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Hello all,

I recently received a couple of consulting full time offers. My final choices are DELOITTE (Strategy and Operations) and A.T. KEARNEY (Strategy).

I am still uncertain about which one I should pick. Overall the things I care about are:

1. Prestige
2. Business School placement (HBS, Stanford, Wharton)
3. Exposure to client senior management
4. Exposure and connections with Partners at the firm.
5. Overall compensation

My fear is that I will get lost at Deloitte due to the fact that it is a much larger firm. Also I am afraid I might get more exposure at ATK since it is a smaller firm.

If it were you picking: Deloitte or ATK?

Thank you!

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Comments (45)

  • F. Ro Jo's picture

    I've heard that ATK package is kinda weak?

  • onespeed's picture

    Would love some advice on this as well currently trying to chose between Deloitte and McGladrey, having similar thoughts based on exposure to senior management verse prestige.

  • In reply to atlmonkey
    yeahright's picture

    Deloitte > ATK

    imo

    Frank Sinatra - "Alcohol may be man's worst enemy, but the bible says love your enemy."

  • F. Ro Jo's picture

    Not sure I'd agree with this, especially with regards to Deloitte. Having done a bunch of proposal work, I know they win some and lose some.

    Plus you can really only choose from the offers you have...

  • Onetwobit's picture

    deloitte -- big 4 (especially deloitte consulting) will likely yield some bonus in the 10%+ range so don't to worried about that.

  • In reply to F. Ro Jo
    expenseaccounts's picture

    F. Ro Jo:
    Not sure I'd agree with this, especially with regards to Deloitte. Having done a bunch of proposal work, I know they win some and lose some.

    Plus you can really only choose from the offers you have...

    That's no reason to choose mediocrity, F. Ro Jo.

    I know a lot of kids at Deloitte. Deloitte hires a sea of analysts to do grunt work, and whether it's because they can't hack it or they're too busy doing SAP installations, a miniscule fraction get into top 3 schools.

  • In reply to expenseaccounts
    atlmonkey's picture

    If you look at the overall company, yes, Deloitte hires a lot of analysts. However the Strategy and Operations group is the smallest in the firm. From a graph I saw at sell day, Deloitte S&O actually has a 50% placement at HBS, 96% at Kellogg, 95% at Columbia, etc.

    I understand I would have to be a rockstar at Deloitte to get into a top 3 b-school. I am jus wondering if ATK would give me better experiences to impress admission committees.

  • In reply to atlmonkey
    valuationGURU's picture

    pierrehthys:
    If you look at the overall company, yes, Deloitte hires a lot of analysts. However the Strategy and Operations group is the smallest in the firm. From a graph I saw at sell day, Deloitte S&O actually has a 50% placement at HBS, 96% at Kellogg, 95% at Columbia, etc.

    I understand I would have to be a rockstar at Deloitte to get into a top 3 b-school. I am jus wondering if ATK would give me better experiences to impress admission committees.


    They will both give you a shot at those schools. The difference between those two names will not affect your chances either way. Other factors such as GMAT matter way more. Focus on things that will actually affect your application. Accept the offer for the company which you felt you had a better fit at.
  • In reply to atlmonkey
    expenseaccounts's picture

    pierrehthys:
    If you look at the overall company, yes, Deloitte hires a lot of analysts. However the Strategy and Operations group is the smallest in the firm. From a graph I saw at sell day, Deloitte S&O actually has a 50% placement at HBS, 96% at Kellogg, 95% at Columbia, etc.

    I understand I would have to be a rockstar at Deloitte to get into a top 3 b-school. I am jus wondering if ATK would give me better experiences to impress admission committees.

    Key phrase: "From a graph I saw at sell day."

    I know for a fact MBB doesn't even have a 50% placement at HBS. So Deloitte's either bad at math or cooking the books. Neither would surprise me.

  • In reply to expenseaccounts
    atlmonkey's picture

    #expenseaccounts,

    In the BCG presentation their placement graph showed 67% at HBS. This was a presentation at Wharton. I am guessing this is pretty credible. Hence Deloitte numbers sound about right.

  • brofalfa sprouts's picture

    They're probably pretty equivalent in terms of b-school placement. Did you have a sense of which culture you liked more? I'd rather go to the firm where I'd get along best with the people.

    "Sometimes we have to get really high to see how small we are" - Fearless Felix

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  • F. Ro Jo's picture

    67% is pretty unbelievable. Doesn't pass smell test to be honest. Wouldn't be surprised if the number is significantly higher than national average... but 67% is a whole different league.... Probably even higher than % for the folks who went to H undergrad.

  • OhHenry's picture
  • 7S's picture

    which offices?

    personally i would pick ATK if its in the US

  • In reply to F. Ro Jo
    hobonumber's picture

    F. Ro Jo:
    67% is pretty unbelievable. Doesn't pass smell test to be honest. Wouldn't be surprised if the number is significantly higher than national average... but 67% is a whole different league.... Probably even higher than % for the folks who went to H undergrad.

