Lets Talk MBB exit ops post MBA

GoIllini's picture
Rank: Gorilla | banana points 742

Happy NFL day guys,

So my plan is to go from F500 FLDP (With around 4 yrs exp total) --> Top 10 MBA --> MBB (If not MBB, probably settle for Deloitte or similar)

Assuming I did get a consultant role at an MBB firm (in Chicago), what kind of exit opportunities/comp would be available to me? I know MBB is a door opening opporunity, I just haven't read a lot of specific exit ops out of post MBA MBB.

Example

  • Exit ops from Consultant role after 2-3 yrs
  • Exit ops from Project leader/case team leader/ etc
  • Exit ops from Manager role?

I would love to hear anecdotal examples if anyone has them! I'm sure there are quite a few of you going into MBB post MBA, or know of someone who has.

Jobs After Management Consulting

While consulting, especially with MBB, is a great way to open doors, there's no set path that post-MBA consultants follow after a few years in the industry. Some current consulting professionals weighed in with their insights:

From Certified Consulting Professional - 1st Year Associate @BigPicture

  • Post-MBA --> Manager, maybe Director
  • Engagement Manager / Project Leader --> Solid Director
  • Principal / Junior Partner --> Director, maybe VP

From Certified Consulting Professional - Partner @KenB

  • As Associate, you're looking at Manager or Senior Manager. Maybe Associate Director
  • At EM level more like Director
  • At Principal, could open more senior management roles, through probably most often a VP of Strategy
  • I did work with a Director who left to be CEO of a major company, but that is not an every day occurrence

What I see a lot of is that after 2 or so years - average exit time - people hop into an internal consulting role, say in the strategy function of a company. Sometimes as a "number 2" to a senior executive working on strategy and big initiatives. This gives direct exposure to senior management, and if you do well you get into a role with P&L responsibility and move up from there.

Recommended Reading

Preparing for Consulting Interviews?

The WSO consulting interview course is designed by countless professionals with real world experience, tailored to people aspiring to break into the industry. This guide will help you learn how to answer these questions and many, many more.

Consulting Prep Course

Comments (31)

Nov 10, 2013

Also interested.

Nov 10, 2013

.

Nov 10, 2013
turnyasystemup:

If you're already in FLDP, think about whether or not you like that industry, because MBB often exits right back into C-suite in industry/on that track at least. Or operational FO role @ pe. don't know of anyone who moved to HF from MBB

Yeah I'm not a huge fan of the current industry I'm in. Much more interested in healthcare, energy, or CPG than my current industry. My hope is that through consulting I would find which industry I prefer.

What I'm looking for is what level people often exit into industry. Do consultants often exit into manager or senior manager roles? Case/project leaders to senior manager or director level?

Thanks for the insight though!

Nov 10, 2013

bump bump

Nov 10, 2013

bumperz

Learn More

2,037 questions across 209 consulting firms. 11 Cases developed by a McKinsey Associate, 10+ hours of video. The WSO Consulting Interview Prep Course has everything you’ll ever need to ace your consulting case interviews. Learn more.

Nov 11, 2013

post mba --> manager, maybe director
engagement manager / project leader --> solid director
priincipal / junior partner --> direct, maybe vp

Nov 10, 2013
BigPicture:

post mba --> manager, maybe director

engagement manager / project leader --> solid director

priincipal / junior partner --> direct, maybe vp

Thanks man! I appreciate the insight. That's what I would expect, but wanted to hear from some people with insight.

Nov 11, 2013

Thanks for posting this thread. I'm a first-year at an M7, so I've been wondering the same thing.

Nov 10, 2013
kingfalcon:

Thanks for posting this thread. I'm a first-year at an M7, so I've been wondering the same thing.

Have you heard anything regarding the exit ops yet then? If/when you do, please share!

Learn More

2,037 questions across 209 consulting firms. 11 Cases developed by a McKinsey Associate, 10+ hours of video. The WSO Consulting Interview Prep Course has everything you’ll ever need to ace your consulting case interviews. Learn more.

Nov 11, 2013

Maybe I'm wrong, and maybe it is regional, but exit opportunities are not as easy as people make them seem from any of the firms. In particular, exit opportunities that move you onto the C-Suite path (i.e. P&L). Many consultants move from the firms to industry end up doing the same projects but internally, hoping to move into P&L responsibility.

If you are going into consulting just for the exit opportunities or the chance to switch industries consulting may not be the right approach. With experience you will generally be staffed and proposed on projects where your experience helps the firm win the work. You absolutely will see more than just your current industry, but it becomes questionable if you see enough of the other industries to be considered in industry at more senior levels.

Think long and hard about what you want to do, and if consulting really helps you get there quicker. There are many stories of consultants moving from firms to a back-office function, unable to make it to P&L because of the differences between strategy and project work compared to daily execution and management. I know some people have found it better to go right into industry in a P&L related role from school or another company than a firm.

If you are looking for accelerated development and approaches to solving problems that many in industry do not have as skills, a consulting firm is great. But don't focus too much on consulting if all you are interested in is exit opportunities to other industries, there are likely better ways to move industries than through consulting, and some may be quicker to "real" authority in a company (P&L).

