I see a lot of threads comparing banking and consulting at the undergrad level, however I haven't seen too many of them comparing these two at the post-MBA level, so I wanted to start one.
I will be starting at a top 10 MBA program this Fall. My work experience has been in corporate finance and general management thus far. My long-term goal is to either be in private equity, or to be a general manager/CEO leading dynamic, high-growth companies backed by PE/VC money (preferably at a stage post-launch, but pre-IPO).
5-8 years post-MBA, I have ZERO interest in being in a client serving role -- I want to be either running/helping manage companies or investing in them. However, I am definitely open to being in a client serving role for the learning experience, and I want to learn as much as I can about high-level business and value creation, as soon as I can.
Career options: investment banking vs consulting post mba
If you are unclear on what you want to end up in the next 5 to 10 years after exiting then consulting. Consulting offers a broader set of skills that are applicable outside of finance. It's easier to market your skills to product management, corporate development, operation type roles. But getting into the buy side is more difficult than it would be if you were coming from banking
If you want to stay in finance or more specifically, end up on the buy side investment banking might be better. You have skills that are directly applicable to the buy side. But those skills grow more specific as you advance in your career so exiting into the corporate world can be more difficult ( when compared to consulting).
- Investment banking can set you up for a career in finance and the buy side but at it's harder to exit to various corporate roles.
- Consultants gain a broader skill set that makes it easier to exit to various corporate roles but breaking into the buy side becomes more difficult.
from certified user @MBAApply
If you're unsure about what you want to do in the medium- to long-term, go the consulting route.
The reason is if you go into banking, it's harder to get out of it if you decide to move outside of finance. You WILL be pigeonholed, especially if you stay beyond the associate level. But if your interests lie more in finance, investing, fundraising, etc. then focus on banking.