I've got a potentially big decision to make...

Blah Blah Blah I'm at Umich, first year here, now is the time for me to apply to Ross or fuhgetaboutit... Right now I'm heavily leaning towards majoring in CS

What I am interested in:

-trading
-programming
-consulting

The problem: obviously CS would be better to get a job in trading/programming, but what about consulting as a computer scientist and not from Ross? I'm just wondering if it would be significantly harder to get a job at firms like MBB using the engineering school's OCR and not Ross... I've heard that consulting firms like engineers/people with quantitative skills, but I've also heard that they're pretty damn focused on Ross too...

What do you think I should do? Some people have mentioned a double major (CS + finance) before, but honestly, if I were to do another major, I'd probably pick up mathematics for education's sake. So it seems as if I have to pick between A)Majoring in two fields that I think would be better for my education overall while having a big/slight/no disadvantage (you pick) compared to Ross kids for consulting... or B) try to get into Ross and major in CS + BBA w/ finance for recruitment's sake. I don't really like the idea of majoring in finance for recruitment's sake when I can further my mathematics education, but I am very very interested in consulting.

Halp! And thanks in advance.

Comments (61)

Jan 27, 2012 - 2:59pm
wolverine19x89, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Not from UMich. And, like I said, I'd like to be heavily involved in math. Also, CS majors seem to be doing pretty damn good...

If your dreams don't scare you, then they are not big enough. "There are two types of people in this world: People who say they pee in the shower, and dirty fucking liars."-Louis C.K.
Jan 27, 2012 - 3:17pm
Xepa, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I know CS majors that get up to $150K starting salaries.

Even in the finance world, they try HARD to pluck CS people away from tech firms like Google, Facebook, Amazon, etc. by paying you out of the ass. It's amazing; I have friends at Berkeley/Stanford/AND MIT so I have a pretty good idea.

It's amazing how in demand you are with a CS degree. Absolutely unbelievable.

You can get into consulting with a bunch of different degrees, but you can't get into Comp Sci with a typical business degree.

PM me if you want more details. I have stories that you cannot even believe, and if I publicly post them on this message board then I will be flamed for lying, no joke. Hahahah.

Jan 27, 2012 - 3:19pm
BusinessGreek, what's your opinion? Comment below:

From my experience (Ross undergrad):

Tons of people get interviews for MBB at Michigan, across both Ross and engineering, LSA, etc. That said, if you're also looking at trading and more finance-based jobs, then Ross is where you need to be. Given you seem to be unsure what path to take, I'd suggest double majoring. In doing so, you'll leave yourself access to the Ross recruiting while also having a different background / skillset that can make you more interesting as a risk / trading quant type. I would assume it would also put you in a good position if you wanted to do something at a Google, MSFT, Facebook type of place, who definitely recruit at Ross (although moreso at the MBA level).

As for mathematics, I don't know a ton abuot it as a major, but I would assume that at some point there are diminishing returns (i.e., once you get in to heavy theory, it's not going to translate to a skill in consulting or finance). So I think your CS degree, which would require a fair bit of math anyway, would be a better differentiator.

Summary: Dual degree is the way to go. Caveat: don't do it unless you're smart enough to handle it (e.g., think you can be 3.5+ GPA)

Jan 27, 2012 - 4:00pm
DaveWinkler, what's your opinion? Comment below:
BusinessGreek:
From my experience (Ross undergrad):

Tons of people get interviews for MBB at Michigan, across both Ross and engineering, LSA, etc. That said, if you're also looking at trading and more finance-based jobs, then Ross is where you need to be. Given you seem to be unsure what path to take, I'd suggest double majoring. In doing so, you'll leave yourself access to the Ross recruiting while also having a different background / skillset that can make you more interesting as a risk / trading quant type. I would assume it would also put you in a good position if you wanted to do something at a Google, MSFT, Facebook type of place, who definitely recruit at Ross (although moreso at the MBA level).

As for mathematics, I don't know a ton abuot it as a major, but I would assume that at some point there are diminishing returns (i.e., once you get in to heavy theory, it's not going to translate to a skill in consulting or finance). So I think your CS degree, which would require a fair bit of math anyway, would be a better differentiator.

Summary: Dual degree is the way to go. Caveat: don't do it unless you're smart enough to handle it (e.g., think you can be 3.5+ GPA)

i agree on all points. good advice here

Did you fly over my helmet?
  • 2
Jan 27, 2012 - 4:19pm
LIBOR, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I'd do CS. I think in the long run, its a more valuable degree. Why do you really want to do MBB? Software is more lucrative, its exciting, and it isn't going anywhere. The US has a serious shortage of good developer talent, and a degree in CS with Math is an incredible advantage.

looking for that pick-me-up to power through an all-nighter?
  • 1
Jan 27, 2012 - 4:35pm
jos.a.bankhard, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Xepa is right on. CS skills are in incredible demand. Every firm in the valley is snapping up good engineers. Startups too. Just read something the other day about Google/Facebook/someone offering entry level engineers 100k salary, 50k signing, and 125k stock. Fuck MBB if you can get that.

