IB background not welcomed in consulting?

I was called up by one of the MBB to do an interview with them and was invited to attend this dinner reception prior to actual interviews. At the event the partner of that office started roasting IB after learning my past internships were primarily banking related. He himself is responsible for consulting PE clients so I was pretty shocked hearing things like "IB contains mostly menial and unintellectual work", "300 columns in your spreadsheet and you got this number, but what does it mean in real world" etc. He was then joined by his principal who basically reinforced the whole IB sucks idea.

I mean personally I do not see IB as "high finance" or ever bragged about working for a big bank, but I take pride in the work I do like in a 300+ column multitab model. Was my experience just an isolated case or does consulting actually look down on IB?

*edited company name&wording that got some taking the mickey out of

Comments (42)

Funniest
Nov 6, 2019

They're just butt hurt because their checks are so much smaller.

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  • Associate 2 in CorpDev
Nov 9, 2019

Kinda fits their smaller balls too, so not sure why they're complaining

Most Helpful
Nov 6, 2019

Take it from me - people who are very secure about what they do in life never have to denigrate other occupations to bolster their self-worth. How often do you see great CEOs diss their competition? They let their work speak for itself.

    • 40
Nov 6, 2019

Just trying to convince other candidates not to go to IB

    • 3
Nov 6, 2019

"300 columns in your spreadsheet"

lol clearly a consultant

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Nov 7, 2019

As a management consultant who previously worked in a very quantitative field where I used Excel every day for years...I am absolutely horrified by the workbooks that I see my colleagues produce. It's especially surprising that we have a very good culture around deck writing and making sure that your story is consistent, that everything is clearly laid out, etc. but it's harder for consultants to apply that logic to Excel by applying basic best practices to keep your workbooks organized, clean, and easy to follow

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Nov 7, 2019

As a management consultant who previously worked in a very quantitative field where I used Excel every day for years...I am absolutely horrified by the workbooks that I see my colleagues produce. It's especially surprising that we have a very good culture around deck writing and making sure that your story is consistent, that everything is clearly laid out, etc. but it's harder for consultants to apply that logic to Excel by applying basic best practices to keep your workbooks organized, clean, and easy to follow

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Nov 11, 2019
CHItizen:

"300 columns in your spreadsheet"

lol clearly a consultant

300 Lines?

Me: Laughs in Equity Research

Nov 11, 2019

yeah? wtf? i read that was like uhh have u ever heard about fucking rows? lmao

Nov 6, 2019

"Oh, so you think darkness is your ally? But you merely adopted the dark. I was born in it, molded by it. I didn't see the light until I was already a man, by then to me it was only blinding. The shadows betray you because they belong to me."

  • Bane
    • 3
Nov 7, 2019

INTIMIDATE your competitors with your SUPERIOR movie QUOTES

Omnia facit Voluntas - Will alone suceeds

    • 1
  • Associate 2 in CorpDev
Nov 9, 2019

I chuckled at that and now I'm mad at myself for being lame

Nov 7, 2019

I would say that sets the precedent for the whole relationship. In my experience, whenever I have a coworker/boss that says things like that right off the bat, they usually have a superiority complex and it will be visible in your employment long term.

No one should feel so inclined to hate on IB unless they have a chip on their shoulder. Good thing you caught on early!!

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Nov 7, 2019

This is very true.

Getting a job is a lot like getting into a relationship, you're going to spend 10+ hours a day (maybe less, still a lot) with this person and at least part of your life controlled by this person. Similar to looking out for red flags while dating, look out for red flags while interviewing.

"The three most harmful addictions are heroin, carbohydrates, and a monthly salary." - Nassim Taleb

    • 2
Nov 7, 2019

As others alluded to above, these consultants most definitely have a chip on their shoulder.

Maybe the partner and principal didn't want to come to terms with the fact that I only use their industry research and deck to substantiate a few inputs into my "300 column spreadhseet". That same deck that took them months to churn out.

    • 4
Nov 7, 2019

Not agreeing with the MD or principal here. If the conversation happened as OP said, then they are not the type of people you want to work for or with. But aren't you doing the exact same thing that you are calling out? Banking and consulting are two different career paths with different value propositions - not sure why either group would look down on the other.

OP - if you want to know what people in consulting think about IB, you might get better responses if you post this in the consulting forum. Agree that these particular consultants do not sound like people you want to work for, but I would not paint the entire industry with such a broad brush.

    • 1
Nov 8, 2019

+

Nov 7, 2019

"Bankers and Consultants, it's time to squash the beef. Gonna settle this now... right here on the Street."

Still can't buy Cristal with Starwood points.

    • 11
Nov 7, 2019

One of the best videos on the internet

    • 1
  • Associate 2 in CorpDev
Nov 9, 2019

Remove "one of", change "videos" to singular

Pls fix, thx

Nov 7, 2019

Surprisingly unprofessional... Considering that the MDs/ partners in charge of a client relationship can provide very similar advice and be engaged in very similar discussions, I don't see why the IB hate. Sure, the entry-level work can be different, but you're adding value on both sides.