    Pretty unbelievable, yes, is it true? from sample around the office, yes. You have to realize that there just are not that many undergraduate hires at BCG structurally, they are free pick the people who would've gotten into HBS with or without BCG.

  • whaat's picture

    the high rate of acceptance, i believe, is due to the fact that it's already a sorted group...they show you the graph of acceptance from people who are already accepted to the GSAP program (grad school assistance program, i believe)...so sure, it's a high rate if you're in the group, but otherwise, i don't think it's in that 60% range

  • ballmouse's picture

    I think ATK is a bit more prestigious than S&O. You might want to ask your contacts or hiring manager too. I found that most managers in consultancies appreciate honesty and questions when you are considering the firm's offer.

  • bondtradercu's picture

    AT KEARNEY all the way

  • Bluevball8's picture

    Honestly you should go off the people you like more. You're going to get different opinions from everyone. I would say Deloitte each and every day, but that is because I like the people and culture more/I personally think it is more prestigious. But really, from all the people that you have met at both places pick the one that you fit in best because that will make you the happiest. They are both relatively similar in prestige.

    One thing to note though is that AT has a reputation for being a Supply Chain company, and from what I have seen they try to cover this up with the people that they bring to presentations and meet/greats. So that is something to be aware of. Good luck, you'll be fine with either.

  • 23mich's picture

    I was at Deloitte and in S&O as an undergrad hire. I don't remember the MBA acceptance numbers exactly but they are pretty high. It's one of the reasons I accepted the offer. Every sell-day and campus presentation, there's a slide that show Deloitte acceptances vs. the general acceptance rate at top b-schools and there's a significant difference between the two for every school.

    However, there is a caveat. The numbers only pertain to GSAP (Grad School Assistance Program) candidates. These people have agreed to come back to Deloitte post-MBA and to get the package you have to be a higher ranked analyst and been at Deloitte at least 3 years. Therefore the acceptance numbers don't include people applying from Deloitte who aren't part of GSAP or people who've left Deloitte, done something else (e.g. F500 Corp Strat) and then applied.

  • In reply to 23mich
    24837's picture

    23mich:
    The numbers only pertain to GSAP (Grad School Assistance Program) candidates. These people have agreed to come back to Deloitte post-MBA and to get the package you have to be a higher ranked analyst

    So in other words, they are comparing their rockstar employees against other companies' average employees?

  • In reply to 24837
    hpn's picture

    GSAP @ DC is available to consultants who were hired into the analyst program from undergrad (though few star C, who join the firm outside do get the sponsorship $ from the service lines). As for as choosing DC/ ATK purely from a MBA placements perspective there is hardly any difference (the admissions committee is not going to see any difference both are tier-2 consulting firms). As to what you will learn, its mostly up to you and your excel, ppt and networking skills will set you for success.

  • atkdeloitte's picture

    let's assume that deloitte S&O and ATK have similar business school placement. which firm would provide greater exposure to 'strategy' work?

  • In reply to 24837
    chicagoforlife's picture

    24837:
    23mich:
    The numbers only pertain to GSAP (Grad School Assistance Program) candidates. These people have agreed to come back to Deloitte post-MBA and to get the package you have to be a higher ranked analyst

    So in other words, they are comparing their rockstar employees against other companies' average employees?

    No. If you read the post, the poster said that they have a chart comparing their GSAP program placement to the average applicant's acceptance rate to each of those schools. They did not say they have a chart comparing to the average acceptance rate of other firms's average employees. How the hell would they ever get that data?

  • In reply to 23mich
    24837's picture

    chicagoforlife:
    No. If you read the post, the poster said that they have a chart comparing their GSAP program placement to the average applicant's acceptance rate to each of those schools. They did not say they have a chart comparing to the average acceptance rate of other firms's average employees. How the hell would they ever get that data?

    1) They list the acceptance rate for their GSAP/ higher ranked analysts (="rockstars")
    2) They compare it to the OVERALL AVERAGE rate - this group of applicants probably even includes a few Ex-Deloitte which didn't make the cut for the GSAP program

    So while their "Deloitte" number is filtered for high-performers exclusively, the "general acceptance" includes high/ mid/ low performers from various firms which just happened to apply.
    If they were e.g. to compare Deloitte's "GSAP application rate" to Deloitte's "overall, non-GSAP-including rate" the effect would be similar.

    Basically, we don't know if the above-average acceptance rate results from the Deloitte brand - or because because of the filter they applied by only measuring success for their very best people and leaving their other employees to fight for themselves.

    As a student, I'd want to know what, on average, my chances of acceptance at B-School are after 3 years at Deloitte.
    If they apply some kind of filter, then this acceptance rate will be skewed - and I have no idea how heavily.
    That sucks.

