4/18/07

Had a few friends who were choosing between these two firms senior year. Two of them when to McKinsey, one went to Goldman. We had a lot of Consulting Vs. Banking back-and-forth, but I'd like to see what arguments this board has in support of either (and I realize that most are going to say Goldman, since this is a banking forum and most don't really know what McKinsey does, so I'll chime in now and then). Just to get the ball rolling here:

Goldman:

Fantastic pay
More layman's prestige
GREAT exit opps into PE, hedge funds, practically any finance position
More "hard skills" type work

McKinsey

Good pay, GREAT benefits
More prestige in B-school, management circles
Very good exit opps into finance, unparalleled exit opps into practically any other industry/field
Fantastic B-school placement, pays for B-school in many cases
LOTS of responsibility at a very junior level (one of my friends met a CEO of F500 in his first study!)

What do you guys think?

Comments (90)

4/18/07

Well I'm going into markets, so consulting has nothing for me, not even McKinsey.

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4/18/07

If you love banking choose GS

If you doubt whether you love banking choose McK

I spoke to many McKinsey people.. they all stated in this world there is only one firm that is more prestigious and is really the best and that is Goldman Sachs! However, McK has smarter people in general because at least at the office in my country they do care about GPA, sometimes GS hires people with a low GPA which might indicate that person might be less intelligent (but necessarily)

Given you love banking:

What would be better, all depending on your age, your personal situation:

GS analyst--> GS associate --> GS VP etc

McKinsey fellow--> B-school MBA 2yrs --> GS associate

In reply to fp175
4/18/07

Mckinsey is the biggest brand name anyone can get on his resume. A Mckinsey person gets so much respect anywhere and its the best place to learn and develop yourself for long term success. If somebody is 100% convinced about pursuing a career in banking/finance then Goldman is a better option but otherwise Mckinsey beats Goldman w/o any doubt. I have had experience working with ex Mckinsey and ex goldman analysts and mckinsey guys seem so much smarter, creative and social.
Just my 2 cents. I know this board is biased towards banking so ppl will flame me but if you go out in corporate world or talk to anyone at business school, Mckinsey name is way above Goldman.

4/18/07

I don't think you can say one is better than the other. Each is the best in its industry. McKinsey intake at undergrad level is a little smaller than Goldman FO though.

4/18/07

This is like asking what's a better graduate school, Yale Law School or Harvard Med?

This is a throwaway thread.

In reply to zardari
4/18/07
zardari:

Mckinsey is the biggest brand name anyone can get on his resume. A Mckinsey person gets so much respect anywhere and its the best place to learn and develop yourself for long term success. If somebody is 100% convinced about pursuing a career in banking/finance then Goldman is a better option but otherwise Mckinsey beats Goldman w/o any doubt. I have had experience working with ex Mckinsey and ex goldman analysts and mckinsey guys seem so much smarter, creative and social.
Just my 2 cents. I know this board is biased towards banking so ppl will flame me but if you go out in corporate world or talk to anyone at business school, Mckinsey name is way above Goldman.

"Mckinsey name is way above Goldman"?!?!?!?

Are you freaken serious man? That is completely untrue because the fact of the matter is that most of the guys at GS can get to McKinsey but that cannot be said the other way around. Question is, why would you want to take a 50% pay cut? Without question GS is better, but McKinsey people will argue pussy things like, "I want a better quality of life" aka I cannot cut it at GS.

4/18/07

Hmmm, interesting question. Well, if it were my choice, I'd hands down say McKinsey. A couple of reasons...

If someone is straight out of undergrad and has the opportunity with either/or, I think McKisney would give the broadest experience, best prestige for graduate school and better long-term career potential.

If one were to do the McKinsey route post-undergrad for a few years and then pursue B-School, I think you may be a stronger candidate. Also, just a personal perspective but I believe entry into IB is better as an Associate vs. analyst. You skip a lot of scut level work.

Besides, perhaps some of your work as a consultant for McKinsey may very well expose you to the nature of work and the culture of different I-banks and this internal perspective is a competitive advantage to gauge whether IB is for you post-MBA.

Finally, I'm not sure how statistically true this statement might be, but there may be more executives of Fortune 500 that are McKinsey alumni vs. GS alumni.

In reply to aadpepsi
4/18/07
aadpepsi:

Hmmm, interesting question. Well, if it were my choice, I'd hands down say McKinsey. A couple of reasons...

If someone is straight out of undergrad and has the opportunity with either/or, I think McKisney would give the broadest experience, best prestige for graduate school and better long-term career potential.

If one were to do the McKinsey route post-undergrad for a few years and then pursue B-School, I think you may be a stronger candidate. Also, just a personal perspective but I believe entry into IB is better as an Associate vs. analyst. You skip a lot of scut level work.

Besides, perhaps some of your work as a consultant for McKinsey may very well expose you to the nature of work and the culture of different I-banks and this internal perspective is a competitive advantage to gauge whether IB is for you post-MBA.

Finally, I'm not sure how statistically true this statement might be, but there may be more executives of Fortune 500 that are McKinsey alumni vs. GS alumni.

True but why not make $140k at 22 instead of waiting until you are at least 27 at McKinsey to make that?

4/18/07

The whole quality of life thing is crap. Travelling 5 days a week, sleeping in a different hotel every night. How is that better than banking?

And for the record, I chose a lower ranked BB over Bain Consulting

In reply to goldson
4/18/07
goldson:
aadpepsi:

Hmmm, interesting question. Well, if it were my choice, I'd hands down say McKinsey. A couple of reasons...

If someone is straight out of undergrad and has the opportunity with either/or, I think McKisney would give the broadest experience, best prestige for graduate school and better long-term career potential.

If one were to do the McKinsey route post-undergrad for a few years and then pursue B-School, I think you may be a stronger candidate. Also, just a personal perspective but I believe entry into IB is better as an Associate vs. analyst. You skip a lot of scut level work.

Besides, perhaps some of your work as a consultant for McKinsey may very well expose you to the nature of work and the culture of different I-banks and this internal perspective is a competitive advantage to gauge whether IB is for you post-MBA.

