CONSULTING vs. I-BANKING

All,
Making a decision between choosing a full-time offer in investment banking or consulting -

I went to Ivy League school on east coast and passed out in 2009; I spent the last two years as a computer science and mathematics teacher in middle school.

I have offers from bulge bracket investment banks, namely Credit Suisse and Citi, for generalist IB analyst (group placement is contingent upon summer analyst training and interviews) AND also have job offers from consulting firms, namely BCG, Bridgespan and Monitor.

I want to go to and apply to business school in two years and am trying to figure out which route (IB or Consulting) and with which firm are better options for me. Please help and respond wiht all thuoghts and comments on (1) investment banking vs. non-profit/for-profit consulting, and (2) the exit opportunities from these firms (emphasis on consulting firms), (3) positioning for business school, and (4) salary!

THANK YOU SO MUCH!

Comments (12)

Dec 22, 2010 - 2:05pm
New Yorker, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Can you talk a little bit how you transitioned from middle school math teacher for two years to receiving offers in IB and consulting? Did you have access to OCR? Or was it through networking?

Best Response
Dec 22, 2010 - 2:11pm
WishYouWereHere, what's your opinion? Comment below:

BCG in a landslide if you want to go to business school from what I've heard. Congrats, I think outside of McKinsey and maybe Bain and top private equity firms there aren't many companies out there with better chances at HBS/Stanford than BCG. If you want to go into private equity later Credit Suisse/Citi might have an edge though

Dec 22, 2010 - 2:11pm
midnight_oil, what's your opinion? Comment below:

It's basically a choice between Citi, CS and BCG.

1) I'd say that you already have sort of a community-serving aspect on your resume (TFA, I assume?). I wouldn't be worried about IB. Not to mention that you're not guaranteed to do non-profit consulting at BCG and Monitor. So math teacher + investment banking, I'd say, is a good mix to cover all bases for your B school creds. Unless you're dying to do more community-serving stuff (noble cause, I'd say), I wouldn't go to Bridgespan.

2) BCG is obviously the strongest.

3) See #1. IBD + teaching is not a bad mix.

4) IBD. As a first year you should be looking at ~$120K-$140K, and it only gets better after that. As far as Citi vs. CS, hard to say, but Citi's rep hasn't been too hot in the past few years, both deal-wise and pay-wise. They're still a premier bond shop, but are easily out of top 5 bulge-bracket banks. CS might be that #5 BB, though I'm not familiar with their generalist group.

Dec 22, 2010 - 2:30pm
valueadd23, what's your opinion? Comment below:
midnight_oil:
It's basically a choice between Citi, CS and BCG.

1) I'd say that you already have sort of a community-serving aspect on your resume (TFA, I assume?). I wouldn't be worried about IB. Not to mention that you're not guaranteed to do non-profit consulting at BCG and Monitor. So math teacher + investment banking, I'd say, is a good mix to cover all bases for your B school creds. Unless you're dying to do more community-serving stuff (noble cause, I'd say), I wouldn't go to Bridgespan.

2) BCG is obviously the strongest.

3) See #1. IBD + teaching is not a bad mix.

4) IBD. As a first year you should be looking at ~$120K-$140K, and it only gets better after that. As far as Citi vs. CS, hard to say, but Citi's rep hasn't been too hot in the past few years, both deal-wise and pay-wise. They're still a premier bond shop, but are easily out of top 5 bulge-bracket banks. CS might be that #5 BB, though I'm not familiar with their generalist group.

@midnight_oil - why do you limit to Citi/CS/BCG? My BCG offer is in MENA, and I'm not particularly interested in moving out there, so am ruling it out (in a long-term relationship, hopefully getting married soon). Frankly, I had GREAT experience meeting with people at Citi IB, they were super-friendly, warm, and really encouraging. They took me out a bunch of times, and all still make active efforts to keep in touch with me today (CS guys have never reached out since I got offer, only just to ask whether I accept or not). Alternatively, I feel Bridgespan would be a good option, too, since I was a computer science/math teacher with TFA for one year, and then left to do another year with a foundation/vocational school. Bridgespan interviews were really great vibe, and I feel the work could be pretty interesting with non-profits, no? Do you have any idea of the work that can be done there? Any indication on how effective lateral opportunities from Bridgespan are vs. IB opportunities when it comes to VC, PE, HF, Corp. Dev/Bus. Dev., etc.?

Dec 22, 2010 - 2:12pm
happypantsmcgee, what's your opinion? Comment below:
fulltymeballa23:
I went to Ivy League school on east coast and passed out in 2009

This is a great sentence...I went to an Ivy on the west coast but didn't pass out though I did have a nasty hangover.

If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses - Henry Ford
  • 1
Dec 22, 2010 - 2:23pm
valueadd23, what's your opinion? Comment below:

thank you for all the comments!

@midnight_oil - why do you limit to Citi/CS/BCG? My BCG offer is in MENA, and I'm not particularly interested in moving out there, so am ruling it out (in a long-term relationship, hopefully getting married soon). Frankly, I had GREAT experience meeting with people at Citi IB, they were super-friendly, warm, and really encouraging. They took me out a bunch of times, and all still make active efforts to keep in touch with me today (CS guys have never reached out since I got offer, only just to ask whether I accept or not). Alternatively, I feel Bridgespan would be a good option, too, since I was a computer science/math teacher with TFA for one year, and then left to do another year with a foundation/vocational school. Bridgespan interviews were really great vibe, and I feel the work could be pretty interesting with non-profits, no? Do you have any idea of the work that can be done there? Any indication on how effective lateral opportunities from Bridgespan are vs. IB opportunities when it comes to VC, PE, HF, Corp. Dev/Bus. Dev., etc.?

@ happypantsmcgee - lol ... i passed out by a thread from school, so funny times.

Dec 22, 2010 - 2:29pm
valueadd23, what's your opinion? Comment below:
monetarist001:
It depends on what your long term career goal is. If you want to end up in IB/PE/HF, choose CS or Citi. If you want to end up in F500 corporate management, choose BCG.

I want to go to business school first and foremost - would my opportunities @ IB with Citi/CS be better given I'm a teacher OR would my opportunities with Bridgespane/Monitor (BCG out of option, it's in MENA; though I speak Arabic quite well, I don't want to move out there).

Thanks thanks!

Dec 22, 2010 - 2:59pm
HedgeKing, what's your opinion? Comment below:

At this point of your career, you still can leverage the prestige of your non-profit work and undergraduate institution to move into something you don't have experience in. But as years go by in your career, that luxury will gradually disappear. A few years down the road and people will expect you to hit the ground running from day one on the job. Though b-school is sometimes used for career switch, it is still not easy to jump into VC, PE, HF out of b-school without any previous banking experience.

Dec 22, 2010 - 3:16pm
manbearpig, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Lol, if you want to spend any time with your soon to be wife, I wouldn't recommend IB...you'll probably see her more doing the long distance thing if you choose BCG.

-MBP
Dec 22, 2010 - 7:14pm
rayjah1008, what's your opinion? Comment below:

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