Handling Multiple Offers

So, a few days ago I found out I got an offer at a BB. I didn't accept the offer, but verbally hinted that I was almost certain I would accept due to excitement. I also said I would accept if I got the offer at the interview (they asked me.)

Then I found I got an offer at my top choice. Would it be unethical to not accept the previous offer, even though I hinted that I would (but never gave them the verbal yes)? Could that lead to my first choice reneging the offer?

I also feel bad about canceling already scheduled interviews (first and final rounds) at other banks... I really don't want to burn bridges for FT. Would canceling burn bridges?

Thanks for all your help - this whole process of handling offers is very confusing and new to me, so I appreciate any advice.

Comments (184)

Jan 28, 2010

I do not think it is unethical to go with your top choice. These people understand the process and how things work. You wouldn't be the first person to hint at accepting, and you wouldn't be the last either. If you are honest with them, things will work out. If you want to be at your top firm, then do it. Don't make a decision based solely on what people will think of you afterwards. Most of all, don't have any regrets with your choice. Do what is best for you!

Same goes with canceling interviews. They would probably appreciate it if you were honest with them about other offers. There is no reason to waste your time and their time if you plan on accepting another offer. I think they would respect that, and if you can talk it through with them, I see no reason why you can't form strong relationships by staying in touch with those contacts for FT.

You are doing the right thing with asking for advice. This can be a very difficult and touchy decision and can vary from person to person. I would suggest seeking advice from your advisors and other students/alumni/contacts that have been in this situation or have dealt with it before. Best of luck with your decisions!

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Jan 28, 2010

You should definitely go with your top choice - congratulations.

I don't mean this in a demeaning way, but you need to realize that you're just one more college kid to these banks - you canceling interviews, declining offers, or even reneging has pretty much zero effect on their lives because there are thousands more just like you. They're more than happy to just move to the next name on the list. Their world is not going to be shattered.

This is a good thing for you, because you can politely call up HR and respectfully decline their offer. They'll call the next kid and move on - that's business. They also understand that you're interviewing around and simply chose another offer. They also probably won't even remember you when FT recruiting comes around. If they do, it's unlikely things will be held against you as long as you declined in a professional manner.

- Capt K -
"Prestige is like a powerful magnet that warps even your beliefs about what you enjoy. If you want to make ambitious people waste their time on errands, bait the hook with prestige." - Paul Graham

Jan 28, 2010

I agree with the above posts. When I had to decline interviews, HR was actually pretty thankful and even said to hit them up during full-time recruiting. They understand, it's not a big deal. But at the same time, you shouldn't be interviewing after you have accepted with your first choice.

Jan 28, 2010

Top Choice,

Chase your dreams. At the end of day its your hapiness that matters the most.

Jan 28, 2010

I agree with the above. You can tell the first firm politely that you decided to accept with another firm, and thank the for their time. With the other interviews, just cancel in a professional and timely manner and they will respect you for it.

Jan 28, 2010

I agree with the above posts. Go with your first choice. I was in your situation a couple of years ago with full time offers. I had a couple of offers from BB ibanks and went with my second choice. I picked them bc I felt bad I'd verbally said I'd accept if given an offer and I knew an alum at the bank who really pulled for me. At the time I didn't think I was going to get an offer from my first choice. However, after a couple of weeks of delay my first choice gave an offer. At the time I thought it would be unethical to go back on my word and accept the second choice offer. Fastfoward a year and the bank I chose ended up going through some cataclysmic changes, and I along with a large number of other people were laid off and ended up going back to grad school.

Would things have been different if I took the offer from my first choice? I know they didn't have the huge rounds of layoffs. But the point here is an analyst is just a tiny cog in the wheel to bigger banks. If they were losing money, HR wouldn't think twice about canning you. Unless you do something really unprofessional they probably won't even remember who you are if you apply in a year. So why shouldn't you go with the offer you really want. This way there will be no regret or uncertainty later on if things don't work out!

Jan 28, 2010

If you have the time to spare, you should try to go to the rest of the interviews. Grab some business cards, get to know some people and maybe it could be valuable come full time recruiting.

Jan 28, 2010

^^ If you already got your top choice, there's no need to go to the other interviews. It's kind of a jackass move to go to the interviews without any intent on taking the job offer AND already having your top offer(s). Whatever bridges you form during these spare interviews run the risk of being burned.

Jan 28, 2010

I was in your position my senior year -- had an offer from my top choice bank but didn't want to cancel an upcoming Super Saturday for fear of 'insulting' the other firm. Instead, I got drunk the night before and missed my flight. I frantically called them on the way to airport, they booked me another flight, and I drank way too much at the dinner before the interview. I then went out to a club with the other analysts and stumbled into my hotel room after closing time. I blew the interview the next day (obviously) and probably burned a bridge with that bank.

Here's my point: it's hard to take a Super Saturday seriously when you've already got an offer in hand from your top choice, and you'll probably do more harm than good by attending.

Jan 28, 2010

congrats, go with Goldman.

Step 1: Dream the Dream || Step 2: Live the Dream || Step 3: Rinse, repeat.

