Why Would Anyone Go Into Consulting?

Matthew's picture
Rank: Monkey | 37

Mod Note (Andy): I put this on the frontpage because of the high quality of responses inside the post, take a look...

After going through the recent recruiting season as a junior and coming out with an MBB offer and a few in banking, I have to ask: why would you go into consulting?

  • As a junior, you get paid way less and travel an arcane amount
  • The hours at the office I received an offer at is also known to be extremely harsh and upwards of 80 hours a week
  • The skillset acquired seems very limited. I went through a few case interviews but still have no idea what consultants actually do
  • How do you pursue exit opps when everything on your resume is confidential? You have nothing tangible to your name vs. "worked on $xxbn deal"
  • Senior members of the team tried very hard to push me on the fantastic 'culture' and how everyone is a family, which seemed a little awkward to me
  • Everyone I met in consulting seemed extremely risk averse. The guys in banking though seemed much more like heavy hitters that were more ambitious and gung-ho about everything they do3

As a junior in college, is there anything I'm missing? What does Bain offer that Blackstone doesn't?

Consulting vs. Banking Analyst Experience

In the OP, the user questions if consulting or banking is a better place to start your career. The user touches on a few points - hours, pay, skillset, exits, and culture. Our users touched on each point below.

Lifestyle Differences Between IB and Consulting

The OP highlighted that consulting averages 80 hours a week with a great deal of travel. However, our users highlighted that while there is limited travel at the junior level for banking, hours will be closer to 80 - 110 hours a week (during hectic periods).

Junior analysts in consulting will be tasked with a great deal of travel if they don't live in the city that their clients are in while banking analysts will be tied to their desks in almost every situation.

From a culture standpoint, both bankers and consultants may claim to have a better culture as it will all be determined by the group that you work with and if you vibe well with them. That being said, consulting has a better argument to make for winning the culture wars as the hours are somewhat less and the work is thought of as more enriching than the work done by bankers.

You can check out a perspective from a former management consultant.

Skill Development and Exit Opportunities Between IBanking and Consulting

When considering future career path options, it is important to compare the skills gained between the banking and consulting. In banking, you will develop modeling and financial analysis skills and get exposure to how the buyside works by making the CIMs that PE funds analyze and that corporate development offices of major companies receive. Analysts get experience making slide decks and listening to CEOs talk about their businesses on conference calls.

For consulting, analysts develop qualitative and decision making skills. They will work directly with company management to attempt to help businesses create strategy or make meaningful improvements to existing strategies.

From an exit opportunity stand point, consultants exit well into top tier business schools and to fortune 500 companies. Bankers will have a clear pathway into private equity firms, hedge funds, corporate development arms, and top business schools.

Read More About Consulting on WSO

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Comments (168)

Funniest
Mar 4, 2014

ROFL incorrectly using the word arcane...

    • 19
Mar 4, 2014

Beat me to it

Mar 2, 2014

If you do not like travel then it is not for you.

If you think 80 hours is a lot, then it is not for you. In that case, banking is much worse for you with it's 90-100 hours weeks!

The exit opps work. Getting into MBA is easy afterwards. Getting into an excellent position at a F500 company after MBA is easy also. (ex: Some classmates at my MBA program who were MBB are now going into some very good positions with Apple and Google)

If you already know right now that you want to go to Apple or Google and can get in, then consulting is not for you.

If you want to do the same thing for an extended period of time (1-2 year horizon vs 2-6 month horizon) then consulting is not for you.

Is being risk averse/high risk your definition of negative/positive traits? In that case ,maybe you should look at making professional base jumping or gear-less free-climbing a career. Otherwise you should consider the type of people you're running into and thinking, are these the people I want to hang out with during/after work? If that's the bankers (if you get off of work) then sure.

What does Blackstone have to offer that Bain doesn't? What does being a doctor offer that being a lawyer doesn't? What does computer programming have to offer that being a teacher doesn't? Why is your last question so ridiculous?

Are you trolling?

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Mar 5, 2014
d1stance:

If you do not like travel then it is not for you.

If you think 80 hours is a lot, then it is not for you. In that case, banking is much worse for you with it's 90-100 hours weeks!

The exit opps work. Getting into MBA is easy afterwards. Getting into an excellent position at a F500 company after MBA is easy also. (ex: Some classmates at my MBA program who were MBB are now going into some very good positions with Apple and Google)

If you already know right now that you want to go to Apple or Google and can get in, then consulting is not for you.

If you want to do the same thing for an extended period of time (1-2 year horizon vs 2-6 month horizon) then consulting is not for you.

Is being risk averse/high risk your definition of negative/positive traits? In that case ,maybe you should look at making professional base jumping or gear-less free-climbing a career. Otherwise you should consider the type of people you're running into and thinking, are these the people I want to hang out with during/after work? If that's the bankers (if you get off of work) then sure.

What does Blackstone have to offer that Bain doesn't? What does being a doctor offer that being a lawyer doesn't? What does computer programming have to offer that being a teacher doesn't? Why is your last question so ridiculous?

Are you trolling?

lol @ 90-100 hrs workweek avg for banking - could be less, could be more dependent on group

lol @ getting into MBA easily - getting into an MBA is difficult no matter where you go, unless it's like Devry

lol @ time horizon - u can leave anytime, no one is stopping u

lol @ after-work activities - i guarantee u no one wants to hang out after a 14 hour stint

lol @ your last sentence - seems like you're having trouble even answering your own rhetorical questions

overall 3/10 attempt, nice try

speed boost blaze

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Mar 5, 2014

You seem to be taking all his statements out of context: as individual stand-alone statements, as oppose to a response to OP's comments.

1) All he was stating that hours in consulting are generally lower than banking. Boviosuly lie you said, it will depend on the group you're in banking, and also the project you're assigned to in Consulting. Regardless, GENERALLY, consulting will have less hours.

2) I agree that stating "getting an MBA is easy" may be a stretch. Its difficult regardless. However, consulting would provide a foundation for the app. I wont get into which is better (IB vs Consulting), since idk, but both these professions will increase ur chances to getting into a top MBA, it wont be easy, but will increase ur chances. This is all he was stating, which is in reference to exit ops that OP was asking about.

3) Time Horizon: he was just stating the purpose of consulting is short-term projects and work constantly changes. Obviously everyone has the ability to quit at anytime. He was simply stating that a big aspect of the consulting profession is that, generally, projects are short and varied. So if you are a person that prefers/excels at doing the same thing for an extended period of time, then consulting is not for you.

4) I agree with you on this point, I wouldnt want to see my team after 14 hrs, but then again, everyone is different. Generally speaking though, that's the whole idea of "fit" concept, finding people that you will be willing to hang out with post a 14-hr work day, since you'll all be traveling together.

5) They lost me on this part.... so no comment.

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Oct 15, 2017

What kind of positions do consultants get at Apple/Google? Internal strategy? Or something else? Thanks.

Mar 2, 2014

Here are some reasons (laid out as they relate to your points):

- This is heavily dependent on the person, but travel isn't necessarily bad, especially when you're straight out of college. Yes, it's tiring and gets old, but it's still a chance to live on an expense account four days a week and see a few new cities/countries. As an added bonus, you'll rack up a ton of miles and hotel points so your vacations will be close to free. With alt/flex travel, it also makes it easy (and nearly free) for you to visit friends on the weekend who live in a different city than you.

- The overall hours might not be all that different between consulting and banking, but in consulting you almost always get your weekends to yourself. Besides, when you're on the road M-Th, there's not much else to do besides work; it's not like you could go back to your home or hang out with your friends if you weren't working.

- There's a lot of good info. about this on WSO, but the general consensus seems to be that the skillset acquired in consulting is a bit more broad and transferrable to different industries than banking (where the skillset is quite limited).

- Your resume doesn't need to list client names to have weight behind it. You're still able to demonstrate what you did, what your impact was, etc. without naming who the project(s) was for. You can use generic descriptors (i.e. top 5 pharma company, etc.). Besides, if you're at MBB, headhunters will be coming to you (especially at the post-undergrad level) more often than not.

- Okay. This is firm specific and has nothing to do with consulting. Maybe you aren't a good cultural fit with whatever consulting firm extended you an offer.

- This point of yours isn't really addressable. Being risk-averse isn't necessarily bad, and you can't really draw a conclusion about the entire consulting industry based on your limited interactions with a few consultants (the same goes for your conclusion about bankers being more risk-tolerant).

In the end, banking and management consulting are two entirely different industries (who often get lumped together because they're "prestigious") and you need to join whatever industry you believe best aligns with your long-term goals. Given that you were able to secure offers from several banks and an MBB, you should be more then capable of doing adequate research to make an informed decision. And just in case that decision turns out to be the wrong one, you can always re-recruit in the fall for full-time and switch industries. Good luck!

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Mar 2, 2014
Matthew:

- Everyone I met in consulting seemed extremely risk averse. The guys in banking though seemed much more like heavy hitters that were more ambitious and gung-ho about everything they do

LOL heavy hitters huh. You interviewing or dating bro?

    • 3
Mar 3, 2014

"The exit opps work. Getting into MBA is easy afterwards. Getting into an excellent position at a F500 company after MBA is easy also. (ex: Some classmates at my MBA program who were MBB are now going into some very good positions with Apple and Google)"

I was reading Management Consulted and it seems the exit opportunities for banking tend to pay better - I know consultants can get into Private Equity firms too but it appears to be a more difficult sell. Both career paths can lead to a strong MBA program but the exit opportunity is the job after the MBA.

Don't you take a pay discount when you work in Corporate Strategy/Development for a F500?

Mar 3, 2014

You're absolutely right - if the end all be all is seeking a larger pay check. But there are other criteria to think about, which was what led my classmates to choose the career path they did. Location, hours, type of work, managing people, having a tie to a tangible product, etc.

My friends who were consultants actually are not going into corporate dev/strat from the MBA program. Two are entering MBA rotational programs and one is taking a position as the operations director of a medium sized plant.

Money is an important criteria. At the end of the day, banking wins over consulting on that factor. At the same time, striking it big with a tech start up kills banking. When's the last time any banker made $19 billion before they were 40? Buffett didn't hit is first personal billion until 1990, when he was around 60. I have friends in the software dev space with bachelor degrees who make more than I'll make post MBA and they have great hours. On an hourly basis, they easily beat out both banking and consulting.

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Mar 3, 2014

Fair point about the tech start-up but that's a pretty high risk path. Also, I would say that most of the people going into consulting/banking don't have the background to work in technology in a developer capacity.

