Strategy Consulting or Asset Management?

Hello everyone!

My name is Amir, I am from Kazakhstan (KZ for short). I would like to share with you my current concerns and ask for an advice. The case is that I am a recent graduate with BSc in Finance.

For almost all this time since I have finished high school, I was thinking about pushing my career forward Strategy Management Consulting; however, in my junior and senior years, I learned more about Corp Finance and Asset/Investment Management, and right now am considereing Asset Management career.

The case is that I currently am awaiting my final interview with McKinsey and got some offers: from PwC "Strategy&" Consulting position, and from Asset Management department in one of domestic top banks (it is comparatively small with other funds internationally, but the whole Asset and Investment management industry started its foundation here in KZ only few years ago).

I don't want to be antipatriot, but I plan to eventually migrate from KZ one day (sooner the better), due to several reasons (i.e. bad medicine, low salaries, bad education, high crime rate, etc.). I am currently thinking about applying for Masters to do that; however, I am not sure if it is right time to do it, until I don't have enough experience.

The question is, what should I do now about the offers mentioned above? I feel almost equally interested in both fields; however, right now PwC offers a bit higher salary (as for Associate 1) than AM fund does (but as I know from my personal experience, work at Big4 in KZ is infamous for its 70-100 hour working week, while AM offered me standard 40-50 h/w). Which experience might be considered more valuable, either work in company with international name as PwC, or working in AM fund and doing CFA along the way (I am currently CFA Level II candidate, did I level during Bachelors)? Which one will give more adequate opportunities to migrate from KZ? I feel ready to work PwC hours for now, but I heard too much about that it never changes, especially if you go to MBB; hence I am not sure if I am willing to work such hours in 5-8 years.

In conclusion, which path should I consider now to reach further goals:
- Finding job abroad;
- Working "normal" human hours for fair wage to be able to spend time with the family at least some times?
P.S.: Salary for Associate 1 in PwC is about $500 USD after tax monthly (I was told there are certain performance bonuses, but still unclear amount), while at AM fund it is $400 USD after tax + performance bonuses.


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