Help me pick my first job: Accenture vs. Prop Shop - Trying to decide which company to sign

Breezy's picture
Rank: Senior Chimp | 29

I'm a senior in college trying to decide which company I should sign with full time. My ideal job would have been with some sort of management consulting firm, but alas, things did not work out. I have an offer from Accenture (SI Consulting) and a small prop trading firm. I know that these two are pretty different, but I'm still have trouble deciding which one to go with.

The prop trading company pays much more than Accenture does (think 40k after bonuses factored in), but I'm afraid that prop trading (as well as how specific the market that they deal with is) would limit my exit opportunities. I don't think I would want to do trading forever. On the other hand, I've heard a bunch of mixed reviews about Accenture as well, especially considering that I'm not in the management consulting arm. The trading firm is one of the best in the market that they participate in, but that is a pretty specific market.

I really liked the people that I met at the trading place, they all seemed very nice, young, fun to be around.

I want to go to business school in a couple years, and I'm still not sure what I'd do long term career wise.

So is IT consulting really as bad as everyone makes it out to be? Does working at a prop shop really pidgeonhole you?
Any advice?

Comments (22)

Dec 1, 2011

would you be an actual trader at the prop firm, or BO/MO? huge difference here.

Dec 1, 2011

Acutal trader.

Dec 1, 2011

So it pigeon holes you. Best prop traders make in the 8 figures. And if you make enough money, you can quite and start your own company doing whatever you want. Or live on the beach in thailand for the rest of your life.

"...all truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident."

  • Schopenhauer
Dec 1, 2011

you're young. take the trading job. risk on.

Dec 1, 2011

Trading.

I didn't say it was your fault, I said I was blaming you.

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Dec 1, 2011

Can you guys give some reasons as to why I should take the trading job?

Nov 5, 2019

Exit opportunities for trading are not specific to the market you were on. The expertise in one market won't hurt if you want to work around that market but in general you're fine.

Funniest
Dec 1, 2011

consulting = staff augmentation. trading = money fo nuthin chix fo free.

    • 2
Dec 1, 2011

40K is the one that pays more?

Dec 1, 2011

40K more than the other one.

Dec 2, 2011

no offense to the OP, but in my very short career so far I have yet seen a successful prop trader who wasn't very keen on trading long before he joined the firm. It's not even trading vs. non-trading (consulting in your case). Many people find it hard to choose between trading vs. sales or structuring, and the good prop traders I've known (again not that many) have opted for trading from day one. They are also dead set on trading for their careers and they don't think much about exit opps. If there's one, they call it either retiring or wiped out....

PS just realized that you didnt' specify the type of prop trading shop that you'll be joining. My exmaples above apply mostly for all prop traders except for HFT and quant trading, because (1) I don't know too many of them, and (2) the few ones that I know have started out as a phd in math or physic, and more often than not wasn't very interested in trading since freshmen year in college, etc

Dec 2, 2011

Agree with bluecoat on the general candidate for prop trading...That being said, the prop firm might see potential in you that you yourself might not know you have..

With regards to your post, IT consulting is probably on the most boring jobs that you can do. One of my friends does it for PWC, and all you do is make sure that the systems infrastructure is secure, risk controls in place, etc...a polar opposite of finance.

Dec 2, 2011

Prop trading, dude. It's like asking IBD vs Wells Fargo commercial banking.

Dec 2, 2011

Prop without a doubt.

Dec 2, 2011

Would working at the prop trading firm put me in a better place in terms of business school?

Dec 2, 2011

You're not even out of school yet you're already thinking about B-School? I'm not sure if you're aware about prop shop compensation- you either make peanuts, or make a killing (mid six figures in your first few years, then seven etc). Very few people manage to hit upon the middle ground. Under such circumstances, why would you even consider BSchool?

Also, how 'small' is this prop shop? Is it in NY, Chicago or elsewhere? Do they focus on market making, arbitrage, HFT or directional trading? These factors are important.

Dec 2, 2011

How does the firm focus affect my decision? I feel like that, on this level of differences (consulting vs trading) that it is splitting hairs.

Dec 2, 2011
Breezy:

How does the firm focus affect my decision?

Did you ever research into prop trading? Not all prop firms are homogeneous. In fact, the variance in quality, profitability and legitimacy can be pretty f*cking huge, and the fact that you've mentioned Accenture but withheld the "small prop trading" firm's name leads me to believe that you've landed a gig at a boiler room.

Dec 2, 2011

You can always do consulting after MBA. From the sound of your OP, it sounds like you already made your choice :) go kick ass.

Dec 2, 2011
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Dec 2, 2011
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Proboscis