Jan 28, 2010

Thank you for all your help.

How long is it too long of a time to decide? I know there is a date by which the contract must be sent, but should I decide sooner than that? I want to think this through, but I don't want to wait too long and risk the banks changing their minds.

Jan 29, 2010
bbhopeful:

Thank you for all your help.

How long is it too long of a time to decide? I know there is a date by which the contract must be sent, but should I decide sooner than that? I want to think this through, but I don't want to wait too long and risk the banks changing their minds.

You can take until the date they've given you. Remember, they're not waking up in the middle of the night wringing their hands and thinking "Oh god, is bbhopeful going to take his offer? God I hope so. Maybe we'll hear from him today!" Once you start work, nobody is going to remember when you sent your contract in, just as long as it was by the date they gave you.

- Capt K -
"Prestige is like a powerful magnet that warps even your beliefs about what you enjoy. If you want to make ambitious people waste their time on errands, bait the hook with prestige." - Paul Graham

Jan 29, 2010

Make some decisions for yourself, go with the gut feeling, you are a big boy now. Congratulations

"The higher up the mountain, the more treacherous the path"
-Frank Underwood

Feb 3, 2010

I hate to harp on this topic, but if you have multiple offers, you have to turn some of them down. Will this automatically burn the bridge? How do you handle this without shooting yourself in the foot?

Feb 4, 2010
mango123:

I hate to harp on this topic, but if you have multiple offers, you have to turn some of them down. Will this automatically burn the bridge? How do you handle this without shooting yourself in the foot?

Just cancel interviews / reject offer respectfully and in a timely manner with HR and you should be fine. There's not much else you can do. But don't expect to return for FT interviews if you don't get the FT offer with your SA firm.

Feb 4, 2010

Is this for banking laterals?

Feb 4, 2010

From a fund to potentially a bank and two funds.

"After you work on Wall Street it's a choice, would you rather work at McDonalds or on the sell-side? I would choose McDonalds over the sell-side." - David Tepper

Feb 4, 2010

Just tell them you are involved in other processes and would like to see them through before making a decision. I don't think your situation is overly unique and they should understand.

"For I am a sinner in the hands of an angry God. Bloody Mary full of vodka, blessed are you among cocktails. Pray for me now and at the hour of my death, which I hope is soon. Amen."

    • 1
Feb 4, 2010
duffmt6:

Just tell them you are involved in other processes and would like to see them through before making a decision. I don't think your situation is overly unique and they should understand.

True dat. Still conscious of how bad it looks when you go "give me a sec", then come back a week later saying "i'd love to work for you".

"After you work on Wall Street it's a choice, would you rather work at McDonalds or on the sell-side? I would choose McDonalds over the sell-side." - David Tepper

Feb 4, 2010
Oreos:
duffmt6:

Just tell them you are involved in other processes and would like to see them through before making a decision. I don't think your situation is overly unique and they should understand.

True dat. Still conscious of how bad it looks when you go "give me a sec", then come back a week later saying "i'd love to work for you".

Your potential employer will have no problem telling you they are "still in the process" or still "seeking the best candidate" so don't be afraid to do the same.

Feb 4, 2010
duffmt6:

Just tell them you are involved in other processes and would like to see them through before making a decision. I don't think your situation is overly unique and they should understand.

This is exactly what I did when I was deep in the process with firms three weeks ago. There was a fund that I wanted to work for, and two other opportunities that were very comparable. Had final rounds with all three. I was very up-front with the recruiters and said something along the lines of "I want to see each process out, this is one of the biggest decisions of my life and I don't want to rush into any decision." They understood.

Ultimately, I got two offers, managed to get a salary increase from one of them, and had to make the phone call to the other firm letting them know. It was slightly awkward, but remember, they reject applicants all the time. Trust me, they will find someone else.

Feb 4, 2010

when looking for a pic for this post i googled "monkey juggling" and found one juggling oreos, perfect

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Feb 4, 2010
AndyLouis:

when looking for a pic for this post i googled "monkey juggling" and found one juggling oreos, perfect

LOL, impressive.

Feb 4, 2010

Fair. I haven't gone through head hunters so I would have to speak directly to my potential boss / HR (less awkward if HR). Everyone's advice is pretty much the best / only way to deal with it. Cheers

"After you work on Wall Street it's a choice, would you rather work at McDonalds or on the sell-side? I would choose McDonalds over the sell-side." - David Tepper

Feb 4, 2010

Pit them against each other in a bidding war, the firm offering free Oreos for life will be the obvious winner.

Follow the shit your fellow monkeys say @shitWSOsays

Life is hard, it's even harder when you're stupid - John Wayne

Feb 4, 2010

Remember to do this both ways, because they will be understanding but they won't give you 3 months to see all the processes through, and sometimes these things last forever. So if you do get an offer, tell them you want to think about it and they will give you a time frame like 2 weeks. Then tell the other two that you have an offer that expires but are still interested in their firm and ask if they may be able to speed things up.

