What Cities are Big Consulting Hubs?

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Hey Guys,

I'm looking into management consulting as a career and I was wondering what cities have mainstream management consulting offices. while i'm going to college in the northeast right now (princeton), i'm originally from the south and i enjoy that part of the country more, so south/west coast cities would be preferred.

also, would it be an advantage or a disadvantage to mention this in my interview (when i do them next year)? on one hand, it could make me look like an overly picky bitch, but then i figured that most of their applicants would prefer to stay in the northeast, and they probably have to foist people into the satellite offices. so could it actually be to my benefit to mention my willingness to live there?

thanks!

Comments (42)

 
Oct 3, 2010 - 2:35pm

the major "hubs" are no different than your banking, law, etc "hubs." consulting is a little different in that you travel to the client so in theory it doesn't really matter where your traveling from. nyc is probably the center point of consulting or boston.

“Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts.” - Albert Einstein
 
Oct 3, 2010 - 3:02pm

Firms will probably accept your preferences without much questioning...Dallas/Houston, Atlanta, LA, SF come to mind as big hubs, just like banking.

Life, liberty and the pursuit of Starwood Points
 
Oct 3, 2010 - 3:10pm

If you're fluent in the language of that home country, it's a possibility. Otherwise, I can't see it being that common.

Life, liberty and the pursuit of Starwood Points
 
Oct 3, 2010 - 7:48pm

In the South, Atlanta has all the major firms, and probably the best airport. You don't want to be in West, especially if your firm does most of the work in East coast (or you want to visit frIends/family often). Those red eyes will kill you. ORD and NYC airports are hell to fly in/out of.

Array
 
Oct 4, 2010 - 12:54am

@abacab

yeah, thanks for the info. i'm just curious as to which cities have offices of major firms. i don't need to work in the headquarters.

does anybody know what southern/western cities are fun to live in? i'm mainly interested in good weather and fun stuff to do without ridiculous traffic/cost of living.

 
Oct 4, 2010 - 12:56am

So you want a city that has a lot to do, great weather, and a low cost of living,...if you find one let me know.

If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses - Henry Ford
 
Oct 4, 2010 - 1:11am

lol i guess i should give some examples. orlando, dallas, houston, atlanta, and nashville are all examples of what i consider a lot to do, good weather, and cheap. a city like san francisco or los angeles, while they have lots of stuff to do and have great weather, are notoriously very expensive.

 
Oct 19, 2010 - 3:29pm

peacerenity:
lol i guess i should give some examples. orlando, dallas, houston, atlanta, and nashville are all examples of what i consider a lot to do, good weather, and cheap. a city like san francisco or los angeles, while they have lots of stuff to do and have great weather, are notoriously very expensive.

Why do people think that San Fransisco has "great weather?" The weather in SF sucks balls. It's 55 degrees year round.

 
Oct 21, 2010 - 3:36pm

jhoratio:
peacerenity:
lol i guess i should give some examples. orlando, dallas, houston, atlanta, and nashville are all examples of what i consider a lot to do, good weather, and cheap. a city like san francisco or los angeles, while they have lots of stuff to do and have great weather, are notoriously very expensive.

Why do people think that San Fransisco has "great weather?" The weather in SF sucks balls. It's 55 degrees year round.

not sure what you're talking about. when i was in palo alto in november it was in the 70s.

 
Oct 4, 2010 - 10:56am

For the South, Atlanta probably has the best match of consulting offices + things to do. In FL, there might be smaller offices in Miami. Charlotte might have offices, but I have been there, kind of ehh. Nashville might be fun, but its not a hub airport, so won't work out. Orlando, Tampa are not hubs either (hub is critical cause you don't want to take 4 flights a week to get to Grand Rapids, MI).

I don't find Atlanta to be that awesome, but its about as good as you can get (weather, low cost, southern style, etc.). You might have to go find some of your high school friends to build a circle coming from North, but most southern schools are pretty well represented among the younger crowd.

Array
 
Oct 4, 2010 - 4:31pm

Washington DC area? a lot of firms have large groups there.

Still not sure if I want to spend the next 30+ years grinding away in corporate finance and the WSO dream chase or look to have enough passive income to live simply and work minimally.
 
Oct 5, 2010 - 8:40am

The cost of living in DC is not low at all unless you compare it to Manhattan or LA but Accenture and BCG both have pretty legit offices there

If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses - Henry Ford
 
Oct 5, 2010 - 10:21am

Booze,a,h too!

