paying job they thought they were starting this month — especially if they graduated from a top school, where the price tag for two years of MBA study can exceed $300K.

“Got a call from my recruiter letting me know that my start date has been delayed until January 2024 when I signed to start this August,” writes Reddit user jjtha11 in a thread titled “Delayed start date Advisory to from August to Jan 2024” under the sub-Reddit r/Deloitte. “Was offered a lump sum stipend. Was told it was happening to all commercial advisory folks with start dates in August. Not sure if firm wide or just my office. Not sure what my best move is.”

In another thread, titled “Start date deferred to February 2024,” Reddit user Ok-Researcher-7237 writes:

“Desperate for any and all advice here. Just graduated college with an accounting degree and was supposed to start full time in august in RFA Cyber. Got a call this week that my start date got pushed to end of Feb 2024. Was offered 12k stipend in exchange. Don’t get me wrong, I’m grateful to still have a job and some money given to me but I’m freaking out at the thought of not having a full time job for the next 6 months as I had planned to move out and start my life.”


Ok-Researcher-7237 continues: “Do I look for another full time consulting role elsewhere in this economy? Stick it out and study for my CPA? What are the odds February comes around and I get delayed again from a recession etc? Is it really worth the wait? Starting salary was 85k + 10k bonus so not sure where I’d find as good of a post grad opportunity but I also don’t wanna get screwed over in 6 months. Feeling extremely helpless right now.”

That’s a common sentiment on the Reddit message boards, echoed by user doubleinfinity101: “I just got a call from my recruiter saying my start date has been delayed from august 2023 to February 2024, they did offer a stipend but a push back of 5 months is ridiculous. Has this happened to anyone else? If so, are you looking for a new job or waiting it out?”

In response, user MammothTrouble58 writes: “Yeah… and you could get to February and find out they still don’t have a contract signed. Keep looking for another job or find a temp job if you think it’s worth your time.”

Frustration abounds, according to a colleague of some MBAs from a top-50 business school who had been slated to start at Deloitte this month, partly because of the late notice: Most of the new hires whose start dates have been pushed back by five or more months did not learn of their fate until early to mid-July. In comparison, the MBB firms informed their delayed hires back in March and April.

“Some of those people were set to start within a week or two, and many had just signed leases in expensive cities like NY and Chicago,” the classmate tells P&Q. “Most Deloitte MBA hires didn’t find out a start date until the end of May or June, and it appears those were not serious. It does not reflect well on them and I know many students are incredibly frustrated if not downright angry. But what can they do? They have them in a vice that is made up of tuition reimbursement, signing bonus, and relocation help.”


Deloitte is one of the “Big Four” accounting firms, and one of the largest global professional services networks in the world based on employed professionals and revenue. Its service areas include tax, consulting, audit and assurance, and risk and financial advisory. It ranked 14th on the Vault Top 50 list of best consulting firms to work for in 2023, down from 11th in 2022 and precipitously down from fourth in 2019. According to the latest Management Consulted report on the top 100 firms, Deloitte MBAs generally make in the $100K range to start while earning bonuses between $10K to $12K; the firm regularly features prominently in the employment reports of the top MBA programs.

Deloitte’s approach to the delayed start dates of its new MBA hires is being compared unfavorably to Bain’s; that firm told MBAs with offer letters that if they waited to start until April 2024, it would pay them tens of thousands of dollars to work for a nonprofit, learn a new language, or participate in an educational program. In at least one case, Bain suggested to its MBA hires that they could become yoga instructors or go on safari for $20,000. Deloitte’s hires, however, appear to have been given little guidance except to wait.

In a Reddit thread titled “New hires with deferred start dates: What jobs are we getting?” user Meighto8 writes, “I was supposed to start in September, but got pushed back until end of March. I know I have to get some sort of part time job to hold me over, but I’m not sure what kind yet. What are others doing?”

User AvgCapybara responds: “I’m currently looking. Ideally want an office 9-5 so I can pursue certifications and hopefully learn something on the job, but it’s hard finding part-time work. I’m considering applying to full-time jobs but I feel it’s a bit immoral to have them onboard me and then leave 6 months later. Will probs apply to a couple retails stores around me: Apple Store, Whole Foods, etc… and if we get pushed again come march go into full-time recruitment mode again.”

User Working_Warthog_5970 writes: “I’m taking some classes using the GI Bill that I have left to get the housing allowance. Might as well learn some culinary or photography skills while I wait on the start date.”

And user gawp_v1 takes a light-hearted view: “I’m traveling Europe and crossing my fingers that I’ll still be starting in January. I don’t want to do a fourth internship lol.”


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