Feb 4, 2010

I went through this process about six months ago. Once you get an offer, inform the other companies you're in process. In fact, you may have to send in your offer letters (although very rarely...I was asked but didn't because that's just not cool in my book). You NEED to keep other people informed, even if the first offer you get is the one you want the most. If anything, you can use other offers as leverage. I finished final rounds for two companies and ultimately chose one that I liked best (and thought was a better fit for me). Best of luck!

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Feb 4, 2010

That monkey juggling oreos is a perfect pic for this. I guess google images truly does have a picture for every thread.

Feb 4, 2010

PM'd

Feb 4, 2010

A new development: the bank, post final round, has asked for a compensation breakdown for the past two years. Any reason for the two years and not just current. I figure it's to gauge my pay progression and hence a proxy for how I'm seen in my current role.

"After you work on Wall Street it's a choice, would you rather work at McDonalds or on the sell-side? I would choose McDonalds over the sell-side." - David Tepper

Feb 4, 2010
Oreos:

A new development: the bank, post final round, has asked for a compensation breakdown for the past two years. Any reason for the two years and not just current. I figure it's to gauge my pay progression and hence a proxy for how I'm seen in my current role.

That's unusual, never been asked something like that. I mean it's not like they have any way of checking what you tell them...

Feb 4, 2010
bengigi:
Oreos:

A new development: the bank, post final round, has asked for a compensation breakdown for the past two years. Any reason for the two years and not just current. I figure it's to gauge my pay progression and hence a proxy for how I'm seen in my current role.

That's unusual, never been asked something like that. I mean it's not like they have any way of checking what you tell them...

Sumitomo apparently does this as well; they also ask you to send them your tax information, which is a little weird. I think they're just trying to capture as much of the analyst surplus as possible and pay you the least.

Feb 4, 2010
DaisukiDaYo:
bengigi:

Oreos:
A new development: the bank, post final round, has asked for a compensation breakdown for the past two years. Any reason for the two years and not just current. I figure it's to gauge my pay progression and hence a proxy for how I'm seen in my current role.

That's unusual, never been asked something like that. I mean it's not like they have any way of checking what you tell them...

Sumitomo apparently does this as well; they also ask you to send them your tax information, which is a little weird. I think they're just trying to capture as much of the analyst surplus as possible and pay you the least.

Wtf? is that even legal?

Feb 4, 2010
bengigi:
DaisukiDaYo:

bengigi:

Oreos:
A new development: the bank, post final round, has asked for a compensation breakdown for the past two years. Any reason for the two years and not just current. I figure it's to gauge my pay progression and hence a proxy for how I'm seen in my current role.
That's unusual, never been asked something like that. I mean it's not like they have any way of checking what you tell them...

Sumitomo apparently does this as well; they also ask you to send them your tax information, which is a little weird. I think they're just trying to capture as much of the analyst surplus as possible and pay you the least.

Wtf? is that even legal?

I don't think so - but apparently if you want to work for them you have to disclose that info.

Feb 4, 2010

Frankly, I don't like it. Make me an offer or not, then lets negotiate. I'm much more inclined to take/advertise a lower number once I know the job is now mine to lose.

"After you work on Wall Street it's a choice, would you rather work at McDonalds or on the sell-side? I would choose McDonalds over the sell-side." - David Tepper

Feb 4, 2010
Oreos:

Frankly, I don't like it. Make me an offer or not, then lets negotiate. I'm much more inclined to take/advertise a lower number once I know the job is now mine to lose.

Maybe tell you them you prefer not to share that type of sensitive information until you have signed an offer letter?

"For I am a sinner in the hands of an angry God. Bloody Mary full of vodka, blessed are you among cocktails. Pray for me now and at the hour of my death, which I hope is soon. Amen."

Feb 4, 2010

I heard horror stories about Sumitomo. My friend had a recruiter contact him and said the job would be for "top pay" in the industry. My friend interviews and they give him an offer. They only offered him like a 5% pay increase. He declined. The above poster is right, for some reason Sumitomo and I feel like most other Japanese banks simply don't pay as well as the American banks.

Feb 4, 2010
TeddyTheBear:

I heard horror stories about Sumitomo. My friend had a recruiter contact him and said the job would be for "top pay" in the industry. My friend interviews and they give him an offer. They only offered him like a 5% pay increase. He declined. The above poster is right, for some reason Sumitomo and I feel like most other Japanese banks simply don't pay as well as the American banks.

Thanks brah - this is probably rooted in Japanese work culture where your base is lower but you're guaranteed bonuses (hence the term Japanese bonuses).

Obviously, though, this doesn't apply to Japanese firms in America.

Feb 4, 2010

Awesome thread, good advice.

Feb 4, 2010

Update: Worst case scenario (well, not worst) has presented itself. My least favourite opportunity has offered me a job with a hard and impending deadline. Other two (still haven't decided between them) have another round to go. Both have moved their rounds forward to the closest possible time. This is awesome, stressful, surprising and difficult all at once.

"After you work on Wall Street it's a choice, would you rather work at McDonalds or on the sell-side? I would choose McDonalds over the sell-side." - David Tepper

Feb 4, 2010

Sounds like you have a bunch of great options. Restructuring is hot right now, MS is a nice BB to have on your resume. What are your rankings?