Finally, I'm not sure how statistically true this statement might be, but there may be more executives of Fortune 500 that are McKinsey alumni vs. GS alumni.

True but why not make $140k at 22 instead of waiting until you are at least 27 at McKinsey to make that?

Because you are doing different work. Not every person wants to do banking. Smart business oriented people often want to work with businesses.

Besides, I'm fairly certain McK is a bit more selective in the total number of front-office positions for undergrads.

In reply to aadpepsi
4/18/07
aadpepsi:

Finally, I'm not sure how statistically true this statement might be, but there may be more executives of Fortune 500 that are McKinsey alumni vs. GS alumni.

I dont know the statistics either, but my guess is that this is true.

It boils down to how much you KNOW you want to do finance. Id compare this to majoring in liberal arts vs finance. If you do liberal arts (McK), you can still do finance later (but its harder). If you major in finance, you are a bit more pigeonholed, but it will be easier to reach the upper levels of Finance.

In reply to goldson
4/18/07
goldson:
zardari:

Mckinsey is the biggest brand name anyone can get on his resume. A Mckinsey person gets so much respect anywhere and its the best place to learn and develop yourself for long term success. If somebody is 100% convinced about pursuing a career in banking/finance then Goldman is a better option but otherwise Mckinsey beats Goldman w/o any doubt. I have had experience working with ex Mckinsey and ex goldman analysts and mckinsey guys seem so much smarter, creative and social.
Just my 2 cents. I know this board is biased towards banking so ppl will flame me but if you go out in corporate world or talk to anyone at business school, Mckinsey name is way above Goldman.

"Mckinsey name is way above Goldman"?!?!?!?

Are you freaken serious man? That is completely untrue because the fact of the matter is that most of the guys at GS can get to McKinsey but that cannot be said the other way around. Question is, why would you want to take a 50% pay cut? Without question GS is better, but McKinsey people will argue pussy things like, "I want a better quality of life" aka I cannot cut it at GS.

Actually, McKinsey, believe it or not, is way more selective than GS and going from McKinsey to GS is much easier than the other way around. This is just one example, but consider the fact that GS hires a wide range of GPA's while McK wont even look at you without a 3.7+.

Also, money at this age is all relative, esp if you get Bschool paid for you and I do believe most of the people I know from McK could def "cut it" at GS.

4/18/07

Consulting is for pussies.

In reply to goldson
4/18/07
goldson:

True but why not make $140k at 22 instead of waiting until you are at least 27 at McKinsey to make that?

Well, here's the notion nobody seems to get on this forum... contrary to popular belief, 2 years in IB as an analyst does not a lifetime career make. Everyone seems to think that they can put their 2 years in and that every step after that is going to be on a red carpet.

Whereas at least 2-3 years at McKinsey and that DOES give you plenty more options. At least I think so. It's also about reputation and how you're perceived. If you work at Goldman at such a young age, sure that's impressive. But if your first ever job is with McKinsey, that's MORE impressive.

Now why do you care what you make at 22? I've said this before but I'll say it again, careers are determined 10 years out. Net worth is not going to be determined from 22-24.

4/18/07

aadpepsi - I expect most gs first years would hope to be set up for life 10-14 years into their careers. Many would no doubt like to be retired by that age - or at least doing something a hell of a lot less stressful, something which gives them a bit more family time.

With McKinsey BA you tend to be committed to 5+ years of 'low' earnings before you can start to cash in. That means that it will take a lot longer to build up your bank balance.

4/18/07

McKinsey BA is not more or less impressive than an analyst at GS IBD. And coming out of GS IBD you have opportunities in the corporate world, in addition to PE HF etc. And coming out of McKinsey BA you have opportunities to work in PE as well, so do whatever interests you. I for one know people that would be bored by consulting and people that would be bored by banking

In reply to tallon123
4/18/07
tallon123:

aadpepsi - I expect most gs first years would hope to be set up for life 10-14 years into their careers. Many would no doubt like to be retired by that age -

Optimism... vs. my healthy dose of cynicism.

4/18/07

If you're interested in finance (IBD, PE, HF) or nothing other than making money, do GS; if you're interested in anything else or getting in to HBS after putting in only two years, go with McKinsey. Can't just declare one better than the other.

Will say that GS is much more selective, contrary to what some people are saying, however. GS sees over 100,000 applications for analyst positions and only hires about 130 of those. Though this could just be due to the GS name, which as the OP said is more well known than McK among your average group of college students, and thus the quality of the overall applicant pool may be lower. Still, I have a few friends who have made the leap from average BBs to M/B/B, but none who were able to make the leap from consulting to GS or MS.

In reply to tallon123
4/18/07
tallon123:

aadpepsi - I expect most gs first years would hope to be set up for life 10-14 years into their careers. Many would no doubt like to be retired by that age - or at least doing something a hell of a lot less stressful, something which gives them a bit more family time.

With McKinsey BA you tend to be committed to 5+ years of 'low' earnings before you can start to cash in. That means that it will take a lot longer to build up your bank balance.

nychimp:

there are about 5,000 threads on compensation and work hours...i was just pointing you to one that asked the same question you did: "is it worth it?"

clearly, that depends. If you want to know what I have made:

1st Year ibanking (2002): $55k base, $28k bonus
2nd Year ibanking (2003): $55k base, $65k bonus
1st Year PE: $70k base, no bonus (switched firms)
2nd Year PE: $80k base, $75k bonus
3rd Year PE: $80k base, ? bonus

...but compensation depends on a lot of factors (firm, location, year, etc). For example, in 2002, a $28k bonus was considered decent (after 9/11), whereas if someone received that in 2006 it would probably be the lowest on the street.

plenty of info. on here, just use the Search funtion. thanks.

Ten years might be a bit too optimistic...

