Transitioning from Consulting to Investment Banking

IB recruiting for summer internships was pushed up quite a bit this year and most top banks and boutiques have filled up the majority of their positions. I think it might be more sensible to recruit for consulting now and take a shot at IB next year for full-time positions now that I'm aware of the IB timeline (I learned the hard way). If I intern at a consulting firm this year, will I be able to transition to IB next year? I know this is uncommon, but is that because it's unpopular or just really difficult?

Comments (82)

Oct 10, 2017

Good luck, consulting firms tend to hire a way smaller interns than investment banks....I would say go and try to find an internship in the boutique bank and network your way in FT.

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Oct 10, 2017

I think it's uncommon/difficult for the reasons stated above by HappyPistachios: consultants hire fewer interns than banks do.

If you can get a consulting internship, it should be easy enough to get interviews for banking next year, but you should look at boutique banking internships in addition to consulting.

Oct 10, 2017

Which service line are you from exactly?

Oct 10, 2017
<span itemprop=name>etx</span>:

Which service line are you from exactly?

Tax, looking to jump to transaction advisory if I can as an alternative option

Oct 10, 2017

Which country? Try and get out ASAP. If you're a graduate with no financial modelling experience etc., cold call boutiques and smaller corporate advisory firms. At the end of the day, it's what you make of your experience.

Oct 10, 2017

I was an intern at a Big4 in their consulting practice and got on a valuation project so I'd have a relevant topic on my resume. In the end it worked so I'd highly recommend switching over as soon as you can.

Oct 10, 2017

If you're in tax, you have ZERO chance to make the jump as is. Need to get out ASAP and move to a different group - like transaction advisory. Anything.

Oct 10, 2017

I'm pretty glad we can all agree I need to make the jump and as soon as possible.

I'm trying to network my way into TAS or find something, anything if I can network my way there.

What I'm also starting to do is tailor the resume the right way, starting to network with my peers for any contacts they may have in investment banking and will be sending the resume out soon to job postings.

But, I want to do more as I know that won't be enough for this type of jump. Do you guys think cold calling boutiques would get me anywhere as etx suggested? What other things should I be doing? What other things can help increase my chances

Oct 10, 2017

Almost any work experience as a sophomore will make you stand out let alone a great name like Deloitte.
Should set you up quite well. Make sure you document all projects you worked on during the summer so you can remember them and talk about it during your interviews next year.

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Oct 10, 2017

You're in an excellent position.

Oct 10, 2017

Basically one of the best programs you can get into as a sophomore - you're in a great place. Congrats!

Oct 10, 2017

Thanks guys. Was just worried since this isn't the typical route of boutique IB sophomore - junior BB.

Oct 10, 2017

Don't think it's an obstacle as long as you spin your story correctly. During interviews and networking you can say something along the lines of "After spending a summer doing MBB consulting I realized I'm more interested in finance-oriented work, maybe something similar to my previous PE experience. That's why I'm currently exploring IB opportunities, etc, etc." If you do actual meaningful work over the summer and are able to discuss your experiences cogently, then you would demonstrate that you're both diligent and sharp, which is what bankers are ultimately looking for in interviews.

Oct 10, 2017

Your friend doesn't know what he's talking about. Consultants do very well. I can, off the top of my head, tell you I know CBS people who did consulting before school who ended up at each of GS/MS/EVR/Lazard/CS/Barclays. And CBS people in general do better than the schools you listed, so that's much more of a consideration than whether the school has a large amount of finance people or not.

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Oct 10, 2017

You'll do fine. Columbia will give you every opportunity to get an IB job in NYC, regardless of your background.

(Ditto for Wharton and Booth.)

The truth is you're the weak. And I'm the tyranny of evil men. But I'm tryin', Ringo. I'm tryin' real hard to be the shepherd.

Oct 10, 2017

I did it, just networked my way in.

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Oct 10, 2017

Does your consulting firm do any PE work? If so try to get as much exposure as possible to that. Unsure what you are considering second tier, if you could elaborate a bit.

Oct 10, 2017

Network hard is all I can say. If you don't find any luck then yes, go to IB.

