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Aug 18, 2014 - 2:15am

Agreed. RB has a very small presence in the States. Currently a rising senior at an Ivy and very few people at my school would choose ATK/RB over S&O. From looking at the decisions of my peers, OW vs S&O seems like a more relevant conversation depending on industry preferences/cultural fit etc.

Aug 18, 2014 - 9:45am

monkeysandbananas:

Agreed. RB has a very small presence in the States. Currently a rising senior at an Ivy and very few people at my school would choose ATK/RB over S&O. From looking at the decisions of my peers, OW vs S&O seems like a more relevant conversation depending on industry preferences/cultural fit etc.

ATK over S&O wouldn't be that weird, even stateside. I'd put LEK, ATK, OW, and S&O all at the same level. And I'd personally choose any of the other three over S&O because of cultural fit and my hesitation towards being part of a giant firm (consulting or otherwise).

Aug 18, 2014 - 11:47am

My two cents:

I don't think anyone knows which firm is #4, but if you want the traditional consulting experience, such as the one offered at MBB, you join OW, ATK or LEK. Perhaps even discount OW a bit, as they're a public company under the gigantic Marsh & McLennan umbrella. What you don't do is join a Big4 consulting shop, as they are hardly a global operation, have frugal expense policies, sub-par compensation, and non-existent industry research.

That being said, if the things I have listed aren't important to you then I would say LEK/ATK/OW/S&O are all tied. For me personally, I only find consulting alluring in its traditional form.

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Aug 18, 2014 - 1:02pm

Speaking from my experience at S&O this summer, I find your categorization of S&O as another "Big 4 consulting shop" misleading. Although it may have been a different story 10 years ago, there is a pretty big disparity between firms in the Big 4 and it's almost misleading to lump them all together. Just to clarify:

"Frugal expense policies" - Oftentimes, there were no expense limits on my project. Yes, there is a recommended expense guideline for individual usage but if you're looking to do consulting for extravagant expenditures on meals, events etc. you'll have plenty of it. Travel policies are the same as any other travel-heavy firm; flights to wherever on the weekend, you can fly people out whenever etc.

"Hardly a global operation" - Deloitte has a pretty expansive international network and international work is there if you want it. Monitor acquisition greatly strengthened strategy offerings in the US/Europe. Largest firm in terms of revenue worldwide. Very large alum network.

"Sub-par comp" - Comp is on par or even higher than some of the other of the shops mentioned. (http://managementconsulted.com/consulting-salaries/2014-management-cons…)

"Non-existent industry research" - Ton of IP available for use. One of things a lot of S&O people complain about is the extra-curricular requirement - ie. doing extra industry research, publishing whitepapers etc.

When it's all said and done, I agree with you. It's extremely hard to say one firm is better than the other as it all comes down to personal preference. ie. If you hate travel and you're pretty interested in PE due diligence then LEK is great. If you want to focus on ops/supply chain work, ATK is great. If you want to go in as a generalist with opps to explore different verticals, S&O is a pretty good bet.

I feel as though S&O gets a lot of crap on these forums. From a historical stance, S&O has changed so much throughout the past ten years and it has definitely taken advantage of the macro-shifts within the consulting industry (consolidation, shift away from "pure strategy" work). Will be interesting to see where all the firms are 10 years from now.

Aug 19, 2014 - 9:37pm

Interesting question that's always on everyone's mind, particularly those not at an MBB. It's a pissing contest, but based on my experience in the industry, ATK is the best non-MBB firm, particularly considering the firm's upward trajectory and growth spurt in an industry that has seen a fair amount of consolidation in recent months. I also have first and second-hand info that ATK associates make more than S&O consultants do (at least in the US).

S&O is great but in my opinion, but its "pure strategy" brand is diluted by the fact that Deloitte is a behemoth that also focuses on non-management consulting work. I would place Deloitte S&O (or perhaps Monitor Deloitte - another management consulting division under the Deloitte umbrella) on par with PwC's "Strategy&".

Aug 21, 2014 - 4:29pm

You're right. No bonus till Consultant level - I think they try to compensate through yearly salary raises up to 20%. They should provide bonuses though.

Not sure what yearly salary raises look at other firms? Anyone care to comment? Would be interested to know.

Aug 21, 2014 - 11:47pm

I'll just say that when I went through the recruiting process, my impression was that ATK, OW and LEk all had stronger work cultures and higher caliber talent than Deloitte at the post-undergrad level.

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Sep 6, 2014 - 2:50pm

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