Starting at Strategy& London in September and WSO is scaring me off

Hey!

I have an offer from Strategy& London office after my Masters, starting in September for their M&A practice and after reading all that people write on here I am absolutely terrified and I am questioning my life choice. I had no MBB interviews and this was seemingly the better package as M&A and growth projects appear to promise great exposure and turnaround without travel. The people seemed great and all the associates I talked too said that it is around 55 hours a week and no weekends ever.

Not sure this applies to the London office alone but their growth figure from last year was incredible and they are sold out constantly.
My ultimate goal is a strategy role in a tech firm or MBB and then exit in industry.

How decent would my exit ops be? Can I realistically get an MBB move later on??

I need some comfort people :(

Comments (27)

2y 
dnsIBMK, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Used to work with the firm few years back and personally saw many of my colleagues move to MBBs pretty much whenever they wanted to. Move to a MBB really shouldn't be a concern at all.

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  • 4
  • 1
  • Prospect in Consulting
2y 

Thank you for taking the time to reply! How was the environment there? May I ask you what was the DD vs other projecgts share?

  • 1
2y 
dnsIBMK, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Hours were very long during PE DD engagements, but much more manageable when you're on the beach. The split between DD and non-DD was 40:60, but that was by choice. If you're a top performer, you will have much more say in the types of projects you want to be on.

General work environment was great. Partners are definitely top quality with a few exceptions, and many are very thrilled to be at work.

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  • 1
2y 
peter.davies, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Hi! I wouldn't be too concerned yet. Strategy& is known for long working hours but if you compare it to other similar companies in the industry it does not seem that bad. I have known a few people working there and their experiences were also varied; with some really enjoying it and others complaining. As usually, you won't know until you try it so my suggestion would be to go there with an open mind. In any case, having had worked there you won't find it too difficult to move elsewhere. Good luck.

  • 2
2y 
Tempesta8, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Would love to hear about your recruiting process - pm if you're open to discussing

2y 
Kunkka, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Don't be worried my dude and congrats on the offer. I think S& to MBB is pretty doable you just need to work hard and network. Honestly the difference in exit opps between a t2 and MBB consultant are probably not very big, especially in industry. For things like PE there will be a difference though

  • 1
  • Prospect in Consulting
2y 

Thanks! PE is not amongst my priorities at the moment luckily but I know a few people who made the switch to mid-sized funds.

  • Associate Consultant in Consulting
2y 

What exactly are you reading that is freaking you out?

  • Prospect in Consulting
2y 

Toxic culture, failed integration, talent runnign away.

  • Associate Consultant in Consulting
2y 

As others have said those are for the US offices. Those comments are also out of date.

I think those were blown out of proportion. There is a bunch of consultants who talk about firms on Fishbowl and S& seems to be in tip top shape amongst the T2 firms (EYP, LEK, OW, ATK).

As someone close to that team I can tell you that they work less compared to other DD shops such as LEK. There is turnover, but mainly on the junior end for exits to corp strat/PE.

2y 
AndyLouis, what's your opinion? Comment below:

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  • 1
Most Helpful
2y 
NotAClimber, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I think one of the biggest issues with S& is not the quality of the people or the exit opps or the hours, but the general underdog complex so many of our most junior consultants have.

How often do you think our peers at comparable firms like LEK, OW, and Kearney (which are all fantastic shops) worry about this crap?

You have answered your own questions: "their growth figure from last year was incredible and they are sold out constantly." "The people seemed great and all the associates I talked too said that it is around 55 hours a week and no weekends ever."

If you are seriously this worried about your exit opps and transferring to MBB, and not about doing a good job here (which you have taken for granted), then let me be frank: we do not need people like you here. You need to bring your A-game to Strategy&, or you will be counseled out. We want people who will either be great partners or great clients someday, not someone who's looking for every chance to jump ship.

Do you really think the same firm that counts the CEOs of Toyota and Skype, and both Alex Oliver and Bill Wyman (of OW fame), among the ranks of their alumni would not be good enough for you? Give me a break.

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  • Prospect in Consulting
2y 

I did not want to come across this way, and I apologise for that. I am beyond excited to join once I finish

I do not take anything for granted if not that I always worked incredibly hard for everything and will keep doing so at S&. If I do not see my self bringing value to the company myself, I will show myself the door as clearly is not the right career for me.

This post was solely to express my concern regarding stuff I read on here which seemingly clashed with my impressions of the firm, which I gladly and decidedly chose amongst 3 other options.

  • Associate Consultant in Consulting
2y 

Spot on about the underdog complex. I think this stems with the Big 4 stigma. Noticed the same with EY-P folks as well.

OP, I really don't think there's a playing level difference between the T2s in a general sense. MBB is just on another level and grabs lion share of the good projects. T2s win some times due to pricing.

By the way, the team you are joining is only a few years old brand-wise so growth trajectory is pretty phenomenal. Good luck!

  • 1
  • Prospect in 
2y 

Has anyone heard regarding whether S&'s 2020 summer internship in London will be going ahead / going remote because of the covid situation?

  • Prospect in IB-M&A
2y 

same thing

2y 
josukehigashikata, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Hey there, late to the party but just wanted to offer some advice. I work at S& in the US.

You're completely right that our growth has been pretty good lately. I think it's a good time to be at the firm, and I've seen some good exit ops recently such as FAANG corporate strategy after only 1-2 years consulting experience and MM PE (though can't speak to UK). With regards to jumping to MBB, I think S& is a rare case where it might be feasible as 1. I have seen it happen and 2. we seem to compete for work quite frequently with MBB.

WSO made me pretty depressed about S& to be honest and I second-guessed my offer quite frequently. However, I think it really is a place that sets you up for success and, if you hate it, there are great exit options out there.

2y 
MergeAcquireExpire, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Hey,

Was once a Manager in S& London, having joining at grad level. Understand your concerns about what you have read, a few thoughts:

  1. Agree there is some negative content out there on r/consulting, WSO, etc. In my opinion, it is outdated and not reflective of the M&A team
  2. Team is stacked with talent. Every year, I am shocked at the calibre of the incoming graduate intake
  3. Can only speak for M&A team, but leadership is very strong with a consistent focus on wellbeing of team. When you are having a tough project, senior people reach out and provide a sounding board
  4. If you are high performing, you have opportunities to take a secondment internally, internationally, or to external organisations
  5. Team has improved a huge amount over the last 4-5 years, with a transparent and honest focus on areas that were not working well
  6. Joining cohorts seem to get along very well, with lifelong friendships built over the first few months

I think you'll really enjoy it here. Don't get too caught up on what you read on the forums, enjoy your Summer and look forward to getting involved.

  • Prospect in 
2y 

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  • Analyst 1 in Other
2y 

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