4/18/07

1. nychimp started out during a pretty rough time
2. pe comp is much higher today
3. goldman bankers who leave tend to have a decent shot at the multi billion pe funds

to be honest when i was thinking 10 years i was thinking more of markets

4/18/07

Sweet name

"Todd paused and collected himself. aEUoeYeah, I mean, I just really wanted to be closer to the deals, you know. Get more exposure.aEU

aEUoeYes, of course. Very understandable,aEU replied Prescott, feigning belief and interest. He told himself he was above mocking his feeble conversation partner, but he could not resist. aEUoeSo, done any big mergers lately? I hear JoeaEU(tm)s Deli bought a liquor store in The Bronx.aEU Prescott snickered. "

4/18/07

You really can't say which one is BETTER because you are comparing two different career paths. If you're into banking, you can't beat GS. If you're into consulting, you can't beat McKinsey. However, certain things are facts: McKinsey (and other top consulting firms in general) takes fewer undergrads than Goldman does so you can say it's more selective. In general, I would say getting offers out of college from m/b/b/b are tougher than getting BBs offers.

And by the way, Goldman does not have "fantastic pay" relative to other BBs. I heard they actually pay below the Street.

4/18/07

I was just pointing out that comp isn't always going to be as high as it is today, especially if the economy slows down in the next couple years.

4/18/07

The McKinsey website (biased, naturally, but still...) provides an interesting account of consulting vs. i-banking and their respective merits.

To be very profound ... I think anyone considering between the two needs to really take a hard look at what the differences are and what they truly want. Ok, not very profound but seriously, search down deep and figure it out.

If your main purpose in life is to make more money then 99% of your classmates while you are 22-25, then you have a very simple decision.

If your main goal is to become an expert at financial modeling b/c you love finance and are beyond certain that you will do it your entire life or if you just really like it and want to give it your best shot regardless, then your decision is made.

There is no question, Goldman is for you.

If you want something broad, something where every day/week/project/study etc is different and you want to explore different things (though you do get the same hotel bed 3 nights a week), different businesses/roles/industries etc. and you are passionate about forming well-rounded business attributes & skills that you can hone later in life, then goldman isn't a bad option, but McKinsey is a better one. It would take far too long to list what you will encounter at McKinsey.

Also, quality of life is not nec. better, but different. In banking you'll be in your own bed every night, but in the office much, much more. In consulting you are traveling all the time, at least 9 out of every 10 weeks and the novelty wears off. You are also ALWAYS on call, similar to banking, but it is less strict.

Personally, I am biased toward McKinsey, but IMHO the reasons one ought/should choose Goldman are more concrete and clear-cut.

If you are able to get a job at Goldman or McKinsey, with some elbow grease in <10 years (an ancient 33?) you can most definitely be in the same place, doing the same thing, having attended the same b-school, etc.

Also, "laymen's prestige" will only take you so far. All you should worry about is this:

do the people that you "want to know" know what it is?

Don't be a diva. This reminds me of an earlier post about small liberal arts colleges that are completely neglected on this site despite being as selective as ivy's and more selective than any big state school. Having gone to one, I know that the people that I 'want to know', know what it is, even if some dude at the bar doesnt.

On a sidenote: the 'ole boy's club factor, while not pervasive, is certainly still a reality in all of banking, which is why sons, neighbors, and friends with 3.2 and below can get a job there. McKinsey follows a bit of a different philosophy and also takes a smaller class.

Be honest with yourself.

4/18/07

I would say Booz is no where near the other three

4/18/07

Thought I might add, my impression of banking v consulting is that banking is a more defined skill set, while consulting is more versatile and ambiguous.

You can't really quite say who is smarter, a typical GS analyst or a typical McK BA, but if both were assigned a completely random task, i.e. run a project, solve a problem, etc, 8 times out of 10 the McK guy is gonna do better at it because of the wider and more diverse skill set developed in consulting.

In reply to buysideguy
4/18/07
ibanalyst:

Actually, McKinsey, believe it or not, is way more selective than GS and going from McKinsey to GS is much easier than the other way around. This is just one example, but consider the fact that GS hires a wide range of GPA's while McK wont even look at you without a 3.7+.

Also, money at this age is all relative, esp if you get Bschool paid for you and I do believe most of the people I know from McK could def "cut it" at GS.

This is not true. I got an interview at McK without a 3.7. I didn't go because I had already taken an offer at a non-BB investment bank. Consulting isn't for everyone.

In reply to freeloader
4/18/07
xistguru:

8 times out of 10 the McK guy is gonna do better at it because of the wider and more diverse skill set developed in consulting.

I actually agree with this. The frameworks that McKinsey consultants learn/use, the way they approach issues and work thru them - this is going to be much more valuable long-term in any career vs. financial modeling skills at an IB. Modeling skills can be spoon fed, soft skills cannot.

Ofcourse, this is not to say that one wouldn't learn to think strategically etc. working for GS...

Also, the likelihood is that as a young consultant at McKinsey you are perhaps more likely to enter into some discussions and deeper level discussions with C-level management that you probably wouldn't get as an anlyst.

As an IB analyst are you really making an impact? Is it really a value added job? Can you honestly say the contribution you make creating a pitch book and modeling had a strategic impact on a company, an industry? Just more stuff to think about...

I admit I am biased toward McKinsey. This and the fact that I'm not so enamored with GS like everyone else seems to be. As someone posted a while back ago... along the lines... "why do you guys whack off to GS?"

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4/18/07

It's really funny that to some people on here if you so much as imply that GS is not the greatest job anyone could ever have it's like you just called their mother the whore of Babylon.

4/18/07

Right :-)

And Earth doesn't rotate on its axis because GS exists!

There are SO many fabulous places to work...

4/18/07

i think lots of the posts really dwell on the airy fairy reputation/prestige/money. but at the end of the day it comes down to the job itself as well. if you like fin mkts/structuring deals/valuations etc ib is more like it, whereas consulting is more prob solving diff companies on the operations side, rather than the financing side.

but if you are indifferent then perhaps hte more $ the merrier and voila ~ Goldman..

work hours are long for both, although obviously much more so in ib, so i think one really should actually enjoy the work itself as the priority.

In reply to aadpepsi
4/18/07
aadpepsi:
goldson:

True but why not make $140k at 22 instead of waiting until you are at least 27 at McKinsey to make that?