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Feb 4, 2010

Haha, I would prefer to keep that private, as to prevent it from affecting responses, but what is your input regarding the other firms?

Feb 4, 2010

it depends on how you want to exit, be it pe or bschool.
ms speaks for itself. lazard m&a is always a win. jefferies is explosive in terms of deal flow, so you'll prolly learn a lot there.
prolly how id go

Feb 4, 2010

MS LA is a ghost town - execution for WC activity is done from SF/MP (Tech/ Sponsors/ Healthcare). It's a deadend - I'd choose everything else above that, regardless of MS name.

Feb 4, 2010

any more?

Feb 4, 2010

Is Lazard in LA? Focused on gaming right? From what I know it's a very small group and I would take MS LA or HLHZ Restructuring over it.

  1. HLHZ Restructuring
    Personally, I would do HLHZ Restructuring (if this is for SA). That will open up many doors for FT recruiting. A buddy of my did HLHZ Restructuring SA last year and got interviews with Rothschild / Evercore in NY and will be doing FT with one of them come this fall. I believe 6/6 received FT offers but only 1 came back for FT.
  2. MS LA (just for the brand name... is it a generalist program or can you get into the M&A group?)
    Greenhill (small offcie, yes.. all ex-UBS LA though and will once again open doors)
    Lazard

Andddd... at the very bottom:
3. Jefferies Lev Fin

Feb 4, 2010

Lazard, MS, and Greenhill are a notch above HLHZ and Jefferies and will be better for FT recruiting. If Greenhill is a new office and MS is an execution only group, then I would go with Lazard (which group for Lazard)? Lazard IBD will open doors for all BB's and other elite boutiques for full time recruiting. I know someone who went from Lazard SA to Goldman FT. Can't necessarily say the same about HLHZ and Jefferies.

Feb 4, 2010
Banker88:

Lazard, MS, and Greenhill are a notch above HLHZ and Jefferies and will be better for FT recruiting. If Greenhill is a new office and MS is an execution only group, then I would go with Lazard (which group for Lazard)? Lazard IBD will open doors for all BB's and other elite boutiques for full time recruiting. I know someone who went from Lazard SA to Goldman FT. Can't necessarily say the same about HLHZ and Jefferies.

actually, i know at least one guy from jef who went to gs ft after a summer, though that was in ny office. basically everyone uses jefferies sa as a stepping stone to places like gs (retention rate is terrible)

only choose hlhz or ghl if you are sure you like what they cover - both are solid but very niche/pigeonholing. Based on the people they poached from ubs, it looks like that greenhill office is going to mostly be doing real estate stuff (casinos, hotels, etc), though will probably be decent at it. Obviously hlhz is very solid for restructuring (that office has Andrew Miller, who is one of the best in that field), but you have to really be sure you like restructuring to do that.

MS has a good name, but most of the good west coast groups at MS are in the bay area. I'm not that familiar with lazard in la.

all i know about that jef office is that its really small. I'd take ms or laz over it. HLHZ corp fin shouldnt even get any consideration.

Feb 4, 2010
twilightgirl:
Banker88:

Lazard, MS, and Greenhill are a notch above HLHZ and Jefferies and will be better for FT recruiting. If Greenhill is a new office and MS is an execution only group, then I would go with Lazard (which group for Lazard)? Lazard IBD will open doors for all BB's and other elite boutiques for full time recruiting. I know someone who went from Lazard SA to Goldman FT. Can't necessarily say the same about HLHZ and Jefferies.

actually, i know at least one guy from jef who went to gs ft after a summer, though that was in ny office. basically everyone uses jefferies sa as a stepping stone to places like gs (retention rate is terrible)

only choose hlhz or ghl if you are sure you like what they cover - both are solid but very niche/pigeonholing. Based on the people they poached from ubs, it looks like that greenhill office is going to mostly be doing real estate stuff (casinos, hotels, etc), though will probably be decent at it. Obviously hlhz is very solid for restructuring (that office has Andrew Miller, who is one of the best in that field), but you have to really be sure you like restructuring to do that.

MS has a good name, but most of the good west coast groups at MS are in the bay area. I'm not that familiar with lazard in la.

all i know about that jef office is that its really small. I'd take ms or laz over it. HLHZ corp fin shouldnt even get any consideration.

chris dimauro is also a top restructuring md. i am gunning for hl restructuring, but so far, the team has been very unresponsive in scheduling. sigh.

Feb 4, 2010

greenhill la is not a new office. my friend interned there this past summer from ucla and could not get offers anywhere. they take 1 intern per year.

Feb 4, 2010

greenhill la is a new office. the office opened in the middle of the summer.

Feb 4, 2010

Rank:

Lazard (bombass)
Morgan Stanley (Executes for West Coast) = Greenhill (New office, Focuses on Gaming)
........
Houlihan Restructuring (Reputation as top creditor-side advisor)
Jefferies (Leveraged Finance)
Houlihan Lokey Corporate Finance (Middle-Market)

can't go wrong with Laz or Greenhill, even if they're in LA

MS LA is the M&A execution hub for the west coast (sans tech), plus head of the West Coast sits in that office.