EDIT: http://www.quora.com/How-much-does-Facebook-pay-a-new-grad-software-engineer

Jan 27, 2012 - 8:22pm
Sexy_Like_Enrique, what's your opinion? Comment below:
jos.a.bankhard:
Xepa is right on. CS skills are in incredible demand. Every firm in the valley is snapping up good engineers. Startups too. Just read something the other day about Google/Facebook/someone offering entry level engineers 100k salary, 50k signing, and 125k stock. Fuck MBB if you can get that.

EDIT: http://www.quora.com/How-much-does-Facebook-pay-a-new-grad-software-engineer

Wow... I feel like a piece of shit with my Econ degree. I knew that I needed to go into CS to make big bucks, but I got scared away from it, because one of my ex roommates switched into CS from Econ and he failed out of college.

Jan 27, 2012 - 5:12pm
wolverine19x89, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Yeah, but I feel like I'd find consulting very interesting and maybe even useful if I wanted to start my own business... maybe I'm just romanticizing it?

If your dreams don't scare you, then they are not big enough. "There are two types of people in this world: People who say they pee in the shower, and dirty fucking liars."-Louis C.K.
Jan 27, 2012 - 8:26pm
Sexy_Like_Enrique, what's your opinion? Comment below:
scottj19x89:
Yeah, but I feel like I'd find consulting very interesting and maybe even useful if I wanted to start my own business... maybe I'm just romanticizing it?

Yes. You are romanticizing consulting.. all you do as an analyst at strat consulting firms is doing bunch of data research and tons of grunt excel and power point work. I summered at a top strat consulting firm, and most analysts hated their jobs.

if you can get a good programming job with a CS degree, fuck consulting. you make more than double the salary of consulting as a CS programmer, and work less hours.

That being said, CS is not an easy major. I had a friend who switched into CS from Econ, and he got 3 F's and 2 D's that semester and got kicked out of our college... before switching, he was a B/B+ student as an Econ major...

Jan 27, 2012 - 8:49pm
wolverine19x89, what's your opinion? Comment below:

So would you say that the advantage to running your own business after a consulting gig compared to being a programmer is negligible? I doubt it... but it's what I want to hear haha

It'd be nice to have MBB on my resume for bschools considering I'd probably want to get on the business end of things as I get older

If your dreams don't scare you, then they are not big enough. "There are two types of people in this world: People who say they pee in the shower, and dirty fucking liars."-Louis C.K.
Best Response
Jan 27, 2012 - 8:55pm
Sexy_Like_Enrique, what's your opinion? Comment below:
scottj19x89:
So would you say that the advantage to running your own business after a consulting gig compared to being a programmer is negligible? I doubt it... but it's what I want to hear haha

It'd be nice to have MBB on my resume for bschools considering I'd probably want to get on the business end of things as I get older

i don't think being a good business owner/ establishing successful start-up has much to do with consulting work. most of successful business owners in US never breathed an ounce of air inside a McKinsey office, yet they all made it fine.

case in point - Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, and Mark Zuckerberg.

maybe there are some notable McKinsey alumni who established successful start ups, but I suspect it is due to them being smart / talented that led them to become successful, not their McKinsey - coated resume that helped them become successful in that arena.

Your question is similar to asking: "Should I go to law school if I want to become a successful politician?" While there may be notable politicians who went to law schools and were lawyers, you don't need to go to law school to become a politician.

Jan 28, 2012 - 3:40am
ProspectiveMonkey, what's your opinion? Comment below:
Sexy_Like_Enrique:
scottj19x89:
It'd be nice to have MBB on my resume for bschools considering I'd probably want to get on the business end of things as I get older
most of successful business owners in US never breathed an ounce of air inside a McKinsey office, yet they all made it fine.

case in point - Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, and Mark Zuckerberg.

You can NOT use 3 of the most highly regarded entrepreneurs as a "case in point". The odds of you being the next zuckerberg is less than you winning the 180 million dollar lottery or getting hit by a car tomorrow. Can we please ban SLE's IP Address?

We are getting off point but consulting will give you unbelievable insight into how numerous industries operate and what factors influence a well run business within each industry. Disregard any advice you got above from people who are still undergrads/prospectives.

The more reputable consulting firms have a 98% or greater placement rate into top 10 mbas.