Well, here's the notion nobody seems to get on this forum... contrary to popular belief, 2 years in IB as an analyst does not a lifetime career make. Everyone seems to think that they can put their 2 years in and that every step after that is going to be on a red carpet.

Whereas at least 2-3 years at McKinsey and that DOES give you plenty more options. At least I think so. It's also about reputation and how you're perceived. If you work at Goldman at such a young age, sure that's impressive. But if your first ever job is with McKinsey, that's MORE impressive.

Now why do you care what you make at 22? I've said this before but I'll say it again, careers are determined 10 years out. Net worth is not going to be determined from 22-24.

Are you sure about that? 2 years of i-banking at goldman does not allow you to do whatever you want? Does 2 years at McKinsey get you a job at Blackstone? Nope, but it can at GS. Can 2 years at McKinsey get you into top hedge funds, nope but at GS yes. Can 2 years of i-banking stop you from taking a management position at some Fortune 500 company, nope you still can. So what does McKinsey give you that GS doesn't...... and the answer is, MONEY! mckinsey gives you less money, and thats it

In reply to goldson
4/18/07
goldson:
aadpepsi:
goldson:

True but why not make $140k at 22 instead of waiting until you are at least 27 at McKinsey to make that?

Well, here's the notion nobody seems to get on this forum... contrary to popular belief, 2 years in IB as an analyst does not a lifetime career make. Everyone seems to think that they can put their 2 years in and that every step after that is going to be on a red carpet.

Whereas at least 2-3 years at McKinsey and that DOES give you plenty more options. At least I think so. It's also about reputation and how you're perceived. If you work at Goldman at such a young age, sure that's impressive. But if your first ever job is with McKinsey, that's MORE impressive.

Now why do you care what you make at 22? I've said this before but I'll say it again, careers are determined 10 years out. Net worth is not going to be determined from 22-24.

Are you sure about that? 2 years of i-banking at goldman does not allow you to do whatever you want? Does 2 years at McKinsey get you a job at Blackstone? Nope, but it can at GS. Can 2 years at McKinsey get you into top hedge funds, nope but at GS yes. Can 2 years of i-banking stop you from taking a management position at some Fortune 500 company, nope you still can. So what does McKinsey give you that GS doesn't...... and the answer is, MONEY! mckinsey gives you less money, and thats it

You are clearly not well acquainted with McKinsey. The firm places people at Bain Capital, Blackstone, KKR and other top PE shops regularly. I am sure all those companies are clients too.

If you want, you can go to a hedge fund anytime. Chelsea Clinton went to a hedge fund after 3 years at McK.

Oh and try getting a position in operations or strategy or any management-level job in a company after 2 years of GS and see how they laugh in your face. McK people enter in high-level management positions ALL THE TIME.

How many CEOs were ex-Goldman employees? Compare that to
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_McKinsey_%26_...

McKinsey constitutes more than 10% of the incoming class at HBS.

4/18/07

This whole thread is stupid, its more about consulting vs. ibanking than it is about McKinsey vs. Goldman.

Both McKinsey and Goldman are great places to start your career and where you go from there is entirely dependent on your capabilities. Neither opens doors that aren't available to the other. If you are smart and qualified, you'll do fine with having either on your resume.

In reply to consultant16180
4/18/07
consultant16180:
goldson:
aadpepsi:
goldson:

True but why not make $140k at 22 instead of waiting until you are at least 27 at McKinsey to make that?

Well, here's the notion nobody seems to get on this forum... contrary to popular belief, 2 years in IB as an analyst does not a lifetime career make. Everyone seems to think that they can put their 2 years in and that every step after that is going to be on a red carpet.

Whereas at least 2-3 years at McKinsey and that DOES give you plenty more options. At least I think so. It's also about reputation and how you're perceived. If you work at Goldman at such a young age, sure that's impressive. But if your first ever job is with McKinsey, that's MORE impressive.

Now why do you care what you make at 22? I've said this before but I'll say it again, careers are determined 10 years out. Net worth is not going to be determined from 22-24.

Are you sure about that? 2 years of i-banking at goldman does not allow you to do whatever you want? Does 2 years at McKinsey get you a job at Blackstone? Nope, but it can at GS. Can 2 years at McKinsey get you into top hedge funds, nope but at GS yes. Can 2 years of i-banking stop you from taking a management position at some Fortune 500 company, nope you still can. So what does McKinsey give you that GS doesn't...... and the answer is, MONEY! mckinsey gives you less money, and thats it

You are clearly not well acquainted with McKinsey. The firm places people at Bain Capital, Blackstone, KKR and other top PE shops regularly. I am sure all those companies are clients too.

If you want, you can go to a hedge fund anytime. Chelsea Clinton went to a hedge fund after 3 years at McK.

Oh and try getting a position in operations or strategy or any management-level job in a company after 2 years of GS and see how they laugh in your face. McK people enter in high-level management positions ALL THE TIME.

How many CEOs were ex-Goldman employees? Compare that to
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_McKinsey_%26_...

McKinsey constitutes more than 10% of the incoming class at HBS.

You dumbass how can you use Chelsea Clinton as an example? Don't you think the fact that her dad is one of the most famous people in the world has anything to do with it dipshit?

4/18/07

I don't understand what people are arguing about here. I think Wizard hit the nail on the head with his comments.

If you want to end up in finance long-term, Goldman gives you better opportunities. If you want to end up in management, go with McKinsey.

Both give you opportunities to make a lot of money down the line (though GS might start you off at a higher salary/bonus and have higher potential). What's the problem here? To say that one is clearly better than the other is quite idiotic.

No matter what you try to do afterwards, if you are an alum of GS or McK, no one is going to slam the door in your face, although usual exit opportunities are different for the two firms.

In reply to goldson
4/18/07
goldson:
consultant16180:
goldson:
aadpepsi:
goldson:

True but why not make $140k at 22 instead of waiting until you are at least 27 at McKinsey to make that?

