Switching from IB to Consulting

leveragedsell's picture
Rank: Monkey | 44

I'm a Canadian, and I just finished a year of IB at one of the big 5 Canadian banks; however, I'm looking to switch to consulting. Is it better to try to recruit in September or wait another year until I have finished my two years? Would MBB prefer to hire somebody with one year of banking experience or two? If anybody has made the switch or know somebody who has, any tips / insight would be appreciated.

Comments (80)

Aug 19, 2015

Fellow Canadian here, working in consulting.

If you are planning to switch from IB to consulting, don't wait another year, do it now. Particularly if you are looking to get into MBB, a year of IB experience is good and 2 years won't make your application standout anymore.

Additionally, if you do make the switch, they would want to start you off as a first year analyst/associate consultant so the earlier you switch the better. You might think perhaps after 2 years in IB you can gun for associate/consultant but that transition would be very tough w/o first getting an MBA.

Regarding timing, most MBB firms take a small number of experienced hires all year round when good candidates are referred to them. It's not easy to lateral in at this point and the process isn't as clearcut as undergrad recruiting but networking with the right ppl at your targeted firms can definitely go a long way.

Hope this helps, feel free to PM me .

Aug 20, 2015

Awesome, thanks for the advice. That makes sense; sooner is better!

Aug 20, 2015

Yes, Six4seven is right.

You should apply now instead of waiting for another year. But you will start as a first year analyst.

Another option if you have time (and money), it is to complete your 2nd year in your bank and apply for an MBA. It can be a one year MBA at Insead or Kellogg. You will then be eligible to be hired as a first year consultant and not analyst !

You can PM me too if you need anything.

Aug 20, 2015

I'm curious about this as well. Would you need an MBA to make the switch?

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Aug 20, 2015

What do you mean by "accelerated" interviews? If you mean skipping first round, I think that's probably out of the question - rarely happens for people coming directly out of undergrad / grad programs, and being a good banker / having banking offers doesn't necessarily mean you'll be a successful consultant.

Does your school have on-campus recruiting? If so, I would definitely try to sign up for those - online resume drop should be a last resort. Also, anyone from your finance network that you can leverage? Maybe someone who made the opposite switch, or a mentor who knows someone at MBB you could talk to?

Also, random question - WTF does "rising" senior mean? I keep seeing people using this term and have no idea what it's supposed to indicate.

Aug 20, 2015

Rising senior means they are in between junior and senior year. When summer ends, they will be seniors on campus.

Aug 20, 2015

Accelerated means earlier than usual so they can make a decision on the offers they already have. They don't get to skip any rounds.

Aug 20, 2015

I don't think it's too late. Speak to consultants (doesnt have to be MBB), but talk to consultants in any company that you can find- usually, they will forward your resume or refer to someone within another company if they have a friend or colleague there. Also, speak with your profs- usually profs are highly regarded within the consulting industry (mckinsey is widely known for this) and they can really help your case by recommending you to someone.

Aug 20, 2015

All of MBB have a process for dealing with this. They get people with exploding offers a lot. Email the recruiters and they will help you through the process.

One thing, I had friends who had IBD offers that had like two dates. One for an extra bonus (end of Aug.) and one for no bonus (end of Oct.) Most of my friends who wanted to do consulting elected to forgo the bonus and go through regular recruiting, as opposed to accelerated.

Aug 20, 2015

Interested in this as well. Thanks.

Aug 20, 2015

with top MBA not difficult, know several people who've done it

trying to lateral as an experienced hire--eg going to post MBA position probably would be pretty difficult

Aug 20, 2015

I meant without an MBA. So 1-2 years in IBD and then lateral for a 2nd/3rd year Business Analyst position.

Aug 20, 2015

i think it's easier than going the other way. i knew several people at my old firm who did exactly that, and most of them did not come from top tier BBs. The issue is that M/B/B will likely push you down a year, so if you did 1 year of analyst, they'll make you start as a first year associate; if you did two years, they'll make you a 2nd year associate.

Aug 20, 2015

bump

Aug 20, 2015

bump

Aug 20, 2015

my previous interviewer was an associate at UBS LA when Moelis was still running the show. He went to consulting @ MBB, only to be appalled by the 2 week deadlines which would usually be expected to be completed overnight in banking. He left and joined a regional firm so that he could have a larger share as VP...

I've heard it's easy and suddenly, you get work/life balance... haha

Aug 20, 2015

MBB is very picky about pre-MBA hires ... they look for candidates with top grades and SAT scores from top schools. To be honest, it will be very difficult to get into MBB without going back to a great school for your MBA... I'm at an MBB and I'm not aware of any of our pre-MBA consulting staff that came through anything but the on-campus recruiting process. Post-MBA roles are a different story -- lateral hires are rare, but they do happen and there are several in my office.

Not sure about some of the tier 2 firms, though.