Mar 3, 2014

for me it was a strong location preference that led to consulting over banking

Mar 3, 2014

What a troll.

Mar 3, 2014

As many people indicates, major decision factor is all personal preference. Hours will suck regardless. Slightly better lifestyle with Consulting, but add the travel hours and they both suck.

The biggest value I see, besides the immediate benefits of travel and pts, which results in no expenses Mon- Thurs, and many free trips/vacations (obviously at the cost of being on the road every week), is the idea of the variety of work and industries you get exposed to. Consulting itself is a very broad term, and thus a broad profession. Projects will be highly different, so the idea of "constantly learning" is there, or so that's the pitch for it.

On the flip-side though, since Consulting is so broad, depending on the company, you can get staffed on some unappealing. So there's a risk associated with it as well.

Best Response
Mar 3, 2014
Matthew:

- As a junior, you get paid way less and travel an arcane amount

As a consultant, you are expected to be literate enough to use the word "arcane" correctly. (Hint: you did not)

- The hours at the office I received an offer at is also known to be extremely harsh and upwards of 80 hours a week

In two-and-a-bit years at this job I've worked over 80 hours in a week twice. My average is in the 60's. Beats the crap out of banking hours.

- The skillset acquired seems very limited. I went through a few case interviews but still have no idea what consultants actually do

So you don't know what consultants do... yet you feel like you have enough information to judge that the skillset is limited?

- How do you pursue exit opps when everything on your resume is confidential? You have nothing tangible to your name vs. "worked on $xxbn deal"

How is it not "tangible" without a company's name attached? "Conducted strategic portfolio review for $3B industrial motors manufacturer to identify $30M pricing opportunity, then partnered with client team to realize full value" isn't tangible?

- Senior members of the team tried very hard to push me on the fantastic 'culture' and how everyone is a family, which seemed a little awkward to me

If that doesn't work for you, then ok. Personally, I like it although it certainly is overhyped. You do spend a lot of time with the folks on your teams so it's important to at least get along with everyone.

- Everyone I met in consulting seemed extremely risk averse. The guys in banking though seemed much more like heavy hitters that were more ambitious and gung-ho about everything they do

Yes, consulting is less "risky" on some level than trying to climb the ladder at an investment bank, but it's still up-or-out. Truly "risk averse" people don't take jobs where the possibility of getting fired hangs over your head all the time. "Risk averse" is being a public school teacher.

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Mar 4, 2014

If making money is your biggest priority, you should probably go into banking. But there are other things that people value. For me personally, the culture of wall street is a major turnoff for me, and I feel much more comfortable going into consulting. I also feel as if I'll develop a more varied set of skills in consulting.

Mar 4, 2014

Not all consulting is 80 hours/week + travel. If you work in federal its closer to 40-50 hours/week and no travel at all.

Mar 4, 2014

I worked in MBB for a summer internship and turned down my full-time offer to work at an investment bank that went bankrupt about two months after I started. Best decision I've ever made though. MBB is not for everyone, but they market themselves really well into seeming like a great fit for the best/brightest when really you need to have a certain personality type so you don't despise the work-life balance. The things I didn't like ranged from the obvious travel/social isolation to the less obvious things such as work flow that was extremely boring/unnecessary..and the fact that (at least in my year and my MBB) some of the other interns were literally the biggest tools I have ever met - people I would have never hung out with in college, and people who just remind me of the proto-typical toolish student that sits in the front of a class and always raises their hand to make themselves heard.

You don't really get the work hard play hard finance mentality with MBB in my opinion, the testosterone level is significant lower which isn't a bad thing, except that I could actually feel my personality eroding at certain ponts. I also gained like 20lbs in 12 weeks because I didn't have consistent access to a weight room and very consistent access to a $100 food per diem.

Of course, a lot of the senior colleagues and the post-MBA guys were really awesome, and a few of the other kids I interned with are still my close friends (and a lot have since moved to NYC). I also probably wouldn't have gotten to where I am now without MBB on my resume. When I was rotating through desks, my specific MBB study from the prior summer was what clinched my spot on my team, so that was pretty clutch.

One data point: out of the class of ~50 interns I worked with, of those who accepted FT offers (about 75%) about 75% of them who worked full-time were done with consulting after just two years - either for MBA, operational work at a PE, or most commonly working at a corporate before eventual MBA.

Another data point: Almost all of them complained about their jobs every time I talked to them, looked gaunt, and fell out of touch with most others. Also, the percentage of their photos on social media that was with their coworkers was way higher than what is appropriate for someone in their 20s that should have a life.

A third data point: Having friends who are consultants is awesome because they can expense meals when they visit you in NYC (as long as they don't live in NYC so they can use a travel budget). So always meet up with your friends when they visit NY if they are coming from out of town. And have them use that corporate card.

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Mar 4, 2014
big unit:

Another data point: Almost all of them complained about their jobs every time I talked to them, looked gaunt, and fell out of touch with most others. Also, the percentage of their photos on social media that was with their coworkers was way higher than what is appropriate for someone in their 20s that should have a life.

Let's be honest with ourselves here. This is not any less true in banking on average, which is the debate at hand.

Mar 4, 2014
hankyfootball:
big unit:

Another data point: Almost all of them complained about their jobs every time I talked to them, looked gaunt, and fell out of touch with most others. Also, the percentage of their photos on social media that was with their coworkers was way higher than what is appropriate for someone in their 20s that should have a life.

Let's be honest with ourselves here. This is not any less true in banking on average, which is the debate at hand.

Well, its harder to fall COMPLETELY out of touch when you are at least being miserable in NYC as opposed to a smaller city in the Midwest or something, and when you are a banker you do end up going out with your non-finance friends every now and then, you just feel miserable during it (as far as I know, never worked in an ibanking group). My bigger point was that consultants are generally pretty miserable - though every now and then you have someone who loves it. In banking, no one loves being a 1st year analyst because its meant to be terrible.

I do know that people who work in NYC in consulting are way happier though than those who have to travel.

Overall, I just think that the personality types who fit in banking versus consulting are just very different, and I always find it weird when they are viewed as substitutes.

Mar 4, 2014

Current MBB'ER chiming in.

big unit:

The things I didn't like ranged from the obvious travel/social isolation to the less obvious things such as work flow that was extremely boring/unnecessary..and the fact that (at least in my year and my MBB) some of the other interns were literally the biggest tools I have ever met - people I would have never hung out with in college, and people who just remind me of the proto-typical toolish student that sits in the front of a class and always raises their hand to make themselves heard.

Traveling for work can get tiring, so I'll give you that. But boring and unnecessary work comes up in every job, especially in client services. I have plenty of banker friends who find their jobs incredibly mechanical and mundane. At the end of the day, what keeps people going in both consulting and banking is the feeling that you are doing something interesting, exciting, and/or meaningful. I never felt that way about the work bankers do, and you didn't about the work consultants do. It all comes down to what you want out of your job. But let's not categorically dismiss an entire field.

And, to be honest, I felt that way about the people I met in banking. Many of the bankers I met seemed entirely to be driven by money or prestige, and I couldn't imagine working with them on a daily basis. I suppose this also comes down to your personality as you pointed out.

big unit:

You don't really get the work hard play hard finance mentality with MBB in my opinion, the testosterone level is significant lower which isn't a bad thing, except that I could actually feel my personality eroding at certain ponts. I also gained like 20lbs in 12 weeks because I didn't have consistent access to a weight room and very consistent access to a $100 food per diem.

The weight thing depends entirely on your self control. Yes, you have access to a nice per diem, but that doesn't mean you have to take advantage of it every night and eat unhealthy food. With time, you learn to eat more healthily even on the road. I also found having a gym in the hotel very convenient. Hotel gyms may not be as well-equipped as my home gym, but a lot of them are good enough for me to get a good workout in 2-3 times a week. You just need to allocate that time and stick to it.

big unit:

One data point: out of the class of ~50 interns I worked with, of those who accepted FT offers (about 75%) about 75% of them who worked full-time were done with consulting after just two years - either for MBA, operational work at a PE, or most commonly working at a corporate before eventual MBA.

Not sure what you're trying to say here. Consulting firms are very clear about the fact that it's not a long-term career for most people. One of the biggest benefit you get from consulting is the breadth of career options you get. So I'd say this is a good thing. If you like the job and perform well, you can stay. If for whatever reason you no longer wish to say, you have a ton of choices you can choose from.

big unit:

Another data point: Almost all of them complained about their jobs every time I talked to them, looked gaunt, and fell out of touch with most others. Also, the percentage of their photos on social media that was with their coworkers was way higher than what is appropriate for someone in their 20s that should have a life.

People complain about their jobs to their friends--this is not limited to consulting. I have both banker friends and consultant friends, and they all share complaints about their jobs with me. But, in my opinion, my consultant friends and I are much happier than my banker friends because we actually get to have a life outside of work and do things that we like doing. (Most people work 60-70 hours a week at most MBBs.) We get most weekends off and sometimes have a good amount of beach time in between projects. We also agree that, while things get can get tough/frustrating, our firms look out for their people to make sure that they are constantly learning and are satisfied with their jobs.

And I don't know why the second thing keeps appearing as a negative. I genuinely enjoy the time I spend with my colleagues, as do my college friends at other MBB firms. The difference between bankers and consultants is that consultants actually have a good amount of time to go do social things outside of the office together. We grab drinks, go to concerts, go out, and even take weekend trips together. We consider ourselves more than coworkers but friends. It's one thing that you didn't like the people at your MBB. But don't know how coworkers enjoying having out together and actually becoming friends can be viewed as a negative in general. In my opinion, the friendship I have built with my classmates makes my firm a much better place to work.

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Mar 4, 2014

Sadly, among friends I've observed that decisions between banking and consulting are still primarily prestige (and more practically, exit opportunity, which is highly correlated with prestige) driven. It's not unheard of for people to turn down a second tier BB offer for McKinsey, and then turn that down for BX. They don't care whether they're working as a consultant or a banker as long as they get where they want to be, which is PE or HBS.

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Mar 5, 2014

The balance of power at higher levels is with people who control capital. PE/HF and the bankers who serve them are closer to the capital. MBB receive a fee to provide them advice (as do bankers, but bankers work with the pre-deal while MBB is optimizing the deal).

People who were head of individual practices at my MBB would fly in for meetings with senior VP (mid30s) level people in PE (I worked in the PE practice at the MBB I was at). The members of my team would talk about how awesome the PE people were in terms of success. And I think there was a chip on some of their shoulders as well, because my MBB team knew way more about the operational aspects of the industry, yet were simply advising and optimizing the investment someone else made - I was actually taken aback by how much 'boots on the ground' work was outsourced to consultants,m and I can see why it would have been irritating to be focusing on low-level work where the PE firm we were advising benefited from the high level story and upside.