Well, here's the notion nobody seems to get on this forum... contrary to popular belief, 2 years in IB as an analyst does not a lifetime career make. Everyone seems to think that they can put their 2 years in and that every step after that is going to be on a red carpet.

Whereas at least 2-3 years at McKinsey and that DOES give you plenty more options. At least I think so. It's also about reputation and how you're perceived. If you work at Goldman at such a young age, sure that's impressive. But if your first ever job is with McKinsey, that's MORE impressive.

Now why do you care what you make at 22? I've said this before but I'll say it again, careers are determined 10 years out. Net worth is not going to be determined from 22-24.

Are you sure about that? 2 years of i-banking at goldman does not allow you to do whatever you want? Does 2 years at McKinsey get you a job at Blackstone? Nope, but it can at GS. Can 2 years at McKinsey get you into top hedge funds, nope but at GS yes. Can 2 years of i-banking stop you from taking a management position at some Fortune 500 company, nope you still can. So what does McKinsey give you that GS doesn't...... and the answer is, MONEY! mckinsey gives you less money, and thats it

You are clearly not well acquainted with McKinsey. The firm places people at Bain Capital, Blackstone, KKR and other top PE shops regularly. I am sure all those companies are clients too.

If you want, you can go to a hedge fund anytime. Chelsea Clinton went to a hedge fund after 3 years at McK.

Oh and try getting a position in operations or strategy or any management-level job in a company after 2 years of GS and see how they laugh in your face. McK people enter in high-level management positions ALL THE TIME.

How many CEOs were ex-Goldman employees? Compare that to
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_McKinsey_%26_...

McKinsey constitutes more than 10% of the incoming class at HBS.

You dumbass how can you use Chelsea Clinton as an example? Don't you think the fact that her dad is one of the most famous people in the world has anything to do with it dipshit?

Learn to calm down. I used her because she's a widely known McK alum. I personally know of people who've made the switch into HFs.

4/18/07

If you are more into finance/excel -> GS hands down

If you are more into strategy/powerpoint -> McK hands down

4/18/07

I don't understand this thread. Both GS and McKinsey are very prestigious companies that open many doors for their employees.

I will say this.....

I know of the former worldwide Managing Director at McKinsey. While not knowing the family personally, they live in the area and their children go to the same school another family member of mine went to.

They live in a multimillion dollar waterfront mansion and have an affluent lifestyle ( kind of obvious thinking about the position of worldwide Managing Director)

Is it the same extravagance as Lloyd Blankfein or top Goldman traders? No....(this should settle the monetary differences)

However, with McKinsey you get the same recognition and a more rounded skill set that Fortune 500 companies tend to hold in higher value.

Don't get me wrong finance is valued at PE shops, Hedge Funds and Venture Capital firms, but consulting builds a different set of skills that are more valued by Fortune 500 companies for Corporate Officer positions.

I know that he was appointed to the Board of Directors at Goldman Sachs after serving as Worldwide Managing Director of McKinsey.

It is safe to say that Goldman recognizes the prestige of McKinsey and respects the work that McKinsey does. Hence a former worldwide Managing Director is a Board Member at Goldman.

4/18/07

The ex-CEOs of Sara Lee (the cheesecake company) and All-State (the car insurance company) are also on the board of directors at Goldman. Does that mean GS respects the entry-level work of a cook or insurance salesman? Consulting is for kids who didn't get into banking, period.

4/19/07

No, but it does mean they respect the knowledge of the CEOs and the companies themselves.

Free cheesecake for all Goldman employees courtesy of Sara Lee and no car insurance needed for their Ferraris thanks to All State.

4/19/07

Someone give me an argument that explains how consulting isn't a bunch of useless fluff. Strategy classes = buzzwords and meaningless frameworks.

It doesn't make sense that consultants dont even specialize in the industry, yet claim to be able to help out the businesses who do.

In reply to mika
4/19/07
mika:

Someone give me an argument that explains how consulting isn't a bunch of useless fluff. Strategy classes = buzzwords and meaningless frameworks.

It doesn't make sense that consultants dont even specialize in the industry, yet claim to be able to help out the businesses who do.

Exactly. People who are willing to work hard and can work under high pressure, prefer finance and i-banking. People who want a more less challenging safer option go to places like McKinsey.

In reply to goldson
4/19/07
goldson:
mika:

Someone give me an argument that explains how consulting isn't a bunch of useless fluff. Strategy classes = buzzwords and meaningless frameworks.

It doesn't make sense that consultants dont even specialize in the industry, yet claim to be able to help out the businesses who do.

Exactly. People who are willing to work hard and can work under high pressure, prefer finance and i-banking. People who want a more less challenging safer option go to places like McKinsey.

People who are risk-averse and don't mind doing the same tasks over and over go into banking. People who are willing to take risks, work in ambigious situations, and tackle a variety of issues go into consulting.

4/19/07

Goldman would actually be the "safer" option, at least from a financial perspective (but I would argue also from a career development perspective, because of the "hard" vs "soft" skills)

4/19/07

Plenty of people turn down banking jobs (yes, even Goldman and MS) for consulting. I doubt there is anyone at MBB who could not have done banking if they had wanted to. But I think that somewhere in the mid-range BBs you will find a lot of people who wish they had gone into consulting.

In reply to freeloader
4/19/07
xistguru:
goldson:
mika:

Someone give me an argument that explains how consulting isn't a bunch of useless fluff. Strategy classes = buzzwords and meaningless frameworks.

It doesn't make sense that consultants dont even specialize in the industry, yet claim to be able to help out the businesses who do.

Exactly. People who are willing to work hard and can work under high pressure, prefer finance and i-banking. People who want a more less challenging safer option go to places like McKinsey.

People who are risk-averse and don't mind doing the same tasks over and over go into banking. People who are willing to take risks, work in ambigious situations, and tackle a variety of issues go into consulting.

More like if you are 40 and got kids at home and just want to make sure there is food on the table go to places like McKinsey where you know that you have a decent life and a good job and feel like some of your work is interesting. But if you want to never know what is going to be expected day to day, you never know how much you are going to be pushed to your limits everyday, and a place where there is no peak as the sky is the limit, go into i-banking. You always hear consultants talk bad thinks about i-bankers, whereas i-bankers never say a damn thing about consultants because they know how easy and unstressful the jobs at McKinsey are.

