Renege on Banking to do Consulting?? I'm so f* up.

Need some advice from the PE monkeys here...

I used to workd for a second tier Bank in M&A and went to do the MBA thing at a HSW school. The goal was to go into PE - got the internship but failed to transform it into a job unfortunately. On graduation, I tried to take the closest to PE - a job in the Financial Sponsors Group of a BB.

I did interviews in strat. consulting too however. And just now, I received an offer from a top tier consulting firm (one of the MBB).

I'm a bit confused on what to do now - the mix of banking and consulting is very unique a quite an edge for PE jobs, and consulting skills are really a nice to have. Should I renege the BB offer to go for consulting? Or should I just shut the f* up and be happy with the Sponsor Job?? I cant imagine staying in banking more than 2 years as I've had enough already on top of my 3 year stint as an analyst, and consulting really seems like a new cool thing to learn. I don't know if its worth reneging for that.

Region: 
France

Comments (9)

Jun 23, 2010

you prob know about the industry more than I do, since you did a 3 year analyst + bschool, but I think FS is a real great platform to get into PE... consulting may seem fun, but mostly because it's on the other side, seemingly greener...

go with what you enjoy and you never know what to expect... if it helps with deciding, maybe you could see which office has a culture/people you prefer working in/with... i think that is like the most underrated driving forces of choosing a job...

Jun 23, 2010

Seems like a tough one. I can't really offer too much insight as to which one would be better for a future career in PE, but maybe I can list some things for you to think about.

Pay is probably the first difference that I thought of. Hours will be better (slight, as I have read) with the consulting but remember that you will be gone traveling all the time. I had a buddy who did consulting (not management/strategy) who loved traveling and going new places, etc. 10 months later he wants to leave the business altogether. So that traveling is fun mentality wears away rather quickly from what I have read. The bonus of the consulting gig would be the soft skills you would acquire vs the more technical, hard skills as a banker. Going back into banking after your MBA kinda signals you want to stay there for the long haul, but obviously that isn't a must and you could jump ship as soon as you came across a decent gig through your new contacts given the group you would be in.

Personally, I would go with the banking gig. Given the way the job market has been and could be for the foreseeable future I think its a good idea to think about what job you would rather stay in long term assuming you were unable to get out because PE spots were hard to come by. Plus, to me, the hours get better every year you are in banking (theoretically). I believe consulting hours are the same for a while since you are part of the team and you are generally there the whole week with the team (except at the highest level).

Also remember you would be reneging on an offer as oppose to deciding between two. Given that I would be more likely to go with the offer I already accepted unless the second offer was indisputably better.

Again, I am not well versed on consulting and just tried to point out some of the things I have read over time. Also, from my experience, I see far more ex-bankers in PE than consultants. Of course that isn't to say your chances are less or that the move would be unlikely but it seems more common for bankers to leave at higher levels to start PE firms. Again, that is rather anecdotal.

Good luck with your decision.

Regards

Jun 24, 2010

^CPH Bravo sums it up.

Jun 24, 2010

Despite the fact that other interesting work opportunities always arise (PE, go help run a company, etc) they usually don't happen when and how you think they are going to. Given that, especially at your level, it's probably not wise to choose a job based on the perceived exit ops. And PE is always hard to get into, especially if you're not going in as pre or post-MBA associate. So I'd choose the job that you would rather do, assuming you did it for the rest of your career. Because let's face it, there's always a chance you might.

Jun 24, 2010

thanks for the quality advice!!!

Consulting is quite appealing because I think it would be interesting to look at operations, and not only at financials and churning out models. But most consultants I talked would rather go to banking for the higher salary, less travel, and generally better exit opps.

Personally, I think I like the banking pace better - I feel that bankers are typically "on the ball" and more business-savvy. Bankers really know how to make money (for themselves at least), while consultants are good at "theorizing" in my view. So I'll probably stick to banking.

Interesting aside - I know quite a few people that have done banking and consulting (Mckinsey - MBA - Goldman types). They seem not to do extremely well in any of those jobs, maybe because they can't stick to one thing. Maybe its better to be excellent at only one thing rather than being jsut good at everything!

Sep 3, 2011

coming back to this topic.... I ended up staying in Banking over the last 12 months and finally made the switch to PE, which should be substantially better in terms of lifestyle and hours.

Took 1 year of hardcore networking and interviewing though!!

Sep 3, 2011
HighlyLeveraged:

Need some advice from the PE monkeys here...

I used to workd for a second tier Bank in M&A and went to do the MBA thing at a HSW school. The goal was to go into PE - got the internship but failed to transform it into a job unfortunately. On graduation, I tried to take the closest to PE - a job in the Financial Sponsors Group of a BB.

I did interviews in strat. consulting too however. And just now, I received an offer from a top tier consulting firm (one of the MBB).

I'm a bit confused on what to do now - the mix of banking and consulting is very unique a quite an edge for PE jobs, and consulting skills are really a nice to have. Should I renege the BB offer to go for consulting? Or should I just shut the f* up and be happy with the Sponsor Job?? I cant imagine staying in banking more than 2 years as I've had enough already on top of my 3 year stint as an analyst, and consulting really seems like a new cool thing to learn. I don't know if its worth reneging for that.

You're a fucking idiot. Take the job you want to do. Not the one you think will land you in PE.

Sep 6, 2011

interesting...

i'm leaning more towards the consulting game, but thats because I want to bounce around and the CEO of my agency did 20 years with McKinsey and i think thats really cool to do the consulting taste everything available and then go into a specific industry in your late 30's early 40's...

HighlyLeveraged no need to divulge specific numbers but how big was the pay jump when you went to PE and did you stay in the same city?

Get it!

Sep 6, 2011
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