Jan 27, 2012 - 11:59pm
wolverine19x89, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Good point. +1

and thanks for the front page exposure, whoever's responsible. Hopefully more people can come in here and help convince me to go into CS lol. In all honesty, I want real talk though.

If your dreams don't scare you, then they are not big enough. "There are two types of people in this world: People who say they pee in the shower, and dirty fucking liars."-Louis C.K.
Jan 28, 2012 - 4:38am
wolverine19x89, what's your opinion? Comment below:

oh shit, it's on.

If your dreams don't scare you, then they are not big enough. "There are two types of people in this world: People who say they pee in the shower, and dirty fucking liars."-Louis C.K.
Jan 28, 2012 - 4:59am
Sexy_Like_Enrique, what's your opinion? Comment below:
scottj19x89:
oh shit, it's on.

This retard is saying that I need to get banned for saying Mark Zuckerberg was successful even if he didn't do consulting work...

I think this guy is the one who needs to be banned for discouraging freedom of speech and encouraging hostility.

Jan 28, 2012 - 10:39am
wolverine19x89, what's your opinion? Comment below:
runningcitylikediddy:
do a double major, idiot

Was calling me an idiot really necessary? I AM looking to double major, I made this thread to see just how big of an advantage Ross kids have over engineering students for consulting

If your dreams don't scare you, then they are not big enough. "There are two types of people in this world: People who say they pee in the shower, and dirty fucking liars."-Louis C.K.
Jan 28, 2012 - 4:11pm
moofasa, what's your opinion? Comment below:
scottj19x89:
runningcitylikediddy:
do a double major, idiot

Was calling me an idiot really necessary? I AM looking to double major, I made this thread to see just how big of an advantage Ross kids have over engineering students for consulting

Two years ago, the Ross advantage was pretty large. Now it is zero. All the consulting firms hire from engineering as well.

I did a dual degree and found it interesting. But honestly, have a GPA >3.8, (>4.0 in Ross) and do some cool stuff and you should get interviews.

Jan 28, 2012 - 11:22am
ProspectiveMonkey, what's your opinion? Comment below:

lol about the reaction to my petition of banning you. Obviously, I don't care. I just think you need to stop speaking with such certainty about every topic on this site.

Just because you have a brother who went to HBS, friends at Duke, Interned at a strategy firm and attend an "low-tier Ivy" (your words) doesn't mean that you know everything. It is okay, we don't blame you for not having all the knowledge in the world. But don't come on here and when a kid is genuinely wanting advice, challenge him saying "if you want to be an entrepreneur it is stupid to do consulting. Steve Jobs, Mark Z and Bill Gate were never consultants!" - those are 3 outliers. For the average joe, it might help to do consulting for a year or two and get your feet wet in the business world, especially if you have student loans or some other obligations. I'm not saying a year or two consulting will make you into an amazing entrepreneur, just that it could help you further develop your ideas and polish your demeanor, etc.

Jan 28, 2012 - 1:13pm
Sexy_Like_Enrique, what's your opinion? Comment below:
ProspectiveMonkey:
lol about the reaction to my petition of banning you. Obviously, I don't care. I just think you need to stop speaking with such certainty about every topic on this site.

Just because you have a brother who went to HBS, friends at Duke, Interned at a strategy firm and attend an "low-tier Ivy" (your words) doesn't mean that you know everything. It is okay, we don't blame you for not having all the knowledge in the world. But don't come on here and when a kid is genuinely wanting advice, challenge him saying "if you want to be an entrepreneur it is stupid to do consulting. Steve Jobs, Mark Z and Bill Gate were never consultants!" - those are 3 outliers. For the average joe, it might help to do consulting for a year or two and get your feet wet in the business world, especially if you have student loans or some other obligations. I'm not saying a year or two consulting will make you into an amazing entrepreneur, just that it could help you further develop your ideas and polish your demeanor, etc.

LOL. You are a fucktard.

As another poster above mentioned, consulting prepares you for middle management positions at F500-type of jobs, not start-up.

Don't put words into my mouth, you jackass. I mentioned Bill Gates or Mark Zuckerberg in my example because those guys are prominent guys that everyone knows about. There are literally THOUSANDS of small business owners who are successful, who didn't do consulting.

I don't claim to know everything. How is saying "You don't need to work in consulting to start your business" implying that I know everything about every topic? You are fucking retarded.

Go brush up on your reading comprehension skills before posting shit on line.

Consulting helps you prepare to become a good EMPLOYEE for someone else. Starting a successful business on your own means that you somehow need to learn to become a good ENTREPRENEUR. Consulting jobs don't teach you how to become an entrepreneur.

