8/30/12

Howdy all,

So this topic kind of has been talked about before, but my situation is still somewhat unique so I thought that I would post a topic.

So I am a rising senior at a top Undergraduate B-school (that MBB actively recruits from) and I have an offer (with exploding incentives before recruitment) from Deloitte Consulting. I really enjoyed my time there and could see myself there, but I wanted to kind of get some advice seeing as no one has been able to answer my question.

Basically I want to figure out if I should go through recruitment this year. What I will lose is some incentives and I will miss out on a lot of opportunities to continue to connect to Deloitte and kind of be the class champion.

My mindset with regard to the firms are:
Deloitte: Good combination of culture and work that I want to do (energy/sustainability)
Bain:Best culture, but not the work that I want to do and moving away from mba model that I like
McKinsey:Best work but worst culture
BCG:I have no idea

Yeah so I am confused as to what I should do and any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Comments (30)

8/30/12

Only you can decide if it's worth it.

Management Consulting Interview Course

8/30/12

It sounds like you like Deloitte. Go there. It's not all about prestige.

MM IB -> TMT Corporate Development

8/30/12

I don't know how strong the exploding incentives are, but I wouldn't assume you have to make the call now. From where you stand as a senior, those incentives look like a huge option premium, I'm sure. Compared to how the different options could impact your career in the future, though, they are probably negligible.

I also wouldn't assume that you wouldn't have a chance to stay connected with Deloitte - if anything, the firm I worked at would step up its recruiting efforts and you would get to meet a number of senior people that you might not after you sign.

I'm not saying you should value the prestige of MBB over a good work environment, but it doesn't necessarily sound like you are too familiar with MBB work culture and alumni. I think it'd be worth getting a clearer idea. After all, if you end up liking the culture at one of MBB as much as you like Deloitte, it's hard to argue that the top half of a class from MBB generally goes on to a very different career than a comparable group from Deloitte.

Good luck either way, and it sounds like you'll do great. Your perspective is a lot more balanced than a lot of kids going into recruiting - your first priority should definitely be to put yourself in a work environment that you'll enjoy and that will help you succeed.

8/30/12

Do you get the vibe that Deloitte would retract their bonuses if you go through recruitment? I would contact them and thank them, but ask for time to explore the industries that other firms specialize in, and other firms' cultures as well. Like mentioned above, I think they would likely step up their pursuit of you, and you might also get a chance to go through recruitment.

As always though, take the advice here with a grain of salt.

8/30/12

Last I recall, DC's incentive for early signing was what, $2000? Could be worth it if it's up to you. My friends at Deloitte all really enjoyed the work and culture.

How do you see Bain's MBA model? To my understanding, it has a very similar setup as Deloitte's - paying you back for it one year at a time when you return to the firm. I have friends at all 3 MBB who've had experience in energy and sustainability - I think that's largely going to be a question of offices/networking within the firm to get yourself on those projects. I definitely wouldn't count out BCG, they're considered by many to be the "middle ground" between the work and play cultures of McKinsey and Bain.

If you're considering energy so highly, might be good to take a glanceinto Booz & Co. To my knowledge, they have a very well known group doing energy and sustainability work.

8/31/12

Go through the cycle again....no lose move.

My impression based on your comments is that you really don't know the firms all that well. Everyone says Bain has the best culture and McK the worst, but most people are just parroting what they've heard others say. I work at an mbb and won't ever compare - never worked for the other two so why make shit up? I get those comparison questions all the time in recruiting and I tell them to do their homework and make the best call for themselves. I won't piss on another firm.

To say one does work you like and another doesnt is also pretty naive. You cant box up mbbs and compare them that way. You're far more likely to be stuck on some rando endless engagement at Deloitte because their fees allow clients to keep them around for that work. Mbb fees are high enough that clients wont bring them in for random work or stuff that isn't for the top guys. The work we lose to Deloitte (we aren't up against them much) is purely price, not capabilities.

Unless Deloitte is offering you some life altering incentives, I say you go through the process and find out for yourself.

