I rarely ask for advice but now have a tricky situation. Am a former consultant from top tier firm in my second year at Ivy League MBA. I'm sponsored by my consultancy but want to move to finance industry and take my MBA debt burden. I did mid market PE internship this year and now look for IB opportunities in London.
Previously I was looking for PE opportunities - but it's almost impossible to get there with no prior significant deal experience (in my internship I did some deals but far not enough for big name guys). So I'm now looking at career in IB. Unfortunately this year is very tough for London recruiting:, MS, , and few others staffed their 2011 associate classes with former interns and don't have any single associate vacancy. All is left are either big second tiers such as BarCap, , , or smaller banks. Honestly I look more for the learning experience since I want later move to PE anyway and consequently I'm more inclined towards boutique/MM banks (namely I have interviews with Houlihan, and ).
So what would you choose out of 3 options: going back to consulting and try to leave it for PE at a later stage, join well-known but 2nd tier large IB or join MM/boutique... (if it helps I'm an engineer by 1st background and look mainly for technology/telecom groups; also I'm looking only for Europe based job for personal reasons - although I do realize NYC would be easier for me)