Consulting or Corporate Finance: When to make the switch?

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I graduated from a non-target with a strong GPA and have been working for a private dairy manufacturer for the past two years as a financial analyst. The company is a great company for people who are looking to settle down and retire, but is not that innovative and is not that well known by the "general public", b-schools, etc.

Right now I have two offers on the table:

My question is: Which one do I take for better exit opportunities and better recognition by business schools, if I eventually want to end up in corporate finance or run my own business?

Choosing Between FLDP And Management Consulting

The consensus among users seems to be that any opportunity you have to work at a F500 FLDP program, is a good move if you’re interested in progressing your career and getting into a major business school, as they are more recognized. They are regarded as just a step below investment banking, corporate strategy or true management consulting
…i've never heard of Baker Tilly, IT implementaion work doens't get a lot of respect, and F500 FLDP programs are generally very well regarded by Business Schools (just a notch below IB, corporate strategy, or a "true"management consulting role).

Certified user @djfiii shares his insight:

Baker Tilly is an accounting firm, and they are only going to get the bullshit implementation work that the Big4 either didn't want, or didn't bother competing for (i.e. not enough money). So basically you'll be underpaid, overworked, get zero "consulting" experience, and have not even have exit ops that are as good as what you'd get coming out of Big4 (which are themselves, only middle of the pack in terms of prestige / exit ops).
The obvious choice is the GM FLPD. It's not even a question. With a strong GPA, you can leverage that into a top MBA program, and then to MBB where you can actually be a consultant.

Read More About Choosing The Right Offer On WSO

Comments (22)

 
Mar 12, 2012 - 7:17pm

Implementing NetSuite is not what you want. It has absolutely NOTHING to do with MBB type consulting work. It's an IT job.

Take the GM FLDP all the way. It is better than Baker Tilly by any metric, B-school, pay, exit opps etc..

"Sincerity is an overrated virtue" - Milton Friedman
 
Mar 12, 2012 - 7:28pm

Agree with the above poster, take the option 1.

"I am the hero of the story. I don't need to be saved."
 
Mar 12, 2012 - 7:47pm

Baker Tilly is an accounting firm, and they are only going to get the bullshit implementation work that the Big4 either didn't want, or didn't bother competing for (i.e. not enough money). So basically you'll be underpaid, overworked, get zero "consulting" experience, and have not even have exit ops that are as good as what you'd get coming out of Big4 (which are themselves, only middle of the pack in terms of prestige / exit ops).

I'm confused though - you acknowledge that Baker Tilly isn't true consulting, a la MBB, and then go on to talk about how 2-3 years of consulting provides you with the same exposure that 6-7 years of FA work does. You seem to be thinking that there is some hit in the prestige department, but ultimately, you'd be performing similar enough work that you'd get that same experience in 2-3 years at Baker Tilly. Let's be clear - that will never happen, even after 25 years at Baker Tilly. They don't even play in the same park as MBB.

Unless you enjoy stabbing yourself in the face, the obvious choice is the GM FLPD. It's not even a question. With a strong GPA, you can leverage that into a top MBA program, and then to MBB where you can actually be a consultant.

 
Mar 12, 2012 - 9:29pm

i've never heard of Baker Tilly, IT implementaion work doens't get a lot of respect, and F500 FLDP programs are generally very well regarded by Business Schools (just a notch below IB, corporate strategy, or a "true" management consulting role).

go for General Mills. congratulations, and best of luck.

Money Never Sleeps? More like Money Never SUCKS amirite?!?!?!?
 
Mar 12, 2012 - 9:30pm

Consulting vs Corporate Finance (Originally Posted: 10/22/2016)

Hi guys!
I just received two offers. One from a banking consulting firm, and the other from one of the top four audit firms for a position in corporate finance. The offer from the consulting firm is much more lucrative, but I'm not sure what's the right option in terms of long-term prospects.

Any advice??