11/7/13

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8/31/12

also, on the note of exploding incentives - you can usually contact the mbb recruiters for your school and let them know your situation. if they like you, they'll do a super super accelerated interview process before OCR stuff to let you know where you stand. even if they say "we can't accept you early" they'll often add "...but we'll flag you as a high profile candidate for the regular OCR pool." so that's the point at which you'd have to make the decision of, hmm...should i give up my deloitte incentives to get a chance with mbb?

but anyway yeah ive found that if they want you they'll work with you. (i should note that the early recruiting process i noted above really only happened with people coming from investment banks and with return offers for a specific group...not so sure about folks coming from lower tier consulting firms...)

Management Consulting Interview Course

11/7/13

11/7/13

I hope you know MBB is referring to McKinsey/Bain/BCG.

11/7/13

Yup. I know that they are much more difficult to get into than Deloitte, but I still feel like the information I got on Deloitte made it seem much less competitive than I expected. It's just hard to believe that its no problem getting an interview at Deloitte without internship experience/high gpa.

11/7/13

as long as it gives you valuable experience, it think you should go for Deloitte if you can't get into MBB.

11/7/13

I'm not really sure what you're trying to say here. A 3.5+ GPA at a target school (Ivy or near Ivy, basically) is a pretty damn high GPA. Is it high enough for MBB? Maybe not, barring some other impressive leadership roles, but it's still representative of pretty good grades. As you said, Deloitte is naturally a bit less selective than the Big 3, and it's also bigger, meaning that it simply has to hire more people each year (thus lowering standards further).

Either way, who cares? either Deloitte's slightly lower standards are good for you because they give you a shot, or your qualified to get an interview at MBB, in which case Deloitte works as an excellent backup, where you'll stand out with above average stats.

It's not like you'd be lowering yourself to work with stupid people at Deloitte. A guy/girl with a 3.6 GPA from Georgetown is still probably pretty smart...

11/7/13

BGP2587:

I'm not really sure what you're trying to say here. A 3.5+ GPA at a target school (Ivy or near Ivy, basically) is a pretty damn high GPA. Is it high enough for MBB? Maybe not, barring some other impressive leadership roles, but it's still representative of pretty good grades.

For recruiting purposes, I'd actually argue that 3.5 at a target/Ivy school isn't that impressive, especially if you're attending schools where there is grade inflation (i.e. Harvard, Brown, etc.). There's a reason why the MBB bar is set around 3.7+ for most schools. There is a TON of people with 3.7+ at any school with more than a thousand kids in each class, and we are talking about a very limited number of interview spots even for the very top schools.

OP, I don't know what you're looking for. People are likely not going to give you concrete numbers here. The facts are that MBB is more selective than Deloitte. Also a few notes:

1) The selectiveness of Deloitte varies hugely by practice. I'm going to assume that you're talking about S&O, but other practices are significantly easier to get into.

2) Do you actually believe 100% of what the recruiter tells you? There are a lot of thing said officially that are technically true but doesn't really reflect the whole situation. So yes, there is technically no minimum GPA or work experience to get an interview at Deloitte S&O or even MBB. However, in real life, you will have a very difficult time getting one without both as well as some good networking.

11/7/13

Thanks alot for the advice and sorry that my question was so abimbiguous. I would be absolutely thrilled to work for Deloitte; its a great firm with very inteligent people. The purpose of my question was so that I could start forming realistic expectations about where i might get interviews.

11/7/13

MCraig:

Thanks alot for the advice and sorry that my question was so abimbiguous. I would be absolutely thrilled to work for Deloitte; its a great firm with very inteligent people. The purpose of my question was so that I could start forming realistic expectations about where i might get interviews.

Don't worry about where you might get interview. It is not in your control. What you can control now is to work on everything you can to be the best candidate on your side. That being said, try to be as excellent as possible on academic performance, leadership, and internship with some big and famous companies. All in all, school is the most important factor. But since you are already in a target school, you are basically competing with your buddies there.

fight for MBB

11/7/13

Spot-on advice.

