Should I accept MBB offer or go to Wharton if I wanna do PE eventually?

Hey guys,

I would like to ask for advice on the dilemma I'm facing - during the summer, I worked as a consulting intern for MBB in my country, I enjoyed the job and I got a full time offer (quite a nice one). Having said that, I think I would like to eventually do direct PE, preferably in Europe,

I'm European and currently in the 2nd year of my BA at Sciences Po Paris (the best school for politics around here). My options for the third (and final) year are:

a.) Do a full year abroad, with the possiblity to go to school such as UPenn-Wharton or NYU-Stern
b.) Do only one semester abroad, finish my BA in only 2.5 years and already enroll fulltime to the MBB (8 months earlier compared to if I went to full year abroad). The issue is - if I would do only one semester abroad, schools such as Wharton/Stern wouldn't be an option. I would most likely end up going to University of Toronto, King's College London or Ivey Business School.

I really like the option of only one semester abroad, but I'm not sure whether it's not a shame to pass on opportunity to spend some time at these great schools. What would you do and why? Do you think that having spend one year at Wharton/Stern would increase my chances to get into PE in Europe a lot?

Thank you for your insights!

PS: Money is not an issue, I'm a full scholar.

Comments (8)

Most Helpful
Oct 4, 2019 - 10:38am

Are you going to decline the offer if you choose to do the full year abroad? If that's the case, I would highly recommend not doing that. You'd be losing out on a guaranteed offer to compete for the chance to work in PE, which is incredibly selective for analyst roles. Of your presented options, if I were you, I would accept the offer, and do a full year abroad at Wharton. Once you're there you can foster relationships with people in the industry and get an idea of how competitive it is (Wharton recruits for everywhere and there are a lot of people in your shoes wanted to recruit for PE).

I see your options as these:

  1. Do MBB for 2 years after graduation and recruit for PE. This, in my opinion, is your best option. You'll do due diligence for 6 months if you're interested in PE and if you don't like it, then you can stay at MBB or exit literally anywhere. This is the best for your overall brand and doesn't pigeonhole you anywhere.

  2. You try and recruit for PE full time and fail. Well, you already accepted your MBB offer and just exit after 2 years with a stronger resume and a good grasp of what you did wrong.

  3. You recruit for PE now. You're only looking in Europe, and there are substantially fewer PE firms there than in the US. PE firms very rarely hire analysts directly out of undergrad. MFs and UMMS may hire 1-3, and MMs may hire more or less depending on their capabilities, but probably the same 1-3 number. The amount of people competing for these jobs is ridiculous. And there are very few of them out there, even more so in Europe. Let's say you recruit around and only get a LMM offer, then you're stuck in the LMM realm. Maybe if you're lucky you can recruit upwards to a MM at the associate promote time. Also in PE very few people make it from the bottom to the top and your exits are very limited. Starting in PE pigeonholes you.

  4. You decline the MBB offer and only focus on recruiting for PE. If you get nothing, you're screwed. If you get something and you end up not liking PE, you're screwed. If you get something, but it doesn't have the brand name that you want, then you're stuck there because you have no other options.

  • Summer Associate in Consulting
Oct 4, 2019 - 12:25pm


thanks for the advice! I should have clarified this - if I do the full year abroad, I will still be able to take the MBB offer.

Also - thanks for the insight on being pigeonholed in LMM if I go to PE directly - that's something I didn't think of.

  • Summer Associate in Consulting
Oct 4, 2019 - 4:15pm

I would need visa and would be quite sceptial about their willingness to sponsor it. Plus - moving fulltime offer because of internship doesn't sound like a great deal to me

Oct 4, 2019 - 2:01pm

Going to Wharton for a year will be a great experience, but it won't do much for your resume. You'll have neither a degree from there or an MBA. So the 1 semester abroad and starting MBB sounds like your best option. Save Wharton for b-school.

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