MBB vs. Goldman S+T

applesandoranges's picture
Rank: Chimp | 11

Disclaimer: Please don't respond if you are going to say "depends what you want to do: trading or consulting." -- its not that I don't think that comment is valid (it is), its just that I am not sure on long-term career yet and that advice is simply not helpful.

Subject line is self-explanatory --- making decisions for SA undergrad position.

Questions:
1) How limiting/narrowing is S+T? Would let's say McKinsey give me an interview/consideration in the fall even if they knew I turned down a different MBB for S+T for this summer?

2) Is the offer rate for SA-->FT really that different? I have heard 50% (GS S+T) vs. 95% (MBB).

3) I am not interested in IBD or PE -- ever. But am definitely interested (and unsure) about consulting, S+T and HF. What will be my relative chances with these three options come the fall depending on which SA offer I take?

I want to thank all you guys for your help. I understand that many people will see consulting and trading as irreconcilably different professions (in lifestyle and nature of work) but I hope you can move past that comment (and understand that some people can be interested in both and not sure yet) and help me with my questions.

Comments (11)

Feb 15, 2011

First of all, you don't need to post this more than once. Second, if you don't want the "depends on what you want to do" response, then all I can offer is what I would do in your shoes. I would pick trading, and the reason is that I want to do it more. I'm in consulting right now, which was my backup, but eventually I will launch my own HF.

Feb 15, 2011

First, apologies on the double post --- it was a problem with 'which forum do I post it in'

Manbearpig, I think your input is incredibly helpful though, because you are kind of where I would be if I took MBB (at a consulting firm, dreaming about HF).

Do you have a plan to make the switch (like get to the top MBB then switch to HF, or go to MBA then switch, or just launch your HF)?

Thanks again for your help --- last thing: do you find ANY of the Financial Service consulting work to improve your ability to understand and analyze the markets (i.e. is anything transferrable to S+T/HF)?

Feb 15, 2011

Well, I have a MFE so I already have a very good knowledge base regarding traded products, pricing, modeling (financial engineering, not the banker stuff), hedging, etc. I don't have any intention of moving to MBB. I already have an excellent trading strategy, which I'm teaching my dad to execute for me. Once I save enough capital, I'll just do quit and work on trading my own capital for a living, and eventually open it to outside investors if it really pans out the way I hope. If I do make the switch to another firm, I'll lateral over the OW FS at the Engagement Manager level (I have some solid connections there, and it's an awesome practice).

Feb 15, 2011

Thanks again for your input --- any chance you would explain OW FS or Engagement Manager? I know a decent amount about opportunities (for entry) at big HF that I have interviewed/networked with (citadel, deshaw, etc) but I haven't heard these terms, and I know little about prop.

Thanks

Feb 15, 2011

Oliver Wyman Financial Services. It's a consulting practice. Engagement Manager is an experience level. In consulting, it goes: Business Analyst - Consultant - Senior Consultant (me) - Engagement Manager - Associate Principal - Partner .........or some variation of those names.

citadel and deshaw are tops, but you should really cast a very wide net with hedge funds. They are incredibly difficult to break into. What sorts of strategies are you interested in? Global Macro? Equity Long Short? Merger Arbitrate? Volatility Arbitrage? Options Market Making? and the list goes on...What asset classes? Commidities...fixed income...equities...equity derivatives...exchange traded or OTC? etc etc.

Feb 15, 2011

hey manbearpig

whats your logic behind working at OW FS versus say McKinsey CF/FIG or Bain serving financial clients?

Feb 15, 2011
7S:

hey manbearpig

whats your logic behind working at OW FS versus say McKinsey CF/FIG or Bain serving financial clients?

To be honest, I just have a way better shot at getting into OW FS than any of the MBB. On top of that, I would most likely get in at a higher level, make more money there, and have a better shot at partnership. At the end of the day, it's no McKinsey, but it's still a top notch firm.

