Received offer from another firm - tips on how to have the "leverage" conversation?

Hi All,

Hope this post finds you well - I'll try to keep this short and sweet.

I work for a big 4 consulting firm, and recently received an offer from a boutique consultancy. In my current firm, I do a lot of operations/outsourcing/shared services work, but have been told on various occasions that I may be able to eventually switch to our M&A, Strategy, or corporate finance group (without much follow through). My mentor is aware that my eventual goal is to work in PE.

The boutique that gave me the offer is a pure-play strategy shop, and about 25% of their work is PE due diligences. A few people have exited to PE from there before. However, I'm not yet sure about taking the offer, for reasons that have to do with timeline to business school (2 years here then 2 years at a PE), as well as how little name this boutique has (I try not make decisions on prestige, but this shop is 100-200 consultants, 3 offices, unlisted on vault, and completely unheard of - I feel like if you're exiting from consulting to industry, you need the name of a larger firm that industry recruiters will have heard of).

In addition, the boutique is offering me substantially more money (15-20K more).

The offer from the boutique expires tomorrow. I have scheduled the conversations with my mentor as well as the Partner I'm aligned to at my firm for this afternoon. My goals are to find out whether 1) they would be willing to make more of an effort to move me into the M&A, Strategy, or CF function of our firm and 2) increase my salary. Do you have any thoughts on how to have this conversation tactfully, so that I don't burn the bridge (in case I DO want to stay at my firm, or even come back after a stint at the boutique)?

Any advice and opinions are appreciated!! Thank you!

Best Regards,

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