AMA: S&T>>MBB

Failure's picture
Rank: Monkey | 63

Hi guys,

To use the cliched introduction, I am long time reader of WSO but never contributed. If you do the slightest bit of data mining on this account, you can see it is brand new, which really shows my level of contribution prior to this date. However, WSO has been a great community that gives great career/life advice, keeps college kids (like me) in check, and provides an accessible flow of resources for professionals of all stages in their careers. To return the favor, I am hoping to start my series of "Blogs", starting with this AMA, and, if the demand exists, to other topics: recruiting tips, "distractions" like prestige when picking career paths, my career path etc. I would love to get feedback on this post to see if I could add value to this community.

Now, for the AMA, I will write a bit about myself (I'll keep it brief-ish). I came from a small town with zero knowledge of finance/consulting. Upon reaching college, it took me a solid 2.5 years to even know the difference between banking, trading, and Asset Management (and economic/management consulting...I know, pretty bad). I was very lost and applied everywhere my second year and interviewed at a few places, horribly. My junior year, I was set on S&T and only applied to that division and, luckily, continued to work at a BB for S&T. I really loved my experience, but as many, I couldn't say I wanted to do it for the rest of my life. So, what's the best option for college students who don't know what they want to do yet? Management consulting. And here I am. I will be working at MBB for a head office and I would be more than happy to speak more about recruiting, office preferences, why I made my choices, etc.

tl;dr I'm new to writing. Be nice, ask me shit.

Region: 
France

Comments (18)

Nov 17, 2015

Thanks for taking the time to do an AMA!

Did you make the switch between S&T and MBB before graduating college? If not, how did you go about getting back in front of recruiters without the resources of your university?

Nov 17, 2015
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Thanks for taking the time to do an AMA!

Did you make the switch between S&T and MBB before graduating college? If not, how did you go about getting back in front of recruiters without the resources of your university?

I did make the switch before graduating college, which I think would be the easiest way to make the move. However, I do know a MBB consultant who made the switch 2 years after graduating. This person was in non-profit work and then switched to MBB by staying in touch/reaching out to school alumni/classmates. Of course, he/she started as a 1st year.

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Nov 17, 2015

Thanks for taking the AMA. Did you find the transition hard in terms of selling your S&T story to MBB? Plans after consulting or are you in it for the long-run?

Nov 17, 2015
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Thanks for taking the AMA. Did you find the transition hard in terms of selling your S&T story to? Plans after consulting or are you in it for the long-run?

Not particularly hard to transition. IMO, consulting firms love people of all backgrounds and I think the ability to say "Why not finance" was helpful. I am not sure for the long-run, I figure I will have a much better idea after more experience.

Nov 18, 2015

Isnt this title misleading considering most FT consulting hires do not have a prior consulting internship? I mean, do those that go from engineering to consulting, corporate finance to consulting, or studying abroad junior year to consulting really have a Study Abroad>>>MBB thread dedicated to them? At some point these threads become humble brag to call attention on the OP..

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Nov 18, 2015
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Isnt this title misleading considering most FT consulting hires do not have a prior consulting internship? I mean, do those that go from engineering to consulting, corporate finance to consulting, or studying abroad junior year to consulting really have a Study Abroad>>>MBB thread dedicated to them? At some point these threads become humble brag to call attention on the OP..

You're absolutely right.

Nov 18, 2015

On the contrary I'd love to see threads for AMA: engineering>>consulting or engineering>>S&T etc.

I say this as a somewhat confused senior studying engineering who's become disenchanted with engineering after disappointing summer internship experiences.

Best Response
Nov 18, 2015
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On the contrary I'd love to see threads for AMA: engineering>>consulting or engineering>>S&T etc.

I say this as a somewhat confused senior studying engineering who's become disenchanted with engineering after disappointing summer internship experiences.

I am not personally an engineering major, however, I know plenty of other people within both industries that I can speak about to shed some light on the topic.

First and foremost, I want to say engineering is, arguably, the most rigorous major one can have in college. For that reason, I believe it is the most versatile and a lot of doors are open for you. Majoring is like "signaling". Sure, you may not directly use what you learned in school at your job, but you bet it'll help you land that job. So, I'm sorry to hear you had a disenchanting summer, but definitely a lot of doors are still open for you.

Engineering>>S&T:
This is a very common move. During my time at BB S&T, there were definitely engineers. Assuming you're fairly strong at math, it really opens your doors within S&T in terms of what desk you can go on. You can do any of the common desks such as mortgages, equities, credit etc. but your math ability also allows you to be a strong candidate for desks such as non-linear rates, structured credit, etc (on these desk, however, your math skills will definitely be utilized). 100% an easy sell to do engineering>>S&T.