If we are comparing MBB -> MBA -> unlimited opportunities, then I certainly think it can be a great choice. But if you look at the more set path of IB -> PE - > MBA - > PE, or IB -> PE -> senior level at PE, that is a superior choice to being MBB -> MBA -> senior MBB in my opinion, because the latter you are advising, the former you are the one making the decisions. So comparing IB to MBB is hard, because no one actually wants to stay in IB or MBB, but the path towards perceived success is easier from a top IB group than a top consulting group if your goal is to control a company.

A lot of my views on MBB and why I think finance is superior in so many ways is because of my personal experience at MBB (which as a positive experience but eye-opening) and subsequent experience on Wall Street, first at an IB and then in Mega-PE. In my current role I talk to people at MBB for advice too. They are extremely smart and talented, and I doubt they have a hard time getting gigs in capital-controlling roles too. However, I still think if your personality suits both and your goal is to become as important as possible at an early age, with as little risk as possible, IB->PE->senior PE (or HF) outweighs MBB.

I'm sure MBB has way more CEOs of startups and stuff too - its really a risk/return issue.

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Mar 5, 2014

Really great post big unit - thank you for your insight. I think your balance of power framework is apt, but your focus on finance is limiting. There are other ways to be successful and add value outside of high finance, like owning equity in startups, being an executive in the corporate world, or being successful/powerful in a completely different career, like non-profits, politics, social entrepreneurship, policy activism.

The first problem with IB, from a purely exit opps perspective, is that the opps are mostly in finance, not the other sectors above. The plus side is that PE and HF are generally easier to attain than for consultants, but the downside is that every other sector I mentioned is harder to break into on balance. If you want to exit into the F500 you get placed into back office corp fin roles instead of product management and marketing roles. You get typecasted as a finance guy everywhere else, too.

The second problem with IB from an exit opps perspective is that the high finance industries it places into are both hyper-competitive and non-growth. PE is not growing and HF returns are down again in the biggest year for returns in the last decade. Good for you that it worked out, but these forums are filled with stories of kids from BBs who couldn't get a pre-MBA PE role, and even more disconcerting, stories of kids with BB and pre-MBA PE roles who fail to find a post-MBA partner-track role during MBA recruiting. It's a serious gamble these days to presume that if you get an IB offer you will be able to leave for a glamorous buy-side role soon after. Especially if your offer is from any bank that isn't Goldman, MS, JPM, and a handful of elite boutiques.

Then there's the elephant in the room, which is why would you ever work in IB if you're not genuinely interested in finance? This seems to be the most important question for anyone choosing between IB and MBB, and it makes the choice pretty easy. Unlike for IB, you see ex mgmt consultants in a wide variety of fields outside of finance and even business. You see them in the White House, leading some of the hottest social entrepreneurship companies, running VC-backed startups, in the corporate C-suite, and leading major policy reforms. For a random example, David Coleman, president of the College Board and the man who wrote and championed the Common Core State Standards Initiative, which is probably the most important change to education policy in America in the last decade, is ex-McKinsey.

You don't see this nearly as much in IB, despite the fact that it hires more students every year than consulting and that it has had a pipeline to the top student talent (which you might argue could do anything in their careers regardless of whether they started in IB or MBB) for at least a decade longer than consulting. You could argue that this started as a temperament and self-selection thing, but eventually it has become institutionally reinforced, to the extent that the network of ex-MBB guys will tend to hire other ex-MBB guys until stereotypes become reinforced.

Mar 5, 2014

great post by big unit

in short, there are bigger gains in allocating capital than improving the efficiency of allocated capital

as an MBB, this makes me sad, but I know it to be true.

Mar 5, 2014
BigPicture:

great post by big unit

in short, there are bigger gains in allocating capital than improving the efficiency of allocated capital

as an MBB, this makes me sad, but I know it to be true.

Exactly - similar logic can apply to why working on a sell-side trading/capital markets desk (like where I worked for a few years) is worse than working at a hedge fund. In trading, you receive commissions for trading volume with a fund and helping them receive primary issuance, and you take set fees home. But the hedge fund is the owner of the capital that is essentially paying you a fee to help manage. So just a lot more upside..

Though, BigPicture, it seems like you have a handle of the big picture already, so I'm sure you are orienting your career towards maximizing the learning opportunities at MBB and keeping an eye on what your future goals are, as opposed to some of the 1st and 2nd year MBBs who are 'consultants for life'.

A lot of what I say about the culture at my MBB was probably because I as at a main office and a PE-focused group (that was a lot of pre-MBA bankers that went MBA and then MBB afterwards).

And all of these gigs are better than working at Accenture :)

Mar 5, 2014

No offence to any one but I feel like a lot of you defending the culture / hours at your MBB work at a regional office or an MBB that is known for a better culture. I've heard nothing but terrible things about the culture and hours at McKinsey's main offices.

Mar 5, 2014

@Matthew As opposed to all those positive things you hear about Goldman's culture...

Also, I thought everyone in consulting tried to push you on the positive aspects of the culture? Seems a bit different than hearing nothing but terrible things...? And did you even read the rest of the posts that refuted each of your points?

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Mar 5, 2014

Let me also add (unrelated to OP throwing MS) that I couldn't care less if one prefers banking to consulting, or vice versa. As others have pointed out, they're obviously very different careers that offer and demand different things. They each have their positives and negatives, it's just that OP failed to point out almost anything relevant.

Mar 5, 2014

Traveling part of consulting is not that awful. I could always use the weekends to visit friends from undergrads or catch a college football game. Also not many young people hang out a lot on random Tuesday's, so the out of touch with in town friend is kind of overblown. Also taking vacations was easier in consulting than I saw in banking. Roll off a project and disappear for couple of weeks in consulting, no one cares. Much tougher in banking with multiple clients. In consulting, you'll also get client interaction much earlier (lower level though) and people are generally nicer. More female coworkers too.

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Mar 5, 2014

Traveling part of consulting is not that awful. I could always use the weekends to visit friends from undergrads or catch a college football game. Also not many young people hang out a lot on random Tuesday's, so the out of touch with in town friend is kind of overblown. Also taking vacations was easier in consulting than I saw in banking. Roll off a project and disappear for couple of weeks in consulting, no one cares. Much tougher in banking with multiple clients. In consulting, you'll also get client interaction much earlier (lower level though) and people are generally nicer. More female coworkers too.

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Mar 5, 2014

lol at consultants getting offensive. bottom line is that consulting and banking are two entirely different things. consultants rag on bankers for their hours and "culture". bankers rag on consultants because they travel to bumblef*ck, idaho and get paid peanuts. its a nice little rivalry. ultimately, choose the gig that places you best with what you want to do long-term.

Mar 6, 2014
ledger123:

bankers rag on consultants because they travel to bumblef*ck, idaho and get paid peanuts.

Entry-level MBB salary+bonus out of undergrad is almost twice the median US household income. You need some perspective, friend. Yes, it's less than what bankers make, sure, but it's more than most people make... ever. Calling it "peanuts" is asinine.

Mar 6, 2014
devildog2067:
ledger123:

bankers rag on consultants because they travel to bumblef*ck, idaho and get paid peanuts.

Entry-level MBB salary+bonus out of undergrad is almost twice the median US household income. You need some perspective, friend. Yes, it's less than what bankers make, sure, but it's more than most people make... ever. Calling it "peanuts" is asinine.

i meant "peanuts" as in from the perspective of a banker...

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Mar 5, 2014

Become a consultant if you legitimately want to help clients, and not just your own career. The reason they really can't tell you "what you do" is because you don't know. There is rarely an "average" day. What you develop is a way of thinking that helps you frame any problem you encounter. You develop strong interpersonal and communication skills (including presenting your findings). In F500 operations you learn the business, the details of how it works, the culture, and you make connections to people around the company. You likely get P&L experience faster, and that is the true route to the top.

This assumes you're the sort of person who can get into MBB, and want to be a Fortune 500 CEO. If you are MBB calibre then you should get into a high performance rotational program at your chosen F500 and getting real operating experience, and likely P&L faster than a consultant.

As for versus banking, I don't really know. But if you don't "get" consulting, it may not be the right place for you to go initially until you have more experience.

Whatever you do, good luck,

TT

Mar 5, 2014
TylerT:

In F500 operations you learn the business, the details of how it works, the culture, and you make connections to people around the company. You likely get P&L experience faster, and that is the true route to the top.

What do you mean?

Compared to being at a hedge fund or PE, F500 CEOs don't make much.

I did an internal study on executive compensation, and in my industry average total exec comp (including value of options at the time they were granted) was ~$10M. I think that by "executive" we defined it as the top 3-4 people in the company.

$10M is great money. But I think the top 25 hedge fund managers made, what, 100 times this, on average?

TT, the point is that "operations" or running a company is often less lucrative than choosing which company to allocate resources to. Heck, look at PE firms where the finance guys often make more than the guys who run the portfolio companies.

The way I think of it is that moving money from a inefficient company to an efficient company is faster/easier than making an inefficient company efficient. Thus, there are larger gains to be had from the faster/easier method, and thus compensation tends to be more.

Or a merger (banking) can have more gains than a RIF (reduction in force = layoff = what a lot of consultants do)

Long story short, being a F500 CEO isn't really the top of the pile, and while being a VP/GM at a F500 with P&L, is quite an accomplishment, there are a number of finance positions with higher compensation

Final point -- I know little about the odds of success. Moosen may have a point here if getting these positions in finance is akin to a lottery than a safe bet.

Mar 5, 2014
BigPicture:
TylerT:

In F500 operations you learn the business, the details of how it works, the culture, and you make connections to people around the company. You likely get P&L experience faster, and that is the true route to the top.

What do you mean?

Compared to being at a hedge fund or PE, F500 CEOs don't make much.

I did an internal study on executive compensation, and in my industry average total exec comp (including value of options at the time they were granted) was ~$10M. I think that by "executive" we defined it as the top 3-4 people in the company.

$10M is great money. But I think the top 25 hedge fund managers made, what, 100 times this, on average?

TT, the point is that "operations" or running a company is often less lucrative than choosing which company to allocate resources to. Heck, look at PE firms where the finance guys often make more than the guys who run the portfolio companies.

The way I think of it is that moving money from a inefficient company to an efficient company is faster/easier than making an inefficient company efficient. Thus, there are larger gains to be had from the faster/easier method, and thus compensation tends to be more.

