McKinsey, Bain, GS, or GE offer choices

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After a crazy recruiting season I have managed to get offers from McKinsey and Bain, entry level analyst position all in comp around 85k. GS is in S&T, fixed income all in comp I think should be ~90k (depending on my bonus) and GE is in corporate development all in comp 70k. All the offers are in NYC except for GE which is at their headquarters in Fairfield, CT, so I wouldn't have move since I currently live in Greenwich. If accepted, which offer would give me the best chances at getting into a M7 MBA program?

Thanks for any advice!

Thoughts on McK culture?

Edit: Don't know if anyone cares but I went with Bain. Some information on me: Went to a non-target, completed a BS in applied math and physics with a minor in finance with a GPA of 4.0.

Oh and my dad is a MD at GS, uncle is a partner of Bain, and godfather is a partner at McKinsey

Comments (63)

 
Nov 12, 2012 - 8:47pm

MinneBanker:
If you are completely focused on MBA then I would say McK or Bain. Both are great.

However the job/corporate culture is so different...I think that matters WAY more than a 5 or 10k pay difference.

I don't care about the initial pay difference, hopefully they all amount to the salaries down the road. Could you offer any insight on the McK and Bain culture?

 
Nov 14, 2012 - 4:55pm

<span><a href=//www.wallstreetoasis.com/finance-dictionary/what-is-a-hedge-fund-HF rel=nofollow>HF</a></span>-MFE:
MinneBanker:
If you are completely focused on MBA then I would say McK or Bain. Both are great.

However the job/corporate culture is so different...I think that matters WAY more than a 5 or 10k pay difference.

I don't care about the initial pay difference, hopefully they all amount to the salaries down the road. Could you offer any insight on the McK and Bain culture?

I am just an undergrad like yourself but from research/info sessions/networking i feel like
1. they are pretty similar; after all b/c Bain is a derivative of McK.
2. Bain seems like a little more quantitative in terms of their work
3. however, I had a very good impression of Bain during their presentation as they talked about the culture (i.e. Bain has a world cup that they fly employees to every year) but it probably depends on your team...

but consulting is VERY different from banking but im sure you already know about that

finally, i think at this point you should make your decision on how well you fit with the company (maybe network with them?) rather than pay or prestige or anything like that because as long as you do well you can go anywhere you want for MBA and either of these firms as they are top of the top...

*edit: oh and Bain has a PE focus. so if you want to do PE...its a clear choice

 
Nov 12, 2012 - 9:17pm

I would go Mckinsey all the way if you are deciding between there and Bain. Just on a different level and will look much better on a resume, though of course both great places. Mck vs. Gs- both will get you into a top MBA program (maybe Mck more guaranteed but both will), so it depends on the lifestyle you want to have before then/the compensation you want. This is a great decision to have to make.

 
Nov 13, 2012 - 6:28am

for MBA, McKinsey is your best bet by far.

I'm talking about liquid. Rich enough to have your own jet. Rich enough not to waste time. Fifty, a hundred million dollars, buddy. A player. Or nothing.

See my Blog & AMA

 
Nov 14, 2012 - 4:59pm

I'm just going to leave this here. Not 100% applicable but it's worth repeating.

swagon:
How the fuck does someone sharp and experienced enough to land these positions ask these questions. i refuse to believe this shit is real.

First of all, you should probably be able to decide yourself if you're at the associate level b/c you know where you want to be long term, have probably developed goals, etc. If not, I guess it's certainly fine to ask for advice, but give some specifics. I don't see how anyone can tell you what to do with your career or what offer to take with simply a list of three positions.
What is your situation, career goals, concerns about pursuing various routes...

Now, I say all that, but am actually in no position to offer an experienced point of view, so I won't...but I don't think it takes much experience to look at these types of posts and see them for what they are, and that is retarded.

Talent is hitting a target no one can hit. Genius is hitting a target no one can see.
 
Best Response
Nov 14, 2012 - 11:46pm

State of Trance:
Why was I thrown monkey shit for no reason ? I did not think I said anything wrong.

It wasn't me, but it sounds like you work for or are obsessed with McK. So you're engaging in some inadvertent douching.

