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 anoff-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:
- 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
- Tell the recruiter I am interested, but only bring up starting in the fall if I get an offer
- 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
- 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.