Comments (9)

Feb 11, 2010

These are all very different areas you have offers from. You need to decide what you wan to do in the long term. If you go into trading, you're almost stuck doing trading forever. You'll have latitude though to move from one shop to another or from hedge fund to hedge fund for trading, but you won't be able to move to, say, consulting or ibanking (unlikely). If you pick audit, you're stuck doing accounting. If you do consulting, you do have some opportunity to change out to say PE, but it would depend on the name recognition of the firm and your experiences.

Feb 11, 2010

Yeah again you need to think one to two steps after all these jobs and see where you want to be. Outside of Big 3 consulting, its very difficult to move into buyside PE firms if that's what you're interested in. I do disagree with AlphaGeneration's comment that if you do Big 4 you'll do accounting your whole life.

I interviewed at a lot of investment banks and you always see at least one of the occasional senior positions who was able to make the transition over to investment banking (don'tget me wrong, it's not an easy transition by anymeans). Also after two years of audit you can move into Transactional Services and thats not a bad route either.

Feb 11, 2010

i have a good friend working in transactional services; she absolutely hates it. not nearly as interesting as typical front office buyside or sellside jobs.

Feb 11, 2010

I don't recall meeting anybody in recruiting that made a transition from accounting... or perhaps they were ashamed by it and didn't mention it haha.

Met a lot of industry ppl that went to B-school --> banking tho.

Feb 11, 2010

Audit @ Big 4: Nice, safe career that offers comfortable pay for an upper-middle class life and a clear path to 40-50 hour weeks.

Consulting: More money (both per hour and overall), more work overall, more travel, more exit opps.

Trading: Much less job stability; more money (if you're good), more free time (at least at a Chicago prop shop).

Me personally? I work in Capital Markets, so I'd choose the trading job, but you've gotta figure out what you want. Most college students want the most prestigious and best paying job that they can find, but after three years of experience, I've learned that there's a lot more important things to life than work. YOU might be all right working 70 hours a week, but most of my coworkers' families don't like it when they put in those crazy hours. Your social and spiritual life will also suffer if you spend too much time working. Bear in mind that instead of 16 weeks of vacation a year that college students get, you usually only get 2-4 weeks, so 70 hours/week is a lot tougher in real life than in school.

So there you have it. If you know you want to have a family in the next five or ten years, I think Audit at a Big Four firm will be the best choice. It's not quite as sexy as consulting or trading, but you'll age slower and there's still a lot of prestige in working for a firm like KPMG or Deloitte. Otherwise, if you like the idea of retiring at 35, you've got to figure out how much you like risk.

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Feb 11, 2010

Thanks a lot for your responses. I think you all have very valuable points of which I am thinking about now. But I don't really care about stress and prestige as much as about pay/compensation. I know it's different from person to person, but I just want experience and money to do something in the future.

Anyway that's how I see it and I welcome all the critique you can come up with:

-Big 4 Audit. Good, secured job but I think it's very boring and you don't get as much experience and networking there anyway. And some of my friends told me that it's extremely hard to transition from there to Consulting/ I-Banking/ Something different, but I agree that it is doable.

-Consulting. It's not a Big 3, but pretty well-recognized company. Many pros, but I don't think you ll be making there a lot.

-Prop Trading firm. A lot of uncertainty, a lot of stress but very enterpreneurial, young and less bureaucratic place. I know about upside of this job but I am also aware of downside and all the bumps down the road. In my mind, if one does prop trading for some time it will make him think as an economist, because you know how to react to different situations in different markets. And with that experience you might be a valuable catch down the road.

These are my thoughts. What do you think? Thanks a lot

Feb 11, 2010

Thanks a lot for your responses. I think you all have very valuable points of which I am thinking about now. But I don't really care about stress and prestige as much as about pay/compensation. I know it's different from person to person, but I just want experience and money to do something in the future.

You say that right now, as a 22 year old who is used to getting 16 weeks a year of vacation. When you are 24, you will see things much differently. You will wonder where all of your friends have gone, why you never have time to do anything fun, why you don't talk to your family as much as you used to, and what you missed over the past two years. And then you will realize, "Oh, I was working 90 hours a week as a consultant."

Feb 11, 2010

Thanks for comment

I am aware of that and that's why Big 4 firm and Consulting and especially I-Banks put a lot of attention on Face time (I know everybody would say that it's not true). I had internships in Consulting firm and in Big 4 firm during busy seasons and I know what it means not to be very social. That's one of the reasons why I don't want to do it. That's why I think Prop Trading Shop would be more fun and at the same time more risky to work at.

?

Feb 11, 2010
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