HELP! Accepted offer and starting at boutique next week- just heard from Tier 2 recruiter about position starting next month

Hi Monkeys,

I live in a major city in the Northeast US (NYC/Boston) and have just accepted an offer at a boutique consulting firm in the same city for an off-cycle Associate (entry-level) position, with a planned start date of next Monday.

For a bit of background, I interviewed there in December and got an offer, and they have been kind enough to give me an extension for over a month while I interviewed elsewhere. With a bit of networking and luck I made it to final rounds with an MBB through their off-cycle recruiting, but unfortunately didn't get the offer. I definitely feel a bit down after getting so close with MBB, but am thankful I have an offer with the boutique and know that I will have more opportunities to try again in the future.

Note- I am interested in transitioning to PE in the long term. For a bit of color on the boutique, they do a lot of DD work for PE clients, though it is not common for their Associates to directly move to PE.

To throw a wrench into everything, I just heard from a recruiter at a Tier 2 firm (OW/Parthenon/LEK) that they have 4-8 openings in the same city I live in, and are looking for a start date in early March. I am feeling pretty conflicted because I think the Tier 2 will offer a significantly better experience and exit ops (especially PE- not as good as MBB but still a decent shot for lower MM firms with some effort), but of course I just accepted an offer at the boutique and think it will be an unethical and dangerous move to interview and potentially switch to the Tier 2. I also know the Tier 2 has their main class starting in the fall.

The recruiter asked if I am interested and if the timing works for me, and I need to get back to her in the next day or so. I have a few ideas for how to handle this, and would appreciate anyone's thoughts:

  1. Tell the recruiter that I am interested in interviewing but would need to start in the fall- I figure leaving the boutique after 8 months looks bad but might be better than alternatives
  2. Tell the recruiter I am interested, but only bring up starting in the fall if I get an offer
  3. Try to push my start date for the boutique back as far as possible in the hopes I can finish interviewing- reneging also looks bad, but might be better than working for a short time and then leaving; also might be tough since they already gave me 1 month to decide on offer and need me to start soon
  4. Just forget about the Tier 2- stick with the boutique and try again in a couple years at B-School. I read discussions on here about people breaking into PE post MBA, and understand it is hard but doable.

Sorry if this got a tad long- I would appreciate anyone's advice on how to handle this. I want to balance handling this in the most ethical way possible with setting myself on the best path for the future.

Thanks very much.

Comments (6)

Dec 31, 1969

Type "renege" into the search bar and do some reading.

Dec 31, 1969

Fuck that...delete that draft, reneg, and take the dream offer.

Dec 31, 1969

Fuck that...delete that draft, reneg, and take the dream offer.

Dec 31, 1969

If you didn't get either offer through your school's OCR and/or your school's OCR is not strict (i.e., they generally haven't had instances of restricting students from their use after a student reneged, or have not forced firms to take back offers) then consider reneging.

If you have moral issues with this, then instead of writing a draft to HR - you should talk to the hiring manager directly and maintain connections with them. The hiring managers (people/group you are interviewing and will be working for) make the hiring decision. HR just helps facilitate the process, or in the case of head office - gives the group the 'ok' on hiring bandwidth.

Dec 31, 1969