Feb 15, 2011

Like manbearpig, all I can tell you is what I did. I seriously thought about doing trading, and interviewed at a couple of places, but eventually I decided that my temperament is a much better fit for consulting. I prefer extended projects that I can dig deeply into rather than short-term stuff, I do better in (relatively) low-key work environments, and I wanted the chance to get a deeper look at how companies work than I'd get in trading. Oh yeah, and I fucking hate getting up at 5am every day to the point that doing so would probably ruin my job satisfaction.

I do realize that all of these are generalizations, but I have enough trader friends to feel confident that they're true enough for my purposes. I actually had a buddy who is really similar to me personality-wise who did his SA stint in a BB S&T group and didn't really like it for these very reasons, and that was enough for me.

I also have a couple of answers to your questions:

applesandoranges:

1) How limiting/narrowing is S+T? Would let's say McKinsey give me an interview/consideration in the fall even if they knew I turned down a different MBB for S+T for this summer?

In that case, McKinsey would never know (and you don't need to tell them). Even the firm that you turn down might be persuaded into giving you a second look if you convince them that, after spending a summer as a trader, you're now sure that you're a consultant deep down inside.

applesandoranges:

2) Is the offer rate for SA-->FT really that different? I have heard 50% (GS S+T) vs. 95% (MBB).

I know nothing about S&T offer rates, and 95% sounds pretty high for anywhere, but the MBB rate is higher than 50%. S&T may have a limit or something (i.e. the top 10 out of 20 interns get offers), but MBB isn't really like that: in general, if you do exemplary work as an intern, you'll get an offer (absent extenuating circumstances of some sort).

applesandoranges:

3) I am not interested in IBD or PE -- ever. But am definitely interested (and unsure) about consulting, S+T and HF. What will be my relative chances with these three options come the fall depending on which SA offer I take?

Well, if you intern in consulting and decide you want to do trading or vice versa, you'll have a harder time than if you had just taken that offer, but neither will be totally off the table. HF options are rarely available to undergrads, but whether you do S&T or consulting will most likely affect the type of funds that would want you. Equity long-short funds and maybe some macroeconomic stuff would be on the table after consulting, and whatever kind of funds hire ex-traders would be there after trading.

Feb 16, 2011

7S you mentioned "McKinsey CF/FIG and Bain serving financial clients" and manbearpig you spoke about OW FS.

I was wondering if you (or anyone else) could rank the MBBs in terms of their quality/quantity of work in financial services consulting. I know Bain has good PE connections but at least from what I have heard BCG is emphatic that they do more and better FS consulting (I am assuming FS consulting is the same thing as FIG at consulting firm).

And a corollary to that question: if the goal is to land a spot at a value or long-short (vs. more quanty) HF, which consulting firm would best help one accomplish that goal? This can be answered by saying that one consulting firm has better connections, or by saying that one consulting firm does more and better FS work (thus helping you develop better and more transferable skills).

If possible, please focus on just MBB so that this is a practical question for me, and not just I hypothetical discussion (I don't have offers from any other consulting firms).

Thanks again guys for the insights

Feb 16, 2011

OP, I am in a very similar boat as you in terms of offer decisions, except I am more interested in PE long-term than HF. I was wondering why you decided to eliminate LevFin at a BB from your considerations (following from an earlier thread you posted)?

For a summer experience, I think you'd learn more transferable skills from MBB, but you'd most likely enjoy your experience in consulting and stay on FT, so if you want to maximize your exposure to as many options as possible, you could go with S/T to try it out. But if you don't mind not ever trying S/T, I think consulting gives you the most options and best training.

I've definitely met people at MBB who worked in S/T full-time, so I think the switch is possible after the summer if you choose GS S/T. However, I personally feel like the opportunities in S/T are more limiting (you learn to trade/sell one product really well, but learn less overall business-oriented skills) and that I would get more out of working in IBD, which is why I was curious you'd keep MBB within your considerations and not the BB.

Feb 16, 2011
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