11/7/13

I 100% agree, which is why I said in the next sentence that it's probably not enough to get you an interview barring something else very standout. I do not blame MBB in any way for filtering based on GPA, there are simply too many applicants that are way too similar for them not to do so.

I think we all knew plenty of people in college that had 3.7+ GPA's that weren't very impressive, while we know

On another note, I actually think Deloitte does publish a minimum 3.5 GPA for S&O in their job listings. At least they used to when I was there, although you could get around it.

11/7/13

Maybe they do, maybe they don't. It almost doesn't matter b/c the actual cut-off is most certainly higher than 3.5. That was my point--don't blindly trust whatever the recruiter says b/c it's often not the whole truth.

Also I do think the overall selectivity matters (not necessarily the GPA cutoff). No, it's not like the Deloitte people aren't smart people. But I did find the people at MBB to be of higher quality than the people at Deloitte overall (as did my friend who ended up at Deloitte). Same goes for other tier 2 firms. I mean, that's one of the biggest reasons why people choose one firm over the other in addition to prestige, etc.

Best Response
11/7/13

Listen kid, recruiting standards isn't hard science. Yes if your grades are below a certain point the firms won't even look at you. If your GPA is above 3.5 the difference won't matter that much. McKinsey is not going to hire you because you are 4.0 student and neither will Deloitte if you are only good at hitting books and nothing else.

Generally speaking MBB's bars are set higher but the range of talent they bring in definitely intersect with that of Deloitte and other Tier 2's. I know people with sub 3.5 and no brand name internships get into MBB (heck, i was one of them) and on the other hand i've also seen plenty of people with 3.7+ GPA from target school and BB internships not even get an interview at Deloitte or MBB. At the end of the day, there are a lot of factors that comes into play.

Quit dwelling on these small differences and prestige comparisons and start working on something that will actually help you land an interview at any of these firms. This forum has a lot of great info that could seriously help you land dream jobs but it also has a huge amount of prestige BS that blows things out of proportion.

11/7/13

Spot-on advice.

11/7/13

The poster's Susan-G and MBBFuturePast responses in this thread are spot-on.

11/7/13

McKinsey/Boston Consulting/Bain. Top 3 consulting firms.

Alright, Alright, Alright...

11/7/13

I will give you my advice and experience. I worked at Deloitte Consulting - S&O for 2 years as an undergrad hire and helped out with a fair amount of recruiting efforts (helping out with "extra-curricular" firm activities is highly encouraged as it is factored into your performance rating). First off, what everyone is saying is all true: Deloitte is noticeable second choice vs MBB, concentrate on what is in your control, and stop worrying so much about a small point. That being said, I understand your position as an undergrad trying to figure everything out about a process (i.e. recruiting) that you've never been through and one that it seems as if it's been building ever since you started school.

While I can't comment on the school year extra-curricular activities issue, I can shed some light on GPA. I remember the Deloitte S&O undergrad recruiter telling us before a career fair that if we were asked about a GPA cut-off, to say the firm generally prefers to have a 3.5 GPA for its candidates but does factor in all relevant circumstances. The official reason for this that Deloitte puts a heavy emphasis on its hires to go to b-school and a 3.5 is a good "ball park" for what's necessary to get into a top school.

The process is actually pretty democratic (I was pretty surprised myself). I remember an email being sent out about further evaluating a candidates profile in light of a lower GPA, asking questions such as: "Is English this person's second language?" or "Does this person have to work a demanding part-time job during the school year?"

Lastly, I would also add that Deloitte S&O (at least my office), recruited heavily from undergrad b-schools like Stern, Haas, etc. where grade inflation is kept to a minimum. After years and years of recruiting from these campuses they are familiar enough with the school to know to factor in GPA based on school academic policies/standards and not to view it as an "end all and be all."