4/19/07

Bankers talk shit about consultants all the time... you are delusional or you do not work in banking.

In reply to freeloader
4/19/07
xistguru:

People who are risk-averse and don't mind doing the same tasks over and over go into banking. People who are willing to take risks, work in ambigious situations, and tackle a variety of issues go into consulting.

Actually, people in the latter group would go into trading. There's nothing "risky" about a consulting job.

In reply to goldson
4/19/07
goldson:
xistguru:
goldson:
mika:

Someone give me an argument that explains how consulting isn't a bunch of useless fluff. Strategy classes = buzzwords and meaningless frameworks.

It doesn't make sense that consultants dont even specialize in the industry, yet claim to be able to help out the businesses who do.

Exactly. People who are willing to work hard and can work under high pressure, prefer finance and i-banking. People who want a more less challenging safer option go to places like McKinsey.

People who are risk-averse and don't mind doing the same tasks over and over go into banking. People who are willing to take risks, work in ambigious situations, and tackle a variety of issues go into consulting.

More like if you are 40 and got kids at home and just want to make sure there is food on the table go to places like McKinsey where you know that you have a decent life and a good job and feel like some of your work is interesting. But if you want to never know what is going to be expected day to day, you never know how much you are going to be pushed to your limits everyday, and a place where there is no peak as the sky is the limit, go into i-banking. You always hear consultants talk bad thinks about i-bankers, whereas i-bankers never say a damn thing about consultants because they know how easy and unstressful the jobs at McKinsey are.

Kid, you really need to get your head out of your ass. "Pushed to your limits everyday"? "No peak as the sky is the limit"? You're talking banking, not the army...

In reply to StreetLuck
4/19/07
StreetLuck:
xistguru:

People who are risk-averse and don't mind doing the same tasks over and over go into banking. People who are willing to take risks, work in ambigious situations, and tackle a variety of issues go into consulting.

Actually, people in the latter group would go into trading. There's nothing "risky" about a consulting job.

Yes Consulting is very risky, you never know if your going to make the top bucket to get that stellar 15k end of year bonus as opposed to the bottom bucket bonus of 5k!

In reply to StreetLuck
4/19/07
StreetLuck:
xistguru:

People who are risk-averse and don't mind doing the same tasks over and over go into banking. People who are willing to take risks, work in ambigious situations, and tackle a variety of issues go into consulting.

Actually, people in the latter group would go into trading. There's nothing "risky" about a consulting job.

Granted the really risk-tolerant type would go into trading, but taken together risk-profile+working in ambigious situations+variety of issues = consulting role.

In reply to goldson
4/19/07
goldson:
StreetLuck:
xistguru:

People who are risk-averse and don't mind doing the same tasks over and over go into banking. People who are willing to take risks, work in ambigious situations, and tackle a variety of issues go into consulting.

Actually, people in the latter group would go into trading. There's nothing "risky" about a consulting job.

Yes Consulting is very risky, you never know if your going to make the top bucket to get that stellar 15k end of year bonus as opposed to the bottom bucket bonus of 5k!

Not talking about risk in terms of getting a bonus here bud. Talking about taking risk in terms of willing to risk failure in a project. I.e. you really can't screw up building a model or doing comps, you can really screw up if you recommend the wrong strategy or identify the wrong market trends.

4/19/07

I can't believe you're asking this question. They're both great firms and you probably won't go wrong with either.

"We are lawyers! We sue people! Occasionally, we get aggressive and garnish wages, but WE DO NOT ABDUCT!" -Boston Legal-

4/19/07
In reply to goldson
4/19/07
xistguru:
goldson:
StreetLuck:
xistguru:

People who are risk-averse and don't mind doing the same tasks over and over go into banking. People who are willing to take risks, work in ambigious situations, and tackle a variety of issues go into consulting.

Actually, people in the latter group would go into trading. There's nothing "risky" about a consulting job.

Yes Consulting is very risky, you never know if your going to make the top bucket to get that stellar 15k end of year bonus as opposed to the bottom bucket bonus of 5k!

Not talking about risk in terms of getting a bonus here bud. Talking about taking risk in terms of willing to risk failure in a project. I.e. you really can't screw up building a model or doing comps, you can really screw up if you recommend the wrong strategy or identify the wrong market trends.

If you can't screw up doing a model or comps why do tons of bankers always get "attention to detail" as an area of improvement on their reviews. screwing up a valuation in an M&A or levfin deal is much worse than screwing up the # of people at Citi to fire (Mercer Oliver Wyman engagement)

4/19/07

McKinsey, hands down.

Let's presume that you are completely indifferent to both opportunities. Pay doesn't matter. Prestige doesn't matter. Etc.

There is something to be said about being able to get into McKinsey as a BA. Ask most down to earth Associates and they will tell you that without a doubt that the BA's are the smartest guys at the firm. The bar is very, very high at the BA level (relative to the Associate level).

On the other hand, ask most GS Associates about their Analysts, and they may or may not tell you if they are smart, but they will tell you that they take a big fat shit on those guys on a regular basis. It doesn't matter if you are the smartest guy in the room. Its banking, its Goldman. You are somebody's bitch, and you know that every day you get into work.

That being said, I don't think you can go wrong either way. FYI- There have been cases of McK guys going to a BB after their analyst stint.

- from a banker

4/19/07

Management consultances only have a good rep with investment banks and governments. Otherwise they are modern day witch doctors.

In reply to runtothehills
4/19/07
runtothehills:

Management consultances only have a good rep with investment banks and governments. Otherwise they are modern day witch doctors.

What the hell does this mean?

4/19/07

runtothehills,

Are you an Iron maiden fan?

4/19/07

I don't know where people get this. I got the McK offer and i dont have a 3.7. I was debating this same issue...couldnt decide between McK vs BB (not GS).

in the end i didn't know exactly what i wanted to do in life but wanted to learn as much as possible and develop some tangible skills in my first couple of work years. I didn't like the idea of consulting a big time CEO without any experience/knowledge...so i turned down McK with a heavy heart.

