Offer from Mckinsey vs banking offer


I am in a serious dilemma of choosing between the following:

McKinsey offer (General Junior associate) and a local bank offer in structured products sales/structuring. My goal is to get into top business school in US H/W/S and then IB & S&T associate at Goldman. I know what McKinsey is golden for MBA, however I am considering the following:

1) My interest is with S&T, i.e. the local bank offer would make my job more fun for me.
2) If I take Mckinsey, it will be much tougher work than the banking offer.
3) I know someone who worked one year at this exactly same bank then switched to Goldman in London, however, he had to do internship right before full time, i.e. he started over as first year analyst...
4) Average stay time at this mckinsey office is 3 years, enough said about the risk of being laid of after only one year. This has happened to many senior people I know.

So, apparently, Mckinsey is the safe bet for MBA, yet risky because you may not survive there for 3 years. The banking offer is risky bet for MBA, since its only a local one, and not bullet proof for transition into Goldman. The pay is better at Mckinsey compared to banking offer. If Mckinsey let me to corporate finance practice, will this change anything? I need some serious guidelines here.

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Aug 5, 2010 - 2:44pm

Yeah, it's pretty hard to screw up bad enough to get kicked out of big consulting firms. I often compare it to Harvard - it's hard as hell to get in, but once you do get in, even a dunce can graduate as long as they pick their battles/play to their strengths. not sure what information you have that suggests a lot of people get laid off at McK.

Also, not worth it to lose a year switching to a GS or MS from your local bank, whatever that may be. And if you're really interested in banking, bust your ass for a couple of years at McK, go to a good b school, and enjoy the next thirty years as a Master of the (rapidly shrinking) Universe.

Aug 5, 2010 - 4:47pm

Thanks for all the answers, what are the prestige level between generalist consultant vs corporate finance practice? I received a generalist offer however I was told that corporate finance practice would place you easier in goldman IBD, is that true? How about MBA?

Aug 5, 2010 - 5:35pm

Go for what makes you happy dude, mckinsey might be great and the reputation is unbeatable, but do you honestly want to be in the office 10 in the night and realize you made a mistake. And just because you work at mckinsey doesn't mean you will get into a good grad school, and if that were true mckinsey would only have H/W/S MBA's.

About the Corporate Finance role, yes it should be similar work, but then again I know from friends there is an invisible employee bridge between Goldman and McKinsey. If the pay is better and if you think getting into Goldman might be easier, then go for mckinsey.

Aug 6, 2010 - 2:50pm

"If I take Mckinsey, it will be much tougher work than the banking offer"

Just reading that made me realize you basically want everything without having to work hard for it.

Aug 8, 2010 - 2:09pm

It is true that i-bankers don't have problems getting into top MBAs, but this is a local i-bank...

anyway, what is the chance of switching to IBD if you have done generalist consulting at Mckinsey? how abou S&T? Would your chance to switch to IBD or S&T increase or decrease with the corporate finance practice at mckinsey?

Aug 18, 2010 - 12:39am

Go with McK. if you want the best shot at bschool.


"The trouble with our liberal friends is not that they're ignorant, it's just that they know so much that isn't so." - Ronald Reagan
Aug 25, 2010 - 9:50pm

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