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Career advice for college student

drizzt3117

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Well as we discussed before, it seems like the timeline of consulting is going to be a factor for you, as IMO if you're not in it for a 5-7 year period you won't get as rich an experience (MBA included), but it may be a more attractive lifestyle choice than going into IB, as we've discussed ad nauseum. I think you'll have equally good career potential with either option in the long term, and I would personally make my decision based on a couple considerations. 1) What do you think about travel? Certainly as a business analyst with McKinsey or a similar firm you wouldn't likely be traveling as much as someone from a Big 5 firm, but depending what office you work out of (Boston, NY?) you may be moving around a fair amount, certainly more than if you were a IB junior analyst. International travel may be in your future as well. 2) What kind of lifestyle are you looking for? You'll put in a lot of hours in either career path, but in my experience IB is a bit more demanding in the first couple years, and has the attrition to back up my contention. It gets a bit better as time goes on, but I think you'll have a easier (but clearly not relaxed) lifestyle at a consulting firm if you can deal with the impermanence. 3) Where do you see yourself in 5, 10, 15 years? We discussed the typical career progression for strategic consulting (2-3 years as a business analyst, 2 years for MBA, 3 years as an associate, 1.5 years as a EM, 1-2 years as a junior partner, then full partnership) and I'm sure you're familiar with the career progression in IB and your potential exit points. Consulting certainly gives you the exposure to plenty of industries/firms and may be a richer experience, but if you're looking to go into PE in the future, IB may give you a bit more direct experience and potentially better contacts. Honestly, with those offers you'll be fine either way. From what I've read from your past posts, you tend to favor the IB side of things when it comes down to a future career so when it comes down to it, you should do what you want to do, but I could certainly be reading your preferences the wrong way.
 

Pennglock

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Don't go into banking, my man, just dont do it. You only get 1 life- dont waste your best years in Goldman's offices. It's not worth 100k, nor is it worth 500k. The life is just a complete grind... Unless you can feel like you're doing meaningful work, and to feel that as an analyst you'd have to be delusional, it's not worth the financial security or career potential.

This is just my perspective, and it mostly comes out of going through a stretch of extremely poor health. It's amazing how losing your health can change your perspective. The thought of going back to working 90 hour weeks, surrounded by some of the lamest personalities Ive ever encountered, is almost comical to me at this point.

I would strongly urge you to join one of the consulting firms. There are some lifestyle tradeoffs there as well (excited to spend a month in alabama or western pennsylvania?) but you're actually living doing this job. If you have a creative bone in your body- do consulting. The calibur of people, peers and senior-leve, also blows banking out of the water IMO. You will make friends for life and you will find mentors that take a genuine interest in you.

Dont worry too much about exit opportunites either. If you want to do finance down the road, you will still be able to. You might also discover the majority of the most exciting opportunities are not in finance...

Whatever you choose, good luck. Just dont choose Goldman...
 

Thomas

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While I have not been graced to know people from these firms, I can tell you that (a few years back) Fortune Magazine named two major CEO factories - General Electric and McKinsey. Both have been turning out powerhouse CEO's for a while now. McKinsey (as does GE) evidently gets the people and the training right. If it were up to me, I would go McKinsey.

In any case it sounds as though you'll do well wherever you go. Just be sure to evaluate the people who will be your peers and superiors. I don't want to be the smartest person in the room at a new firm - at least not for the first 6-12 months. If you look around and see a bunch of dodo's... look elsewhere.
 

Englandmj7

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McKinsey, Bain, Goldman Sachs? Jeez man, what school are you attending?
 

maverick

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Thanks for all of the replies. I think that I would like to do something in finance in the future, but the lifestyle consideration leans heavily towards consulting.

Pennglock, you did a summer in banking and are not going back?

Englandmj7, sorry I cannot reveal my school...
 

ayn

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don't go into banking, it sucks. I don't like consulting either, but it's better than banking, if you can deal with the traveling, then McK would be your best choice... but keep in mind that people without MBAs are not treated very well in the consulting world (it doesn't really matter if you have a PhD or MS, they are just stupid like that)...
 