Jan 28, 2012 - 12:10pm
bears1208, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Sexy Like Enrique is possibly the worst poster on this site.

Jan 28, 2012 - 1:06pm
DaveWinkler, what's your opinion? Comment below:
bears1208:
Sexy Like Enrique is possibly the worst poster on this site.

Challenge...

...Accepted.

Did you fly over my helmet?
Jan 28, 2012 - 1:09pm
Sexy_Like_Enrique, what's your opinion? Comment below:
DaveWinkler:
bears1208:
Sexy Like Enrique is possibly the worst poster on this site.

Challenge...

...Accepted.

Ok. This shit is getting ridiculous.

I deserve to get banned and now called the worst poster on this site because I said you can become a successful business owner without going into consulting after college??

Let's get the fuck real.

Jan 28, 2012 - 12:48pm
shep, what's your opinion? Comment below:

definitely pick a STEM major. 75% of jobs on my school's career website are looking for STEM majors. They're wanted across all industries

Jan 28, 2012 - 1:22pm
bfin, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Sexy Like Enrique. I will give you this suggestion do not speak with certain on anything that you don't have first hand extensive knowledge about without saying you don't have first hand extensive knowledge. As a FREQUENT, poster on this site reading your posts makes me feel like you like to toot your own horn. Stop it. It's annoying like DaveWinkler said this is the INTERNET not the real world. Breathe, stretch, shake.

The answer to your question is 1) network 2) get involved 3) beef up your resume 4) repeat -happypantsmcgee

WSO is not your personal search function.

Jan 28, 2012 - 1:32pm
Sexy_Like_Enrique, what's your opinion? Comment below:
blackfinancier:
Sexy Like Enrique. I will give you this suggestion do not speak with certain on anything that you don't have first hand extensive knowledge about without saying you don't have first hand extensive knowledge. As a FREQUENT, poster on this site reading your posts makes me feel like you like to toot your own horn. Stop it. It's annoying like DaveWinkler said this is the INTERNET not the real world. Breathe, stretch, shake.

??

Do you really need to work in consulting for multiple years and start your own business, in order to qualify to say "You don't need to work in consulting to start your business"??

Do you need to work in trading, IB, or whatever the fuck you name it, to say "You don't need to work in IB or Trading to start your business."

These things are called common sense, buddy.

Jan 28, 2012 - 2:56pm
bfin, what's your opinion? Comment below:
Sexy_Like_Enrique:
blackfinancier:
Sexy Like Enrique. I will give you this suggestion do not speak with certain on anything that you don't have first hand extensive knowledge about without saying you don't have first hand extensive knowledge. As a FREQUENT, poster on this site reading your posts makes me feel like you like to toot your own horn. Stop it. It's annoying like DaveWinkler said this is the INTERNET not the real world. Breathe, stretch, shake.

??

Do you really need to work in consulting for multiple years and start your own business, in order to qualify to say "You don't need to work in consulting to start your business"??

Do you need to work in trading, IB, or whatever the fuck you name it, to say "You don't need to work in IB or Trading to start your business."

These things are called common sense, buddy.

First off I didn't attack you. No need for the "common sense, buddy" we aren't 14, but thanks. Secondly, this isn't about this issue I'm speaking in general to the general tone of your posts it is up to you to listen.

The answer to your question is 1) network 2) get involved 3) beef up your resume 4) repeat -happypantsmcgee

WSO is not your personal search function.

  • 2
Jan 28, 2012 - 1:31pm
Sexy_Like_Enrique, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Whatever dude. On an on line forum like this, people should be allowed to express their opinions without getting called at, or being pushed to be banned for stating their views.

And, I don't give shit what you think of me. If you disagree with my views, fine. I don't give a fuck. However, just because you happen to disagree with my viewpoint, it doesn't mean that you are qualified to get me banned from this site, or call me the worst poster.

Jan 28, 2012 - 2:40pm
atomic, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I haven't read through the thread, so forgive me if my sentiments were shared earlier, but if you can stomach it (and I'm not pretending this wouldn't be absolutely miserable), Math + Computer Science is probably the best thing you could possibly do. I'm a Math major at Berkeley, with an impressive GPA, and finance employers (particularly within trading and asset management -- that is, the Fun Parts of Finance), were literally willing to suck me off by the end of the recruiting cycle. I can only imagine the edge a Computer Science degree would've given me. I mean, I've self-taught myself the programming side of things to a certain extent, but as a pure Math major, you spend more time hitting your head against a desk trying to figure out a proof than I would've liked.

Anyway, I'm rambling.

