Google PM vs Mckinsey BTO

angelo10027's picture
Rank: Chimp | 3

I recently graduated with a PhD (in EE) and I was fortunate to get two wonderful job offers. I am currently torn between taking a position as a Product Manager at Google or an Associate at McKinsey Business Technology.

I would eventually like to start my own company. I am not sure in which field, maybe high tech. However, I also know that plans can change, as evident by my PhD :) . I was wondering which job would best prepare me for running my own business and also provide me with the best future opportunities.

I would imagine that google would kind of pigeon-hole me into the software business, while McKinsey gives me the most breath but little operational experience. How easy/likely would it be for me to go to Mckinsey first and then to Google?

Thanks in advance for you feedback and insight.

Comments (15)

Dec 27, 2010

I am speechless.

From what I know, you will travel a lot at McKinsey, probably not the case at Google (they coop you in one of those cool rooms for creative thinking). The WSJ did an article how tech M&As will boom come 2011, so tech is a hot sector. If you elaborate on what product you will be managing at Google, I am sure some seasoned veterans would pitch in. Most of here would take McKinsey in a heartbeat, yet if you had a better vibe at Google, than I would take it as the lifestyle might be more lax. Then again, if you got a PhD and love working with people, you could make partner at McKinsey. Or you could become a department head at Google.

Let us know what you picked.

Dec 27, 2010

Both are great opportunities, but I think McKinsey would prepare you better for running your own business. Consulting is very different from running a company, but at the least you get serious exposure to how other people run their businesses. Google is a cool job and everyone I know there absolutely loves it, but I don't think it meshes as well with your entrepreneurial goals.

Dec 27, 2010

If you see yourself starting your own business, you'll do it with either opportunity, it's one of those things that people are born with.

I'd go with Google, it's a nasty place to work.

Dec 27, 2010

take google. the position is much more prestigious and difficult to get imo

Dec 27, 2010

I don't think you're going to get valuable insight from this forum to be honest. I also call troll because as a PhD, you should have some sort of defined objective for your career, but I'll give you the benefit of the doubt. I really think you need to go with what fits you best and corresponds to your personal interests. But all this said, I think with McKinsey and a PhD in EE on your resume, you can safely assume you'd be very, very competitive for any job and I'd suspect it would be easier to apply for another job at GOOG down the line than with McK.

Dec 27, 2010
qwertyzap:

I I also call troll because as a PhD, you should have some sort of defined objective for your career, but I'll give you the benefit of the doubt.

Haha....you haven't talked to many PhD's have you? Very few PhD's have "defined career objectives." Considering that academic jobs have dried up, a lot of PhDs are reconsidering their options.

Both options are great. The BTO might force you into IT but Google might force you into software long term. If you want to start a business, you need an idea and entrepreneurial people around you. My guess is that those two things are more likely to be available to you at Google. How does compensation compare?

Dec 27, 2010

How is this relevant to finance in any way?

Troll.

Dec 27, 2010

Really very different options. Google will be fun, but the learning curve at McKinsey will be steeper and will give you much better exit opportunities.

Ten years ago, I was choosing between McKinsey (BA) and a job analogous to PM at a company anolagous to Google. I chose the "Google" job, and regret it because of the learning curve / career velocity issues.

Bear in mind that Google over the next decade will be very very different than Google over the last decade.

Either job sounds interesting though, good luck.

Dec 28, 2010

McKinsey BTO, while good, is not quite the same level of impressiveness on a resume as their core strategy business. I would take the Google role.

Dec 28, 2010

Its useless to ask such questions on WSO because you will get a parade of "prestigious", "exit opp" centered analysis. If you needed a resume packed with prestigious jobs, most of the billionaires off of tech startups would not exist.

You want to start your own business? You have a EE PhD? You want to be in high tech likely? You should be at Google. At McK you are simply not going to have the same level of network to get co-founders and build up your reputation in the tech community. Yea you will know some ex-McK alum. Thats different than being engrained in the business at Google where you will see tons of other people like you who have very similar ambitions.

If you want to move up the managerial ladder, McK.

    • 1
Dec 28, 2010

Sorry, I just categorically disagree with baddebt88. Google has 23,000 employees right now. It has a market cap of $200B. It is not an entrepreneurial environment any more, and it definitely won't be five years from now. Working at Google will train you to be a great Google employee, it won't train you to be an entrepreneur. Neither will BTO, of course, but you will gain a broader and better business perspective (which is what you need), and will be better than Google from a networking standpoint.

Let me also add, candidly, that I am skeptical about your entrepreneurial ambitions, because true entrepreneurs Just Do It. They don't go for the safety of McKinsey or Google, they strike out on their own. There is no shame in being risk-averse, but if that's what you are you are better off recognizing it and shaping your career accordingly.

    • 1
Dec 28, 2010
EnricoPallazzo:

Let me also add, candidly, that I am skeptical about your entrepreneurial ambitions, because true entrepreneurs Just Do It. They don't go for the safety of McKinsey or Google, they strike out on their own. There is no shame in being risk-averse, but if that's what you are you are better off recognizing it and shaping your career accordingly.

^ + 1

Dec 28, 2010
EnricoPallazzo:

Sorry, I just categorically disagree with baddebt88. Google has 23,000 employees right now. It has a market cap of $200B. It is not an entrepreneurial environment any more, and it definitely won't be five years from now. Working at Google will train you to be a great Google employee, it won't train you to be an entrepreneur. Neither will BTO, of course, but you will gain a broader and better business perspective (which is what you need), and will be better than Google from a networking standpoint.

Let me also add, candidly, that I am skeptical about your entrepreneurial ambitions, because true entrepreneurs Just Do It. They don't go for the safety of McKinsey or Google, they strike out on their own. There is no shame in being risk-averse, but if that's what you are you are better off recognizing it and shaping your career accordingly.

I agree with Enrico. I might be temped to do Google if coming from Undergrad like 3-4 years ago, but not so sure if I was PhD. Google is too large and "established", almost the new Microsoft. McKinsey gives breadth. Google is not the place for entrepreneurs as before. To OP, there a lot younger, hungrier tech firms in the Valley than Google these days, no I'm not talking about FB, that ship has already sailed as well for most people. If entrepreneurship is your goal, why give some of the smaller shops a run? Or is debt a factor?

To the idiots who called the OP a troll. Wow, you guys are very immature and/or very limited in your scope and understanding of how the world works. I've met quite a few PhD's in consulting. Not everyone who did PhD knows exactly what they want. Especially if they have been in academia getting their degree pretty much their whole life. A lot of PhD are actually very young these days. 17 (year old high school grad) +4 (UG+masters) + 3-4(PhD) = 24-25 year old.

Dec 28, 2010

Thank you everyone for your feedback and insights. I am happy to see the different perspectives.

EnricoPallazzo:

Let me also add, candidly, that I am skeptical about your entrepreneurial ambitions, because true entrepreneurs Just Do It.

That's funny you should mention that. While pursuing my PhD, I started several companies. Unfortunately they pretty much all folded. Therefore, I am currently out of money and more importantly out of start-up ideas. I am thinking that a stint at either Google or Mckinsey will recharge my bank account and also provide me with more insight in business, both how they are run and opportunities.

Sep 5, 2013
Comment