Bradford

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I can't tell you which one to go into, but I just wanted to say congratulations and I hope you'll remember all of us when you're extremely rich and successful - and clearly, from the way you are starting, that is going to happen sooner rather than later.
 

raley

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That's really cool, congratulations. I hope to be in your position a year from now!
 

drizzt3117

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Originally Posted by ayn
don't go into banking, it sucks. I don't like consulting either, but it's better than banking, if you can deal with the traveling, then McK would be your best choice... but keep in mind that people without MBAs are not treated very well in the consulting world (it doesn't really matter if you have a PhD or MS, they are just stupid like that)...

Well at McKinsey they'll see if you'll fit in as a BA then send you to business school anyways. Last time I checked I believe 85% of the company had MBAs, so they'll certainly move you along that route if they think you're partner material.
 

raley

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Originally Posted by drizzt3117
Well at McKinsey they'll see if you'll fit in as a BA then send you to business school anyways. Last time I checked I believe 85% of the company had MBAs, so they'll certainly move you along that route if they think you're partner material.

I wonder how this works out on an overall cost basis.

If Mckinsey pays you 60k/year for 2 years, then pays for your business school at 40k/year for 2 years...

...and GS/ML/MS/etc. pays you 100k/year for 2 years and then you are out on your own to go to business school at 40k/year for 2 years...

Which is better money wise? Hmm...
 

drizzt3117

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Originally Posted by raley
I wonder how this works out on an overall cost basis.

If Mckinsey pays you 60k/year for 2 years, then pays for your business school at 40k/year for 2 years...

...and GS/ML/MS/etc. pays you 100k/year for 2 years and then you are out on your own to go to business school at 40k/year for 2 years...

Which is better money wise? Hmm...


Well I don't think starting salary wise there will be a 40% discrepancy between McK and GS et al. starting salaries, in any case, IMO it will be closer to 20-25% but there will likely be larger differentials going forward. That said, I would personally weigh the lifestyle and career aspiration factors above the monetary factor, you certainly won't be a pauper working for Mckinsey, and the expense account is nice as well.
 

maverick

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Base salaries are the same for the two but bankers can get insane bonuses. For example, top 1st years this year got 18months' base as bonus, bringing total comp above that of a 1st year corporate law associate...

Now if the markets are bad, bonuses can be low but have not been less than 12 months' salary in three years.
 

ayn

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Originally Posted by drizzt3117
Well at McKinsey they'll see if you'll fit in as a BA then send you to business school anyways. Last time I checked I believe 85% of the company had MBAs, so they'll certainly move you along that route if they think you're partner material.

you are correct, but I turned down all banks and consulting firms because they didn't care about my degrees unless it was an MBA, which translates to paying me close to nothing, I literraly ROFL when one of the recruitors told me the terms of the offer... I don't really need the name or connections to get into b-schools, plus consultants and bankers are everywhere and I really don't think the schools care about them much, they need a good mix of people, but that's another story... I went into a more hardcore engineering field coz the pay is more than twice as much as the offers from the names he mentioned, and I get to play with something a bit more real IMO... I figure if I want to do consulting or banking later I'll just pay for an MBA at a top school myself and go in at the associate or above level... but I'm still not all interested in those right now, VC would be a bit more fun, but I'm still trying to figure out what I wanna do...
 

drizzt3117

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Originally Posted by maverick
Base salaries are the same for the two but bankers can get insane bonuses. For example, top 1st years this year got 18months' base as bonus, bringing total comp above that of a 1st year corporate law associate...

Now if the markets are bad, bonuses can be low but have not been less than 12 months' salary in three years.


Yeah, that's pretty good but likely because of the current upswing in the market. I think Mckinsey BA level bonuses are more modest, but still decent. I believe the BAs got 20-25k bonuses a couple years back and I don't think the business situation was too far from where it is now, certainly not 18 months of salary, but still not too shabby. Associate level bonuses are 2-3x that IIRC.
 

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