I will say, though:

I know a lot of posters on WSO have a weird hard-on for being a programmer at a big tech company, but I think this is a case of The Grass Is Greener. Sure, developer salaries out of undergrad are phenomenal, but unless you can make the jump to the business side of things, your growth is going to be severely handicapped (Techcrunch had an article about this very phenomenon). Even if you're in the top 10% of developers, at a certain point, employers aren't going to pay you more for the marginal increase in efficiency you provide, especially over a hungry young developer from India, whose ability to stay in the U.S. is actually tied to him performing on his job. That's why you see so many Math/CS guys from MIT/Stanford/my soon-to-be alma mater looking toward the finance of things. But, hey, who's to say that we're not wearing the opposite pair of the "Grass Is Greener" goggles that the Finance guys are wearing?

In conclusion: Math + Comp. Sci. If you enter Tech, do so in a Project Management role, or do something else.

EDIT:

I just wanted to note that my advice is specific to the OP: If you're the type of person who would even be entertaining the notion of a Math or CS degree, I just don't think you'd be happy studying Finance (unless it was at the doctorate level... Maybe). Just close-read McKinsey's book on Corporate Valuation, and take an Intro Accounting course, and your Finance education is complete.

Jan 28, 2012 - 3:12pm
Sexy_Like_Enrique, what's your opinion? Comment below:

This is internet message board. Anyone should feel free to contribute and provide their opinions, without being called out at or being called the worst poster, etc.

The point stands that this guy is absolutely retarded for suggesting I get banned for saying "you don't need to work in consulting industry in order to start your business."

When somebody asks "Do you need to major only in finance if you want to break into IB?", I should feel confident in giving the advice that, the answer to that question is no. While I didn't ever work in IBD, I know that you can major in almost anything and still end up with an analyst gig, etc.

When the answer to the question is seemingly obvious, I don't need to be a fucking expert or the most experienced guy in that field to answer questions.

This is getting fucking retarded.

Jan 28, 2012 - 3:36pm
bears1208, what's your opinion? Comment below:
Sexy_Like_Enrique:
This is internet message board. Anyone should feel free to contribute and provide their opinions, without being called out at or being called the worst poster, etc.

The point stands that this guy is absolutely retarded for suggesting I get banned for saying "you don't need to work in consulting industry in order to start your business."

When somebody asks "Do you need to major only in finance if you want to break into IB?", I should feel confident in giving the advice that, the answer to that question is no. While I didn't ever work in IBD, I know that you can major in almost anything and still end up with an analyst gig, etc.

When the answer to the question is seemingly obvious, I don't need to be a fucking expert or the most experienced guy in that field to answer questions.

This is getting fucking retarded.

Dude, this isn't fucking little league. Not everyone is a winner. If you make shit posts you're going to get called out for them. Especially if they can possibly lead astray posters who are asking for advice (i'm not saying that's happened ITT). Sack the fuck up you pussy and stop acting like you got your feelings hurt by random internet strangers. I haven't seen a meltdown like this over internet reputation since Ambition freaked out over his HS VC internship.

  • 2
Jan 28, 2012 - 3:51pm
Sexy_Like_Enrique, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Dude. Like I said I don't care about my 'reputation' on this site, and nobody should give a fuck about their reputation here either, to be honest.

I am saying people should be free to express their views and opinions on this forum, without being censored or being ridiculed, especially when the view point I am sprouting on the issue is legit.

If some retard comes up and gives me shit for advising OP "you don't need to work in consulting to start your business", you can bet that this fucker is promoting censorship of opinions and may lead others away from sharing their opinions/ thoughts out of disgust.

This forum is awesome because of its free dialogue. If someone is trying to block that, it would take the fun and resourcefulness out of this forum. I am pissed at this fucker not because this fucker is trying to damage my reputation here on this forum, but because he's discouraging free dialogue.

Jan 28, 2012 - 6:33pm
t4s, what's your opinion? Comment below:

If you are smart enough for CS/math, forget about bba, i am not sure what hard skill one learns there.

Jan 29, 2012 - 1:51pm
Smooth_Like_Oatmeal, what's your opinion? Comment below:

@Sexy_Like_Enrique You are an idiot. You are giving this kid the wrong message. Most people go into consulting before starting up their own business for a reason. That reason being you learn a certain skill set in consulting that a) helps tremendously and b) would be hard to obtain elsewhere. While yes you are right that there is no "prerequisite" for being an entrepreneur, the path most traveled and the path which is most successful ( because remember the percentage of start-up businesses that fail within a year) is going through a consulting job first. On the whole censorship thing you keep whining about, stop complaining. You are making writing posts that make it sound like you are the God almighty and know the exact and only answer to every problem life could possibly throw at someone. Fact of the matter is you need the change the tone of your posts to make sure you sound like you are only presenting a suggestion and not a solution. Lastly, good day sir

