Samsung Global Strategy vs. McKinsey Operations vs. PwC Management Consulting

sportmann's picture
Rank: Chimp | 8

Received three offers, at a top 15 MBA program. I'd like to hear what you would choose and why.

Samsung GSG (Seoul): Internal strategy consultling for two years and will then move into an affiliated company as a manager role. Good base, great signing bonus and other cash allowances that covers housing, family insurance, etc.

McKinsey Operations (Shanghai): Will be focusing on operations projects. Clients will be a mix of multinational companies and state-owned enterprises. Same compensation package as in the U.S.

PwC Management Consulting (Dallas): Will be focusing on operations consulting as well. Base is the same with McKinsey, year-end bonus might be a bit lower. Dallas's cost of living is low and good for raising family.

Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

Comments (19)

Nov 24, 2013

Congrats on securing such terrific offers!

It really depends on your own personal interests and career goals at this point. If I had a family I'd take PWC because that salary in Dallas would go a loooong way. You'd probably be able to buy some land within a couple years, lol.

If I wanted something in Tech I'd go GSG. I've heard nothing but good things about the program, though your career has a potential ceiling in terms of climbing that upper management ladder. International experience early on won't hurt, though

McKinsey is McKinsey. If you care about prestige and exit opps, then that'd be your best bet.

You should weigh the reasons you opted to recruit for such a wide range of opportunities and decide based on which does the best job meeting your long term and short term interests. Personally, I'd go GSG...normal-ish work hours, international experience, fantastic name brand, potential exit opps into tech(?) and/or strategy, great pay package, great cost of living in Seoul, housing expenses covered, etc...but again, depends on what YOU want.

Nov 25, 2013

Thanks a lot for your perspectives!

Nov 27, 2013
TheGrind:

If I wanted something in Tech I'd go GSG. I've heard nothing but good things about the program, though your career has a potential ceiling in terms of climbing that upper management ladder. International experience early on won't hurt, though

I'm interested in the good things you heard about the program. Could you dive into it a bit? Who'd you talk to?

Thank you!

Nov 24, 2013

Agree with the above. These are so different they are too hard to compare. I think the GSG and McK are much strong career options. To me it would really come down to where I'd want to live. If geography didn't matter, I'd focus on role to which I'd prefer the international strategy at GSG. If it was just about the money, GSG probably wins out because of the housing allowance. If it was pure prestige it would be McK (though not sure if ops has the same clout as strategy). Figure out your priorities and make a list. Either way you are in a good spot.

Nov 24, 2013

Curious if you're korean/chinese and how strong your grasp of korean/mandarin is?

i'm just a senior in college so i can't give you any real advice, but culture should definitely play a role in you deciding where you want to live (as I'm sure you know), particularly in seoul if your ethnicity isn't korean.

Nov 26, 2013

From what I've read Ops & Strategy at McKinsey are the same group, it just means that in your area/region the focus is on improving operations. Unless you are confusing operations for McKinsey Implementation Group, in which case there is a difference. Not sure if that helps, but again, and it feels like I'm beating a dead horse - go get it from former MBB partners at www.firmsconsulting.com

The former McKinsey partners pet peeve is people saying they "want to work in strategy not operations" as it shows they don't know that those consultants are one and the same. (Unless things have changed).

TT

Nov 26, 2013

I agree. McKinsey Operations is different than the Implementation practice.

Nov 29, 2014
TylerT:

From what I've read Ops & Strategy at McKinsey are the same group, it just means that in your area/region the focus is on improving operations. Unless you are confusing operations for McKinsey Implementation Group, in which case there is a difference.

MIG != Ops practice != generalist != Strategy practice

Here's a quick rundown.

Generalist - This is the role that many campus hires start in, whether they are BAs (u/g) or As (MBA, APD). It simply denotes the lack of affiliation with a particular practice. Generalists typically see a wide variety of case types, in terms of both industry and function/capability, in their first few years. Case types may include Ops, BTO, Strategy and a plethora of others. They will not typically be staffed on Implementation Group cases.