Setting gold standards tends to be an exercise in futility. Five years ago, the "gold standard" bank was Goldman. Today, it's more like JPM or Deutsche in a lot of kids' minds, although GS is still also up there.

Other people think there are gold standards for MFE programs or MBA programs. I also think those people are foolish; the rankings change every five to ten years anyways. Stanford will probably one day eclipse HBS as more and more business faces the Pacific.

---------

Some brilliant people graduate and go to work for NASA or one of the national laboratories.

Other brilliant people go to work for Deustche Bank, JP Morgan, Morgan Stanley, and Goldman.

Others pursue graduate degrees at Harvard, Princeton, Yale, MIT, and Stanford.

Others go to McKinsey, Bain, and BCG.

These people represent about 5-10% of the country's most successful college graduates.

The other 90-95% sometimes:

-Go to work for UBS, Credit Suisse, or a MM firm.
-Get an MFE or PhD at Baruch or Berkeley.
-Do a startup
-Work for a family business
-Go become a ski bum for a few years
-Sell Amway

There are a lot of brilliant people everywhere, and not all of them work for McKinsey (though most people at McK are smart). In fact, most of the smart people work somewhere else.

The biggest reason to choose trading over consulting is better comp, better hours, and the opportunity to make seven figures before you hit 26.

The biggest reason to choose consulting over trading is that you'll be meeting with CEOs on a regular basis at the age of 22 and you'll have one of the world's biggest rolodexes by the age of 25. This may make you a prime candidate for grad school or allow you to transition over to an F500 firm.

In the US, there are few guarantees of success or failure.

Ted Kaczynski graduated from Harvard at the age of 20:

Jeff Skilling became the youngest partner in McKinsey's history:

Mitt Romney founded Bain Capital:

-----

On the other hand, there was this aging B-movie actor who graduated from an unknown college...

McKinsey, Goldman Sachs, whomever, cannot guarantee that you will have a successful life. Your success in the future will be a product of your choices in the future, your hard work in the future, your luck in the future, and very little else.

Things are probably different in Asia and Europe. This is just generally how things work in the US. Many Americans like our country this way. It feels a lot more fair.

You are what you make of yourself, and in America, we remake ourselves every five, maybe ten years.

 
Nov 15, 2012 - 12:10am

IlliniProgrammer:
State of Trance:
Why was I thrown monkey shit for no reason ? I did not think I said anything wrong.

It wasn't me, but it sounds like you work for or are obsessed with McK. So you're engaging in some inadvertent douching.

Setting gold standards tends to be an exercise in futility. Five years ago, the "gold standard" bank was Goldman. Today, it's more like JPM or Deutsche in a lot of kids' minds, although GS is still also up there.

Other people think there are gold standards for MFE programs or MBA programs. I also think those people are foolish; the rankings change every five to ten years anyways. Stanford will probably one day eclipse HBS as more and more business faces the Pacific.


Some brilliant people graduate and go to work for NASA or one of the national laboratories.

Other brilliant people go to work for Deustche Bank, JP Morgan, Morgan Stanley, and Goldman.

Others pursue graduate degrees at Harvard, Princeton, Yale, MIT, and Stanford.

Others go to McKinsey, Bain, and BCG.

These people represent about 5-10% of the country's most successful college graduates.

The other 90-95% sometimes:

-Go to work for UBS, Credit Suisse, or a MM firm.
-Get an MFE or PhD at Baruch or Berkeley.
-Do a startup
-Work for a family business
-Go become a ski bum for a few years
-Sell Amway

There are a lot of brilliant people everywhere, and not all of them work for McKinsey (though most people at McK are smart). In fact, most of the smart people work somewhere else.

The biggest reason to choose trading over consulting is better comp, better hours, and the opportunity to make seven figures before you hit 26.

The biggest reason to choose consulting over trading is that you'll be meeting with CEOs on a regular basis at the age of 22 and you'll have one of the world's biggest rolodexes by the age of 25. This may make you a prime candidate for grad school or allow you to transition over to an F500 firm.

In the US, there are few guarantees of success or failure.

Ted Kaczynski graduated from Harvard at the age of 20:

Jeff Skilling became the youngest partner in McKinsey's history:

Mitt Romney founded Bain Capital:


On the other hand, there was this aging B-movie actor who graduated from an unknown college...