We have a consulting guy at our shop but he was MBB and HBS. I don't think we'd look at anyone else with a consulting background and it will be harder pre-MBA.

Oct 10, 2017

Sorry, by second-tier I am referring to a firm that is one level below MBB as perceived by most in terms of prestige, work, and exit opps. Any advice on how to approach networking, and at what point should I be looking to move to IB? Should I do my full 2 years consulting or should I be thinking of making a move before then?

Oct 10, 2017

there's a difference between second tier shops.... places like LEK and parthenon do a good amount of PE DD work.

Oct 10, 2017
F. Ro Jo:

there's a difference between second tier shops.... places like LEK and parthenon do a good amount of PE DD work.

This is what I meant when I asked the question- 2nd tier as in Accenture or 2nd tier like a Parthenon or other smaller shop that does PE work and places well into PE.

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Oct 10, 2017

Honestly, you'll probably have stronger work experience than 95% of the other people applying. You clearly have the stats to pass initial resume screens, and most of the summer analysts that I knew at bulge brackets/elite boutiques did random things for their sophomore summers (think internships at tiny no-name firms).

Oct 10, 2017

Thank you so much for the help!

Oct 10, 2017

You also just asked whether this was good enough for MBB FT... make up your mind fellow

Oct 10, 2017

.

Oct 10, 2017

Even if you have BSc in finance?

Array

Oct 10, 2017

Much tougher to transition to IB with an MFin and I would recommend against it if your true goal is IBD. And very tough to transfer directly from consulting to IB, unless to a boutique or some MM firms. Would need a more transactional type of role in consulting or MBB.

Oct 10, 2017

Not to be a dick, but your grammar really needs some work. So if you speak the way you write, I would suggest working on that - because a lot of banking is pitchbook storyboarding and CIM writing (re: writing up summary points for profiles, taking a crack at the exec. summary, general pitchbook dialogue, etc) and an easy way to piss off your senior analyst or associate is leaving them with a sloppy writeup to clean up.

I don't know anything about tech consulting, so I will just propose a couple of questions for you so to help you discover an answer. In tech consulting do you do any quantitative analysis? Build any models to solve problems? Is there an implementation element (maybe you can talk about how you like to be involved in a deal from start to finish)?

If there are few areas of overlap in terms of skill sets between the two, one other way to demonstrate your interest is if you've enrolled in financial modeling training courses.

Finally... given this is a public forum, you may want to change your username to something more anonymous vs. using your gmail email which has some elements of your name in the handle.

Oct 10, 2017

Your best bet would be go back to a top business school.

Oct 10, 2017

He went to a mediocre college, earned mediocre grades and only graduated recently. How would he be a candidate for a top business school?

I'm trying to do a similar thing to you, OP. I'm just networking and trying to get referrals.

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Oct 10, 2017

Because you clearly need help imaging a scenario:

He grinds it out in mgmt consulting (which is viewed as favorable work experience to business schools). He busts his ass and does well on the GMAT.

Oct 10, 2017

ask yourself why you want to do IB ... if it's for the wrong reasons , you will never break in... if it's for the right reasons, going BB or MM shouldn't really matter.

Regional "no name" M&A shop should be your first step .. they are everywhere .. not sure what type of consulting you do, but if your firm has an industry focus, research small M&A shops that have similar industry expertise.

stay there a year or two and maybe lateral to a MM ... forget about BB.. You need to take climb the later one rung at a time...

Oct 10, 2017

One analyst who used to work at my MM went to DU but had much higher grades than you do and had previous boutique IB exp. So yeah best bet would be to go to a boutique IB first.

Oct 10, 2017

Hi bottega, yes, I'm a bot, but I'm also good looking. Hopefully, these threads help you:

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  • More suggestions...

Or maybe the following users have something to say: @Escobar Houdini @CharlieZone @Chashak-Tulsyan

Fingers crossed that one of those helps you.

Oct 10, 2017

Do MBB. You'll get a ton more respect, and will be able to network your way into IB.

Oct 10, 2017

Thank you for your advice!!

I would love to hear more opinions as well

Oct 10, 2017

MBB hands down.

