Career Advice: SWE vs. Management Consulting

Hi everyone,

I am a current Junior (international student) at a low/semi-target T10 university majoring in CS. I am debating between an SWE internship at a Big-N company (but not FAANG) and a more business-oriented internship at an F500 company next Summer. It'll be my last internship before graduation.

For some background information, I've always wanted to become a management consultant but didn't start pursuing the path until this past month thinking it was impossible because I go to a non-target school. I am planning to go all-in (networking/ case prep) next Fall to get a full-time job at MBB, but I know that the chances are pretty slim. I do have the basic qualifications (3.9 GPA, leadership role at consulting club), but since I am an international student, I wouldn't be eligible to apply for Big 4/second tier firms.

The biggest pro of doing an SWE internship next Summer is that I'll have a solid backup plan. I could get a return offer for a full-time SWE position and recruiting for FT would be significantly easier with a Big-N internship on my resume. While SWE is not where my passion lies, it is a job that could reliably offer visa sponsorship and a 6 figure salary.

However, I also feel like it is in my best interest to get a business-related internship (either consulting or business analytics), hopefully at a Fortune 500 company, to boost my chances to get a full-time position at MBB. This is based on the fact that most of the alumni who got a new grad position at MBB from our school did internships at either a consulting firm, F500, or BB.

One last option would be doing a combined master's program (extending 1-2 more semesters) and trying to recruit for a summer intern position at MBB next recruiting cycle.

Ultimately, my situation comes down to a choice between going all-in for my passion (with significant risk) or having a backup plan with a lower chance of getting my dream job. How do yall think?

Comments (3)

Nov 12, 2021 - 12:55am

Trust me you don't really have to choose between safety and passion here. It is absolutely possible to go from SWE at a top company (not sure what big-N is) but if the company is well-known unicorn or smth this well definitely not hinder you from MBB recruiting. As long as you have your why swe to consulting story straight, this experience makes you a good unique candidate 

  • Associate 3 in Consulting
Nov 12, 2021 - 9:02am

Corporis quaerat quidem sit consectetur odio officia molestias distinctio. Voluptatum debitis in aliquam blanditiis harum incidunt. Et ipsum voluptatem sequi illo.

Qui facilis necessitatibus et. Velit sed in similique laudantium.

Ut qui sint repudiandae vitae placeat ullam et velit. Quis dignissimos distinctio est voluptatem officia nulla. Hic enim dicta ut veniam ut nam. Eos quisquam aperiam minima mollitia perferendis quia.

Voluptatem consequuntur labore quia molestiae doloremque enim. Quibusdam aliquam nostrum aperiam voluptatem praesentium similique unde. Esse in eveniet voluptatem distinctio in.

Start Discussion

Total Avg Compensation

January 2022 Consulting

  • Principal (22) $269
  • Director/MD (44) $265
  • Vice President (37) $246
  • Engagement Manager (86) $220
  • Manager (134) $167
  • 2nd Year Associate (129) $137
  • 3rd+ Year Associate (97) $129
  • Senior Consultant (288) $128
  • Consultant (519) $116
  • 1st Year Associate (466) $115
  • Engineer (4) $110
  • NA (12) $109
  • 3rd+ Year Analyst (119) $108
  • 2nd Year Analyst (268) $98
  • Associate Consultant (146) $96
  • 1st Year Analyst (907) $85
  • Intern/Summer Associate (151) $81
  • Intern/Summer Analyst (410) $67