Aug 20, 2015
ac22766:

MBB is very picky about pre-MBA hires ... they look for candidates with top grades and SAT scores from top schools. To be honest, it will be very difficult to get into MBB without going back to a great school for your MBA... I'm at an MBB and I'm not aware of any of our pre-MBA consulting staff that came through anything but the on-campus recruiting process. Post-MBA roles are a different story -- lateral hires are rare, but they do happen and there are several in my office.

Not sure about some of the tier 2 firms, though.

I had a feeling that was the case. I figured MBB would have to be a post MBA endeavor.

Does anyone know about the tier 2 firms?

Aug 20, 2015

i know a lot of people from FMP at GE go into deloitte so im sure you could do the same ...

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Aug 20, 2015

if i had to roughly guess id say no

Aug 20, 2015

Why would you want to move into MBB? I'm curious why you didn't just go the Consulting route after your MBA.

Aug 20, 2015

answer is no

Aug 20, 2015

Not hard to do esp so soon out of MBA. Did you go to a top mba, if you did just leverage your network you must have friends at MBB, update and prepare your resume and circulate internally, you'll definitely get an interview and after that it's all case prep.

Aug 20, 2015

Network, Network, Network

Aug 20, 2015

It won't be a question of your ability, but you'll have to have a pretty good story for why you want to switch. This is kind of like transferring in D1 football or basketball. You made an informed decision to go one way so the consulting firm will probably want to know why the switch, especially after only a year. Why will you be committed to consulting if you only lasted a year at the BB?

As far as lateral to 2nd year Assoc, from what I've seen this would be next to impossible. It's probably better for you starting as a 1st year anyway since you won't be as pressured to move up right away.

Aug 20, 2015

Hahahah, lateral to a 2nd year associate. Hilarious stuff. Hahahaha. Pay your dues bro.

Aug 20, 2015

yes

Aug 20, 2015

yes

If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses - Henry Ford

Aug 20, 2015

It's a good idea if you want to be a consultant over an iBanker at your firm. Given your hatred of your BB, I'd say it's a great idea. No such thing as the best path to everyone and, as Epicurius said "it is not what we have, but what we enjoy, that constitutes our abundance." In short, you're gonna get a good salary either way, so might as well do what you enjoy.

Aug 20, 2015

depends if you like Boston...and you don't mind going back at least a year (assuming you just started at the BB) because I assume you want start at McKinsey til next year, if that's the case it'd be only one more year before you could leave the BB. (I also think everyone kinda says that the 2nd year analysts are a lot better off than 1st years, so that should be factored in as well)

If you can leave for Boston right now I suppose that'd be a different story...

Aug 20, 2015

tooo lonnnng

Aug 20, 2015

if you want to make 50% of your current all in comp in a more expensive market... go ahead and become a consultant

Aug 20, 2015

no offense, but troll?? 3 random posts at once.

Aug 20, 2015

none taken, i just don't know where you get that

i'm a career switcher, professional gambler and love talking the talk

what do you do

Aug 20, 2015

ok. im a student so take what i say with that. like I said if you have to wait to join McKinsey's 2011 class then it really doesn't seem worth it. If you don't maybe, but like someone else said you'll still be taking a fat pay cut and Boston is alot more expensive than chicago.

Aug 20, 2015

Question: Why not just do consulting post MBA rather than IB?

Aug 20, 2015
txjustin:

Question: Why not just do consulting post MBA rather than IB?

My current passion is finance and I plan on making a career in banking, but am looking ahead into the future should my desires change. I want to be able to position myself in a place where I have options.

Consulting is certainly an appealing path, but I would only see myself stimulated from an M&A advisory perspective. It seems like a nice transition from the sell-side, and could also offer greater geographical flexibility.

Aug 20, 2015

Sorry I can't help on your direct question.

Aug 20, 2015

I think you'll be OK. It's just a matter of networking diligently. I'm also attending a MBA program (but this fall) and am interning at a top consultancy.

Network with the big players in M&A Advisory (Bain, McK, Deloitte). Easier to go from banking to cosulting than from consulting to banking.

Quick Q tho: why switch?

Aug 20, 2015

bump

Aug 20, 2015

does not sound like your passion at all.

Aug 20, 2015

Is it hard to go into consulting FT if I'm a banking SA? For reference I'd be shooting for MBB/Deloite, my current internship is at GS/MS/JPM but in a non-M&A/Coverage banking group. Think very specific work but spanning a large variety of clients. I go to a decent target for banking but a core school for the consultancies I named and a host of others.

To be honest I didn't want to do banking really, just sort of fell into it after not getting even an interview from a top consulting firm. Didn't like the feel I got for the boutique consultancies either. I've heard going from consulting to banking is damn near impossible (without getting an MBA) but the reverse is easier; that said, I'm very concerned about the possibility that I don't get even a FT interview with a good firm like the last time around. The more I work the more interested I am in staying in banking, but this is something I need to figure out for myself ASAP.