McKinsey, Goldman Sachs, whomever, cannot guarantee that you will have a successful life. Your success in the future will be a product of your choices in the future, your hard work in the future, your luck in the future, and very little else.

Things are probably different in Asia and Europe. This is just generally how things work in the US. Many Americans like our country this way. It feels a lot more fair.

You are what you make of yourself, and in America, we remake ourselves every five, maybe ten years.

I would have given you a SB if I had one. Great post. I totally believe in what you are saying above. If you were to look at the representation of HSW MBA the firm most frequently represented would probably be Mckinsey and if you are fortunate to have an offer from them it is natural I believe to expect someone to go there.

 
Nov 15, 2012 - 8:48am

IlliniProgrammer:
State of Trance:
Why was I thrown monkey shit for no reason ? I did not think I said anything wrong.

It wasn't me, but it sounds like you work for or are obsessed with McK. So you're engaging in some inadvertent douching.

Setting gold standards tends to be an exercise in futility. Five years ago, the "gold standard" bank was Goldman. Today, it's more like JPM or Deutsche in a lot of kids' minds, although GS is still also up there.

Other people think there are gold standards for MFE programs or MBA programs. I also think those people are foolish; the rankings change every five to ten years anyways. Stanford will probably one day eclipse HBS as more and more business faces the Pacific.


Some brilliant people graduate and go to work for NASA or one of the national laboratories.

Other brilliant people go to work for Deustche Bank, JP Morgan, Morgan Stanley, and Goldman.

Others pursue graduate degrees at Harvard, Princeton, Yale, MIT, and Stanford.

Others go to McKinsey, Bain, and BCG.

These people represent about 5-10% of the country's most successful college graduates.

The other 90-95% sometimes:

-Go to work for UBS, Credit Suisse, or a MM firm.
-Get an MFE or PhD at Baruch or Berkeley.
-Do a startup
-Work for a family business
-Go become a ski bum for a few years
-Sell Amway

There are a lot of brilliant people everywhere, and not all of them work for McKinsey (though most people at McK are smart). In fact, most of the smart people work somewhere else.

The biggest reason to choose trading over consulting is better comp, better hours, and the opportunity to make seven figures before you hit 26.

The biggest reason to choose consulting over trading is that you'll be meeting with CEOs on a regular basis at the age of 22 and you'll have one of the world's biggest rolodexes by the age of 25. This may make you a prime candidate for grad school or allow you to transition over to an F500 firm.

In the US, there are few guarantees of success or failure.

Ted Kaczynski graduated from Harvard at the age of 20:

Jeff Skilling became the youngest partner in McKinsey's history:

Mitt Romney founded Bain Capital:


On the other hand, there was this aging B-movie actor who graduated from an unknown college...

McKinsey, Goldman Sachs, whomever, cannot guarantee that you will have a successful life. Your success in the future will be a product of your choices in the future, your hard work in the future, your luck in the future, and very little else.

Things are probably different in Asia and Europe. This is just generally how things work in the US. Many Americans like our country this way. It feels a lot more fair.

You are what you make of yourself, and in America, we remake ourselves every five, maybe ten years.

tl;dr What I got from all that was McKinsey is still the best

 
Nov 18, 2012 - 12:41am

Battleship:
IlliniProgrammer:

Other brilliant people go to work for Deustche Bank, JP Morgan, Morgan Stanley, and Goldman.

Illini, if I may ask, why do you put DB up with top3 BBs? Is there any specific reason, or do you work there or something?

Thanks


They're a very well managed firm, have been expanding since '08 while most other firms have been contracting, and are run with the usual German efficiency. A lot of folks say they're one of the best banks on the street.

Look, I'm a firm believer that anyone who puts together a list of the best firms to work for is an idiot- because that list is always specific to individuals and groups. And this is not that list. It was an extremely casual random look at the firms I figured undergraduates think have the smartest people.

Deutsche overall is probably one of the better managed BBs. Should you work for them? That's up to you. If you've got a great group at Deutsche offering you a job and you've got a group you like less at one of the other firms on that list offering you a job, I personally would go for the group I like best. I think it would a bit trickier if I loved a group at HSBC and got an offer from a so-so group at JP Morgan. Other people might disagree with all of this.