Oct 10, 2017

Why IB from MBB? Unless your ego says you must do IB, PE/VC loves MBB

Oct 10, 2017

There is pretty much 0 advantage of going into Big 4 over MBB if your goal is IB. People are extremely impressed with MBB, the first word that comes into most peoples mind when they see Big 4 on a resume is "accountant".

Oct 10, 2017

MBB hands down.

"Elections are a futures market for stolen property"

Oct 10, 2017

Congrats dude!

Oct 10, 2017

Hard work payed after all. Congratulations :)

Oct 10, 2017

How did you make the transition from boutique consulting to IB? Are you focusing on the same industry group at both places?

Oct 10, 2017

I broke in the old fashioned way, networking. I kept in touch with alums and kept following up. A position opened up, I had two interviews and then got the job. The boutique did a fair amount of strategy related to M&A, pricing and the like. I highlighted that experience.

As to the focus, I went from biotech/life sciences/pharma to a very unrelated area, which is at the intersection of munis and project finance.

Oct 10, 2017

How did you go about following up?

Oct 10, 2017

any chance you'd be up for doing an ama related to this? let me know!

WSO's COO (Chief Operating Orangutan) | My story | My Linkedin

Oct 10, 2017

Congratulations man!

Best Response
Oct 10, 2017

IT Consulting --> MBA --> BB IBD? (Originally Posted: 03/09/2016)

I recently received an offer for an IT Consulting position with a boutique firm in NYC offering implementation and risk consulting for commodities trading floors.

I was wondering -- if I were to accept this position, would it look bad on B school applications when it came time for me to apply? Or would it make a negligible difference?

I am intending to study hard for the GMAT and score high as well as take part in philanthropic extra-curriculars such as junior achievement and habitat for humanity.

In a nutshell, is it possible to do IT Consulting for 3-4 years, attend a quality MBA program (top 15-20), and then enter IBD at a BB as an associate? Or will I run into problems getting accepted into solid programs because IT Consulting isn't held in as high regard as strategy/management consulting?

Thanks!

"Well, you know, I was a human being before I became a businessman." -- George Soros

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Oct 11, 2017

No you will be completely fine. Do well on the GMAT and you will have no problem getting into a top 10 MBA. IT Consulting is fine and is by no way bad work experience.

Oct 11, 2017

Good to hear, anyone else?

"Well, you know, I was a human being before I became a businessman." -- George Soros

Oct 11, 2017

bump

Oct 11, 2017

I'm also curious about this subject as I've been getting interviews in IT consulting.

Oct 11, 2017

IT consulting is a good career choice and quite lucrative as well. Getting into a top MBA prog shouldnt be too hard if you have a good gmat score and have shown some type of career progression in the 3-4years you've been working.

Oct 11, 2017

Boutique IT consulting -> Top 15-20 MBA. Probably possible. I have a technology background and I got into a pretty decent MBA too so I can see that happening.

However, keep in mind the OP's ultimate goal is to go into BB IB. IMO that is a little harder to come back from a top 15-20 background with no relevant finance background.

One possible route is to go boutique IT consulting -> well-known IT consulting (Big 4) -> Top 10 MBA and then lateral from there. Either that or network your ass off into a MO at a BB then MBA

Oct 11, 2017

Just recruit and renege if you get it

Oct 11, 2017

In terms of cost-benefit analysis, I would compare the personal cost of joblessness to the cost of reneging. You reject IB offer, don't get MBB, now what? You're screwed. Let's say you accept the IB offer though, get an MBB offer, then reneg.. who cares? Sure, you burn a bridge and will slightly hurt your chances of getting an IB job for the next couple of years, but that doesn't even matter because you'll be doing consulting anyway.

Oct 11, 2017

fud_box, way too quiet in here. What about these resources:

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  • More suggestions...

No promises, but thought I'd mention a few relevant users that work in the industry: @TechSupportLevel1 @bstfrndstabnfrnt @treyp525

Hope that helps.

Oct 11, 2017

What level of position you're aiming for?
Analyst 2 is granted of course, but as for Analyst 3, you have to be very well prepared, as your rivals are Ibankers from smaller banks/boutiques with more relevant experience.

Oct 11, 2017

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