Consulting in NYC?

Some friends of mine have advocated that "if you want to be a consultant do it anywhere but in NYC". I can understand that if you get paid the same wherever you are why not live in a cheaper lower tax area ( Atlanta Texas Chicago.. Anywhere but NYC basically lol ) but I've been told that if you're in NYC and doing engagements a lot of the time you're not collecting those Starwood points and ff miles-- but at the same time you're not killing yourself on travel. Anyone who is a NYC based consultant or know people who are able to comment on this? Thanks!

Comments (20)

May 24, 2012

That's interesting - I am looking to move from the West Coast to NYC for Management Consulting. Based on the people I have talked to, the travel has to be considered case by case. While there are some who may work in NY, the chances of you traveling for long periods of time anywhere else is equal. Another thing you may consider is whether you are industry specific - for Financial Services, you don't want to be anywhere but NYC or Chicago. If you're not industry-specific, then, it probably doesn't matter as much. Just my two cents.

May 24, 2012

I think it just depends on the experience you are looking for. Are you looking to save on taxes, cost of living, increase purchasing power or are you trying to reduce travel? I've been in NYC for four years and was in Chicago for one. Of course your industry and your clients will determine your travel. I don't think that being a consultant in NYC equates to less travel (except if you specialize in financial services then maybe you will be mostly in NY/CT/NJ). If you are looking to maximize bang for your buck...Chicago/Boston/New York have very similar salaries so you'll really be able to save a lot more (exponentially) in Chicago. Not sure about Atlanta or Texas, can't comment from experience. Hope this helps.

"I never said that you are not good at what you do...it's just that what you do is not worth doing!"

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May 24, 2012

...arent all salaries for consulting the same no matter what office youre at?

May 24, 2012
shorttheworld:

...arent all salaries for consulting the same no matter what office youre at?

Correct in the US

May 24, 2012
Powerpoint Jockey:
shorttheworld:

...arent all salaries for consulting the same no matter what office youre at?

Correct in the US

Actually, most firms account for cost of living

May 24, 2012

i've read that you don't travel nearly as much if you're in a big city because there are more than enough local engagements but at the same time you generally work on fewer industries. NYC - Financials/media, Chicago - Industrials etc..

"Sincerity is an overrated virtue" - Milton Friedman

May 24, 2012

IBM has a universal salary in terms of location. The salary variances are based on...how much they want you. Once you get your salary, you choose your location.

I chose not to live in NYC for a reason.

About 50% of the NYC based IBM consultants have local travel. Some clients still book hotels in Manhattan, but most don't.

Yes, it does vary by industy. However, if you're in Oil & Gas and you tell them you want to live in NYC, they'll have a talk with you about common sense, hahahah.

May 25, 2012

NYC has two big pro and one big con. The first pro is that if you really don't want to travel (e.g. you have a significant other, a lot of friends in NYC, or just don't particularly like living out of a suitcase), and you decide to make staying in NYC your top priority in choosing assignments, you can do that. In fact, staying local will still let you pick from a couple of industries (financial services, healthcare, media, and all the PE DD work you could ever dream of). If your firm lets you specialize, you might be able to stay local in some other offices (public sector in DC, oil & gas in Houston), but only NYC has the impressive breadth of stuff in the immediate area.

Second, with the exception of Bain (which is based in Boston), NY is the official or unofficial HQ of most of the big firms, and it's really nice to work in the biggest and most prominent office. That applies to everything from the number and variety of projects to pick from when you're up for staffing to the number of analysts/associates in your class (you're more likely to find some you really like if it's a big group) to the quality of speakers that they occasionally bring in.

The big con, of course, is the cost of living. Your 80-90k all-in doesn't buy much in NYC - you're looking at roommates, a 200 square foot place, or living in Brooklyn. Compare that to Chicago or, even better, Houston? But then again, if you went to a top undergrad, all your friends are moving to NYC, so saying no is both hard and potentially foolish.

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May 26, 2012

NYC has great networking which I feel is the most valuable thing about it, honestly while COL is something to consider you're young enough that the difference isn't huge in absolute terms. Building out a network is a better thing to do and will add more value than the additional capital you save by living in a non-NY/LA/SF/Chicago city

May 26, 2012

So putting together the network and travel comments - if you want to build a network in FS, media or healthcare, maybe NYC has a minor advantage. But you can make the same argument for other cities/industries, and many people from my office have transitioned to roles in NYC with no problem.

Also some PE firms prefer local candidates which is an advantage for NYC, but that's probably more applicable for pre-MBA than post-MBA.

Salaries are the same across offices at MBB US offices - bonus pools can be a bit different due to office performance, depending on the firm.

Being local has benefits and costs, and comes down to personal preferences - personally I like it as a change of pace (i.e. not having to wake up at 5 AM on Monday), but I'd rather travel.

I'd consider NYC if I was single, post-MBA, and legitimately liked NYC (I get sick of it after a few days) but on a pre-MBA salary, you're living in a 6 bedroom bro-house in Murray Hill, and I just think that would get old quickly.

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May 26, 2012
petergibbons:

but on a pre-MBA salary, you're living in a 6 bedroom bro-house in Murray Hill, and I just think that would get old quickly.

I don't know... sounds like living the dream to me.

http://www.leveragedsellout.com/2006/09/murrays-hi...

May 26, 2012

living in chicago is not that much cheaper than you all think...and most firms will adjust cost of living so location becomes moot

May 26, 2012

post MBA not pre mba :P

May 26, 2012
shorttheworld:

post MBA not pre mba :P

Hah yeah, that was more me rationalizing for myself...I get the "you went to school near NYC, why don't you work there?" a lot.

May 26, 2012
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