Big 4 to B School

I've heard it said that out of the students in the Top 5 Bschools, 1/3 are from consulting, 1/3 from bankng, and 1/3 from "other."

That said, I'm an upcoming senior, and I'm hoping to land a job in a top consulting firm...(the field really interests me and it is a great springboard to Bschool, PE, etc.). However, I'm currently interning for a Big 4, and if I'm not able to get a consulting job, I would come back here.

Do you guys know how Big 4's place in the Top 5 Bschools? To clarify, I won't be in audit. I'm in a Transaction Services group doing valuation and technical accounting.

Have any of you made the jump from a Big 4 to Bschool or know people who have? Any insights are appreciated!

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Comments (11)

Jul 30, 2007 - 12:11am

I won't be much help since I'm an ungrad as well. But are you from a target and whats your gpa like? What do you think about TS and the exit opps? I'm intersted in TS as well but I'm from a non target and have been told it can be hard to break into.

Jul 30, 2007 - 3:06am

My school is definitely one of the most heavily recruited by the Big 4. Our accounting program is ranked top 3. However, I'd say that we are only at a mid-target level for banking. My GPA is 3.9+

TS is very interesting...there are actually different groups that fall within TS. It's obviously much harder to break into than audit or tax as TS is usually regarded as more "prestigious" and it tends to have the smartest people.

As for the exit opps, I'm curious about that myself. I'm guessing that it would still be hard to break into banking, but I'm really hopeing that some people out there can provide some insights on these exit opps. I'm especially interested about how TS appears to the top MBA programs.

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Jul 30, 2007 - 4:19pm

Ya, it has some similar work and definitely better hours. The valuation is a little different though...a lot of it is on the back end of the deal. Bankers come in and value the target, and then the TS group allocates that price to the various tangible and intangible assets for the financial reporting.

And ya, the vacation is pretty generous too. Not sure what the salary stacks up to be, but I doubt it's anywhere near the level of a banker's.

Aug 28, 2007 - 8:18pm

TS is going to give you some great experience. I would say it's more prestigious than audit or tax, offers slightly better pay, and gives you a better understanding of business dealings with m&a. TS people work on both buy-side and sell-side transactions typically alongside investment bankers. TS has more of the consulting-feel to it than audit/tax, along with offering plenty of opportunity to travel, and less hours than consulting/i-banking.

Employees at the big 4 firm I work for typically get 2-3 years of audit experience and transfer to transaction services as a senior associate with their cpa. In the past, my firm hasn't offered associate positions in transaction services, but as that department has grown tremendously in the last several years, they are moving toward getting people in and training them from the ground up. If you have the opportunity to work in TS at an associate (1st year) level, I'd definitely do it.

I know plenty of people who've gone on to get their MBA after 4 years of audit experience (not sure of TS people) - I'm located on the west coast and it seems like a majority of them go to Haas or Anderson.

Aug 28, 2007 - 8:27pm

OP is either at UT-Austin, U of Illinois, or BYU. Good GPA from any of those, along with 700+, 4 years TS experience, and good recs, are enough to get into top10 B schools. Additionally, TS groups are usually the most ambitious of the big4 crowd, so you'll see a fair amount of them head off for the MBA. In my limited experience I know former TS that went to schools such as: HBS, Chicago, Columbia, NYU, UVA, etc.

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