My point is just that:
1.) There are smart people everywhere.
2.) Rankings lists change all the time. Goldman Sachs used to be considered to be at the top by undergrads; that has changed now.
3.) One thing that won't change quite as quickly will be the experience and what you learn from your group.

 
Nov 18, 2012 - 8:26am

IlliniProgrammer:
Battleship:
IlliniProgrammer:

Other brilliant people go to work for Deustche Bank, JP Morgan, Morgan Stanley, and Goldman.

Illini, if I may ask, why do you put DB up with top3 BBs? Is there any specific reason, or do you work there or something?

Thanks


They're a very well managed firm, have been expanding since '08 while most other firms have been contracting, and are run with the usual German efficiency. A lot of folks say they're one of the best banks on the street.

Look, I'm a firm believer that anyone who puts together a list of the best firms to work for is an idiot- because that list is always specific to individuals and groups. And this is not that list. It was an extremely casual random look at the firms I figured undergraduates think have the smartest people.

Deutsche overall is probably one of the better managed BBs. Should you work for them? That's up to you. If you've got a great group at Deutsche offering you a job and you've got a group you like less at one of the other firms on that list offering you a job, I personally would go for the group I like best. I think it would a bit trickier if I loved a group at HSBC and got an offer from a so-so group at JP Morgan. Other people might disagree with all of this.

My point is just that:
1.) There are smart people everywhere.
2.) Rankings lists change all the time. Goldman Sachs used to be considered to be at the top by undergrads; that has changed now.
3.) One thing that won't change quite as quickly will be the experience and what you learn from your group.

Thanks for your answer, its much appreciated!

 
Nov 15, 2012 - 11:19am

IlliniProgrammer:
M7 MBA programs, roughly in order of quality:
Warning: IlliniProgrammer bias and propaganda included in the rankings.

Chicago
Harvard
Northwestern
Stanford
Wharton
MIT
(Berkeley) (Historically not M7, but now outranks one)
Columbia

I'm surprised you didn't put Harvard and Wharton as #7 and #8 on your list. Goddamn Midwesterners...

(Also, because I always mention it when you include your favorite state school MBA program in your ranking list -- Tuck > Haas.)

 
Nov 15, 2012 - 7:06am

Congrats on your choice. If you don't mind me asking what school did you go to. I know you say 'non-target' but there are some top schools on UsNews/national rankings that are simply not targets for IBD/top consulting. Were these positions OCR or did you have to network to land your first round?

 
Nov 15, 2012 - 9:43am

n1cktm:
Congrats on your choice. If you don't mind me asking what school did you go to. I know you say 'non-target' but there are some top schools on UsNews/national rankings that are simply not targets for IBD/top consulting. Were these positions OCR or did you have to network to land your first round?

One of the Top 10 engineering schools.

 
Nov 15, 2012 - 9:43am

n1cktm:
Congrats on your choice. If you don't mind me asking what school did you go to. I know you say 'non-target' but there are some top schools on UsNews/national rankings that are simply not targets for IBD/top consulting. Were these positions OCR or did you have to network to land your first round?

One of the Top 10 engineering schools. And no OCR.

 
Nov 15, 2012 - 1:06pm

I would go with GS S&T. Traders can make the kind of cash most consultants will never see in their lifetime, unless they make partner. Consulting is a great gig, especially at the top 3. However, these shops usually require their analysts to go back to MBA. (and many times no sponsor) It is very costly to attend an MBA program on your dime. For trading, no grad school required or encouraged. All they care about is your performance on the job.

It's interesting, since I have several friends who are doing MBA at M7. They tell me they learn absolutely nothing at b-school. It seems like B-school is there just to make a career change and get access to OCR. But, it's a very, very costly way of attaining those benefits.

 
Nov 16, 2012 - 12:43am

IvyGrad:
I would go with GS S&T. Traders can make the kind of cash most consultants will never see in their lifetime, unless they make partner. Consulting is a great gig, especially at the top 3. However, these shops usually require their analysts to go back to MBA. (and many times no sponsor) It is very costly to attend an MBA program on your dime. For trading, no grad school required or encouraged. All they care about is your performance on the job.