Or a merger (banking) can have more gains than a RIF (reduction in force = layoff = what a lot of consultants do)

Long story short, being a F500 CEO isn't really the top of the pile, and while being a VP/GM at a F500 with P&L, is quite an accomplishment, there are a number of finance positions with higher compensation

Final point -- I know little about the odds of success. Moosen may have a point here if getting these positions in finance is akin to a lottery than a safe bet.

WTF is this post? You've got to be kidding me.

Mar 6, 2014

@BigPicture - I never once mentioned compensation, so that was a miscommunication on my part. I meant to the top of a company (which is often what consultants often want to do). If you're judging a job strictly on how lucrative it is that is your point. My point is don't go into consulting unless you legitimately want to help clients. If your motivation is status, money, or thinking it is a short-cut into industry then don't go.

@Ledget123 lol @ consultants legitimately helping clients. yeah cuz when you're a 22 yr old consultant, you're providing THAT much value to a F500 CEO and his company. cmon. it's all powerpoint bs. just like banking is all excel bs.

I never said you were adding value as an Associate, I said if you legitimately want to help clients. You're right, Associates aren't creating strategies. We may collaborate with a Partner or Principal on them, but our job is really to help collect the right information, anlayze it, and present it to the senior team members so they can guide the solutions. Firms are paying Associates fee's for the knowledge that they are collecting the information in a way that is useful for the senior team members to use...that's ultimately an Associate's role.

As you said. it is the exact same "BS" as Banking Anlaysts. Your job is to do the heavy lifting so people with experience can turn it into value. Because lets face it, no client is going to pay a Partner's fee's to be running around cleaning data from some database.

Hope that clears it up,

TT

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Mar 5, 2014

lol @ consultants legitimately helping clients. yeah cuz when you're a 22 yr old consultant, you're providing THAT much value to a F500 CEO and his company. cmon. it's all powerpoint bs. just like banking is all excel bs.

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Mar 6, 2014

It's interesting--I've talked with other guys who made the MBB-->PE transition (as I did) and we've had the opposite question: why would anyone do an investment banking stint? At least in my experience it didn't effectively matter in PE recruiting. Sure, you'll have a wider set of options coming from a top BB, but if you're a strong candidate from Bain or McKinsey it's not too hard to get interviews at a half-dozen top funds. If you can't close an offer based on that set, it's hard for me to believe you'll really be successful if you just increase the N a little bit.

Beyond that the banking stint seems like mortgaging two years in your 20s for very little return. Post-tax you make an extra, what, 15-20k (and even that's effectively compressed by better 401k/expense policy/etc that MBB typically has)? That's pocket change compared to buy side comp and definitely isn't worth the extra 20-30 hrs per week, not to mention the benefit of having your weekends free and the occasional beach time.

I also found the work more interesting and the training more useful than banking would've been (pretty sure I was able to pick up all the necessary financial/modeling skills in a month or two in the job in PE), though I recognize that one's a little more of a personal preference.

Generally concur with the assessment that ultimately you want to be the client and be the one in control of capital, though. More interesting work and higher level interaction than you'd get as a junior guy at any bank or consulting firm. And obviously much better financial rewards

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Mar 6, 2014
Workhardplayhard:

It's interesting--I've talked with other guys who made the MBB-->PE transition (as I did) and we've had the opposite question: why would anyone do an investment banking stint? At least in my experience it didn't effectively matter in PE recruiting. Sure, you'll have a wider set of options coming from a top BB, but if you're a strong candidate from Bain or McKinsey it's not too hard to get interviews at a half-dozen top funds. If you can't close an offer based on that set, it's hard for me to believe you'll really be successful if you just increase the N a little bit.

Beyond that the banking stint seems like mortgaging two years in your 20s for very little return. Post-tax you make an extra, what, 15-20k (and even that's effectively compressed by better 401k/expense policy/etc that MBB typically has)? That's pocket change compared to buy side comp and definitely isn't worth the extra 20-30 hrs per week, not to mention the benefit of having your weekends free and the occasional beach time.

I also found the work more interesting and the training more useful than banking would've been (pretty sure I was able to pick up all the necessary financial/modeling skills in a month or two in the job in PE), though I recognize that one's a little more of a personal preference.

Generally concur with the assessment that ultimately you want to be the client and be the one in control of capital, though. More interesting work and higher level interaction than you'd get as a junior guy at any bank or consulting firm. And obviously much better financial rewards

While some of your points are interesting, most Mega-PE shops do not recruit anyone from MBB at all for investing roles. Mine doesn't, and either do our closest competitors. A few do hire consultants for their portfolio groups, where they are essentially internal consultants (which is actually a really, really awesome job, yet not an execution role).

I also think you are way off in terms of compensation (1st year bankers make like 70%-80% more than 1st year consultants) and in terms of work (most 2nd year bankers don't work that much more than consultants...it goes from like 80 hours a week to 65-75 between 1st and 2nd year of banking once you get juniors). However, I admit this might be because my own experience and my own network is perhaps different than the average. I went to a target, worked at a BB out of school, I have a lot of friends who did the same, and I also worked at MBB for a summer, got an offer which detailed my compensation, and have friends from MBB - but this is still a

I myself was interviewing candidates and reviewed over 200 resumes in late Feb, almost all of them came from GS, MS, BAML, C, JPM, with the only exceptions being a few smaller banks. I think the consultants apply to a different applicant pool perhaps? But yeah, the people we hire are all BB analysts.

So I don't think its accurate to say that MBB and IB are anywhere close to interchangeable when it comes to PE recruiting...IB is clearly superior for that. Its still possible from MBB as in your experience.

It is a major uphill battle if you are a consultant to get a job at a major PE shop, though its hard in general even if you are from IB. If you are a mid-tier IB analyst, chances are you'll land at a PE fund (whether its a smaller one or a decent middle market one). Your income WILL increase 50%-100% over 2-3 years. That is fairly set in stone. If you are a top tier banking analyst, you will maybe get a role at a top PE fund, and once you have that name on your resume you are largely set.

On the flip side, if you are a top-tier MBB consultant, maybe you'll be considered at fewer firms, but its much harder, and as far as I know you will be working in a portfolio/operational capacity (though rarely I guess some fund have them in investing/sourcing roles) at the Mega PE funds. I do know some middle market PE firms which hire consultants (MBB, LEK, Navigant, etc.) for investing roles.

You also can't work at a hedge fund directly out of IB which I personally think is a much better path than PE for a lot of personalities.

Also - you aren't really mortgaging two years...its not like you don't exist...while you don't have a life most of the time, when you do go out you party really really hard. After all, you are working in NYC, one of the sweetest cities in the world, and you are making serious cash after having lived off of your parents for years. I would say most 1st year bankers make 80% more than 1st year consultants. This is based off of what I actually earned as a 1st year analyst and what my FT offer at MBB stated I would make (plus what the expected bonus was).

During our first two years, yeah, banking analysts get totally owned, but by the time year one is done, your hours go from 80hrs a week to more like 65hrs-75hrs as a median range, and I know my 2 closest friends who were in banking (also my roommates and fraternity brothers from undergrad) still had big nights with me 2-3 times a month. They of course, did indeed hate their lives at times, but by the time they were 9 months out of school they had PE gigs lined up and stopped caring as much about work.

Mar 6, 2014
big unit:
Workhardplayhard:

You also can't work at a hedge fund directly out of IB which I personally think is a much better path than PE for a lot of personalities.

Can you just explain this point? Do you mean consulting instead of IB?

Mar 6, 2014

Ah, I meant to write "can" not "can't"

Mar 6, 2014

Agreed on the hedge fund point--much harder to get that out of consulting if your goal is to do that straight away.

On the PE point, certainly if your lifelong goal is to work at KKR or Apollo, go into banking, but plenty of large cap funds hire consultants to deal side roles (off the top of my head, H&F, Advent, Silver Lake, Bain Cap obv, +your Berkshire/Golden Gate-type upper MM, and I'm sure some I'm forgetting). Combined with the fact that it's a much smaller pool, since most consultants don't want a PE job, I'm not sure your odds are hugely different. I don't know of anyone from my MBB office who wanted to make the switch and couldn't find a job, as a very anecdotal point.

On comp, consulting I think is now 80 1st yr, 90-95 2nd year (ex-signing bonus/401k, etc). 80% above that implies all-in comp of 145/165, give or take...which feels high even for top bucket? But maybe not. Regardless, this point's kind of personal preference. I valued my incremental time higher than the comp difference. Other people might feel differently. I didn't, for example, have student loan payments, which I could imagine changing the calculus here.

Anyway, my broader issue was more that I've never met any IB analysts who we're happy with their jobs (and many consultants who were), so it always struck me as a high price to pay. But hey, low N and all that, so to each their own.

Mar 9, 2014
Workhardplayhard:

Agreed on the hedge fund point--much harder to get that out of consulting if your goal is to do that straight away.

On the PE point, certainly if your lifelong goal is to work at KKR or Apollo, go into banking, but plenty of large cap funds hire consultants to deal side roles (off the top of my head, H&F, Advent, Silver Lake, Bain Cap obv, +your Berkshire/Golden Gate-type upper MM, and I'm sure some I'm forgetting). Combined with the fact that it's a much smaller pool, since most consultants don't want a PE job, I'm not sure your odds are hugely different. I don't know of anyone from my MBB office who wanted to make the switch and couldn't find a job, as a very anecdotal point.

On comp, consulting I think is now 80 1st yr, 90-95 2nd year (ex-signing bonus/401k, etc). 80% above that implies all-in comp of 145/165, give or take...which feels high even for top bucket? But maybe not. Regardless, this point's kind of personal preference. I valued my incremental time higher than the comp difference. Other people might feel differently. I didn't, for example, have student loan payments, which I could imagine changing the calculus here.

Anyway, my broader issue was more that I've never met any IB analysts who we're happy with their jobs (and many consultants who were), so it always struck me as a high price to pay. But hey, low N and all that, so to each their own.

Silver Lake Partners doesn't have a single consultant in their associate classes. Not sure about Kraftwerk or Sumuru but I assume you're referring to the main buyout fund. You pretty much listed all of the top 100 funds by 5 year AUM raise (HQed in the US) that consider hiring consultants (add New Mountain, Summit, Madison Dearborn and TA Associates). Thats ~10 funds with probably

Mar 16, 2014

If you've done well at MBB and want to recruit for buy side and do really minimal networking with recruiters + associates, you'll literally get a dozen first round interviews at select MF and well-respected MM shops. Going to a HF is tougher, but if your smart and a top performer, it's definitely far from impossible.