=========================================
We are excited to formally extend to you an offer to join Bank of Ameria

Feb 4, 2010

Both LA and Chi seem new for GHL

Feb 4, 2010

how is ms la a ghost town? from what i've heard and understand it's actually a solid shop in LA. Yeah, it's no ms tech, but its still a legit place

Feb 4, 2010

Hey congrats on the offers

here are my rankings

1.

Houlihan Restructuring (Reputation as top creditor-side advisor)

like bigmonkey said, only one came back, but really nice people and top of the field if you like rest.

2.

Morgan Stanley (Executes for West Coast)

of course not the same as ms in the bay area, but still a decent group and great name. very good people too

3.

Greenhill (New office, Focuses on Gaming)

nice people, but the office is really small, make sure u LOVE to work in small teams like 3-4 people and u being the only 1st year analyst.

4.

Lazard

if it's for LA, it focuses on gaming, hotels, and aerospace. I am not sure which group they are hiring an analyst into though. When I interviewed there, it seems like a pretty gloomy place.

5.

Houlihan Lokey Corporate Finance (Middle-Market)

nice people, you will learn a lot from this place.

  1. Jefferies (Leveraged Finance)

the reason why i put jefferies dead last is because of a close friend's terrible summer experience there. Based on what he said, the people were bad and no deals were happening.

good louck on ur search and feel free and pm me

Feb 4, 2010

Haha wow this kid is getting completely different advice from everyone. He would have been better off with fewer offers lol.

Feb 4, 2010

The LA offices are quite different from the normal perceptions of the firms. I think several responses were based on the general reputation instead of the specific office.

Feb 4, 2010
eric1025:

The LA offices are quite different from the normal perceptions of the firms. I think several responses were based on the general reputation instead of the specific office.

Yeah I didn't notice at first that they were all LA positions. But still for SA, firm name trumps office location - as long as you get good experience and can speak well about the deals you've worked on. I still think you have more chances getting interviews with Goldman if you do Lazard or MS in the summer than if you do Jefferies or HLHZ. But I am not familiar specifically with the LA offices.

Feb 4, 2010

what about bofaml LA? JPM LA? CS LA? How does the totem pole work down there...because each group's reputation is different as well.

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Feb 4, 2010

Strategy firm in Berlin. It looks as least as good as the others on an MBA-app and is the most relevant to what you want to do in the future. Seems like an easy decision to me.

Feb 4, 2010

Strategy firm in Berlin definitely.

Feb 4, 2010

If you have money saved up and could get by not getting paid for 2 years AND you BADLY want to get into an elite b-school, then you should take oxfam. Otherwise go with the strategy firm. The work sounds really interesting although Berlin is an awful city in my opinion.

Feb 4, 2010
Brady4MVP:

If you have money saved up and could get by not getting paid for 2 years AND you BADLY want to get into an elite b-school, then you should take oxfam. Otherwise go with the strategy firm. The work sounds really interesting although Berlin is an awful city in my opinion.

Yeah, not to sound like a douche but money is not that big of a problem for me. I can stay with family in NYC and I lived in Oxford when I was an undergrad so have plenty of friends still around.

Interested to hear why you think Berlin is an awful city.

Feb 4, 2010
FinancialNoviceII:
Brady4MVP:

If you have money saved up and could get by not getting paid for 2 years AND you BADLY want to get into an elite b-school, then you should take oxfam. Otherwise go with the strategy firm. The work sounds really interesting although Berlin is an awful city in my opinion.

Yeah, not to sound like a douche but money is not that big of a problem for me. I can stay with family in NYC and I lived in Oxford when I was an undergrad so have plenty of friends still around.

Interested to hear why you think Berlin is an awful city.

Berlin is too grimy and industrial for my taste. But I know some people (especially hipsters, techno freaks, etc.) absolutely love it because it's reminiscent of NYC before gentrification.

Oxfam will definitely help your b-school chances more. With roland berger, you'll be competing against other consultants from elite firms like mckinsey/bcg/bain. Top b-schools LOVE non-profit and NGO types, so if money were not an issue, then i suggest oxfam. Provided that other parts of your application are in order, I would say you have a 70-80% chance of getting into HBS/Stanford/Wharton if you do oxfam.

Feb 4, 2010
Brady4MVP:
FinancialNoviceII:
Brady4MVP:

If you have money saved up and could get by not getting paid for 2 years AND you BADLY want to get into an elite b-school, then you should take oxfam. Otherwise go with the strategy firm. The work sounds really interesting although Berlin is an awful city in my opinion.

Yeah, not to sound like a douche but money is not that big of a problem for me. I can stay with family in NYC and I lived in Oxford when I was an undergrad so have plenty of friends still around.

Interested to hear why you think Berlin is an awful city.

Berlin is too grimy and industrial for my taste. But I know some people (especially hipsters, techno freaks, etc.) absolutely love it because it's reminiscent of NYC before gentrification.