Still not sure if I want to spend the next 30+ years grinding away in corporate finance and the WSO dream chase or look to have enough passive income to live simply and work minimally.
 
Oct 5, 2010 - 10:37am

I live in DC and there are great opps with consulting firms here, both Big Four and others (BAH, McKinsey, BCG etc). Pay is decent and work conditions are good, rent in DC is pretty high, most ppl live out across the river in VA, only 5-15 mins commute via metro. Lifestyle is awesome, full of young professionals, downside is that everything closes pretty early on weekdays and weekends, around 2.30am. Consulting work is federal govt focused so be ready for that, few commercial practice offices, a lot of tax advising as well. Other than that, Boston, Chicago, NYC would be solid bets for consulting.

 
Oct 6, 2010 - 1:48am

Goddamn Shaniqua is a lot of woman. Reminds me of my ex, Shandalier.

Still not sure if I want to spend the next 30+ years grinding away in corporate finance and the WSO dream chase or look to have enough passive income to live simply and work minimally.
 
Oct 6, 2010 - 10:05am

Dallas is definitely big for BCG and Bain. Both offices are medium size (>140 emp.) and they serve a lot of different industries (retail, tech, telecom, industrial goods and services, energy). At the same time, both of them have small satellite offices in Houston (~30 emp.) which serve the energy and healthcare industries. McKinsey is definitely bigger in Houston (~90 emp.) and they have a strong focus on energy. I don't know much about McK Dallas.

 
Oct 13, 2010 - 12:23pm

Any idea what the exit opps are from Bain or BCG's Dallas offices? Same as anywhere else? Is PE possible?

Also, any real substantial differences between the two offices in terms of culture, client work, etc?

bigmuffin:
Dallas is definitely big for BCG and Bain. Both offices are medium size (>140 emp.) and they serve a lot of different industries (retail, tech, telecom, industrial goods and services, energy). At the same time, both of them have small satellite offices in Houston (~30 emp.) which serve the energy and healthcare industries. McKinsey is definitely bigger in Houston (~90 emp.) and they have a strong focus on energy. I don't know much about McK Dallas.
 
Oct 21, 2010 - 3:53pm

One hub that is big in consulting that is not big in finance is DC. Mainly civil, government, military work. You have McK and Booz of course, but also Deloitte, and the specialized players like Lockheed, SAIC, SA, etc. I can say that the government is a great customer to have, at this point in the economic cycle.

 
Nov 21, 2010 - 4:41pm

i have a question: if you list several offices of a given company that you'd like to work at, how do they narrow down those to one? do you interview at several of the local offices, or do they ask you to narrow it down to one, or do they just assign you to interview at a given one based on availability?

 
Nov 22, 2010 - 4:52am

peacerenity:
i have a question: if you list several offices of a given company that you'd like to work at, how do they narrow down those to one? do you interview at several of the local offices, or do they ask you to narrow it down to one, or do they just assign you to interview at a given one based on availability?

You often have to state a preferene. Your candidacy will then be reviewed by your officed in order of preference. If your first choice does not have an opening, you will be passed to your second choice. If your first choice deems you unfit, it is unlikely other offices will pick you up as no one wants someone elses' left overs.
 
Nov 22, 2010 - 5:02pm

seekingalpha2:
If your first choice deems you unfit, it is unlikely other offices will pick you up as no one wants someone elses' left overs.

This is not true. If it were, they wouldn't bother have you rank offices. There is no reason not to be honest in your preferences.

That said, make sure that at least one of your choices is "lower" tier in case the top-tier offices aren't interested. So don't put London, NYC, San Francisco in that order, do NYC, San Francisco, Kansas City.

 
Nov 22, 2010 - 5:22pm

Chicago, NYC, Boston, LA, DC, Dallas/Houston....those are probably the major hubs. Chicago/Boston/NYC/LA have all the big firms. DC has tons of firms, however they have less financial consulting and more of other industries, like government, healthcare, legal, communications, energy, etc. ..well Dallas/Houston have a lot of energy consulting. obviously

 
Nov 22, 2010 - 6:09pm

I didn't misconstrue your statement, I just disagree. A) It is illogical, since there are clearly some higher-demand offices that will have a higher bar, and B) It is contrary to empirical evidence I've observed. I know many people who got offers at MBB but not their top choice office, and their top choices were not "full" (i.e. they hired other people later).

If your dream office is San Francisco but you'd settle for Salt Lake City, I see no reason not to rank them in that order.

 
Dec 4, 2010 - 9:08am
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