What do you guys think about 2/3 years of BB and then 2/3 years of consulting then Bschool?

livin large in miami

In reply to glee
4/19/07
glee:

I don't know where people get this. I got the McK offer and i dont have a 3.7. I was debating this same issue...couldnt decide between McK vs BB (not GS).

in the end i didn't know exactly what i wanted to do in life but wanted to learn as much as possible and develop some tangible skills in my first couple of work years. I didn't like the idea of consulting a big time CEO without any experience/knowledge...so i turned down McK with a heavy heart.

What do you guys think about 2/3 years of BB and then 2/3 years of consulting then Bschool?

you are wasting your time. after 2-3 years of BB figure out what you want to do with your life

4/19/07

Honestly, your reason for turning down McK was pretty stupid.

4/19/07

A few things-

1) As a McKinsey BA, you will not always be interfacing with the CEO of F500 firms. McKinsey does a LOT more operations and IT work than it would care to admit to; this is coming from friends of mine in McKinsey and my McKinsey interviewer. Nowadays no matter what entry-level position you take (GS Analyst, McK BA, Blackstone analyst, whatever) you are going to be shitted on by someone and there will be many times you will hate your job. That is inevitable; the picture of GS analysts being stuck in some room doing comps and a McKinsey BA sitting in Ford's boardroom talking with the board of directors is completely false.

2) There are more F500 CEOs who are from McKinsey than GS. Period. In industry, McKinsey is a trade school for CEOs (with Bain a distant second). A McKinsey EM's exit opps are usually around a senior VP at a F500 firm. A senior partner can usually hit the C-level. If for some reason you want to do HF/PE/VC, for HF and PE you will be better of going to GS but it is still VERY possible if you show some financial "aptitude" at McK (pursue appropriate projects, finance at B-school, etc). For VC the operational knowledge at McK is miles beyond any financial knowledge you may gain at GS. Let's be honest, you can learn basic accounting and finance over a weekend but the operational experience isn't something you can bullshit.

3) For B-school admissions, McK BA is MUCH better than GS analyst. The reason is that fairly or unfairly, McK BAs (and consultants in general) are seen as having much better soft skills (teamwork, leadership etc.) than analysts who model for 18 hours a day.

4) You only get your MBA paid for by McKinsey if you come back.

I would say that McK BA > GS analyst because of this. In consulting, post-undergrads are treated a lot better than in i-banking whereas in i-banking the associates are treated a lot better b/c they are being groomed as potential future partners. If you go McK BA -> HBS -> GS associate, that is a lot better in my mind that doing GS analyst-> associate b/c u get the broader experience and view from McKinsey, you have something to fall back on if shit gets rough and you skip all the analyst bullshit in GS. Those things are worth the 2 years it takes to go to b-school; besides everyone I've talked to always talks about how much they enjoyed business school.

In reply to ideating
4/19/07
boozer:

2) There are more F500 CEOs who are from McKinsey than GS. Period.

This argument is frequently brought up as a "plus" for McKinsey, but if you ask any GS analyst what his/her ideal career path is, I guarantee that very few would say "CEO of a F500 company". GS analysts are much more likely to want to go into the buyside, or continue within banking. McKinsey BAs on the other hand, probably look at being an F500 CEO as the holy grail that everyone aspires to. Therefore, it doesn't make sense to compare the number of F500 CEOs from Goldman vs. McKinsey.

I'm sure many would also agree that it would be unfair to compare the number of top PE/HF partners from GS as opposed to McKinsey.

Also, in regards to McK BA => HBS => GS Associate, a couple of things:

1) As I mentioned above, a large portion of GS analysts do not want to continue on in banking (I'd say >70%). If they wanted to, the opportunity is definitely available to them, as GS has recently been encouraging analyst promotes (skipping b-school).

2) If one was to make the comparison of the easiest route to GS associate, the answer -- hands down -- would be as a GS analyst. Even if you were a McK BA, getting into HBS is not a guarantee. Heck, even after you get into HBS, you're still going to be facing a tremendous amount of competition, as a lot of people are going to be gunning for those GS spots. Life doesn't always work out like you have planned, so why put two obstacles in your path you have to cross (getting into HBS, and getting into GS after) when you can go straight in?

Anyway, to sum it up, if your goal is to work in banking, PE/HF, or the finance world in general, GS analysts have the most opportunities. While "getting a different viewpoint" and all that might be nice, it is a roundabout way of getting to your goal that may or may not work. Similarly, if your goal is top management at an F500, McK would open up the most doors.

4/19/07

Why is this even being debated? Both are extremely hard to get offers at. How about everyone actually get a job at EITHER of the aforementioned firms and then come back and discuss it. This is retarded.

4/19/07

As I said Consultants = witch doctors.

I've never heard of or seen a "real" company use these guys to do something great. You americans are so into your terms!

Obviously some really good guys go into consulting, but consulting is for slow movers, bureaucracy loving types.

Companies get htem in say "We want to do this, what do you think???"

They will eventually wait until the consultant agrees with them that way they have the backing of a "strategy consultant"

Theroy vs Practice argument really.

As for witch doctor comment, its whats we call them.

Olden times you would go see a witch doctor for advice. They would make you lick a rock to get better. You did it because the witch doctor told you so. Same principle

4/19/07

It's definitely a personal preference, none is better than the other. An associate in my group is ex-McK, and he says he liked the people better at McK but the work better in banking.

In reply to StreetLuck
4/20/07
StreetLuck:
boozer:

2) There are more F500 CEOs who are from McKinsey than GS. Period.

This argument is frequently brought up as a "plus" for McKinsey, but if you ask any GS analyst what his/her ideal career path is, I guarantee that very few would say "CEO of a F500 company". GS analysts are much more likely to want to go into the buyside, or continue within banking. McKinsey BAs on the other hand, probably look at being an F500 CEO as the holy grail that everyone aspires to.

I completely agree with you, however someone earlier tried to claim that there was no way there were more McK F500 CEOs than GS.

