Hey guys,

Just wanted to get some thoughts on a predicament. I've just moved back to Asia and have 3 options that I am considering.

(1) A start-up advisory boutique started by some ex-Goldman/McKinsey guys. These guys started about 8 months ago.

(2) Network Planning at a national airline. Government owned, so career trajectory looks to be quite slow. Same for salary progression. But brand name strongest out of the 3 options.

(3) Off-shore arm of a US consulting firm. Work is for US clients, so am a bit worried about taking the back-seat to my opposite number in the US. Also, client interaction is gonna be minimal as local work is not really taken onboard.

Salary for (1) and (3) are in the same range.

Does name recognition matter at the junior level? Should I go for a company just because its brand equity is stronger even though the pay is shit?

How should I be deciding between the 3 options?

Many thanks!

Comments (8)


I feel that name recognition is very important at a junior level. Even more so than at the senior level, by which time you'll hopefully have a career that speaks for itself. In general, compensation and reputation go hand-in-hand with one another, though, so this is not usually the tradeoff you'll have to make. Don't confuse "common household name" with brand equity from a career perspective.

What kind of Goldman/McKinsey guys are at #1? If these are former group heads from successful divisions in Asia, this is appealing. If these are former associates and VPs trying to make a name for themselves in Asia, I would pass. I would not take #2 unless you really want to be in the airline business. What kind of consulting work is involved in #3? What kind of firm is this (well-known strategy shop is ideal)?

I would go with #1 or #3. The tradeoff points you'll need to weigh that you haven't shared here are the reputability of the specific individuals at #1 vs. the firm value and type of work at #3.

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Do the job that you feel the best/happiest about.

God of Wine:

Do the job that you feel the best/happiest about.

mama always told me "do what u luv and you never have 2 work a day in yo life!" so thats why i jack off all day.


mama always told me "do what u luv and you never have 2 work a day in yo life!" so thats why i jack off all day.

I believe swagon has graced you with a fourth alternative. do not take it lightly.


hehe, thanks swagon - will keep that in mind.

Well, to put things in perspective, the country I am in does not have any of the mainstream BBs/MBBs/well-known banks or consulting firms. Once I got back, I was a tad distraught because I was comparing everything to some of the BBs etc that I was familiar with or had interned in. Most of the firms are local names.

Getting back to your question, #1 doesn't have any former divisional heads. People-wise, their experience seems more at the VP level than at the MD level. But a good few of them have their MBA from top American unis (think HBS, etc). However, the local market doesn't have too many people from such backgrounds and given the situation, I felt I might learn something from these guys. On the flipside, it's a start-up, not a brand name. Also, I'm not sure if there would be a steady stream of M&A/advisory activity in the local market, so these guys might end up diversifying into real-estate/asset mgmt as well.

3, as I mentioned before, is an off-shore arm of a small US consulting firm. Not an MBB or well-known boutique. The Asia office operates more along the lines of outsourcing and their work tends to be more market research/market assessment/due diligence (they technically call themselves a strategy consulting firm). But the clients are all US based, so client contact is gonna be minimal. Also, I suppose I might end up playing second fiddle to some my counter-aparts in the US.

Btw, i would have thought house-hold name and brand equity went hand in hand...? what's the difference?

In the long term, would I be at a disadvantage if I join a start-up? My plan was to work there for abt 2 yrs and then go off to do an MBA someplace good....


As an ex-airline person, I can tell you you do not want to go with #2


oh ok, why so? Details would be appreciated!

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