Career prospects after starting career at small niche/boutique consulting firm?
I am a graduating engineering undergrad and I took a consulting position with a newer and very small firm (less than 20 consultants). They do work that is specific to one type of regulation in one industry. Despite not being well-known and not having as much prestige, they pay extremely well, and I will be making six figures directly out of undergrad.
I won't try to downplay the role the high salary also played in my decision, but the people and the small-business entrepreneurial culture were really the biggest deciding factors for me.
I am not reconsidering taking the job or planning to leave early-on, but I do want to be conscious of the impact of this being my first job on my future prospects should I decide to move on after a few years. My primary concerns are that I won't have a name brand to put on my resume and that the skills and experiences I will get may not easily translate into other areas of business.
What role might these factors play in my ability to compete for spots in top MBA programs or for positions with companies outside of the industry I'll be working in?
The work you do matters more than where you work. Or you can chase the 'image' of preftige.
It's very possible to get into a top MBA program or get a great job in industry if you have a strong academic background and strong work experience at your current firm. You'll probably find that the clients who've worked with you and know your strengths will offer you jobs. Having a brand name firm on your CV makes it a bit easier but that's all.
Exit opps from a regional boutique (Originally Posted: 07/04/2015)
I am currently interning at a regional boutique (super regional) with a 5 person team in NYC focusing on the Health and Wellness/Life Sciences sector. I'm curious to see if anyone was working at one and if they were able to lateral to a MM,EB, or even a BB and how. I already know how competitive full-time IB will be. Just want to hear your thoughts. Thanks.
I went through this process and had no luck. The problem is that you will be competing against numerous candidates who have BB or top MM experience. I ended up working at a boutique full time for a year and then lateraling. Keep that option open.
You might be competing with people that have better work experience, but at the end of the day it ill come down to fit. You have a chance, just network but don't feel bad if you end up at a boutique.
Exit Opps: No name boutique with well connected MD's (Originally Posted: 05/03/2013)
What are your thoughts on exit opps (PE / VC / Corp Dev / HF) for an analyst at a no name boutique with well connected MD's? Not a complete no-name but one that has a recognizable brand in the niche market it focuses in. Does anyone have personal experience successfully jumping to a legit buy-side firm from a lesser-known boutique?
How hard is it to get interviews in such a case? Even if the analyst were to get interviews, will he / she be at a big disadvantage compared to a peer who is at a BB / MM / elite boutique, assuming both candidates have the same amount of knowledge? How much weight is put on the name of the firm?
Tried the search function, but didn't have much luck. Thanks in advance.
When going through HF recruitment I noticed that they care considerably less about your pedigree than PE guys and more about your logic, thoughts and views about certain topics. PE firms (went through with Apollo and BX for example) care a lot more about your education/experience in the sector, and tend to hire people who are very similar to themselves - BB/MBB top bucket analysts, target universities, etc. No idea on VC and corp dev.
Also, I'd say once you're at interview, you will all be on the same ground.
Thanks Sonny. On that note, is getting interviews as easy as said MD picking up the phone?
Exit Ops for Regional Boutique (Originally Posted: 07/15/2010)
Looking for some advice as to how to approach this. I have an interview coming up with a regional I-bank(very small, roughly 16-man shop) and not a well-renown bank. I am really looking to break into the investment banking field and felt that this might give me a good chance of doing so. I have worked in accounting for roughly the last 4 years and really looking to get out of it. Would this be a good opportunity for me to break into the field(provide me decent exit ops and exposure to deals) and any pointers as to how I can judge whether this is a shop that can provide me opportunity to learn and grown within the firm. Thanks in advance.
Ask them during the interview what sort of exposure to deals they get. How do you feel this will give you a good chance? are you weighing it against other options or just no options at all?
If it is this or accounting for 4 more years and you enjoy the initial interview obv go for it, if it is this or something at another boutique, say one where you might not get the same amount of involvement but better exposure due to size or better name then its a more difficult decision.
take my words with the understanding that I am not in IB though..
This firm is the only I-bank that has contacted me so far(although I have just started my job search 2 weeks ago). I have been getting alot of interest from transaction advisory services in Big 4 though which I would ideally like to shy away from. Thanks for your response though.
Exit Ops are what you make them. MM PE will be available to you if your firm works with that space at all.