Some advice on what I think someone in your situation can do to best increase their odds of an offer:

1) Nail the case - The case may be the most important part of the interview. At the very least, it is usually the differentiating factor. I knew people with near 4.0 GPAs whose case didn't go well and didn't get the offer while people with low GPAs (like 3.2 and 3.3) who really did well on the case and got hired.

2) Attend firm events - Definitely go to as many events as you can. The corporate presentations and career fairs can be a little of sh*t show with huge amounts of people handing out resumes but some of the other on-campus events give great opportunity to connect. I would highlight that some events (like a case workshop) are sparsely attended.....especially if it's at a less popular time (e.g. 10 AM on a Saturday). You'll get great insights into what a firm looks for in a candidate and great tips/tricks on how to handle your case interviews.

3) Keep in touch - Certain firm insiders will really help you in the process. One firm (not Deloitte) actually had someone give me a practice case over the phone way before the actual interview. It was very casual and I got great advice on what I did well and what I can do better.

4) Apply for less competitive office - Generally, some of the less "top tier" cities like Dallas and Seattle will be less competitive and have a lower hurdle to get in. Obviously, it's better to get a consulting offer in a lesser known office than no offer at all. In some cases, you can even transfer over. A couple of my fellow employees in the same consulting class actually applied for one office and after getting an offer then leveraged that to get into their office of choice.

11/7/13

23mich:

I will give you my advice and experience. I worked at Deloitte Consulting - S&O for 2 years as an undergrad hire and helped out with a fair amount of recruiting efforts (helping out with "extra-curricular" firm activities is highly encouraged as it is factored into your performance rating). First off, what everyone is saying is all true: Deloitte is noticeable second choice vs MBB, concentrate on what is in your control, and stop worrying so much about a small point. That being said, I understand your position as an undergrad trying to figure everything out about a process (i.e. recruiting) that you've never been through and one that it seems as if it's been building ever since you started school.

While I can't comment on the school year extra-curricular activities issue, I can shed some light on GPA. I remember the Deloitte S&O undergrad recruiter telling us before a career fair that if we were asked about a GPA cut-off, to say the firm generally prefers to have a 3.5 GPA for its candidates but does factor in all relevant circumstances. The official reason for this that Deloitte puts a heavy emphasis on its hires to go to b-school and a 3.5 is a good "ball park" for what's necessary to get into a top school.

The process is actually pretty democratic (I was pretty surprised myself). I remember an email being sent out about further evaluating a candidates profile in light of a lower GPA, asking questions such as: "Is English this person's second language?" or "Does this person have to work a demanding part-time job during the school year?"

Lastly, I would also add that Deloitte S&O (at least my office), recruited heavily from undergrad b-schools like Stern, Haas, etc. where grade inflation is kept to a minimum. After years and years of recruiting from these campuses they are familiar enough with the school to know to factor in GPA based on school academic policies/standards and not to view it as an "end all and be all."

Some advice on what I think someone in your situation can do to best increase their odds of an offer:

1) Nail the case - The case may be the most important part of the interview. At the very least, it is usually the differentiating factor. I knew people with near 4.0 GPAs whose case didn't go well and didn't get the offer while people with low GPAs (like 3.2 and 3.3) who really did well on the case and got hired.

2) Attend firm events - Definitely go to as many events as you can. The corporate presentations and career fairs can be a little of sh*t show with huge amounts of people handing out resumes but some of the other on-campus events give great opportunity to connect. I would highlight that some events (like a case workshop) are sparsely attended.....especially if it's at a less popular time (e.g. 10 AM on a Saturday). You'll get great insights into what a firm looks for in a candidate and great tips/tricks on how to handle your case interviews.

3) Keep in touch - Certain firm insiders will really help you in the process. One firm (not Deloitte) actually had someone give me a practice case over the phone way before the actual interview. It was very casual and I got great advice on what I did well and what I can do better.

4) Apply for less competitive office - Generally, some of the less "top tier" cities like Dallas and Seattle will be less competitive and have a lower hurdle to get in. Obviously, it's better to get a consulting offer in a lesser known office than no offer at all. In some cases, you can even transfer over. A couple of my fellow employees in the same consulting class actually applied for one office and after getting an offer then leveraged that to get into their office of choice.