Aug 20, 2015

First of all, MBB doesn't recruit much out of undergrad. BCG and McK employ the pyramid model where they're heaviest at the post MBA level. Bain is different. Still, breaking into those three is very tough unless you're at a targeted school - Stanford, H/Y/P, Wharton. If you're anywhere else, it's a much steeper hill to climb.

Deloitte's consulting reach spans several other schools (including lower-tiered programs like GA Tech for their ATL office).

So if you're set on consulting, don't set your sights on only M/B/B. And to move to consulting from banking, it can be done and it happens all the time (I did SA at MS and then worked in consulting at a consultancy). Just a matter of driving home the reasons why you're switching (like to travel, like breadth of experience/clients/work, exits).

It's MUCH harder to go from McKinsey SA to a bank. I've never understood why, but they're much more loyal to kids who've worked in finance their junior summer.

Aug 20, 2015

Depends what's your home country? Are you EU national ? undergrad school?

Aug 20, 2015

Not EU national, top undegrad school in my home country (50/50% go to top consulting or IB), low average GPA though (3.4). I doubt that many people in London know about it (I know no alumni in London consulting, plenty in London IB).

Aug 20, 2015

Just a thought. If you want to work in London why not come to London university for masters?

Somewhere like LSE or UCL would be better then going to France.

Aug 20, 2015

I got a scholarship in France and it turned out to be almost 2 times cheaper than LSE/Oxford.
Moreover I wanted to improve my French.

Aug 20, 2015

If you are a non-eu citizen and you're applying for a fresh grad role, it is almost impossible to get a tier 2 Visa now. If you're are interested to work in London, you have to do a masters in a British University as you would be eligible for the unrestricted work Visa which does not have a quota. If you decide to go for the french institution, your chances of a work Visa in London is extremely slim, even if its a top tier consulting firm.

Aug 20, 2015

I don't know much for MBB, but I think both of them are very competitive. If I were you, I would focus on MBB more because that is your long term goal. just my $.02

Aug 20, 2015

I did IB during a summer and consulting firms (MBB and the like) I had interviewed with for internships were in contact with me throughout that summer, basically trying to keep in touch and make sure I was still considering applying for their FT position in the fall. This happened to several of my friends, so I would possibly expect something similar if you do IB SA.

Given your position as a soph, however, I would focus on something this summer that might give you a taste of either what IB or consulting would be like. That way you can focus on one or the other for SA recruiting, and be confident that you have a good chance of enjoying the internship experience. If you do one or the other for SA and don't enjoy it and would rather go a different direction, that experience is still good to have on your resume.

Aug 20, 2015
westsidewolf1989:

I did IB during a summer and consulting firms (MBB and the like) I had interviewed with for internships were in contact with me throughout that summer, basically trying to keep in touch and make sure I was still considering applying for their FT position in the fall. This happened to several of my friends, so I would possibly expect something similar if you do IB SA.

Given your position as a soph, however, I would focus on something this summer that might give you a taste of either what IB or consulting would be like. That way you can focus on one or the other for SA recruiting, and be confident that you have a good chance of enjoying the internship experience. If you do one or the other for SA and don't enjoy it and would rather go a different direction, that experience is still good to have on your resume.

Did you have any offers from the consulting firms you interviewed at for the summer? I ask because, if they offered you a job and you rejected for IB, i would imagine they would hold a grudge and not bother with you for FT recruiting. Is that a fair assumption?

Aug 20, 2015

I would apply to both and see the best offer you can get. A summer internship in either will be helpful for you, especially in deciding whether you actually want to do consulting or IB.

Aug 20, 2015

I did it. MM IBD SA -> Tier 2 consulting FT. It's not a problem, just have a good story.

Aug 20, 2015
starwood2012:

I did it. MM IBD SA -> Tier 2 consulting FT. It's not a problem, just have a good story.

If you don't mind me asking, what was your story? I just want to get a sense of what they would want to hear from you.

Aug 20, 2015

From the comments I've seen on this forum, and seen what consultants do in real life, it seems rather wishy washy.

Aug 20, 2015

i would take any position from GS without hesitation

Aug 20, 2015

I agree with bearstearns3. GS is EXTREMELY prestigious despite its shitty reputation on the street. You'll be able to jump into PE with the modeling experience you get from GS, no problem. Consulting to PE is much harder and will require a significant amount of networking, even coming from McKinsey, Boston Consulting Group, and Bain & Co....

Aug 20, 2015

Just remember, you can't pay for business school with Starwood points ;).

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Aug 20, 2015

If corp fin interested you and consulting didn't really why not go banking?

although from what i heard M/B/B is arguably more prestigious and better for business school than Goldman IB, this is a banking forum so people are biased. and they place very well into certain PE shops (bain cap etc.) though not as well as banking

Aug 20, 2015

If I were you Id take the MBB offer. You will have PE exit opps that are comparable to non-top groups at GS/MS, better chances at business school, and most importantly you can go to banking as an associate after B-school if you so desire without enduring the 2 years of analyst hell

Aug 20, 2015

Operational experience at a consultancy?

Aug 20, 2015
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