I'm doing a part-time analyst gig right now as I seek something full-time. My boss came from a small, 8-person boutique in the Midwest. She trained an analyst there that went on to work in the Corp. Strat./M&A dept. of a large local business owned by a top mega-fund PE firm. He beat out kids coming from BBs for the spot. He's impressed them so much, they told him to go to b-school on their dime, then talk about working for the PE firm after. Kid came from a third-tier school, worked at a small regional boutique never mentioned on this site, and will end up at a megafund.
Not common, obviously, but the point is that your exit ops can be very good if you keep your eyes open and your ear to the ground.
Career prospects if I join small boutique AM after graduation (Originally Posted: 02/20/2011)
I am currently a penultimate undergraduate and in the process of securing my summer internship (SA) at a small boutique Asset Management firm that specializes mainly in the agriculture and emerging market sectors.
I am wondering if it is advisable to work in such a specialized area straight after graduation? (assuming the firm decides to hire me FT) Will my future career prospects be limited to just Asset Management or/and Agriculture-related work if i decide to switch jobs after a few years in the firm? I am interested in venturing into the Investment Banking sector in the future if possible.
Will appreciate if someone can advise me on this.
Yes, everyone knows that whatever job you take right out of school is exactly what you be doing the rest of your life. Come on man, common sense.
Get some experience in the industry and figure out what you want to do in a couple years. Its a dynamic world.
I feel like this post belongs in about half the threads on the forum that have the "goldman IBD or bust" vibe.
Boutiques: Still Great Exit Opps? (Originally Posted: 02/22/2010)
First off, I should "admit" that I want to eventually wind up on the buy-side, as jobs like portfolio manager sound very appealing to me. With that said though, many people have told me that it is great to start off on the sell-side, and switch after 2-3 years (or, go to b-school, then switch). Problem is, I won't be landing any BB jobs on Wall Street, since I'm just a mere mortal and not quite as impressive as most of my WSO brethren. But, if I self-study hard over the next 6 months, interview well, etc, maybe I could land a job at a small, regional boutique. If I could land such a job, would it be worth it? Or does that advice about starting your career on the sell-side, mainly just apply to well-known BBs? Any additional comments/advice/insights on the topic would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.
bump for solid question
You should try to get the best job you can out of college, and that will most likely lead to the best opportunities later on. Of course if you work at a regional boutique your options will be less broad than if you worked at a BB. However, the sell-side is still a good place to learn.
As for what the exact exit opportunities are after working I think the answer to that question depends on what the market is like in 2-3 years. In the past couple of years even people who worked at BB have had trouble finding top PE and hedgefund job. If the market makes a nice rebound then I think you should be able to leverage your experience into a buy-side job. The top buy-side shops will still be very competitive even if the market makes a quick comeback, so you might have to broaden your search to mutual funds, insurance companies, etc. instead of the usual places everyone applies to.
As for bschool, I definitely don't think working at a regional shop limits your chances there. Since bschools take a more holistic view of your record as long as you have good grades, a good GMAT score, some decent EC and good recs you will be competitive at the top bschools, even if you didn't work at a BB.
Realistic Boutique IB Exit Opps (Originally Posted: 07/29/2013)
What are the exit opportunities of a non-elite boutique IB (less than 20 people) assuming it's well-known in its verticals? Just trying to gauge what one could expect going into one of their analyst programs. How should one get into the recruiting processes for these opportunities? Thanks!
I'm at a firm a bit bigger than you are referring to, but I imagine it's similar to what you are referencing. We do not have a formalized 2 or 3 and out analyst program, and all of our analysts have previous experience elsewhere.
From an extremely limited sample size and based on LinkedIn/conversations with current employees: Former A-to-A - Bus Dev at a very well known middle market PE shop Former Analyst - Associate at a respectable growth equity shop Former ?? (want to say VP) - elementary school teacher 2 people in corp development in the energy industry (unsure what their titles were) Several Analysts and Associates working at other boutique and middle market banks (some well known names mixed in there)
We get minimal headhunter attention.
Was the elementary school teacher a necessary addition to your answer lol? Please tell me that he/she decided to do that, and that that wasn't their best exit opportunity.
I may be at a boutique in a few months, and I really don't want to think that I might be teaching kindergarten in a few years. I had hoped to teach college in my old age, perhaps.
It was before my time but i do believe it was a lifestyle decision.
lol Kassad, u drunk - keep using tackle on gengars lol
Thanks for the response. Do you happen to know if they reached out to headhunters or did they just utilize their own networks within those companies? I'm assuming the VP had to do a stint at a top business school to reset his career and pursue teaching.