 
Mar 12, 2012 - 9:33pm

Need Advice - Lazard Corporate Finance or Consulting? (Originally Posted: 03/07/2009)

Eventually want to do consulting at MBB or management at Fortune 500. The consulting firm I'm considering now is not top 10, but they have their unique specialization and they are top in that field. Also have heavy alum base at a few top 5 MBA schools which I want to go later on. Also many have become managers at client firms. The skills I will be learning plus the MBA will be very applicable to management, but the name of this consulting firm doesn't have the prestige that Lazard has.

Does anyone know the exit opps out of Lazard Corp Fin? It's not their M&A or restructuring, which is what they are known for, but it is investment banking and Lazard is a great place to do banking now. I'm not sure I want to stay in Finance, but feels like maybe doing Lazard (possibly transferring internally to M&A down the line) then doing B-school will have a higher chance of getting into MBB or top management firm after b-school. Seems like skillset is not the most transferable to management, but how much weight does the name carry?

Thanks for any advice.

 
Mar 12, 2012 - 9:38pm

If you like Lazard, go with it. It should open more doors: PE, VC or consulting. Lazard has an excellent track record of sending people to HBS. This for NY, if it's a regional office, things would change.

Disclaimer: This is just what I think, I don't have a lot of experience, so take what I say with a grain of salt.

 
Mar 12, 2012 - 9:39pm

Lazard. Besides it being an easier move from Lazard to MBB, vs. the non-top 10 consulting firm to Lazard or a similar bank... and that Lazard could open more doors in the short and possibly long-term, it gives you a chance to try finance out. Even if you're fully convinced you want to do consulting in the future, it definitely helps to have a well-rounded resume (both a finance background and later consulting) for your MBA. I'm assuming this position is SA so you're doing it for 8-10 weeks...

 
Mar 12, 2012 - 9:41pm

Oh sorry stk1234, I should have caught that in the above posts... I'd still go with Lazard for the same reasons, but that does change things around a bit in terms of how much of a life you want to keep for the next year or so before getting into b-school.

Congrats on getting those offers!

 
Mar 12, 2012 - 9:43pm

Corporate finance - finance manager or advisory in consulting firm (Originally Posted: 08/13/2017)

Hi everyone,
I need your advice.
I have cpa, cma and sql, salesforce, tableau experience in tech field for 6 years. I am thinking of the next step for the career. Which do u suggest: Keep working in corporate finance role in tech firm to be a finance manager or working in advisory in consulting firm?
My personality is more outgoing and people person, like fast paced environment and do not mind traveling. So I want to try advisory filed but on a second hand, people who usually work in advisory field after years always work as a manager in corporate finance. How do you guys think?

 
Mar 12, 2012 - 9:44pm

My 2 cents -- I was in a similar position with slightly less experience than you. I took the jump to consulting after 5 years, and got great experience and built my network over the next 2 years.

The experience being a revenue driver alone is worth it -- depending on your consulting firm -- you'll get lots of training in different cities, conventions, opportunity for work in other cities, expensed meals, etc. My experience was dampened by projects that didn't really align to my goals, but I feel it was a great stepping stone overall.

I left my corporate finance role as a Senior Financial Analyst, and came back as a Finance Manager. A year later, I was promoted to Director. Experience totally varies, but broadening your experience and giving you a view of "the other side" is worthwhile in my opinion. Especially if you're not yet married / with kids.

 
Mar 12, 2012 - 9:45pm

Smaller Consulting firm vs Top Notch Corporate Finance (Originally Posted: 07/23/2010)

Hi everyone, I am going to be a senior and want to get into the best possible MBA program. I go to a semi-target school with a pretty good (3.7) gpa. I have an offer from a great fortune 500 company doing a rotational finance program and another offer at a smaller consulting firm. I like the name brand of the corporate finance job but the work as a consultant would be more challenging. Suggestions for getting into the best mba program?
Thanks

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