Jan 29, 2012 - 2:45pm
Sexy_Like_Enrique, what's your opinion? Comment below:
Smooth_Like_Oatmeal:
@Sexy_Like_Enrique You are an idiot. You are giving this kid the wrong message. Most people go into consulting before starting up their own business for a reason. That reason being you learn a certain skill set in consulting that a) helps tremendously and b) would be hard to obtain elsewhere. While yes you are right that there is no "prerequisite" for being an entrepreneur, the path most traveled and the path which is most successful ( because remember the percentage of start-up businesses that fail within a year) is going through a consulting job first. On the whole censorship thing you keep whining about, stop complaining. You are making writing posts that make it sound like you are the God almighty and know the exact and only answer to every problem life could possibly throw at someone. Fact of the matter is you need the change the tone of your posts to make sure you sound like you are only presenting a suggestion and not a solution. Lastly, good day sir

LOL @ your claim that "most" entrepreneurs do consulting before starting business.

Many adults who operate successful business don't even know what consulting is, much less what consultants do at work. Then again, I suppose it depends on what kind of business you are talking about.

It depends on what start up we are talking about here. Do you think working at Deloitte Consulting as an analyst for few years will help you found a successful tech start up? Fuck no. If you want to start a tech start up at SV, you are better off going to a strong school for CS and learn solid programming skills, then work at a top tech firm to build skills, experience, and connections in that field first then start your shop, not study business in college and go into management consulting after college.

Also, you don't need to do consulting to start your business in restaurant management, real estate, insurance, etc etc etc.

Better way into starting your business is you building skill set, experience, and connections relevant to your targeted industry before starting your own shop.

My dad is a successful business owner. He is an accountant and he started his own shop, doing tax returns, etc. He used to work at Big4 accounting, and developed solid skill set in that field, got to know many influential clients, and built solid network in the industry. All these things helped him establish his business well and he now makes very good money. (better money than some partners at accounting firms) My dad couldn't give two shit about management consulting for his business, since the skill sets or the experience you get from working in consulting isn't relevant to his business at all.

It's funny, I have a consulting job offer, but my dad is insisting that I do Macc and become an accountant, so that I will someday inherit his business.

Is consulting a good place to start your business career after college? Yes.

Should you do consulting with the specific intent of starting your own business later, thinking that it will help you become a good entrepreneur? I don't think so.

Jan 29, 2012 - 11:47pm
waterboy, what's your opinion? Comment below:

OP: CS gives you opportunities any Ross student has and more, if you are good at it .

If you can't manage a good gpa in your CS courses, you might as well join us business drones.

While management consulting does expose you to business best practices, many of the projects you work on are at established companies. You learn to be an entrepreneur by being an entrepreneur. On the flip side, I once had the chance to talk to a BCG guy who became an entrepreneur. He worked at BCG post-MBA for a few years, quit his job, grew dreads, moved to SE Asia, and opened a restaurant that soon failed. Then he put a suit back on and leveraged his b-school/BCG connections to get a job at a F500 company. While at that company (for 10 or so years), he later identified an opportunity, and then marshaled support for a side project that grew into a successful business, which was then spun off with him at the head of it and grew to be larger than the original parent company.

So this story (I hate the word "case") shows that there is merit to both sides of the argument. Most BCG people do not become entrepreneurs. However, BCG did prepare him for a corporate job and let him work (and feed his family) while he identified opportunities. It also helped him navigate the corporate system and use it to incubate his new business. But he did remark that in terms of direct relevance to running a start up, his experience running the failed restaurant helped him more than anything he learned in business school or in consulting.

Jan 30, 2012 - 12:25am
Sexy_Like_Enrique, what's your opinion? Comment below:
waterboy:
OP: CS gives you opportunities any Ross student has and more, if you are good at it .

If you can't manage a good gpa in your CS courses, you might as well join us business drones.

While management consulting does expose you to business best practices, many of the projects you work on are at established companies. You learn to be an entrepreneur by being an entrepreneur. On the flip side, I once had the chance to talk to a BCG guy who became an entrepreneur. He worked at BCG post-MBA for a few years, quit his job, grew dreads, moved to SE Asia, and opened a restaurant that soon failed. Then he put a suit back on and leveraged his b-school/BCG connections to get a job at a F500 company. While at that company (for 10 or so years), he later identified an opportunity, and then marshaled support for a side project that grew into a successful business, which was then spun off with him at the head of it and grew to be larger than the original parent company.

So this story (I hate the word "case") shows that there is merit to both sides of the argument. Most BCG people do not become entrepreneurs. However, BCG did prepare him for a corporate job and let him work (and feed his family) while he identified opportunities. It also helped him navigate the corporate system and use it to incubate his new business. But he did remark that in terms of direct relevance to running a start up, his experience running the failed restaurant helped him more than anything he learned in business school or in consulting.