Mar 6, 2014

This point has been made, but I'll re-iterate. The answer, if there is one, to this question of banking vs. consulting is highly dependent on who you are, your life situation and what your future goals are.

For background, I interned in IB and decided that consulting was more up my alley. I couldn't be happier and love my job - the travel, the work and my teammates. Not everything is rosy, but no entry-level job (or senior job for that matter) is.

I have a good buddy who joined IB FT out of school. Makes boatloads more than me. Yet, when we do find time to catch up, he is always raving about how I'm flying somewhere on weekends for alt-travel, pursuing my hobbies and spending time with friends. When we do go out, he buys bottles. I spend maybe $100 on a night out, he spends $700. Is he happier with his night? Maybe, maybe not. But I don't think I've had a bad night yet because I didn't spend as much.

He can do things I can't and vice versa. He can blow $2000 on a watch or suit and not bat an eye. I can fly my girl out somewhere for a weekend getaway. He can afford to do so, but he doesn't have the time. He wants to work in PE one day. I want to move up in a F500 and move into management for a tech/manufacturing/aerospace company.

At the end of the day, you have to decide who you are and who you want to be in the future. It's a fun rivalry, but let's not over-analyze this to death. These are, outside of truly unique opportunities, the best jobs for young people out of undergrad if you are pursuing a career in business. If you work in either, be thankful.

Mar 16, 2014

I'm not working in IBD yet, but chose NOT to apply for consulting internships because consulting involves:

  1. more travel
  2. less pay
  3. not as challenging

that's my 2 c.

Mar 16, 2014

What are typical consulting hours ? I totally ignored consulting during recruiting time, didn't even do resume drops for them.

Mar 17, 2014

Consulting seems cool for 1-2 years, but will likely get old quick after that.

Mar 17, 2014

More travel, less pay is correct. But consulting is much more challenging work at the junior level. They call IB analysts "monkeys" for a reason- the work isn't that hard.

Mar 17, 2014

I would absolutely HATE to travel as much as they do. That, and what I want to do in the future is more finance-related than general business related.

Mar 17, 2014

I always sort of counted travel hours (time spent in the hotel at night, total time spent away from home) in the same vein as on site work hours. the way I see it, spending time in the hotel is the same as being at work.

just my .02

Mar 17, 2014

consulting is definitely more challenging than banking

Mar 17, 2014

that is credited

Mar 17, 2014

A lot of people in banking/going into banking never really thought about it because the pay isn't as great, didn't want to travel, not as prestigious etc, at least from my experience.

Mar 17, 2014

Top consulting firms are prestigious. I don't see whats so prestigious about making 30/hr in IBD.

Mar 17, 2014

I was just relaying what I have heard from bankers or people going into banking or people who are extremely focused on going into banking.

Mar 17, 2014

True, people seem to be pro banking, S&T, or consulting, but rarely pro 2 or 3 of them.

Mar 17, 2014

its generally a lot easier to get into front office at a decent BB than MBB. I generally consider non MBB consulting to be a bit of a waste of time. Especially if you're aiming to for pe post mba.

going into 'industry' doesn't seem as prestigious an exit op than pe/hf. pe/hf also pays off a lot earlier.

Mar 6, 2014

I work at a boutique firm and I probably only work 50-55 hours a week for $110k base. I don't have to travel and I live in a relatively cheap city. If the work were interesting, it wouldn't be bad.

I am envious of my friends who were promoted to associate at our BB or who work on the trading floor. They're pulling in at least double what I do. But, then again, their lifestyles also fucking suck. I have a colleague who just passed up an AM job that paid $125k plus around $125k bonus (expected) because he burned out. I think he's going to go "find" himself.

Mar 17, 2014

Go for it, consulting is a very rewarding occupation both personally and financially.

However, some expectation management:

"- as an analyst you get a wide exposure to different industries"
Mostly true, but much depends on what type of management consultant you become. If strategy (MBB et al), then yes. If IT, implementation (Accenture/Cap gemini etc) then a lesser yes since you may be stuck on the same project/client industry for a year or more.

"- the problem solving part: You are presented a problem and have to use all your capabilities to solve it. It's like a puzzle."
Again, comes down to what kind of consultancy. MBB strategy projects tend to be like this, but even they have moved more and more towards implementation projects which is more of a coordination/project leader character than analysing and "problem solving" as I'm taking it you mean.

"- the intensive teamwork. You tackle the problem with your entire engagement team."
True for most of the time, but I have been sent solo on projects to bumblef*** and the same have happened to friends at other consultancy firms. Usually you are in a team, but be prepared to be sent to a client solo and having a project leader at the home office whom you see once a week or less.

Mar 17, 2014

Thank you for your comment. And yes, right now I'm interested in strategy

Mar 7, 2014

One comment re comp, once you throw in bonuses, relo bonus, profit sharing and all the expenses (e.g., alt travel) / points first year MBB consultants are making in the vicinity of 100k a year.

What % of first year banking analysts are making 80% more than that all in? Based on my experience it's near 0% these days and the median would also be right around 100 (and way worse quality of life), but someone please correct me if I am wrong?

The notion that it's a better path to a capital allocation role is interesting and likely true however.

Mar 17, 2014

I got in because of the chance to do something new all the time, and to see plenty of different businesses, and aspects of businesses, in a relatively short amount of time. There's no limit to the number of new and different things to do here and it would take years for me to get this experience otherwise.

Mar 17, 2014

I haven't started yet (will start full time at MBB in September), but here's my thoughts. I came from a top US engineering program and did two summer internships with a major integrated oil company (think Chevron, ExxonMobil, Shell, or BP). I decided not to go back for full time because the work was repetitive and so technically focused in one small area. It just wasn't exciting enough for me. Consulting is so broad and every case is a totally new experience. The amount of experience you gain in just two years is way more than any other field. And, the future opportunities (variety, salary, etc.) are unparalleled!

Mar 17, 2014

I struggled with the big "Why Consulting?" question for a while as well, and finally decided that it was worth taking a shot at. Though I can't answer your latter questions on a personal level, I can definitely walk you through my thought process of entering the consulting applicant pool.

Initial Qualms: Intensive travel, up-or-out policy, lack of work-life balance
Benefits Weighed: Development opportunities, interesting work, flexibility in industry choices, up-or-out policy, pleasure travel opportunities, very cool people

In comparing MC to an entry-level corporate job, you can see it offers so many learning and growth opportunities, as well as a culture of smart and fun people that you would hardly find anywhere else. Especially as a person who isn't 100% sure what industry or specialty I want to be in in the future, I couldn't imagine myself being pigeonholed into something straight out of college. Consulting seemed to offer everything I wished the corporate world would have, so even though it might be more difficult to maintain friendships/"regular life" as a consultant, hey- it might only be a few years of your life. If you decide you don't like it down the road, the number of doors that will be open to you will be far more than those that would be open had you decided to take another route.

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Mar 17, 2014

I asked myself what skillsets I'd need to have to be a CEO of a fortune 500 company or start-up, and what job could teach me the highest number of transferable skill sets to achieve that goal. Consulting was one of the best (if not the best) option.

Another consideration was starting at a high base salary. My friends who started in the 40s-50s/low 60s will be making what I made in my first year after three or four. You can hit six figures in your second or third year of consulting depending on the firm. That means that if I ever choose to leave, the place that will poach me will have to offer a significant premium over an already high salary.

Last, leverage. Spending time in consulting makes you incredibly attractive to employers. There's a big focus here on going to F500 corporate strategy afterwards, and that's an amazing option, but no one is talking about the thousands of smaller companies that are starved of people with strong consulting experience. The best offers I've gotten to leave already have come from the F500-1000 companies who are dying for people with our experience set to make an impact.

Mar 8, 2014

I understand that consulting generally has a ton of travel, but is there a lot of travel to random locations regardless of what office you're in? If you're at a location that's a hub for an industry (i.e. NYC for financial services, SF for tech, LA for media, etc), wouldn't you be less prone to traveling to some random client in Kansas or New Jersey? Obviously if you're in the Midwest or Boston, for example, the travel will be plenty to obscure places.

I don't have any specific knowledge, which is why I'm asking. I wouldn't understand why MBB at SF or LA would travel often to the Midwest or Southeast if there are clients along the West Coast or as far as Texas. There are only 2 reasons I can think of. One is every manager/partner competes for good projects at the best locations and those who don't get those projects are left with the scraps at weird places. Or two is a team is coming off a project and partner/manager doesn't want to be on the beach so they take just anything available.

But can anyone shed some light on this?

Apr 9, 2018

If you're focused on exit opps and long term career, ask yourself if you want to:

a. manage money / work on corporate finance
B. run a company and employ people who manage money and work on corporate finance.

Of course the Hedge Fund PMs are a different animal.

Mar 8, 2014

Brash first post actually turned into a pretty good thread. Here's my .02...

Consulting and banking are both fast-tracked paths post-undergrad but are completely different. Obvious answer is that banking offers more career paths in finance while consulting has more career paths in management (duh).

Workhardplayhard mentioned transitioning to PE after consulting. Having gone through that path, I know it's doable but significantly more difficult. There are far fewer firms actively hiring consultants as the work they do is not nearly as applicable to PE. Personally, I think if someone wants to do pre-MBA PE they should only consider banking. Despite how every other thread on this forum makes it seem, not everyone wants to get into PE; many consultants go onto solid management positions or bschool.

Regarding money, consultants make less in absolute terms (especially at higher levels) but the pay per hour is lower for the large majority of bankers. Tough to say what long-term potential is since, as noted earlier, plenty of folks with both consulting and banking backgrounds end up hitting it big long-term.

Matthew - you might want to check the culture, which is one of the biggest differences. Consulting culture is varied and ranges from intellectual to nerdy to fratty (i.e., Bain). It's also got a lot more women than banking.

Apr 10, 2018

I'll also add that for international people with multiple languages consulting is better. In IB as a 1st year analyst or intern you'll mainly be working on excel or editing powerpoint decks for pitches in English. Very limited ability to flex language skills. In consulting even at a junior level you'll be staffed on projects that require your language skills. More international variety. After 1 year of consulting I've worked on projects from 7 countries (3 continents) with companies from those countries whilst practicing the relevant languages. How many 1st year IB analysts can say that?

Mar 9, 2014

According to the book "Case in point" the main competitor of McKinsey is the IB Goldman Sachs. Taking into account this statement, then McKinsey should be doing some trade transactions as well.