I honestly couldn't tell you. They all left my firm before my time (have been here a little less than 1 year).
MM PE or Corp Dev
Boutique Exit Ops (Originally Posted: 04/29/2007)
Exit ops for BB's have been discussed to death on this board. What about coming out of a boutique? I would assume you rely much more heavily on your contacts and networking since the bank you worked for doesnt have national name recognition.
Can anyone who has moved on from a boutique shop comment on what sort of options were available to them?
I would also like to know about this. Also, is it possible to go through a 2-3 year analyst stint at a boutique, go to a top 10 grad program and then enter a BB as an associate?
Ugh why do you hijack my thread with a stupid question. Of course its possible. Its possible to be a BB associate after doing greenpeace or marketing, why wouldnt it be possible after doing 2-3 years in banking?
Going to be mad at the person above me who is "hijacking" your thread as well? Relax, I'm sure people will answer your question.
definitely harder to land into PE or hedge fund but not impossible. I came from a MM shop and had to do it on my own - used about 3 recruiters and kept plugging away.
like anything else - network, practice your interview skills (know exactly why PE and/or HF), be somewhat knowledgeable about the industry, etc.
For the MM question, Boutiques (except for the elite ones like Evercore) are slightly less selective if coming from a NT school. The regional ones recruit at specific (though still fairly selective) regional schools. For people out of the region, they're more likely to look at merits (GPA, Work exp, GMAT score) v. simply looking at the name of the school you went to. That being said, they are still extremely selective. At one MM I interviewed with, they had about 30-40 people on superday for 10 or so slots. These 30-40 were still all highly competitive and some were from targets like Stanford.
Boutique Exits (Originally Posted: 04/07/2009)
So not all of us can got on with BB's so boutique shops are a good second option (I'm interning at one this summer). I know head hunters aren't usually scouring these groups for PE and HF's but I'm sure regionally their are private capital firms you can connect with. In terms of longer term compensation (Like senior associate post MBA type positions) in regional exits, what is the typical ballpark if your not really in with the "big fish" crowd?
The boutique world is so vast, that your exit opps will be hard to quantify given the vagueness of your post.
Since you spoke about boutiques being a good second option, I am assuming you are not interning at an elite one (BX - M&A, Greenhill, Evercore, Perella or Moelis). The exit opps from these boutiques are comparable (and better in some cases) to BBs. But then again these aren't your typical boutiques.
If you are at a place like Sagent or Think Equity, your exit opps won't be the same, but still very solid. You should be in decent shape for MM PE.
Regional boutiques would normally not have similar exits (there are a few exceptions).
Now it's hard to tell where you are at, since a 20 man shop and place like Greenhill or Perella all fall under the boutique umbrella, but are poles apart in terms of prestige and exit opps. You should be more specific about what kind of firm you are working at to get good answers
What do exits look like from HL? Does this vary within the groups at the firm?
How can you say Moelis has good exit opps if there really hasn't been any history of them placing analysts at PEs/HFs. They are doing great right now and getting some big deals but I don't think that automatically qualifies them as having good exit opps (especially in comparison to the BB).
Also a firm like Rothschild, Miller Buckfire restructuring divisions will have good exits opps to PE.
Finally I would include Lazard in the elite boutiques, in fact probably on the top of the list.
The list Advisory put down was not inclusive, nor was he saying that because BX and Moellis are on the same line they are automatically equal, so stop trying to qualify everything he said. He was just pointing out to the OP that his question is impossible to answer without more information
advisory hit it on the head -
the laz/ghll/bx firms certainly have the opportunity for mega funds...but places like sagent/hl place well too (assuming you're not the type to jerk off to kkrr)...i have friends from sagent/hl who have gone/are going to ~$3-4BN AUM firms that seem to be pretty well respected (with most of the pre MBA associates being from BBs)
As I should have made specific before, I'm talking about regional 20+ person type shops. And more specifically with exits, I'm not an idiot, I know KKR is going to come knocking, and honestly anybody thats not going to take a candidate because of a SAT score is pretty ridiculous and cant say much about your overall quality of life working there. I'm looking more at staying regional afterward, would make enough connections with LP's to start your own fund down later in your career. Yeah please disregard Evercore, Thomas Weisel, HL, or any other large boutiques.
I'm pretty interested in this as well ...from a regional/smaller MM/boutique perspective (i.e. Chanin, Broadpoint, Imperial). Any thoughts?
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