Very well said.

Consulting trains you to become a good corporate employee for large corporations, nothing more nothing less.

To become a successful business owner, you can't rely on your Deloitte Consulting analyst gig to hook you up with all the necessary skills, vision, connections, and other important components that go into building a successful start up.

Ironically, for OP: if you are dreaming of launching a tech start up, you should definitely major in CS and forget going into consulting. Go CS and get a job in programming at notable tech firms, then start your own shop later at some point. Look at where all the founders of major tech firms came from - none of them come from consulting. They all come from programming backgrounds, and most were brilliant programmers with innovative ideas. You can be a partner at McKinsey and have 20 years of consulting experience under your belt, yet if you don't know how to program shit, you aren't gonna establish the next Google, Youtube, or Facebook.

Jan 29, 2012 - 11:52pm
MagicKarp, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Uhhh... you really have to be able to handle CS and have somewhat of a knack for it... it's much harder, in my opinion, and much more of a gamble, but I think there's a greater upside.
At Ross - if you study hard you will get a great job.

I don't think dual-majoring would be as hard as it sounds by the way - I had friends that were dual and even triple majors (in quantitative subjects) and they did very well and still had some social lives.

I think you should definitely go with Ross and dual-major in CS only if you are truly passionate for it, or are reasonably talented.

(Plus the new building is incredible)

Jan 30, 2012 - 12:33am
wolverine19x89, what's your opinion? Comment below:

When should I find out if I have a knack for programming or not? I'm taking my first programming class right now, but it's just the intro class.

If your dreams don't scare you, then they are not big enough. "There are two types of people in this world: People who say they pee in the shower, and dirty fucking liars."-Louis C.K.
Jan 30, 2012 - 1:45am
The.RealDeal, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I was a member of my HS's inaugural Programming Club that was ran by our Math and Programming teacher (just an average math teacher with an interest in programming). In the course, we covered Java basics and I also did my CompTIA A+ course and a side HTML certification at some academy. I was really into that stuff, hacking satellite receivers, programming and so on but not a genius at it by any means, not like the guys at the Hacking Bible site or whatever it is (or was) called years ago.

I got accepted to the CS program at Syracuse because at that time I absolutely loved that shit. I was heavily recruited for their Men's Soccer program, along with my brother, but because of a substantial difference between the total cost of Syracuse and my alma mater, I chose the later. I'll spare you the details of just how worse off I became the moment I rejected my offer but if I was to mention which school I matriculated from instead of going to Syracuse, WSO would see an immediate uptick in credit sales and a new record for most monkey shits thrown would be established. That's what happens when you make uninformed decisions and believe a degree is worth something no matter what schools it's from.

Problem was, I was average in Math to the extent that I didn't fully apply myself so I received above average grades in HS but nothing to be proud of. I also got accepted to a Top-20 school in the world, and while preparing for my professional trial in soccer, I did a semester of CS there. I'm going to be honest with you: I'm not a genius or anything close to that but I was genuinely passionate about CS. I got my ass kicked so bad that one semester that I totally reconsidered continuing with it and switched to Economics.

Point is, and others have already touched upon this, CS is not a cake walk. Now, add a Math major to it and if you can handle that AND come out with a good GPA, you'll be in a great position to pursue either one of your interests. However, if you are not passionate about the subject it will come across in your work, interviews and interactions with faculty members, friends and alumni. Unless you're a complete wizard.

As far as finding out whether you have a knack for programming: if you have to ask, then chances are this isn't something that you have been doing already and it will take a while to figure out whether you'll be interested in it once you get through the basic stuff. My 14 year-old brothers spend 12 hours a day locked in their rooms wasting their time with all these MMORPG's, hacking into people's accounts and selling their game "assets" for major (for them) dough and they can already program better then I was able to at 17.

From my own observations, people who excel in CS programs are usually good in Math, have a track record of holding interest in programming since they were like 12 years old, spend hours of their time constantly expanding their knowledge base. This doesn't mean they are your typical nerds but they usual have a burning passion for this, love being challenged and enjoy solving problems through programming. A CS curriculum is much more then that though but it's great you're doing your DD right now.

Whichever choice you make, do it because you enjoy it. It's a much different ballgame when try to force yourself into something only because it'll look good on your resume. Also, talking to current alumns is probably something you should definitely doing and you can use this to start networking at the same time. Never too early to do that.

