Stay in cushy PE job or move to MBB consulting

Hey all - looking for some input / thoughts on the current situation. 

At a decently cushy PE fund in NYC - hours are 9-7, and I'm WFH on MWF, some travel involved every once in a while to check out assets, really good team culture, comp is 100k + 30k bonus. I just feel kind of bored in the job as I'm not passionate about finance, I don't like working in excel and PPT all day, neither do I like the industry that I'm currently working in. While there is upward mobility and general security in the role, I won't end up "rich." 

I have an offer to move to an MBB in their NY office, and I feel like I'd enjoy the work way more as I'd be able to explore different industries, do more strategy work, or non-profit work, learn about new verticals, and start out with a larger analyst class. MBB comp would be about 100 + additional bonus. 

A lot of the consultants I've met have told me that my current job is actually more preferable to consulting, but I just feel very bored in the job, and I don't enjoy finance at all. Looking for some thoughts as I'm a little lost 

Comments (12)

Most Helpful
Jun 20, 2022 - 11:04pm
mrharveyspecter, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Why don't you switch to another PE firm? You're in a fortunate position to have presumably landed this role right out of undergrad and I'd imagine that with your experience, you'd have a good shot at plenty of MM firms looking for Associates that knows how to do the job. Plenty of PE firms will be faster paced with more upside and more exposure to a variety of assets.

I hate to break it to you, but MBB is a lot of excel and PPT work as well. You're also even less likely to get rich in MBB versus in PE. If you can at least grind up into the mid-levels, you'll find yourself making pretty good money compared to consultants. 

Consulting often sounds sexier than it is. For those with little to no business background, it does have some benefits as it provides you frameworks to understand business/corporate strategy. It also gives you a good branding/network if you need that. Beyond that, it's a lot of travel, a lot of BS work, and ultimately, you rarely make that big of an impact on the company. Most folks leave after a couple of years because they want to do something where they're not just being paid to essentially validate or check an idea. Although I haven't been a consultant, I've worked with many in my time in PE and frankly, we pay consultants to do all the garbage work that we don't really want to do, but want a nice slide deck/packet to skim through and use in our IC memo. I've obviously referring to the consultants that are doing PE diligence work as opposed to F500 strategy, but my point is that it's rare that you're doing something as awesome as you'd think. 

I'd think a little harder about what you actually want out of your role, what you want to learn, and what you goals are from both career and life (in the short term). Would you be happier working way harder and having to travel and go into the office everyday? WFH 3 days a week is cushy. Do you feel the real lack of social camaraderie and are solving for that? Hell you're off at 7 most nights? Join a kickball league or go on some dates. PE is a pretty good spot to be in as far as white collar careers goes. To me, going back to banking/consulting is generally a trade down, unless you have a specific reason for it as in, you loved an old team you worked for, your PE gig is soul crushing, you're getting a big promotion bump to go into consulting/banking, etc. To me you're chasing the dream of consulting a little bit where in reality, you'll be working harder, getting paid less, and I think the social element will leave a fair amount to be desired.

Now with all that said, do what your heart tells you. If you talk to a bunch of people and really think that MBB aligns better with what you want, go for it. Plenty of folks find MBB pretty fulfilling and a mix of working hard, getting paid well, and having some semblance of work life balance (compared to banking and PE). Good luck with the decision.

Edit: There was a really good post written a few months ago by someone who went from MBB to MF PE and then back to MBB. They talked a lot about how MF PE was uniquely more stressful and more isolating whereas MBB had much more collaboration and was generally much more respectful of work life balance, which I think is a completely fair take. Do a little searching and I'm sure you can find it. That person might be worth reaching out to as well.

  • Associate 2 in PE - LBOs
Jun 20, 2022 - 11:19pm

Candidly I loved consulting and will maybe go back post-MBA after MF PE. I also don't think the comp hit is too bad when it comes to effective lifestyle hit. Personally I think it's a better choice net net and way more challenging / intellectually stimulating, but this forum generally slings monkey shit at this when I mention it in detail, so I can PM you if you're interested in hearing my reasoning.

Jun 21, 2022 - 12:01am
iridescent007, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Hi there, would you mind PM about your reasoning? I'm in IB and I've always thought MF/UMM PE is the place to be. Have a friend who just got into UMM PE and he's making $$$, also seems to be satisfied with WLB. 

Jun 21, 2022 - 12:46pm
chihayafull, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Honestly, the best thing you can do is just try it. This forum's got credible people telling kids not to do IB, but everyone does it anyway (and some regret it and post about their depression). Same goes for PE. No matter what people here tell you, it sounds like you're itching for a change of pace, and it sounds like you wanna work hard, just like college seniors going to IB / MBB in the first place. It won't hurt your career, you'll get the experience you desire, and if you hate it, you have options.

It's pretty dope being just out of college and having optionality to explore a lot of options, you don't get as many chances like this for your career once you start hitting late 20s / 30s, but even then it's your life, try out new shit if you're feeling it.

Jun 21, 2022 - 7:17pm
ke18sb, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Based on your pay and hours I'm guessing you're at a small no name PE firm. If this is the case, from a career perspective I'd strongly consider the MBB offer. Assuming its a non-name fund, 1) that won't help you get access to other funds, 2) the lack of brand won't necessarily help you even moving in different career directions into corporates roles. Therefore, seeing as though you are early in your career get the best brand to open the most doors. This is kinda moot if your fund has a strong reputation but my guess is not based on the info provided. 

Jun 22, 2022 - 9:09am
IncomingIBDreject, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I'm guessing he's an AN1 at the firm or something otherwise comp makes no sense. Some firms take kids straight out of UG.

Array

Jun 22, 2022 - 12:44pm
kindheartedconsultant, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I don't like working in excel and PPT all day 

Should we tell her?

Remember, always be kind-hearted.
Jun 22, 2022 - 1:14pm
MBBKilla, what's your opinion? Comment below:

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