3 years strategy consulting across Asia, looking to move into IB / ER in USA

Hi all,

First post here, just going to jump in. Not sure if this belongs in the IB or Consulting forum but fuck it.

I'm an American (from Boston) that double majored Business (strategy track) and computer science from a non-target in the US (still top 30 undergrad but not IB target). After graduation I was looking to do something that set me apart from other wannabe IB/ER grads to challenge myself and take some focus away from my undergrad / average GPA. I networked with friends of a family friend who has been in buyside real estate across Asia for the past 20 years (solid network). Finally decided moved out to Hong Kong to take a strategy consulting internship with a boutique consulting firm made up of ~15 ex MBB consultants from around Asia & Europe, CEO is an ex Accenture partner. Not a really well-known brand globally, but well respected in the finance sector in HK / Asia. biggest clients include AIA, AXA, Prudential, PFG, Morgan Stanley, JPM, BlackRock.

Started as an analyst, did six months and two projects with major insurance companies before they offered me a consultant pos full time. Did really well on two more projects and helped negotiate a major market entry follow on project with one of the Chinese AM clients. After delivering this project, I was offered a promotion to Senior Consultant (I was only 24 at the time and know this is atypical for MBB/Big 4). That was a year and half ago, ive completed a few more projects in the FS / AM space. similar market entry (research), go to market, structured product research, restructuring due to regulation (huge in China right now).

Now Im starting to get sick of the consulting 3 month and done model. Rarely ever with these projects do you really get to dig deep into strategic problems without partners pulling the carrot and stick shit for project extensions. The traveling around Asia was nice for a bit (worked in SG, MY, Japan, PH, Mainland China), but I am sick of missing Pats / Celts games and would love to be closer to my family.

So, I have 3 years consulting experience, 8ish strategy & ops projects under my belt but want to move back to the States and pursue IB/ER either covering Financials sector or even Energy (has always been an interest of mine). Ive already started networking with a few FO guys in IB in the states (RBC, BNYM, GS) and have gotten some pretty solid feedback that my "story" is interesting and decently unique.

My question: Is my research / international experience ACTUALLY unique enough to get an ER or IB analyst offer and truly switch industries from Consulting to IB? (would def do MM as I think BB would be a stretch) or would I be better suited getting an MBA (710 gmat) at this point before going full speed into IB associate programs.

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Comments (4)

Jan 31, 2019 - 5:52am

Leonwhite, sorry there are no responses yet. Maybe one of these topics can point you in the right direction:

If those topics were completely useless, don't blame me, blame my programmers...

  • Associate 2 in IB-M&A
May 16, 2019 - 4:57pm

It comes down to the odds you're willing to play. If you want to increase your odds and can manage a financial hit, do the MBA.

You could transition from consulting in Asia to IB in the US, but it's not as common and low odds. If you do it and get to a good shop, you could save a lot of money.

That being said, MBA's provide a very streamlined route of entry to all banks, so higher odds. Plus, you'll have a lot of choices since you seem to have good experience and story.

Most Helpful
May 16, 2019 - 6:05pm

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