Apr 10, 2018

Stop thinking about what you "should be doing" and think about what you WANT to do. If you start your career without regards for your interests you're gonna end up hating your life in 6 months. Sounds like you haven't done much due-diligence on the various fields that you mentioned. Spend the summer researching the fields, talking to people in those fields and try to find where your INTERESTS lie.

Apr 10, 2018

What EngBanker said.

Mar 9, 2014

Why: I accepted an offer with a boutique strategy shop, the partners all left a Tier 2 shop and have been building out aggressively. Here are a few reasons and refutations for the OP.

Comp: My base is the same as in IB, my target bonus is lower, but not insignificant. Considering I'm in a low COL city, this money goes a lot further than does an IB salary in NYC. Besides cash comp I get great benefits, I have a Cadillac health/vision/dental plan, profit sharing, 401k, per diems when I travel.

Travel: I actually enjoy travel, I did a lot of it in college and I don't mean leisure, I'm low to mid tier with a bunch of airline and hotel programs. Some people enjoy it or don't mind it, not all consultants travel 75-100%, I'm about 25%.

Hours: They vary by office and firm, most people where I'm going put in 11-12 a day during the week and a few hours as needed on the weekend, from home so call it about 60 a week.

Skillset: Consultants see a lot of things throughout their career and get a lot of exposure, consulting is widely considered to be the best background for going into management. You have a lot of options, a lot of people jump into industry, people go to b school or stay in the role.

Confidentiality: A lot of IB transactions are confidential too, you just redact the company name so instead of saying "Helped XYZ Corp. realize 30MM in savings through ...", you say "Helped a leading consumer goods company realize 30MM in savings through..." instead.

Culture: This is huge and not just in consulting, cultural fit was huge in IB when I did my SA stints, you wanted to work with people that weren't assholes, especially when you're going to be spending 100 hours a week with them. Any decent firm will have a distinct culture and will look to bring in people that compliment it.

Risk Aversion: I'm not sure that people in consulting are any more risk averse than are people in IB. It's a continuum, some people prefer to avoid risk, some actively seek it out. I don't think the personalities differed that much between the two. Both professions are moderately risky, less so than HFs, where you can go under quick and have a lot of skin in the game, more so than F500 and a lot more than civil service jobs. I'm not sure that bankers are necessarily any more or less gung ho than consultants, I've met plenty of nebbishes in IB and in consulting, I've also met great leaders in both.

Apr 17, 2018

A short anecdote:
As with any industry, it can have a rewarding career path if you do not jump to any exit ops early on. A distant uncle of mine pursued an almost life long career at a large consulting firm (think MBB). Aside from this he also became involved with several large South American companies as a board member and also did a good bit of consulting for several countries. Fast forward to some years ago, he accepted an offer from GS as an international advisor.
Consulting careers can and in some cases do, intersect with finance.

Carl Van Loon
Van Loon & Associates

Apr 17, 2018

I was at MBB for a few years out of undergrad.

Being an industry generalist was an appealing premise because I wanted to find out what I was interested in; but once I got there, for better or worse, I was pretty focused on one industry. It was something I liked, I liked the partners I knew who led cases in it, and it's probably what I see myself doing longer term.

The exit opps were attractive, not because I knew what I wanted/consulting supplied them, but because they were really open. I could stay in consulting, go into industry, get an MBA, or go into finance (which is what I did).

I thought the work was more interesting than banking and the lifestyle would be better, both of which were huge pluses. I didn't really want to live in NYC, and it's harder to be at a top firm/group in banking and be outside NYC than it is in consulting.

I think this "finding your passion" at work is millenial drivel. The only people I know who claim as such as the kind of people who aren't much fun at parties, to say the least. I do think you find out what industries/functions interests you, but more importantly you make connections in those areas. You also learn what kind of lifestyle sacrifices you're willing to make for a high salary, and to some degree, whether you'd thrive in a more structured, big company or something smaller.

TL/DR: You're mostly right, but consulting is also a lot less painless than banking if you're trying to pay off loans.

    • 1
Apr 17, 2018
petergibbons:

I was at MBB for a few years out of undergrad.

Being an industry generalist was an appealing premise because I wanted to find out what I was interested in; but once I got there, for better or worse, I was pretty focused on one industry. It was something I liked, I liked the partners I knew who led cases in it, and it's probably what I see myself doing longer term.

The exit opps were attractive, not because I knew what I wanted/consulting supplied them, but because they were really open. I could stay in consulting, go into industry, get an MBA, or go into finance (which is what I did).

I thought the work was more interesting than banking and the lifestyle would be better, both of which were huge pluses. I didn't really want to live in NYC, and it's harder to be at a top firm/group in banking and be outside NYC than it is in consulting.

I think this "finding your passion" at work is millenial drivel. The only people I know who claim as such as the kind of people who aren't much fun at parties, to say the least. I do think you find out what industries/functions interests you, but more importantly you make connections in those areas. You also learn what kind of lifestyle sacrifices you're willing to make for a high salary, and to some degree, whether you'd thrive in a more structured, big company or something smaller.

TL/DR: You're mostly right, but consulting is also a lot less painless than banking if you're trying to pay off loans.

Could you talk about the lifestyle of your Principals/Partners at the MBB? What were the hours, how much did they travel, and did they work on the weekends? In addition, does this vary significantly among different firms/offices?

It seems like lifestyle gets better as you progress in IBD to almost no evening/weekend work besides reviewing decks and traveling to clients, but I've heard consulting lifestyle never gets easier.

I would appreciate an insider's perspective on this!

Array

Apr 17, 2018

I'll be joining an MBB firm next year, and my reasons are pretty standard. They are, in order of descending importance:

1) Exit Opps/Prestige of MBB on resume. I don't know what I want to do 5 or 10 years from now, and I feel that joining MBB opens a lot of doors. VC, PE, F500, NGOs and even politics all appeal to me as potential career destinations, and coming out of MBB will allow me to get my foot in the door in any of those fields.

2) Skill development - particularly soft skills like influencing people, storyboarding, etc. Don't mean to brag but I feel like my analytical skills are superb. Rounding out my soft skills is what's going to be most valuable in terms of developing my own capabilities, and I don't think there's a better place to do that than at MBB.

3) Being able to work with really smart people who I get along with. I've done two F500 internships. I had a much better experience with the second company I interned with because the people I worked with were much smarter. Maybe this is elitist and arrogant, but it can be really frustrating to work with people who aren't as mentally sharp as you. I can grin and bear it if I have to, but I'd rather not.

4) Enjoyment of work. Maybe I'll end up hating it, but I really think the work at MBB will be more interesting than the work at other types of jobs. Being able to work on different types of projects and in different industries will keep things fresh, and strategy work is something I feel I'm legitimately passionate about. I actually enjoyed doing case prep for interviews because I really liked the nature of the problems I was solving. Maybe that'll fade once I actually get into this, but it sounds a lot better than most entry-level jobs

5) Financial compensation. It's not banking, and I did have an F500 offer that actually paid more, but when it comes down to it, MBB still offers a pretty cushy salary for a 22-year-old. The opportunity to get sponsored for B-school makes the value proposition even more attractive.

To OP's point about "finding your passion", I don't think I'll "find my passion" while on working at MBB. But one of the really attractive things about MBB to me is that it basically gives you a safety net on your resume. After 2-3 years, I can go out and try a lot of things, whether it's PE, working for a non-profit, starting my own company or whatever else I want, knowing that if I end up hating it, I can always leverage being ex-MBB to get a fresh start somewhere else or go to b-school.

Apr 17, 2018
humblebot:

I'll be joining an MBB firm next year, and my reasons are pretty standard. They are, in order of descending importance:

1) Exit Opps/Prestige of MBB on resume. I don't know what I want to do 5 or 10 years from now, and I feel that joining MBB opens a lot of doors. VC, PE, F500, NGOs and even politics all appeal to me as potential career destinations, and coming out of MBB will allow me to get my foot in the door in any of those fields.

2) Skill development - particularly soft skills like influencing people, storyboarding, etc. Don't mean to brag but I feel like my analytical skills are superb. Rounding out my soft skills is what's going to be most valuable in terms of developing my own capabilities, and I don't think there's a better place to do that than at MBB.

3) Being able to work with really smart people who I get along with. I've done two F500 internships. I had a much better experience with the second company I interned with because the people I worked with were much smarter. Maybe this is elitist and arrogant, but it can be really frustrating to work with people who aren't as mentally sharp as you. I can grin and bear it if I have to, but I'd rather not.

4) Enjoyment of work. Maybe I'll end up hating it, but I really think the work at MBB will be more interesting than the work at other types of jobs. Being able to work on different types of projects and in different industries will keep things fresh, and strategy work is something I feel I'm legitimately passionate about. I actually enjoyed doing case prep for interviews because I really liked the nature of the problems I was solving. Maybe that'll fade once I actually get into this, but it sounds a lot better than most entry-level jobs

5) Financial compensation. It's not banking, and I did have an F500 offer that actually paid more, but when it comes down to it, MBB still offers a pretty cushy salary for a 22-year-old. The opportunity to get sponsored for B-school makes the value proposition even more attractive.

To OP's point about "finding your passion", I don't think I'll "find my passion" while on working at MBB. But one of the really attractive things about MBB to me is that it basically gives you a safety net on your resume. After 2-3 years, I can go out and try a lot of things, whether it's PE, working for a non-profit, starting my own company or whatever else I want, knowing that if I end up hating it, I can always leverage being ex-MBB to get a fresh start somewhere else or go to b-school.

humblebot, eh... ;)

Apr 17, 2018
humblebot:

2) Skill development - particularly soft skills like influencing people, storyboarding, etc. Don't mean to brag but I feel like my analytical skills are superb. Rounding out my soft skills is what's going to be most valuable in terms of developing my own capabilities, and I don't think there's a better place to do that than at MBB.

Ha. "Superb" eh?

I used to be a particle physicist. The reality is that "analysis" at the MBB firm or I-banking level is nothing more than simple arithmetic. Being "superb" at basic math isn't really much to brag about. The "skills" that really matter when it comes to analysis in consulting are around understanding what data you need and what questions you should ask far more than how well you know Excel.

And as for soft skills--as an analyst/associate at MBB, you're going to spend far more time staring at a laptop in silence than you are using your "soft skills" to interact with people. If you want to learn how to interact with and influence people, go sell cars for a year.

MBB is a fantastic opportunity, but I have a feeling you're going to find the reality to be far different than what you are expecting.