Oxfam will definitely help your b-school chances more. With roland berger, you'll be competing against other consultants from elite firms like mckinsey/bcg/bain. Top b-schools LOVE non-profit and NGO types, so if money were not an issue, then i suggest oxfam. Provided that other parts of your application are in order, I would say you have a 70-80% chance of getting into HBS/Stanford/Wharton if you do oxfam.

Thats what I think too. Unless I seriously kick ass the moment I walk into the door, I'm just another applicant in the cycle.

Love to hear more about your experiences in Berlin. PM me if you can.

Feb 4, 2010

Roland Berger or the strategy firm in Berlin.

Feb 4, 2010
wolfy:

Roland Berger or the strategy firm in Berlin.

Haha this is the only name that I can think of when he said "strategy firm in Berlin" :D

My formula for success is rise early, work late and strike oil - JP Getty

Feb 4, 2010
Quarterlife:
wolfy:

Roland Berger or the strategy firm in Berlin.

Haha this is the only name that I can think of when he said "strategy firm in Berlin" :D

Haha, I didnt really disguise that too well. The big 4 firm is PWC for those wondering.

Feb 4, 2010

Strategy in Berlin, no question about it.

Feb 4, 2010

strategy firm in berlin

Feb 4, 2010

I appreciate everyone's thoughts.

Its definitely between Oxfam and Berger.

Can no one see the appeal of Oxfam for an MBA? Somehow I think I wont be able to leverage Roland Berger to the same level despite its stellar name. I would be just another one of those apps.

Feb 4, 2010
FinancialNoviceII:

the strategy firm in Berlin is both a great experience and is relevant to what I would like to do in the immediate future.

I'm pretty sure you just answered your own question.

Speaking from personal experience:
Berger is as great a firm as you'll find in continental Europe.
Berlin is AAA+, especially if you're young and single.

Feb 4, 2010
24837:
FinancialNoviceII:

the strategy firm in Berlin is both a great experience and is relevant to what I would like to do in the immediate future.

I'm pretty sure you just answered your own question.

Speaking from personal experience:
Berger is as great a firm as you'll find in continental Europe.
Berlin is AAA+, especially if you're young and single.

Yeah, but I'm trying to weigh immediate future against long term aspirations. Hence my dilemma..

Feb 4, 2010

Go with Roland Berger in Europe. It is top 5 shop in Europe, and you can perhaps get a MBB exit op. Don't look back.

Don't do Big 4 consulting, ever. Unless it's Deloitte S&O, but then you'd enjoy it better at a Stroud Consulting in that same horizontal.

But, I'd like to learn more about the Oxfam thing from you guys -- and why it's so prestigious?

Feb 4, 2010
wolfy:

Go with Roland Berger in Europe. It is top 5 shop in Europe, and you can perhaps get a MBB exit op. Don't look back.

as long as you stay in Germany/France/Eastern Europe, the second B in MBB stand for Berger ;)
http://luenendonk-shop.de/out/pictures/0/lue_mb_20...
that being said, if you're American and you insist on MBB:
BCG is going great lengths to pull people from Berger's Berlin office, specifically restructuring. There's probably no better place in the world to lateral into MBB from.

Feb 4, 2010
24837:
wolfy:

Go with Roland Berger in Europe. It is top 5 shop in Europe, and you can perhaps get a MBB exit op. Don't look back.

as long as you stay in Germany/France/Eastern Europe, the second B in MBB stand for Berger ;)
http://luenendonk-shop.de/out/pictures/0/lue_mb_20...
that being said, if you're American and you insist on MBB:
BCG is going great lengths to pull people from Berger's Berlin office, specifically restructuring. There's probably no better place in the world to lateral into MBB from.

British. Yeah aware of Berger's rep in Germany and Europe generally so quite excited to be given such a choice. But I feel I ought to weight it carefully because the wrong choice now could spell issues for my long term goals.

Feb 4, 2010
FinancialNoviceII:

British. Yeah aware of Berger's rep in Germany and Europe generally so quite excited to be given such a choice. But I feel I ought to weight it carefully because the wrong choice now could spell issues for my long term goals.

just skimmed the thread, but from what I've gathered, your only long term goal seems to be B-school?!
realize that B-school is a means to an end - basically, it gives you the chance to switch careers if you feel you're somewhat stuck.
However, if you already have an offer for a job that excites you, why hesitate?

If you're so keen on emerging markets - Berger is #5 strategy firm behind Deloitte, M, B, B in Latin America. Their China business is doing even better. Eastern Europe great as well.
I'd hesitate only if you want to launch a career in the US, for the American strategy firms are much stronger there. (That being said, even in the US Berger is still 11ty billion times better than PWC)

Feb 4, 2010
24837:
FinancialNoviceII:

British. Yeah aware of Berger's rep in Germany and Europe generally so quite excited to be given such a choice. But I feel I ought to weight it carefully because the wrong choice now could spell issues for my long term goals.

just skimmed the thread, but from what I've gathered, your only long term goal seems to be B-school?!
realize that B-school is a means to an end - basically, it gives you the chance to switch careers if you feel you're somewhat stuck.
However, if you already have an offer for a job that excites you, why hesitate?

