Thrive in T2 or restart at MBB

Hey everybody!

A philosophical one. 

I am at what many would call a good T2, along the lines of OW or S& in London. 

I joined as an associate equivalent with a PhD from a HYS (engineering) last year and been thriving since. Got early promotion to Senior. My team loves me and I love them back. However I am concerned that my exits ops may be limited if I want to go into big tech given its non MBB. I missed my chance to apply to two of them and turned down an offer for ops consulting at McKinsey in Madrid as the projects sounded dull. 

Going to mbb may be possible as I got approached by one of them. I would retain my SA role but loose my network and reputation that has so far fast tracked me. Are exit opps significantly better at mbb vs a good T2?

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Comments (9)

  • Associate 2 in Consulting
Jun 3, 2021 - 3:12pm

I'm not losing tenure because my current company did not care about the PhD. MB would place me at SA/JA level because of it, so pretty much my current equivalent 

Jun 3, 2021 - 6:31pm

wait so you did a phd and ended up at a post-undergrad level at a T2? am i reading this right? honestly, im not sure why mbb isn't interviewing you for their post-mba role - you would be qualified for that since you have a phd and i would push for it if they arent.

  • Retired in VC
Jun 3, 2021 - 7:19pm

I'm an advocate in many situations for stay at the T2. You've built a strong network and if you reliably think there's an easier path to partner, no reason to not do that. Comp will be immaterially different (rich vs. slightly slightly less rich). You should also evaluate whether you have as interesting of a niche in either place (e.g., where you've been successful at your T2, do you find that interesting and will you be as interested at MBB?)

As far as exit opps go, that's a pretty silly reason to leave. I know plenty of people from T2 and MBB alike that got equally good roles at either hyper-sexy startups (Seed / A) or FAANG PM roles. 

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  • Prospect in Consulting
Jun 3, 2021 - 7:59pm

according to fishbowl OW partners make a lot...can make more than MBB (not sure how the averages work) and people get promoted quickly.

S& pays well also in general but haven't read about specs. Would focus on other things besides pay.

Jun 4, 2021 - 7:14am

There's only a marginal advantage for exit opps into Corporate/Big Tech from MBB v T2. Your personal performance would have a much bigger impact. Seeing as your current firm likes you, you have solid references and accelerated progression, it seems staying would be better, especially if you're looking to exit in the next 1-2 years. A quick LinkedIn search shows very many T2 -> Corporate/Big Tech examples.

The big advantage for MBB vs T2 exit opps comes from MF/UMM PE/HF which is seen as the golden ticket for many on WSO. In London, OW and S& rarely break into UMM and more frequently into MM PE.

  • Associate 1 in Consulting
Jun 4, 2021 - 11:19am

You already turned down an MBB offer. Being in an ops role doesn't bar you from doing other projects.

If you want to exit, why not just do that? You already have an engineering PhD.

FWIW I'm also a PhD and I didn't apply to any T2 (or other firm) that would hire me at an undergrad level.

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