    • 1
Apr 17, 2018
humblebot:

I'll be joining an MBB firm next year, and my reasons are pretty standard. They are, in order of descending importance:

1) Exit Opps/Prestige of MBB on resume. I don't know what I want to do 5 or 10 years from now, and I feel that joining MBB opens a lot of doors. VC, PE, F500, NGOs and even politics all appeal to me as potential career destinations, and coming out of MBB will allow me to get my foot in the door in any of those fields.

2) Skill development - particularly soft skills like influencing people, storyboarding, etc. Don't mean to brag but I feel like my analytical skills are superb. Rounding out my soft skills is what's going to be most valuable in terms of developing my own capabilities, and I don't think there's a better place to do that than at MBB.

3) Being able to work with really smart people who I get along with. I've done two F500 internships. I had a much better experience with the second company I interned with because the people I worked with were much smarter. Maybe this is elitist and arrogant, but it can be really frustrating to work with people who aren't as mentally sharp as you. I can grin and bear it if I have to, but I'd rather not.

4) Enjoyment of work. Maybe I'll end up hating it, but I really think the work at MBB will be more interesting than the work at other types of jobs. Being able to work on different types of projects and in different industries will keep things fresh, and strategy work is something I feel I'm legitimately passionate about. I actually enjoyed doing case prep for interviews because I really liked the nature of the problems I was solving. Maybe that'll fade once I actually get into this, but it sounds a lot better than most entry-level jobs

5) Financial compensation. It's not banking, and I did have an F500 offer that actually paid more, but when it comes down to it, MBB still offers a pretty cushy salary for a 22-year-old. The opportunity to get sponsored for B-school makes the value proposition even more attractive.

To OP's point about "finding your passion", I don't think I'll "find my passion" while on working at MBB. But one of the really attractive things about MBB to me is that it basically gives you a safety net on your resume. After 2-3 years, I can go out and try a lot of things, whether it's PE, working for a non-profit, starting my own company or whatever else I want, knowing that if I end up hating it, I can always leverage being ex-MBB to get a fresh start somewhere else or go to b-school.

Good post. Keep pushing and stay humble.

Apr 17, 2018

Let me first say that all of the things that I say to recruits at recruiting events are absolutely, 100% true. The work is interesting and challenging and impactful and all of that.

But my actual, real reasons were: 1) it paid a lot more than any other job I could get 2) I didn't know what else I wanted to do

I think those are going to be the actual reasons for 80+% of MBBers.

Apr 17, 2018

Wanted do do my own start up...did not have the team/funds/idea...figured consulting would be a good place to sit, find potential team members, gain better access to funding and cultivate some ideas. Over time, I became more risk averse and never left.

Apr 17, 2018

I interned in IBD. Learned lots, but disliked the work/lifestyle.

I joined consulting because it was pretty much the only other job out of undergrad business that sounded interesting. I will admit that the "prestige" drew me in a bit.

I've really come to enjoy the job and even enjoy the endless travel. Getting snowed in at an airport sucks; working on proposals on Sunday night sucks elephant testicles. However, you do get to do some pretty important stuff as a junior, you get to really enjoy the perks when you vacation for free and let's face it, you're mid-20s and flying business class (after being upgraded due to status of course), staying in suites and expensing meals. Far worse entry-level positions to be in.

Apr 17, 2018

I haven't started yet but I chose a job in consulting because I know that it will allow me to experience a wide variety of roles/industries. I did internships in engineering oil/gas but I wasn't really sure that was the right job for me. In consulting, I have so much opportunity to find something that really fits my interests and skills. And if not, I can choose to remain a consultant!

Apr 17, 2018

I entered consulting because:
- I had no idea what I wanted to do with myself
- It looked glamorous
- I liked problem solving

Wrote a bit more about it here; http://www.theconsultingcoach.com/1/post/2014/02/w... (apologies for the shameless plug!)

As for finding my passion during my 3+ years as a consultant- I didn't, but I learnt a lot and it opened a lot of doors for me, for which I'm very grateful

I previously worked for McKinsey in London and have started a blog about consulting and how to get into it at www.theconsultingcoach.com

Apr 17, 2018

You can start your internships with finance based companies as it will be useful for your career.

    • 1
Apr 17, 2018

you literally took my question and reworded it into an answer ... good one

    • 5
Apr 17, 2018

Passionate about business and wanted a broad perspective. Little idea of what I wanted to do in the future. Wanted a fast learning curve with smart colleagues and after a stint in IB realized pretty quick that was absolutely not where I wanted to be.

    • 4
Apr 17, 2018

This - but switch stint in IB for IB internship. Never again. Also, ~$100k all in at 22 years old isn't half bad.

Apr 17, 2018

I think you have to evaluate your career direction with 3 main factors: 1. The kind of people you get to work with 2. The kind of work you do on a daily basis 3. The skills you build/the exit opportunities for that final career destination.
Realize that most people in both IB and consulting will end up leaving the industry within 2 years. I think that kids are often way too focused on their careers immediately after college and forget to consider how that early career leads them to their final goal. Network with consultants and figure out if they're people you would want to work with (I noticed from my personal networking that consultants and IB'ers were generally different people even though they may have had similar values/interests). Through networking, you also get to understand what you do day-to-day as an analyst in a BB vs MBB for example. The kind of issues you tackle as a consultant are not the kind of issues you tackle as an investment banker. Lastly, take a look at the traditional exit opportunities/skills you build. As a consultant, you generally build a general manager toolkit (leading a business).

    • 3
Apr 17, 2018

Based on experiences at my school's investment and consulting clubs; during my sophomore and junior years, it became clear that I was more drawn to solving business problems in a wide variety of topics rather than just finance. One of my internships also helped me make the final decision. Never looked back!

    • 1
Apr 17, 2018

Grew up in multiple countries and was multilingual - during university studies, my thesis and co-ops I met a broad range of professionals from all walks of life and with different attitudes (i.e. engineering, research, social sciences, finance, economy, life sciences, ..) and most of my family members are in medicine (doctors, surgeons, nurses, psychologists,..).

All of these experiences and people gave me a wide field of view in what is going on in the business world compared to a rather specific, narrow field of interest. Many professors and other professionals in my circle of friends provided feedback that my exposure to different countries, languages and cultures would be a good fit for consulting. (hint: In networking sessions I asked for feedback even though people weren't prepared for that. I specifically told them to be as honest and direct as possible so I can learn from how my skills were perceived at that time).

Despite all of this I went for IBD and was laid off after 6 years, went into consulting afterwards with a focus on M&A/innovation and never looked back. Seems like a much better fit and most of my clients are in finance, fintech, innovation, retail, payments, ecommerce.

Apr 17, 2018

Tick-tock, tick-tock. Shit clock's tickin', Rick!

Apr 17, 2018

You don't choose consulting, it chooses you.

Apr 17, 2018

Couldn't get into investment banking and have a passion for SWOT analysis, harvey balls and ambiguous flowcharts.

    • 1
Apr 17, 2018

IB is so much easier to get into

    • 1
Apr 17, 2018

Did 2 IB internships in top ranked teams: hours were heavy, culture was variable, felt everyone was looking for exit opps and although work was interesting it didn't feel uniquely so. IB is worth it for a certain type of person I think but there's no getting round the fact it's a big sacrifice.

Looked at what the very, very best of my peers were getting into, many of whom also had offers from Tier 1 BB and EB investment banks, and the answer was strategy consulting, Also consulting has a lot more perks (if you're at a top place anyway) w.r.t. quality of life: B-school sponsorship, chance to work abroad, secondments in industry, extra unpaid leave...

Honestly though, any internship experience (consulting/IBD/markets/start-up/PE... whatever) is highly valuable and will ultimately colour whatever decision you make.

Apr 17, 2018

I ran screaming from an early career as a biomedical engineer when I realized that I hated working in the lab culturing cells. I desperately searched for careers that had a use for a combination of a technical background and communication skills, and randomly applied to a handful of strategy consulting firms. Miraculously got hired by a boutique firm in my hometown, where I actually asked a manager what "year-over-year" meant during my second week on the job.

Three years there, then two in IB, and now finishing business school, signed a FT offer in management consulting. I would strongly advise that nobody follow my exact path.

    • 1
Apr 17, 2018

Hi dmw86. You have no idea how happy I am to see this post - I am following your path! Recently BME graduated from a non-target school with auto-ding GPA. Been working as quality engineer in top 3 orthopedics firm for the past 4 months. Realized that I hate my daily routine AND couldn't give less f to people I work with. I had an interview with a pharma consulting firm prior to this job but got rejected after the phone interview. It was then I found out about consulting and believe it or not, I asked my interviewer what a pivot table is during our call.
So my question for you is: how did you break into consulting without getting MBA and with your technical background?
Thanks in advance!

Apr 17, 2018

Worked in both here. I went from IB -> MBB. Some quick thoughts

A. Definitely try to gain some experience in both, you still have some time. Even if its within a consulting club or finance club, understand what you will be doing.
B. Consulting. Great for people with 'career ADD'. IB in some groups (Capital markets) can get repetitive over and over again, raising capital using similar transaction timelines and steps. Consulting allows you the ability to change clients a few times a year, dive head into a brand new problem, in a new industry. However the flipside is it will take awhile before you master or specialize in something.
C. People. Highly dependant on what groups you are in but in Consulting when you switch teams, you switch people as well, which can be a good or bad thing.
D. Work Type / Day by day (Very dumbed down and specific to group you are in):

**Banking ** I Left because of the routineness at times (Of course there were curveballs). The typical transaction was 1) Learn about the company 2) Analyze company 3) Prepare materials from your analysis 4) Present analysis to potential interested parties 5) Follow up with interested parties questions so you can complete the transaction or fund-raise.

Consulting (Strategy) Here is a problem we have. Use everything and any resource possible at your disposal to figure out a solution for us. Sure there is some support, but it is now YOUR problem, and YOUR workstream. Figure it out.

Apr 17, 2018

1st Con: Bankers make more money.
1st Pro: Consulting is "more prestigious" since the crisis

Rich enough to have your own jet. ... A player. Or nothing

Apr 17, 2018

Pros
Expense accounts
Shorter hours
Wide variety of projects

Cons
No bonus
Grueling travel
Long hours

If you can count your money, you don't have a billion dollars.
J. Paul Getty

Apr 17, 2018

I disagree that consulting is more prestigious since the crisis. I think that getting a spot at a bank now is more difficult than ever, while consulting firms are hiring record number of entry level consultants
BCG had over 300 first round interviews at Penn this fall

If you can count your money, you don't have a billion dollars.
J. Paul Getty

Apr 17, 2018

Thanks for helping out with this!
Two points:

1) Aren't there expense accounts in banking too? My friend is working at JP Morgan in banking and he never pays for dinner. But maybe that depends on the firm
2) Regarding the second post. I agree that banking is difficult to get, but by "prestigious" I meant how people think of you when you say where you work. I think a lot of girls these days are hesitant to date bankers because of the economy.
300 is a lot of interviews but maybe it is because some Penn people work at BCG now and therefore they push HR to give more interviews at Penn? I also think you should mostly consider McKinsey or "elite boutiques" such as L.E.K. if you want to look at selectivity of consulting

Rich enough to have your own jet. ... A player. Or nothing

Apr 17, 2018

Here's ManagementConsulted.com's comparison:

http://managementconsulted.com/consulting-jobs/que...