If you're so keen on emerging markets - Berger is #5 strategy firm behind Deloitte, M, B, B in Latin America. Their China business is doing even better. Eastern Europe great as well.
I'd hesitate only if you want to launch a career in the US, for the American strategy firms are much stronger there. (That being said, even in the US Berger is still 11ty billion times better than PWC)

This.

You want to best position yourself for b-school so that you can be competitive and recruit for jobs at...Roland Berger (or similar) anyway??? Take the most interesting job.

Feb 4, 2010
24837:
FinancialNoviceII:

British. Yeah aware of Berger's rep in Germany and Europe generally so quite excited to be given such a choice. But I feel I ought to weight it carefully because the wrong choice now could spell issues for my long term goals.

just skimmed the thread, but from what I've gathered, your only long term goal seems to be B-school?!
realize that B-school is a means to an end - basically, it gives you the chance to switch careers if you feel you're somewhat stuck.
However, if you already have an offer for a job that excites you, why hesitate?

If you're so keen on emerging markets - Berger is #5 strategy firm behind Deloitte, M, B, B in Latin America. Their China business is doing even better. Eastern Europe great as well.
I'd hesitate only if you want to launch a career in the US, for the American strategy firms are much stronger there. (That being said, even in the US Berger is still 11ty billion times better than PWC)

Clearly b-school is a means to an end. I have my long-term goals. Its a bit silly to assume that I want to go to business school and thats it.

I'm just being prudent and assessing all options before I commit to something which may hinder any future prospects.

Feb 4, 2010
FinancialNoviceII:

Clearly b-school is a means to an end. I have my long-term goals. Its a bit silly to assume that I want to go to business school and thats it.

I'm just being prudent and assessing all options before I commit to something which may hinder any future prospects.

Given your stated interests / goals, it's a means to an end ....... that you've already achieved. Unless you elaborate a bit on your long-term goals, and how they differ from landing at a place like Roland Berger (or MBB), I think you've been given sound advice to take the Roland gig. You might even get them to pay for your MBA.

Feb 4, 2010
Feb 4, 2010
Nouveau Richie:

Just tell them...

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I wish I had a sb sir.

Feb 4, 2010

Why the hell would you work unpaid for 2 years ?

Feb 4, 2010
Aviator:

Why the hell would you work unpaid for 2 years ?

I didnt say two years, dont know where that came from. It would be for 9 months. 3 in NYC and 6 in Oxford.

Feb 4, 2010
FinancialNoviceII:

and I would be working largely within the emerging economies market, something I am very interested in.
.

I'm more interested in this part of your post. What emerging economies are we talking about here?

My formula for success is rise early, work late and strike oil - JP Getty

Feb 4, 2010
Quarterlife:
FinancialNoviceII:

and I would be working largely within the emerging economies market, something I am very interested in.
.

I'm more interested in this part of your post. What emerging economies are we talking about here?

Well in my interview, I didnt mention preference, even though I was aware they had concentrations in the emerging markets, because I didnt want to harm my chances by making demands right off the bat and I always felt I can move in that direction. But my thesis was on emerging markets, that I sent a copy to the analyst who did my first interview, and he was quite impressed. I did publish the thing so thought it may sway them.

In my second interview, they briefly covered it to the point I was only aware that they have quite a lucrative interest in Brazil. Although I have no preference, the whole area fascinates me.

Feb 4, 2010

This seems like a no-brainer - take Berger and don't look back. You have the opportunity to work for a respected firm doing stuff that is in line with your career ambitions. You also have the chance to have some great experiences living in a new city and getting exposed to a different culture.

Honestly, I find it clownish that you'd consider giving up a much better learning opportunity (and chance to live life alone in a new city) for a very marginal increase in B-school chances.

Feb 4, 2010

Roland Berger.

Feb 4, 2010

Congrats on the multiple job offers. Strategy firm in Berlin gets my vote. It's paid and in line with your interests.

Feb 4, 2010

If by value fund I'm correct in assuming you want to work in equities, then probably 2? It's a tough decision. I'd personally probably go with 1, but that might pigeon-hole you into working in fixed income. Just my opinion and I'm still in UG heading into IB, so take my advice with a grain of salt.

    • 1
Feb 4, 2010

If this M&A group at a big 4 is PwC corporate finance, KPMG corporate finance, ernst & young capital advisors, or deloitte corporate finance, it is essentially a "boutique IB" that also carries a globally known name. I would take 3. It will help getting into the US.

    • 1
Feb 4, 2010

delete, thanks.

Feb 4, 2010

Thanks!
Few more details:
1. the boutique is a local no name boutique,
2. when I say value investing I mean equities as well, so I don't want to get pigeonholed to fixed income in the future.

Any more opinions?

Feb 4, 2010

Ok then big 4 corp fin. Definitely don't do no name boutique if you want to go to the US. Big 4 corp. fin----> MBA in the US----> IB----> investment management would be my guess as to your most likely path to get to where you want.

Feb 4, 2010

Yeah, big 4 definitely.

Feb 4, 2010

It would probably also give you the best shot at a top MBA in the US.