Nov 7, 2019

Your experience is frustrating I am sure. However, this is anecdotal and not indicative of how most consultants view bankers. I had 3 different IBD internships and zero in consulting yet ended up in consulting FT. During my countless networking sessions no one ever knocked IB. They acknowledged it was a grind and that at times "it probably sucked". They also stated that consulting sucks at times. I'd say I have the same number of friends in IB as I do in MC. Sounds like that consultant got dinged during his IBD interviews because he lacked the soft skills necessary to excel in banking.

Not to go off on a tangent or hijack your post but I want to mention that you should think carefully about making the transition. The work is VERY different, and as psychotic as it sounds, find myself missing banking more than I thought I would. I am not unhappy with my choice but I certainly miss some quantitative aspects of IB and running pitch/deal processes.

    • 1
Nov 7, 2019

Can you go into this? Lots of discussion on the diverse learning experiences at consultancies but what do you miss about the banking experience?

Nov 8, 2019

Seconded

Nov 7, 2019

"Prospective monkey" takes pride in the "advice I offer to clients".

You'll realize a lot of these finance/consulting A-types are very insecure and try to put others down to make themselves feel better. Not everyone, but you'll come across much worse people in these industries than you've laid out here (and much better!).

    • 2
Nov 8, 2019

Not to be cocky but I was the only person at my previous office who spoke fluently in another language and that earned me a lot of face time with clients. But I see what you trying to do here. Working my way to be near human.
I do realize I was a bit too naive after working with some of the nicest guys in finance. Gotta get ready and puff out my chest when necessary.

Nov 8, 2019

Right - so you were a translator.

Nov 7, 2019

I've come to find in my career that consultants like to work with consultants, and bankers like to work with bankers. Pick your poison and be happy with it.

If you look through Biz Ops, Tech, strategy and other corporate jobs (after your analyst stint), you will notice that if the head of the team is a former banker, most of their team will come from banking backgrounds. If the head of the team is a former consultant, most of their team will come from consulting backgrounds.

    • 1
Nov 7, 2019

Personally, I've seen a lot of ex-bankers/finance people struggle to succeed at the 'next' level in consulting. They tend to be good at building a model and maintaining data, but have to be really pushed in order to drive real, actionable insights. It's not because they can't, but they're not practiced in it. Consultants have to constantly ask "is this data real, does it make sense in the context of my overall work, what else in the real world can I validate this against" while bankers are often more focused on whether or not the inputs to the model feed to the formulaic outputs.

It's not a bad thing, it's a different learning curve and mindset than most hires. I'd never look down on a banker hire. I would, however, expect that they'll take some time before they become "quantitative storytellers". Just need reps, like anything else. The bankers who struggle are the ones who don't see the need to drive the extra layer of thinking.

That's just personal experience.

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    • 2
Nov 8, 2019

Nice to read your thoughts on the remarks. I can imagine how big the difference can be with data interpretation and overall thought process in delivering advice.
If you worked on M&A/PE deals would you be able to elaborate on the the specifics of daily work in PM?
I was hoping to ask that partner these questions but he didn't give me a chance lol

Nov 8, 2019

On another note -- as a consultant, I never really think about / compare myself to bankers. I suspect that the only places where people do that are on forums like this. In the real world people are too worried about their job, hobbies, families, and the rest of their lives to compare themselves to other careers like that. I suspect that the person you overhead say this was joking around, very insecure, or very early in his/her career.

    • 3
Nov 8, 2019

Have you seen the work consultants do? It's shit. They all want out.
Have you seen the work bankers do? It's shit. They all want out.
One is better paid than the other - I know which one I'd pick...

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    • 1
Nov 9, 2019

Guy is just lame, nothing more nothing less. Don't sweat it.

But "advice I offer to clients" hahaha you're an intern you're not offering advice to anyone young blood.

Nov 9, 2019

At a recruiting event for MS last year in college, a Sales & Trading MD also talked down on IB.

The MD said that IB is just numbly inputting numbers in Excel and that choosing it over S&T shows a lack of courage.

Long story short, some people like to belittle other activities when trying to recruit for their team, even if that means insulting your own coworkers in front of 100 college students. Anyone with a bit of perspective sees that there is both value and bullshit in all consulting, IB or S&T.

    • 1
Nov 9, 2019

Generally you should seriously discount everything someone says if they badmouth other professions, let alone colleagues at the same employer. It's a huge red flag for extreme insecurity, arrogance, immaturity, lack of professionalism, or some combination of all of the above.

Nov 9, 2019

MBB serving PE clients here. I would say your experience is a one off. IB background is usually a good thing. It implies attention to detail and work ethic. That's a big part of the job.

Nov 9, 2019
Comment
Nov 11, 2019