Engineering>>Consulting.
I know a MBB consultant who, like you, did a engineering summer internship. However, it was pretty applicable. His engineering experience was understanding the best material combination to package certain perishable foods. He was ultimately able to sell this experience and desire to understand companies, various products, and consumers to go from engineering >>consulting. But, overall, your skills will definitely not be applied much, but as said earlier, the "signaling" of your qualifications will definitely be a large factor in receiving a top notch consulting gig. Consulting firms in general love people from all kinds of backgrounds, but in my candid opinion, they love math/engineering majors. So you're set there.

Hope that helps and hope you find a job you truly enjoy.

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Nov 18, 2015

thanks for taking the time to answer questions! will bump this up onto top of fronpage a couple times this week

WSO's COO (Chief Operating Orangutan) | My Linkedin

Nov 18, 2015
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thanks for taking the time to answer questions! will bump this up onto top of fronpage a couple times this week

No problem at all, as noticed earlier, I just love talking about myself. All joking aside, that would be great! Thank you!

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Nov 18, 2015

Hi I'm in the same shoes as you are. Did one S&T internship in the past, scheduled to do another one this coming year. What was your story for transitioning from S&T to consulting?

Nov 18, 2015
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Hi I'm in the same shoes as you are. Did one S&T internship in the past, scheduled to do another one this coming year. What was your story for transitioning from S&T to consulting?

First, congratulations on receiving two S&T internships.

As for the story to transition, I told the truth. I really did love my S&T internship and my FT placement. However, trading is a niche skill-set. If you love it, it is a very lucrative and meaningful career, but as a 20-something year old, I could not say I truly wanted to trade in the long-run and if I wanted to exit, I, more than likely, would have to start over. Additionally, I did not like the trading work in the aspect that it is not project based. I did not want to wake up, do my things, and go home without a longer goal in mind.
In consulting, however, you work towards tangible goals (fix companies, basically). I get more excited finishing up rigorous projects vs. "grinding" (online gaming word) everyday. Also, consulting gives you an extremely applicable skillset to pretty much everything you want to do after. Or you can stay if you love it.

Also, for me (though I didn't say it), the Bschool support/option from consulting is too hard to turn down.

Hope that helps! If you want to get more specific, feel free to PM me.

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Nov 18, 2015

Thanks for doing the AMA. Something that I'm usually worried about are informational interviews on the phone.

What are some tips that you may have to build rapport and great feedback?
How do you go about to prepare for the call?
What are some questions that you typically ask or topics that you hit when learning about the group that doesn't sound like generic googled questions?

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Nov 18, 2015
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Thanks for doing the AMA. Something that I'm usually worried about are informational interviews on the phone.

What are some tips that you may have to build rapport and great feedback?How do you go about to prepare for the call?What are some questions that you typically ask or topics that you hit when learning about the group that doesn't sound like generic googled questions?

Great list of very difficult questions to answer. In short, the answer would be "to be social." But, that's easier said than done.

When I did informational interviews, I would prepare the following things:

1) Everything in a behavioral interview. informational interviews definitely vary in terms of how formal they are/if they even have an effect on the process. However, being prepared for "tell me a bit about yourself" or "what do you do at school?" type questions never hurts.

2) If you know who they are, research them: what school did they go to, what do they like to do for fun, what sector do they specialize in? This way, you can more readily relate with them.

3) I would open notepad on my computer and have a good list of questions to prevent awkward spaces. I hated having spaces between one question to another, especially if I drew a blank on what to ask next. Having the questions in front of you will prevent this awkwardness.

4) To answer your last question on not sounding generic. It's very difficult/impossible. However, I do not think sounding generic is bad to begin with. I used to start with, "There is only so much you can google and learn about XYZ, and even then, I feel I do not learn much. I would love to learn more from you, a person who actually works there about ABC."

Now, my advice to stand out and not be thought of as generic at the end of the phone call is to truly LISTEN. Ask the generic question and then listen to his/her answer. Digest his/her answer, and REPLY to it. When the question is clearly exhausted, refer to the notepad of questions I mentioned earlier. There are too many students who ask questions and are so busy thinking about their next question to avoid the awkward silence that they don't even listen to the answer. And it is very clear you didn't answer since the next question is usually way off topic. By doing this, it makes it appear (even if you're not) that you're 1) engaged and interested in the conversation 2) can carry a normal conversation 3) want to learn (and you really do!). So, in summary, don't be afraid to ask those generic questions to start the conversation, but then think on the fly, ask questions relevant to their answers, and stand out to the interviewer.

Hope that answers your questions!

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Nov 18, 2015

Thank you so much for the specific answers! It definitely helped a lot considering I have a lot of these upcoming. Extremely helpful advice!

Nov 21, 2015
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