Does anybody else have any thoughts on applying to 2nd tier cities (e.g. Seattle and Dallas) to increase chances of getting summer associate mba position? I hear mixed things from people.

11/7/13

OpsDude:

Does anybody else have any thoughts on applying to 2nd tier cities (e.g. Seattle and Dallas) to increase chances of getting summer associate mba position? I hear mixed things from people.

It's a crapshoot. Big offices (NY, Chi, Bos) always field tons of applications and hire in huge numbers. Small offices have more variable needs (and applicant pools), so may be easier or tougher in some years than others, but there's no way to predict. There are only a few offices (Bay Area) that I would say are categorically tougher to get into. If a firm wants you, they will try hard to slot you into your top (or maybe 2nd) choice office. I never got the sense that they would decline a candidate based on office preference.

11/7/13

23mich:

I will give you my advice and experience. I worked at Deloitte Consulting - S&O for 2 years as an undergrad hire and helped out with a fair amount of recruiting efforts (helping out with "extra-curricular" firm activities is highly encouraged as it is factored into your performance rating). First off, what everyone is saying is all true: Deloitte is noticeable second choice vs MBB, concentrate on what is in your control, and stop worrying so much about a small point. That being said, I understand your position as an undergrad trying to figure everything out about a process (i.e. recruiting) that you've never been through and one that it seems as if it's been building ever since you started school.

While I can't comment on the school year extra-curricular activities issue, I can shed some light on GPA. I remember the Deloitte S&O undergrad recruiter telling us before a career fair that if we were asked about a GPA cut-off, to say the firm generally prefers to have a 3.5 GPA for its candidates but does factor in all relevant circumstances. The official reason for this that Deloitte puts a heavy emphasis on its hires to go to b-school and a 3.5 is a good "ball park" for what's necessary to get into a top school.

The process is actually pretty democratic (I was pretty surprised myself). I remember an email being sent out about further evaluating a candidates profile in light of a lower GPA, asking questions such as: "Is English this person's second language?" or "Does this person have to work a demanding part-time job during the school year?"

Lastly, I would also add that Deloitte S&O (at least my office), recruited heavily from undergrad b-schools like Stern, Haas, etc. where grade inflation is kept to a minimum. After years and years of recruiting from these campuses they are familiar enough with the school to know to factor in GPA based on school academic policies/standards and not to view it as an "end all and be all."

Some advice on what I think someone in your situation can do to best increase their odds of an offer:

1) Nail the case - The case may be the most important part of the interview. At the very least, it is usually the differentiating factor. I knew people with near 4.0 GPAs whose case didn't go well and didn't get the offer while people with low GPAs (like 3.2 and 3.3) who really did well on the case and got hired.

2) Attend firm events - Definitely go to as many events as you can. The corporate presentations and career fairs can be a little of sh*t show with huge amounts of people handing out resumes but some of the other on-campus events give great opportunity to connect. I would highlight that some events (like a case workshop) are sparsely attended.....especially if it's at a less popular time (e.g. 10 AM on a Saturday). You'll get great insights into what a firm looks for in a candidate and great tips/tricks on how to handle your case interviews.

3) Keep in touch - Certain firm insiders will really help you in the process. One firm (not Deloitte) actually had someone give me a practice case over the phone way before the actual interview. It was very casual and I got great advice on what I did well and what I can do better.

4) Apply for less competitive office - Generally, some of the less "top tier" cities like Dallas and Seattle will be less competitive and have a lower hurdle to get in. Obviously, it's better to get a consulting offer in a lesser known office than no offer at all. In some cases, you can even transfer over. A couple of my fellow employees in the same consulting class actually applied for one office and after getting an offer then leveraged that to get into their office of choice.

Great insight! Thanks so much

11/7/13

Still not sure if I want to spend the next 30+ years grinding away in corporate finance and the WSO dream chase or look to have enough passive income to live simply and work minimally.

9/6/12
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