Operations - Along with BTO and Marketing & Sales, this is one of the only practices that hires directly from campus. New Ops hires are making a commitment to focus their time at McK in this arena and can expect 75-100% of their cases in Ops. Their teams may include Ops folks and generalists.

Strategy practice - One of 40+ practices which doesn't hire directly from campus. Although some EMs and above may be dedicated to this practice, cases will typically be staffed by generalists.

MIG - Brand new practice, which I know very little about. My understanding is that they hire specific people who are rarely/never cross-staffed with other practices/case-types. I've also heard the comp. structure is different (read: lower).

Nov 27, 2013

i'd go for mck simply b/c it could springboard you to better opps in the future.

are you korean by any chance? mind sharing lil bit of your background?

b/c if you're familiar with the recruiting process in korea, i dont think you'd want to take the gsg role even though the compensation package might seem tempting.

Nov 27, 2013

i'd go for mck simply b/c it could springboard you to better opps in the future.

are you korean by any chance? mind sharing lil bit of your background?

b/c if you're familiar with the recruiting process in korea, i dont think you'd want to take the gsg role even though the compensation package might seem tempting.

Nov 27, 2013

Care to elaborate? A couple of my classmates have just accepted GSG offers and Id be interested in learning about the potential downsides...

Nov 27, 2013

There are some reviews about GSG on glassdoor, if you are interested.

Nov 27, 2013

If you are not a US citizen, but want to be one, PwC is the way to go for now.

Nov 27, 2013

I have a couple of alumni from my MBA program currently in GSG and they've been giving me tips on how to prep for GSG recruiting and updating me on their situations.

According to them, the pay package is fantastic, hours normal-ish (unless your boss comes up with something last minute-which is a fairly common occurence), the projects range from boring/pointless to highly interesting, they get to do some add'l travel (one was in Dubai earlier this year), the currency exchange rate and tax implications are advantageous, and they have a direct ear to senior management in most cases and operate pretty independently- so they never feel like corporate drones (even though it's ultimately what they are). They explained that there was also a separate industry track for specialists, but the generalist/consulting role gave you better engagements. They emphasized that your enjoyment will ultimately come down to 2 things:

whether you like Korea, and whether you can deal w/ the culture clash/corporate culture. They've got alot of rules and customs that American workers never even consider.

Nov 27, 2013

GSG has two tracks - consulting track and industry track. I'm offered a position in the industry track, which means I will transition to an affiliated company in two years.

TheGrind:

I have a couple of alumni from my MBA program currently in GSG and they've been giving me tips on how to prep for GSG recruiting and updating me on their situations.

According to them, the pay package is fantastic, hours normal-ish (unless your boss comes up with something last minute-which is a fairly common occurence), the projects range from boring/pointless to highly interesting, they get to do some add'l travel (one was in Dubai earlier this year), the currency exchange rate and tax implications are advantageous, and they have a direct ear to senior management in most cases and operate pretty independently- so they never feel like corporate drones (even though it's ultimately what they are). They explained that there was also a separate industry track for specialists, but the generalist/consulting role gave you better engagements. They emphasized that your enjoyment will ultimately come down to 2 things:

whether you like Korea, and whether you can deal w/ the culture clash/corporate culture. They've got alot of rules and customs that American workers never even consider.

Dec 2, 2013

If you want to work in business- electronics, financial services, chemicals or heavy industries, I would take Samsung. If you want to be a career strategy consultant, I would take McK. PwC is interesting as well- if you are non-U.S. but want to be a U.S. citizen as abacab mentioned, take PwC.

Good situation to be in.

Sep 23, 2014

any update on what you ended up choosing?

Nov 28, 2014

Also interested to hear a feedback. I am in a very similar situation (MBB vs. GSG). GSG package is much more generous.

Nov 29, 2014
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