MBB Implementation or 2nd Tier Generalist?
I just finished my MBA at an MBB target b-school. have a Generalist offer from a 2nd tier (Strategy&/ATK/OW) and an Implementation offer from McK in a region of the world where that 2nd tier competes significantly with MBB for projects. My gut is telling me to accept the generalist offer since it's more aligned with the kind of work I want to be doing in consulting (strategy). I would also hope that my exit-opps are more "strategy" related with a role like this. On the other hand, I cannot get over the prestige factor of MBB. My biggest doubt is whether the Implementation practice would still give me the right exposure should I choose to exit in 3-4 years.
My questions are as follows:
Any thoughts on McK's Implementation practice? I have friends there that say implementation consultants do as much strategy work as the generalists, and others that say most of their work tends to be implementation. Also when I check the credentials of the implementation consultants at the office I would join, there is a significant difference. The implementation guys have a lot more field experience, and their MBA schooling (if any) is increasingly done at non-targets, whereas the generalists have a more cliched past (mainly MBAs from target B-schools). Fundamentally this is not really important; just another data point in evaluating (in a very biased and probably unfair way) the "perceived" quality of the consultants and the practice.
What would you do in my shoes, knowing that the 2nd tier competes shoulder-to-shoulder with the MBBs for strategy work in the region I am in? Does this alone justify joining a leading 2nd tier? Or does the prestige factor at MBB trump that even though it's an implementation role where most of my work could be executing stuff that my peers had developed?
Some genuine thoughts would be much appreciated. Thanks!