" A recession is when other people lose their job, a depression is when you lose your job. "
  • 2
Jan 30, 2012 - 2:18am
wolverine19x89, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Well it's not just for my resume... I like math, but more of the applied stuff, and I've thought that programming would be a good skill to have, along with a skill that I would actually be pretty good at. So far I like the class and actually look forward to going to it. I guess we'll see after this semester...

If your dreams don't scare you, then they are not big enough. "There are two types of people in this world: People who say they pee in the shower, and dirty fucking liars."-Louis C.K.
Jan 30, 2012 - 10:40am
ProspectiveMonkey, what's your opinion? Comment below:

How long do you have to make a decision? Your most pressing concern seems to be whether or not you join Ross and if you decide to do CS will you be able to keep up with the course work? I didn't go to Michigan so I am not sure about these deadlines but if you had time to take one or two more CS courses that would be the best indicator. One thing I want to express though is that if you are already concerned about the course load in CS I would NOT double major in finance for the better access to OCR. This seems like a death wish to me.

As far as the chances of entering consulting from a non-Ross major at Michigan it will be a little more difficult most likely. I have met and worked with a ton of Ross alumni and so it seems that majoring in finance will set you up pretty well for any career in the business world. At the same time I have never worked with or interviewed along side a CS major who didn't also major in some aspect of engineering. This doesn't mean it isn't possible and it could be due to the relatively small number of pure CS majors that seek a career in management consulting but it is something to consider. The funny thing about consulting though is that while they prefer a finance or accounting degree as long as you come from a prestigious program they are willing to look the other way. So if Michigan is really a top 10 CS school like people have alluded to above and you get access to the engineering school's OCR than maybe that is your golden ticket. Either way it might help to talk to your career center, maybe they have statistics or insight into the consulting recruitment process.

Lastly, I will say that from first-hand experience I am happy that I went into the consulting industry before starting down the entrepreneurship track. 1) It allowed me to gain a number of contacts of both new hires and experienced persons, this is something I have found very rewarding and I would not have gotten sitting in front of my computer at a coffee shop 10 hours a day, 2) My company (and through networking, later I) was brought on to help figure out a business strategy for a start up that developed an application that could potentially change the landscape of how small business operates and also, worked at a well developed (but not too far from its roots as a startup) company that deals in the digital media & marketing space. Getting to speak with management and see how these businesses operate and the day-to-day challenges they are faced with provided me with knowledge that I would have never gained as a single entrepreneur, 3) I have been able to learn from my peers different programming skills and what a truly professional presentation encompasses amongst other things, 4) It has not made me entirely unable to follow my entrepreneurial side and I have actually been able to work on the occasional weekend and help a few friends develop their pitch for seed funding/exit plan as well as watch them prepare and go through the process successfully, 5) I know for a fact that if I decide to go the MBA route before transitioning over to working on my own projects that I will be guaranteed to attend one of the top 10 institutions that are offered, 6) This goes without saying but I have a very handsome steady paycheck that allows me to live comfortably and pay off school debt.

Jan 30, 2012 - 6:36pm
djfiii, what's your opinion? Comment below:
ProspectiveMonkey:

At the same time I have never worked with or interviewed along side a CS major who didn't also major in some aspect of engineering. This doesn't mean it isn't possible and it could be due to the relatively small number of pure CS majors that seek a career in management consulting but it is something to consider.

Computer Science at UMich is in the Engineering school.

  • 2
Jan 30, 2012 - 10:25am
lambertoscar, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I got some similar stories like previous posters about CS vs Econ/Finance. CS was one of my majors in my undergrad, and my best friend in the program in the first 2 years who was actually sorta smart lost his confidence since he was getting destroyed in CS. After 2 years he ended up with a 2.8 GPA and was struggling to make it, so he switched to BBA finance... following which the next 3 years he ended up in the Deans list every year with a 3.9+ GPA. And got into a good law school and works as a corporate finance lawyer now!

Anyway, if I could go back in time I'd do a CS and Econ double major... when you do upper level CS courses, do the ones that are more math intensive, choose AI or image processing as a specialization since you end up using a lot of useful statistical techniques (like bayesian filtering, regression, optimization, etc.)

You'd be industry gold if you have the skill set I mentioned above.

The masked avenger par sexellence
  • 2
Jan 30, 2012 - 12:29pm
MagicKarp, what's your opinion? Comment below:

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Jan 30, 2012 - 1:31pm
wolverine19x89, what's your opinion? Comment below:

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Alias repudiandae enim consequuntur in sunt et nisi. Iusto vel reprehenderit eaque explicabo exercitationem consequatur quia.

If your dreams don't scare you, then they are not big enough. "There are two types of people in this world: People who say they pee in the shower, and dirty fucking liars."-Louis C.K.
Jan 30, 2012 - 6:31pm
djfiii, what's your opinion? Comment below:

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