  • chicagoforlife's picture

    The answer to that is:

    Your odds are pretty high you'll get into a top 10/15 program if you went a decent undergrad, get a 720+ on your GMAT, can write a decent essay, and don't screw up horribly in your 3 years so that the partners won't write you a recommendation letter. That's the sum of it all. Neither Deloitte nor AT Kearney are going to hurt your chances after you accept the offer. And neither is going to give you a dramatic edge either. And I hope you aren't naive enough to believe that every other consulting firm keeps track of all their analysts who got managed out and factors their placement into their percentages.

  • In reply to 24837
    hpn's picture

    "As a student, I'd want to know what, on average, my chances of acceptance at B-School are after 3 years at Deloitte."

    Your chances at acceptance at top B-School are not really dependent in any significant way on the firm you worked at (it is probably more material in your during your 2nd year job interviews). As someone said earlier focus on getting high GMAT score, strong recommendation letters and good essays . If you think that admission committees really spend a lot of time accepting or rejecting candidates based on where they worked(consulting or otherwise) you are mistaken (its one of the data points nothing more, nothing less).

    p.s.
    I am a former DC S&O Manager - joined the firm from a top 5 b-school

  • IvyGrad's picture

    congratulations on your two solid offers. if you ask anyone who is in consulting industry, chances are likely that they will tell you Deloitte S&O and AT Kearney are roughly of same quality. both these firms are very strong

    I would make a decision not based on supposed minimal differences in 'prestige' or 'exit ops' or whatnot, but choose based on location, comp, culture, and the people that you'll be working with.

    anecdotal accounts don't count for much, but my cousin worked at Deloitte S&O for 3 years and he went to get Wharton MBA. However, that was 4 years ago, so I am not sure how relevant that would be to your case

  • 23mich's picture

    To the OP, what everyone has been alluding to is true: Deloitte and AT Kearney are pretty similar on the whole as regards to the analyst experience and the future career propects they offer. Generally, you aren't going to have any remarkable advantages or disadvantages when you take one offer over the other. However, two additional things you'll want to consider:

    1) Office location - All else being equal, you're going to want to go to a large metropolitan office (NYC, Chicago, SF, etc.). For one, it's where the "bigger name" partners have a tendency to be based out of so therefore you'll be more likely to get staffed with them and on higher-profile projects. Second, you'll have a larger incoming class of fellow analysts. This will help a lot when it comes to b-school applications as a lot of your peers will be doing the same thing so you'll have people to prepare applications with, bounce thoughts off of, etc. in a similar way to the way you and your classmates worked together to prepare for job recruiting while in school. Lastly, MBA admissions officers are more prone to stop by the larger consulting offices as part of their "tour process" where they have an information session about the school (similar to the way a company has a corporate presentation on campus). In my time at Deloitte, I remember Johnson, Wharton, and Fuqua officers visiting the offices. This will give you a chance to meet members of the adcom one-on-one and get inside information.

    So if one offer is for a small satellite city and the other offer is for a large metro area, then choose the large metro area one.

    2) Specialty/Interest - Assuming you have an industry/functional interest that you want to pursue, you'll want to go the firm that is stronger in that area. For instance, when I was at Deloitte there wasn't a very strong retail/consumer practice. If I had wanted to pursue a career (either post-Deloitte or post-MBA) in the retail/consumer area, it would have been tough. In addition, following the same example, it's going to be hard to write a b-school essay on why your future goal is to become a chief marketing officer in a consumer goods F500 company if you don't have any prior experience in the area. .

  • therock555's picture

    From a prestige standpoint, I always thought that ATK was on the same level as OW, Monitor (before it went bankrupt), Booz & Company (essentially firms right below MBB) with companies like Deloitte S&O, Parthenon, and LEK were slightly lower. At least this is what my cousin at BCG has always told me?

  • therock555's picture

    From a prestige standpoint, I always thought that ATK was on the same level as OW, Monitor (before it went bankrupt), Booz & Company (essentially firms right below MBB) with companies like Deloitte S&O, Parthenon, and LEK were slightly lower. At least this is what my cousin at BCG has always told me?

  • cardinal2005's picture

    Also, I think Deloitte S&O has changed a lot over the last couple years, definitely on its way up, and now they acquired Monitor. Their strength in Strategy and variety of projects has increased a lot, even since 2010. Couple that with their dominance in the public sector, especially since the Bearing Point acquisition, and they are a much bigger player. If there has been one change in consulting over the years, its been that the firms that have scale are winning. I would say go with firm culture since that differs- the size of Deloitte and opportunities (and maybe their University) differentiate them, but if you are focused in one area or like the small company feel, other firms may be better for that. Also, location can play a role.

  • cardinal2005's picture

    Also, I think Deloitte S&O has changed a lot over the last couple years, definitely on its way up, and now they acquired Monitor. Their strength in Strategy and variety of projects has increased a lot, even since 2010. Couple that with their dominance in the public sector, especially since the Bearing Point acquisition, and they are a much bigger player. If there has been one change in consulting over the years, its been that the firms that have scale are winning. I would say go with firm culture since that differs- the size of Deloitte and opportunities (and maybe their University) differentiate them, but if you are focused in one area or like the small company feel, other firms may be better for that. Also, location can play a role.

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