Feb 4, 2010

I would say Big 4 > Columbia (try to get in Heilbrunn Center for Graham & Dodd Investing) or another top b-school. I would also advise you to get involved in some extra-curricular and leadership activities outside of work to make your application (and yourself) more well-rounded. Also, you should be managing your own PA in a manner consistent with traditional value investing if that is ultimately what you want to do and reading as many relevant books as you can by the big guys (Graham, Buffett, Klarman, Greenwald, Tilson, etc.)

    • 1
Feb 4, 2010
junkbondswap:

Also, you should be managing your own PA in a manner consistent with traditional value investing if that is ultimately what you want to do and reading as many relevant books as you can by the big guys (Graham, Buffett, Klarman, Greenwald, Tilson, etc.)

One of these things is not like the other...

There have been many great comebacks throughout history. Jesus was dead but then came back as an all-powerful God-Zombie.

Feb 4, 2010

What do you have against my main man Whitney Tilson?

Feb 4, 2010
junkbondswap:

What do you have against my main man Whitney Tilson?

He's an attention-monger whose best investment was buying a ton of drinks for Ackman, Loeb, and Einhorn.

I'll give him credit for things like his newsletter, etc which are good resources for people getting started, but he doesn't belong in the same breath as the others you mentioned.

There have been many great comebacks throughout history. Jesus was dead but then came back as an all-powerful God-Zombie.

Feb 4, 2010

Thanks for the answers!

From what I've been told - in the BIG 4 M&A position they don't close deals but assist in modeling, doing due diligence and that sort of stuff.

I'm trying to understand what's the reason all three of you are saying to go for the BIG 4.

Isn't AM is closer to finance than BIG 4?
I also thought that banks and business schools might look for a certain diversity in their students/hires (up to a certain limit) and that coming from a BIG 4 might actually be a disadvantage here (I guess more people are coming from BIG 4 and accounting backgrounds than from AM).
Is it because the brand name of the BIG 4 is that strong or is there another reason?

Feb 4, 2010

Big 4 because it is internationally known vs your random boutique, which won't help you get into IB in the US. Big 4 because big 4 overseas will translate well to top b-schools in the US, which will help you get the jobs you want.

Not AM because you might get pigeon-holed into fixed income when you want equities. That being said, I might take the AM role if it was for a large, global AM firm- you could turn that into top b-school and equity investing too, I'm sure.

Feb 4, 2010
notthehospitalER:

Big 4 because it is internationally known vs your random boutique, which won't help you get into IB in the US. Big 4 because big 4 overseas will translate well to top b-schools in the US, which will help you get the jobs you want.

Not AM because you might get pigeon-holed into fixed income when you want equities. That being said, I might take the AM role if it was for a large, global AM firm- you could turn that into top b-school and equity investing too, I'm sure.

Wow, for an undergrad "headed into IB" you are incredibly knowledgeable about how different positions can pigeon hole someone as well as what how international students can best position themselves for B-school. Please share more, your insight is invaluable.

"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts." - Bertrand Russell

Feb 4, 2010

Haha you should know more about someone before making assumptions.

I studied at a target/semi-target in the US as an international student before transferring to a top target in the S.hemisphere, where I will be doing my SA IB stint in less than a month. I have plans to study an MBA in the US in a few years, and happen to know a) college/b-school admissions counsellors/application consultants/top b-school alums, b) PM's at large AM funds, c) big 4 recruiters outside the US and d) big 4 workers in the US. I have also spent a ton of time on this website talking to and reading posts from people more knowledgable than myself. None of this is made up, and I rarely post things on this website I'm not confident about. If I say something that I'm uncertain about, I state that explicitly and suggest that the OP should place little weight in my words.

I can probably speak to the OP's situation more relevantly than you can.

Feb 4, 2010

I'm always skeptical about the Big 4's "investment banking" groups I have literally never run across an alumnus of any of those groups despite a) having worked at a Big 4 firm and b) dealing with a lot of mid-mkt/lower-mid-mkt sponsors and advisors. That said outside the US, their advisory practices are able to provide a much broader range of services and are taken much more seriously as true transactional advisors.

As to your point on business school, the Big 4 have two things in their favor:
a) You can get promoted quickly (at least in the US) and business schools cream their pants over titles-a good performer can be a manager in the Big 4 in 4-5 years and have "management experience" as lead/senior associate after 2.
b) The Big 4 are big hirers from these schools so they tend to be somewhat "over-weighted" vs smaller-but-"more prestigous" boutique firms in consulting and banking.

I would imagine that as a foreign applicant with Big 4 experience you'd be competitive for most b-schools.

There have been many great comebacks throughout history. Jesus was dead but then came back as an all-powerful God-Zombie.

    • 1
Feb 4, 2010

tilson is the ultimate poser.

Feb 4, 2010

I'm pretty sure that M&A for the Big 4 is much stronger/well respected outside of the US, particularly in emerging markets.

"For I am a sinner in the hands of an angry God. Bloody Mary full of vodka, blessed are you among cocktails. Pray for me now and at the hour of my death, which I hope is soon. Amen."

Feb 4, 2010