Is Consulting really worth much more than a corporate role?

mrgth23's picture
Rank: Senior Monkey | 78

Especially if it's a top corporate experience vs a tier 3 consulting(B4/Accenture).

I've heard a few people on here say 2 years consulting is basically equivalent 4-5 years in a corporate role. Obviously, this will depend a lot but I just wanted to get people's honest opinion on if there's any truth to this.

Been looking at consulting and as alternatives, business analysis or CF FLDPs within a F500. What I'm really looking for down the road is a good pay, interesting work, and a good work life balance, like 5 years down the road. I'm down to grind it for the first few years though if it will help me grow/learn a lot more.

What I'm trying to answer is if Consulting is worth it to forgo something like a top FLDP because I will grow more from it? I'd most likely break into a tier 3 consulting like MC at Accenture or Big4(at a non-target state uni) or a boutique. MBB or other top tier are probably a reach.

The way I'm seeing it right now is an FLDP will give me some of the benefits of Consulting: exposure to higher level management(mentorship), diverse experiences via rotations, potential access to strategic/big-picture work via some rotations while also positioning myself pretty well for the future, developing a specific valuable skill set and decent work-life balance.

I'm just starting to get internships in these areas, so would really appreciate any input from more experienced people.

Comments (7)

Jan 6, 2019

I'm not sure whether you'll personally grow more from a stint in a consultancy than by joining an FLDP, but is it necessarily the big firms that offer the most advantage from the point of view of width of experience and personal growth? I do know people who joined smaller consultancies like Alpha and Bain who benefited enormously from the experience and did better than their peers at the big 4 (don't count on getting all the "rotation" that you'd like!). Even small, niche consultancies (fewer than six people) like this example can provide exceptional breadth of experience. However, when people join consultancies they tend to stay in the consultancy line.

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Jan 7, 2019

Thanks for the response MandA. Are there any boutiques or consultancies you recommend?

Jan 7, 2019

Oh dear, I know good people in many consultancies but am not an expert on career options at each one and don't know enough to make a recommendation in your case. However, maybe there's something else I can help you with. If you identify 2-3 smaller or mid-tier consultancies where you'd like to work, drop me their names and I might have a bit of useful info or background info I can give you. Not sure whether that would be useful or not ... but you never know!

Jan 7, 2019

What year are you? If you're a sophomore F500 FLDP would be an incredible internship. If you're a junior it'd be good. IMO it's much more attainable to get interviews for FT than internships for consulting.

What I'm really looking for down the road is a good pay, interesting work, and a good work life balance, like 5 years down the road. I'm down to grind it for the first few years though if it will help me grow/learn a lot more.

Depends on what you mean by interesting work. If you don't know what is interesting to you yet, consulting could be preferable because you'd have higher future flexibility with your career.

What I'm trying to answer is if Consulting is worth it to forgo something like a top FLDP because I will grow more from it?

  1. Not all consulting is equal. Would I forsake FLDP for MBB/T2? Yes unless you're extremely and specifically interested in the work that the program places into. For big4/Accenture? They don't really have much generalist consulting at Big4, so it depends on if you're interesting in the field you're specifically consulting within (e.g. Financial Services, Tech).

I'd most likely break into a tier 2 consulting like MC at Accenture or Big4(at a non-target state uni) or a boutique. MBB or other top tier are probably a reach.

  1. Not necessarily true - I went to a large state non-target and got interviews with plenty of top firms, for many as the first person they've interviewed in a long time. You just have to network.
  2. At Accenture/Big4 you most likely won't be doing 'strategy consulting' as much as implementation work. This is still good work many people like. This is worth considering because plenty of people at my university had the idea of consulting as doing high level strategy work, got jobs doing tech consulting, and became unhappy over time.
  3. General terminology so you can follow forum discussions better - MBB is its own tier, T2 generally refers to OW/LEK/ATK and Strategy&/Deloitte S&O/EY-Parthenon. The last 3 are technically big4 but they're usually referred to in the T2 category vs Big4 (they do more strategy and usually have totally different recruitment pipelines). Big4 is the rest of Deloitte, EY, KPMG, and PwC. Accenture is often considered similarly to Big4 but isn't.
Funniest
Jan 7, 2019
AnonymousGoon:

Big4 is the rest of Deloitte, EY, KPMG, and PwC. Accenture is often considered similarly to Big4 but isn't.

Long live ye ole Arthur Anderson!

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Jan 7, 2019

Thanks for the response AnonymousGoon!
I'm a junior with a FLDP internship in f1000 that is very well known within the tech industry. I think I would find bigger, picture strategy work or process improvement, operational work most interesting because I'm trying to solve business problems through both of them. To get that and the balance I was looking for I was mainly aiming for settling in corp finance, devp and strategy or business analysis.

I'm not saying that it would impossible to break into a top tier consulting firm but just that I'm not counting on it when I'm trying to consider my realistic options. I'll still go for it and keep networking. I just think that it might be easier to land a top FLDP FT offer than a top consulting offer given my internship.

Assuming I find tech and implementation work interesting and my FLDP rotations(just to simplify), do you think that Accenture/B4 would offer a consulting experience that I would be missing out on? My thinking is that while Accenture might be a little niche, it would still provide the consulting toolbox, structured way of thinking, training my mind for solving problems, becoming adaptable. Lmk, if you think I'm mistaken in this?

You say you would forsake FLDP for MBB/Tier 2, why would you do so, from your perspective?

Jan 9, 2019
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