McKinsey vs. Cornerstone

sailboat123's picture
Rank: Chimp | 13

Hi All!

I'm trying to decide between economic consulting (offers from Cornerstone and Analysis Group) and management consulting (offer from OW, currently interviewing with BCG, final rounds with McKinsey). Any insight on projects, lifestyle, exit opps, and grad school placement would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks!!

Comments (12)

Oct 15, 2014

Also interested!

Oct 15, 2014

I know a guy at my MBA program (T-15) who was at a pretty well known Econ Consulting firm before MBA. He said the work was mostly for litigation support, frequently estimating damages in patent lawsuits. Lifestyle was OK, essentially no travel and work hours were around 50-60 per week. Exit ops weren't very diverse, he said most people just stuck around with the firm because the skills you develop are very niche.

He ended up recruiting for IB internships and is sticking with it full-time despite a really big offer to come back to his old job.

Oct 15, 2014

With Management Consulting, you will be solving for a very wide variety of topics that are often at the top of the CEO's agenda. Economic consulting is going to be narrower.

Oct 15, 2014

Is there anyone working in either area that could shed some light on the work and how they like it? Both seem to frequently lead to exits to bschool, does anyone know whether a Cornerstone would be better for bschool exit opps or would OW?

Oct 15, 2014

Pay will be around 60k.

Primary exit ops is to go to B School. Econ consultants get into M7 schools very often.

Oct 16, 2014

had a former econ consultant in my group project at Kellogg today, he said he mostly worked on litigation and did a lot of financial modeling. Not sure what he's recruiting for, but seems like he'd do well in IB recruiting.

Oct 20, 2014

MBB will open exponentially more doors for you in the long run than econ consulting. Econ consulting is a very niche area, so people generally either move up, or go to b-school (places like Cornerstone and NERA have great b-school placement...but McKinsey trumps them all).

Oct 20, 2014

You will develop very different skillsets in econ consulting vs. mgmt consulting. what do you want to be doing long-term? I'd certainly be taking a Cornerstone/AG offer over OW, but if you land McK you'll have a decision. Are you more interested in finance/valuation or strategy/data analytics?

Oct 20, 2014

Thanks for your help! I'm thinking about corporate strategy LT, but definitely plan to do B-school between either option. I love the high level problem solving of consulting, but the travel is a real drawback for me - but I don't want to be blocked out of exit ops in areas like corporate strategy. Thoughts?

Oct 21, 2014

If you're planning to go to b-school, you should have no problem parlaying econ consulting experience into M/B/B or another in-house strategy role at a company. I did five years in EC for two firms (one well known, one boutique) before MBA, so could probably help if you have specific questions about the role/culture etc. I guess the one thing I'd say in favor of the mgmt consultancies is IF you think you might want to return to consulting post-MBA, a lot of these places will sponsor your tuition for boomerang candidates. That's a decent chunk of change and I saw a lot of former consultants in my class sign to go back to M/B/B/atk etc just because the incentive to graduate without any loans was too tempting. I'm not aware of any econ consultancies that will do this, although there are probably some boutiques that you could convince.

Post MBA, I think your opportunity set will be similar out of either track. Frankly you'll have a much stronger valuation background from the EC's (you'll be way ahead of the ex-bankers on modelling tbh), so I think it was an easier move from EC to a financey type role (IB/AM/HF) than it was for the former mgmt consultants. That doesn't necessarily sound like your desired path though...

Oct 20, 2014

mgnt would be a clear McKinsey Vs BCG. Unless you are really into finance, but even then....

Oct 21, 2014
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