Apr 17, 2018

addicted,

1) while your banker friends never pay for dinner, they have limits. Consulting expenses are generally no limit, and consultants can bill breakfast, lunch, and dinner to clients (in addition to case team vacations, ipads, etc)

2) i agree that the general business environment has changed, and people view bankers less favorably. however, most girls can quickly be persuaded to change their minds when bankers can afford bottles and consultants cant afford beer without their corporate cards

3) good point, i don't have numbers but the more elite consulting firms are probably a bit more selective since many would-be bankers are applying to consulting

still, at the end of the day, i think it comes down to your personality
1. are you driven to be successful?
2. would you want to "settle" for a job that pays less than half of what you could make at any level in banking?
3. would you rather learn "real" skills? or spend the next 5 years of your life learning how to make perfect drop shadows and smart art?

If you can count your money, you don't have a billion dollars.
J. Paul Getty

Apr 17, 2018
doinggodswork:

addicted,
most girls can quickly be persuaded to change their minds when bankers can afford bottles and consultants cant afford beer without their corporate cards?

A bit of an extreme comparison, given both jobs make a lot of money. If you wanted to argue towards the other extreme, you could say that bankers don't need to 'persuade' anyone since all the girls by their sides are escorts.

Pros of banking:
- more money
- multi billion $ deals on your CV (assuming you're at a BB in a good team)

Pros of consulting:
- develop huge networks locally, regionally and internationally at senior management levels
- develop a lot of different skill sets in different industries
- interesting work at F500 companies to put on your CV

Pros of both:
- prestige
- exit opps

Cons of both:
- long hours (& travel for consulting)

Apr 17, 2018

I think you're right. I'm an undergrad and still trying to figure out where I want to be a few years from now. I've been reaching out to both bankers and consultants and I think bankers tend to be a little bit "cooler" (often good-looking, well dressed and ex-fraternity brothers) but consultants seem a little bit more "interesting" (unique life-story, traveled abraod etc). I guess for me, I personally don't want to think as being "second-tier" so I'm going to apply to top ibanking firms like BX, Morgan Stanley etc. and also McKinsey, Bain, Monitor, L.E.K. and Oliver Wyman (Financial Strategy) and see where i get better offers.

with smart art are you referring to power point (PPT)? I thought both banking and consulting are very power point (PPT) heavy at the entry level

Rich enough to have your own jet. ... A player. Or nothing

    • 2
Apr 17, 2018
addicted2STARBUCKS:

I think you're right. I'm an undergrad and still trying to figure out where I want to be a few years from now. I've been reaching out to both bankers and consultants and I think bankers tend to be a little bit "cooler" (often good-looking, well dressed and ex-fraternity brothers) but consultants seem a little bit more "interesting" (unique life-story, traveled abraod etc). I guess for me, I personally don't want to think as being "second-tier" so I'm going to apply to top ibanking firms like BX, Morgan Stanley etc. and also McKinsey, Bain, Monitor, L.E.K. and Oliver Wyman (Financial Strategy) and see where i get better offers.

with smart art are you referring to power point (PPT)? I thought both banking and consulting are very power point (PPT) heavy at the entry level

I hope you don't get any offers.

Apr 17, 2018
addicted2STARBUCKS:

I think bankers tend to be a little bit "cooler" (often good-looking, well dressed and ex-fraternity brothers) but consultants seem a little bit more "interesting" (unique life-story, traveled abraod etc). I guess for me, I personally don't want to think as being "second-tier".

You are such a tool. No one does banking because it is cooler. What is this? High School? Or are you serious about this? What are you smoking? If that were the reason that you are doing banking and think that way, that attitude is going to come across in interviews and I can assure you that you will not get any offers.

Apr 17, 2018
addicted2STARBUCKS:

I think you're right. I'm an undergrad and still trying to figure out where I want to be a few years from now. I've been reaching out to both bankers and consultants and I think bankers tend to be a little bit "cooler" (often good-looking, well dressed and ex-fraternity brothers) but consultants seem a little bit more "interesting" (unique life-story, traveled abraod etc). I guess for me, I personally don't want to think as being "second-tier" so I'm going to apply to top ibanking firms like BX, Morgan Stanley etc. and also McKinsey, Bain, Monitor, L.E.K. and Oliver Wyman (Financial Strategy) and see where i get better offers.

with smart art are you referring to power point (PPT)? I thought both banking and consulting are very power point (PPT) heavy at the entry level

They're "cooler" and "often good-looking" ?
Are you looking for a job or a husband?

Apr 17, 2018

Scarface

Apr 17, 2018

the biggest reason i think you should go into consulting is for the exit opps...unless you are 100% certain you want to be working in finance your whole life (which is not the case for most people), consulting exit opps completely blow away exit opps from finance/banking. first, there are the obvious direct exits that are broader (basically into any corporate strategy, marketing, operations management, etc) role into industry which you can't get from banking simply because you don't have the experience in those types of roles.

but the biggest reason i advocate consulting for its exit opps is because of the high rate of acceptance into MBA, particularly from top strategy firms...sure, bankers might talk all day about their amazing exit opps into PE/HF, but the reality is, beyond that, they don't have many other options. With consulting, you have the best chance of getting in a good b-school (much better than from banking) and you have the option to go into finance if you want afterwards...

the point is that you have more options for future career paths from consulting mainly because of strong entry into top MBAs that I think is unmatched in any other pre-MBA industry...so, do consulting for a few years, if you don't like it and think you can make more money, go into finance after getting into a good MBA...the alternative is choose banking, and if you end up liking what you do, you'll be happy with your job and exit opps, but in case you don't, your exits opps are severely limited, at least relative to from consulting

Apr 17, 2018

I think sxh6321 has a good point. No one does banking because it is cooler. The truth is, even at bulge brackets, a lot of the groups won't have the swag you are looking for.

Basically, unless you are working at a place like MS M&A or GS TMT, you are running the risk of being like everybody else. by that point, it would probably be better just to go somewhere like BCG

Nevertheless, as a young man in the banking industry, I disagree with sxh6321. You have the right attitude. Bankers look for aggressive young people that can fill leading roles in the firm

If you can count your money, you don't have a billion dollars.
J. Paul Getty

Apr 17, 2018

Some of you guys talking about prestige and women as if you guys never got laid in HS or college.

but as mentioned earlier

Pros:
-Hours
-Free meals
-Nice exit opps.
-The grunt work isn't as bad.
-Pay is pretty good also

Apr 17, 2018

unless top consulting firms such as Mckinsey, Bain, BCG, most consulting jobs are not as prestigious as banking jobs.

Apr 17, 2018
Spectro:

unless top consulting firms such as Mckinsey, Bain, BCG, most consulting jobs are not as prestigious as banking jobs.

Thanks! Finally someone who actually contributes to the discussion in a helpful way

Rich enough to have your own jet. ... A player. Or nothing

Apr 17, 2018

I love how you all circle jerk and talk about prestige yet so many give Brady shit for his HBS obsession

News flash : prestige is purely in your he's the vast majority of people don't give a fuck

Apr 17, 2018

Another huge bonus for consulting-- you don't have to live in new York city and can live in Miami or Dallas or tons of other large cities with much lower COL while still making dough. And yes I'm sure the bankers are real happy at MS with their 40k bonus at associate level after working 90 hour weeks. The pay isn't half either

Apr 17, 2018

What do you want to do long-term?? This will answer a lot of our questions

Asset mgmt? Entrepreneurship? iBanking? Corp Fin?

Apr 17, 2018
focus:

What do you want to do long-term?? This will answer a lot of our questions

Asset mgmt? Entrepreneurship? iBanking? Corp Fin?

CEO or COO for top company. I've always had a passion for wholesale so ideally Walmart or Cosco or something similar. Do you still think Consulting is the better choice?

Rich enough to have your own jet. ... A player. Or nothing

Apr 17, 2018

All answers can be found below.

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Apr 17, 2018

I'm certain this is a troll post

Apr 17, 2018

i'd actually like to hear a reasonable counter to the post i made earlier about better exit ops...i see a lot of posts about "more impactful" work and better pay, but the bottom line point I make is that opportunities from consulting are all those and more (mainly because consulting is essentially a feeder into MBA, after which you can do all of the things you do in banking/PE/HF) yet you experience both industries and have essentially "option value" due to strong admission into MBA...granted, bankers do get into MBA, but I don't think it's at nearly the same rate that consultants do

Apr 17, 2018

This is true although I feel like the MBA is less relevant to me because i go to a target so i think i can have a very lucrative career with or without an MBA because unlike some less fortunate people who went to non-target schools, I don't have to "prove my intelligence" by acquiring a blue-chip degree. Definitely an interesting point with regard to the option value though

Rich enough to have your own jet. ... A player. Or nothing

Apr 17, 2018
addicted2STARBUCKS:

This is true although I feel like the MBA is less relevant to me because i go to a target so i think i can have a very lucrative career with or without an MBA because unlike some less fortunate people who went to non-target schools, I don't have to "prove my intelligence" by acquiring a blue-chip degree. Definitely an interesting point with regard to the option value though

Even by going to a target, the fact that you can't extrapolate information from the web about each career is certainly a lol. You might have to prove your intelligence buddy.

Apr 17, 2018

this is such a piece of shit thread. No helpful answers and people just circle jerking around prestige.

"Look, you're my best friend, so don't take this the wrong way. In twenty years, if you're still livin' here, comin' over to my house to watch the Patriots games, still workin' construction, I'll fuckin' kill you. That's not a threat, that's a fact.

Apr 17, 2018

All over this forum people seem to have this idea that the only way to pick up girls is to walk up and tell them what they do and how much money they make. Have you ever heard of having friends or acquaintances or not immediately talking to a chick about work? God it would suck to be stuck in Murray Hill with some of these fucking losers.

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Apr 17, 2018
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Mar 15, 2020