In reply to runtothehills
4/20/07

Haha wow... You CLEARLY have no idea what you are talking about. I work for a top-tier consulting firm (not McKinsey) and I can tell you that you are wrong. As this is an annonymous message board, I hope you will realized I really don't have anything to gain professionally by "pushing" consulting.

Anyway truthfully, yes- a LOT of the work we do is complete bullshit. A lot of consulting is repackaging information and giving it back to the client or concurring with whatever decision has already been made. However there are a lot of engagements where the consulting firm adds significant value.

You say you have never heard or seen a "real" company use consultants? Ever heard of IBM, GE, Ford, Apple, Wal-mart, Kmart, GM, Motorolla, AT&T, or Pfizer? Since this is a finance board, how about Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Citi, UBS, Merrill Lynch, JP Morgan, Credit Suisse? I hope you get the point.

Some examples of actual constructive work? Citi just hired MOW to help trim their workforce. Yes, not the most PR friendly assignment, but something that needs to be done and something obviously Citi feels it cannot do alone. Wal-mart uses consultants EXTENSIVELY to maintain their supply-chain advantage; you think they come up with every single thing in house? Carlos Ghosn extensively used consultants to fix up Nissan and turn it around within 3 years. Want me to continue?

This is not so much for runtothehills but for other prospective job-seekers out there trying to decide between consulting and i-banking. I for one am planning on switching to finance so don't think I'm some rah-rah consultant. However don't listen to people who say that management consulting is a complete crock of shit; it's only about half a crock.

4/20/07

Someone once told me that the money these companies spend on consultants could be used to try their 'theories' instead and fail, but at least they would have tried something and actually taken action.

However, this doesnt happen because of the CYA mentality of most firms, which is why consultants popped up in the first place.

I thought it was an interesting theory lol.

In reply to ideating
4/20/07
boozer:

You say you have never heard or seen a "real" company use consultants? Ever heard of IBM, GE, Ford, Apple, Wal-mart, Kmart, GM, Motorolla, AT&T, or Pfizer? Since this is a finance board, how about Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Citi, UBS, Merrill Lynch, JP Morgan, Credit Suisse? I hope you get the point.

I'm not sure you want to use Ford/GM/Kmart as examples.

McKinsey also advised Enron (Skilling was a former McKPartner, and most top-level management was made up of former McK employees), Worldcom, and like every single airline that is now bankrupt.

And with regards to AT&T, didn't McKinsey famously give them advice that cell phones were going to be a niche market?

4/20/07

prescott: all those companies also used advisers from BB banks - whats your point?

In reply to Prescott Moncrief III
4/20/07

That is part of my point; consulting is a mixed bag. Some engagements are fantastic, leading to truly great ideas and results. Others are disastrous; for example in the 70s Booz Allen advised some gas station chain (I think Shell) to not sell food and drinks so as not to anger other vendors.

My point is good or bad results, the fees are the same. But to say that consultants NEVER do any good is misguided.

4/20/07

His point is that banks' advice was regarding them buying new companies. Not HOW to run their failed companies. Consultants help you run a company and if it fails then it is the staregists' fault

5/2/08

it's interesting that this is the #2 hit on google after searching McKinsey B.A.; quite an interesting thread

In reply to Salam Shpekov
8/6/08
Salam Shpekov:

His point is that banks' advice was regarding them buying new companies. Not HOW to run their failed companies. Consultants help you run a company and if it fails then it is the staregists' fault

So you're telling me that the banks' advice is less "witch doctor" like than consulting? I don't buy that. Your pitch books can make any company you want look like ann appropriate buy with the right assumptions in place.

Warren Buffett doesn't like consulting or ibankers. He doesn't look at pitch books....ever. Does that make one more viable than the other. Bankin helps companies "deworsify" and consulting tries to cut costs and right a corporation (sometimes by getting rid of the companies they bought at an inflated price....).

If we're going to be cynical, neither company may care much about how the companies do. You're getting paid to get a deal done. The consultants would seem to be more in the company's corner than an ibank. Ibanks don't care if the new shares interest seriously dilutes shareholder value or whether a company take over is really a good idea. They get paid if the company uses the bank to make the transaction. period. I don't think anyone should be hinting that ibanks "help" make companies better.

8/6/08

Total Geeks. There is more to life than this B.S.

8/6/08

Quite irrelevant to the discussion here, but does a trader have the same exit opps as a banker, i.e. 2 years analyst then HBS or HF/PE etc.? On another note, would McK necessarily beat GS for HBS as implied by this thread? I ask this because I was originally planning BB Analyst trader 2 years -> HBS -> PE/HF.

8/6/08
8/6/08

Both are sweet jobs, neither are that cool...the undergrad who gets hired by a boutique PE/HF shop straight out of undergrad, and executes on that offer, can probably make 200 G's by the time the time they are 2nd year out. I've met a 4th year out of Ugrad (through my role working for a PE client) that raked in half a million a year, and started at a boutique PE shop in Miami. 4th year's at Goldman likely make around 250-300K, at McKinsey around 150-175K.

Seriously...there is so much out there...limiting a discussion to just McKinsey and Goldman is just dumb...but yeah both are great places

8/6/08

who cares which one is better!

3/31/11

the CEO's thing is true... but what about if you change your criteria from "people who become CEOs" to"people who make more than 100mm in their careers".... i'd venture to guess that GS analysts have hundreds or thousands of people who make the BIG bucks (as loosely defined by 100m plus).... even the partners at GS make a shit-ton of money, let alone guys who started at GS and moved into PE or HF to form their own firm or join another already baller firm.

I agree that McK BA is AWESOME in a lot of ways... but if your end goal is to make a shit load of money and you don't care how you do that.... then starting at GS is superior.

3/31/11

Every day ppl are jelly of Goldman.

No one cares or talks about mckinsey.

Even UBS IBD has better exit ops into PE than mckinsey.

consulting is just bsing as best u can and hoping the company listens to u.

IBD is about actually doing something, such as combining Kraft and Cadbury.

4/3/11
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