It's interesting, since I have several friends who are doing MBA at M7. They tell me they learn absolutely nothing at b-school. It seems like B-school is there just to make a career change and get access to OCR. But, it's a very, very costly way of attaining those benefits.

I can't think of any well regarded consulting firm that doesn't sponsor an MBA. Bain, Mckinsey, and BCG all most certainly do. Parthenon and OC&C also do.

 
Nov 16, 2012 - 11:19am

Black Jack:
I can't think of any well regarded consulting firm that doesn't sponsor an MBA. Bain, Mckinsey, and BCG all most certainly do. Parthenon and OC&C also do.

That's great, and by the time a McKinseyite will be finishing up a two year MBA and getting ready to go back to consulting, some GS traders will be clearing seven figures.

A lot of consultants are going to be replaced with markov decision engines in twenty years. Same with traders, programmers, and bankers. Moral of the story: make hay while the sun shines.

 
Nov 16, 2012 - 1:35pm

Black Jack:
IvyGrad:
I would go with GS S&T. Traders can make the kind of cash most consultants will never see in their lifetime, unless they make partner. Consulting is a great gig, especially at the top 3. However, these shops usually require their analysts to go back to MBA. (and many times no sponsor) It is very costly to attend an MBA program on your dime. For trading, no grad school required or encouraged. All they care about is your performance on the job.

It's interesting, since I have several friends who are doing MBA at M7. They tell me they learn absolutely nothing at b-school. It seems like B-school is there just to make a career change and get access to OCR. But, it's a very, very costly way of attaining those benefits.

I can't think of any well regarded consulting firm that doesn't sponsor an MBA. Bain, Mckinsey, and BCG all most certainly do. Parthenon and OC&C also do.

My impression was that only top performing analysts were sponsored for MBA, not all analysts. It just doesn't seem economically feasible of any employer to dish out ~200k for MBA in employees they don't see a proper rate of return in.

Correct me if I am wrong.

 
Nov 15, 2012 - 2:37pm

powtadow:
Hey I had a question. For the S&T position did you just go through the GS career site? I am trying to find an entry level S&T position myself but cant seem to find any. Thanks!

This should answer your question:

dad is a MD at GS

 
Nov 16, 2012 - 12:39am

<span><a href=//www.wallstreetoasis.com/finance-dictionary/what-is-a-hedge-fund-HF rel=nofollow>HF</a></span>-MFE:
Oh and my dad is a MD at GS, uncle is a partner of Bain, and godfather is a partner at McKinsey

what are you trying to tell? this is golden. thanks for making all suddenly feel much better about themselves.

I'm feeling like a star, you can't stop my shine---Ridin' Solo
 
Nov 16, 2012 - 5:36pm

Trading is the most baller job there is, out of 'regular' entry level corporate jobs.

I know some people from my college who are clearing mid-six figures, just 2-3 years out of school, working as traders at top prop shops, hedge funds, or S&T. There is one guy that I know, who majored in CS at HYP, now working as an algo trader at a top hedge fund. This guy makes 600k a year, and he's only 25 years old. That's partner-level money for consultants.

do you realize how idiotic you sound? referencing best-case scenarios and not identifying any of the factors leading up to them- aside from "CS" and "HYP"? Plenty of people get low performance reviews, get underpaid, get kicked out and join small asset managers, decay in low-profit desks, or never even get a trader spot from their S&T class in the first place. Not to mention the regulatory changes taking place and their potential impact (sure no prop desks- but what about market makers doing prop while "hedging" here and there? What about no more big trades with nearly unrestricted capital base? Risk managers breathing down your neck? what about competition from going off OTC and thus having to eat shit trades from clients or routinely offer thinner spreads than before- because of less volume? how difficult will it be to think up ways to generate enough profit for the bank to let you take home 10% minus office politics = mid six figures?)

Not saying S&T isn't a good career choice (I still hope to do it someday soon). Just pays to be informed/wary. Once people are envious of a career and start mouthing off such and such gets paid such such, "omg", etc, etc - makes me think the party is loosing steam.

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