TT

    • 1
Nov 10, 2013
TylerT:

Maybe I'm wrong, and maybe it is regional, but exit opportunities are not as easy as people make them seem from any of the firms. In particular, exit opportunities that move you onto the C-Suite path (i.e. P&L). Many consultants move from the firms to industry end up doing the same projects but internally, hoping to move into P&L responsibility.

If you are going into consulting just for the exit opportunities or the chance to switch industries consulting may not be the right approach. With experience you will generally be staffed and proposed on projects where your experience helps the firm win the work. You absolutely will see more than just your current industry, but it becomes questionable if you see enough of the other industries to be considered in industry at more senior levels.

Think long and hard about what you want to do, and if consulting really helps you get there quicker. There are many stories of consultants moving from firms to a back-office function, unable to make it to P&L because of the differences between strategy and project work compared to daily execution and management. I know some people have found it better to go right into industry in a P&L related role from school or another company than a firm.

If you are looking for accelerated development and approaches to solving problems that many in industry do not have as skills, a consulting firm is great. But don't focus too much on consulting if all you are interested in is exit opportunities to other industries, there are likely better ways to move industries than through consulting, and some may be quicker to "real" authority in a company (P&L).

TT

Thanks for the insight. That's why I'm asking. I'm not sure exactly how great the benefits are.

Nov 10, 2013
TylerT:

Maybe I'm wrong, and maybe it is regional, but exit opportunities are not as easy as people make them seem from any of the firms. In particular, exit opportunities that move you onto the C-Suite path (i.e. P&L). Many consultants move from the firms to industry end up doing the same projects but internally, hoping to move into P&L responsibility.

If you are going into consulting just for the exit opportunities or the chance to switch industries consulting may not be the right approach. With experience you will generally be staffed and proposed on projects where your experience helps the firm win the work. You absolutely will see more than just your current industry, but it becomes questionable if you see enough of the other industries to be considered in industry at more senior levels.

Think long and hard about what you want to do, and if consulting really helps you get there quicker. There are many stories of consultants moving from firms to a back-office function, unable to make it to P&L because of the differences between strategy and project work compared to daily execution and management. I know some people have found it better to go right into industry in a P&L related role from school or another company than a firm.

If you are looking for accelerated development and approaches to solving problems that many in industry do not have as skills, a consulting firm is great. But don't focus too much on consulting if all you are interested in is exit opportunities to other industries, there are likely better ways to move industries than through consulting, and some may be quicker to "real" authority in a company (P&L).

TT

What region are you in? And what exits have you seen from Post MBA MBB consultants with several years of exp?

Nov 10, 2013

bumping for more hits

Dec 15, 2013

Also, for those who do exit into industry, how's your new industry salary compared to your last year of salary at MBB?

Best Response
Feb 11, 2014
    • 2
Feb 12, 2014

@niubi Thanks. Hadn't seen that before - interesting stuff.

Feb 12, 2014

My old boss had ~4 years pre-mba work experience, top 10 mba, MBB for ~2 years, exit to F500 Manager. Made Director in ~2-3 years. Know someone who followed a similar path at Deloitte S&O (minus making Director). Don't have much data for anyone who exited at MBB manager-level.

He definitely took a pay cut going from mbb to f500. His f500 mgr salary was probably ~115-120K + 5-10k bonus. Got bumped to ~$150K + ~40-45K bonus at director.

    • 1
Feb 18, 2014

Agree with above that as Associate, you're looking at Manager or Senior Manager. Maybe Associate Director. At EM level more like Director. At AP/Principal, could open more senior management roles, through probably most often a VP of Strategy. I did work with a Director who left to be CEO of a major company, but that is not an every day occurrence.

What I see a lot of is that after 2 or so years - average exit time - people hop into an internal consulting role, say in the strategy function of a company. Sometimes as a "number 2" to a senior executive working on strategy and big initiatives. This gives direct exposure to senior management, and if you do well you get into a role with P&L responsibility and move up from there.

So definitely an acceleration from going direct to a company without the 2 years at MBB, but it's not like you're going to be handed the keys to run GE after 2 years in consulting.

Pay vs. MBB depends on level, but after ~2 years most people do give up a bit when transitioning to industry. But the lifestyle is much better!

Feb 11, 2014

Wanted to bump this with this year's compensation report. Thoughts on the changes? Seems like with the economy rebounding ex-consultants are in higher demand than before.

https://charlesaris.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01...

Jan 31, 2015

I read this somewhere on WSO, but seemed right for this thread.

Giving advice is easier than making things happen. If you want to progress in a F500 career, you need to own P&L like it has been said before in this thread.

Feb 11, 2014

Bump, in case anyone had any new data points they wanted to share.

Jul 25, 2015

Business/Sales Strategy and Operations at tech firms like consultants with experience (I'm guessing similar roles in other industries offer similar roles/work too).

Jul 25, 2015

Bump

Jul 25, 2015

Reset, what did you end up doing?

Jul 25, 2015

I'm assuming there aren't many actual consultants browsing these forums, but for those of you who are applying to Mbb and even boutique firms, what are you long term goals and aspirations?

For me it's to move to corporate strategy in a specific industry I love and become c level. Lofty goal but everyone has to dream!

Jul 25, 2015

Interested as well

    • 1
Jul 25, 2015

Wow, a lot of old threads being brought back from the dead here. Consulting forum is making a "comeback".

Alright, Alright, Alright...

Jul 25, 2015
Comment
    • 1
Jul 25, 2015