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Boutique Consulting to MBB, Tier 2

Someone asked on Nov 04, 2018 - 3 answers

Hi All,

Next year I will be starting at a boutique strategy consulting firm out of undergraduate. The firm specifically focuses on the Aerospace/Defense clients, and the nature of the work is pure market and strategy as well as due diligence work for buy-side. I'd rather not say the name of the firm as there are very few firms that specialize in this.

Long-term, I do want to think about both PE and business school, but just wanted to gauge everyone's thoughts. How can I potentially lateral to an MBB or Tier 2 firm after a year, and would this help in recruiting for PE or would it be too late? Or would it be more beneficial to not lateral and try to recruit for PE (which would be significantly more difficult, I suppose)?

Appreciate anyone's inputs and thoughts!

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Vlad updated his answer on Nov 04, 2018
McKinsey / Accenture / Got all BIG3 offers / More than 300 real MBB cases / Harvard Business School

Hi,

Several points here:

  • It's quite difficult to get to a PE firm after consulting (I mean investment roles. Ops roles are easier to get). Investment banking will be more relevant. But MBB will definitely be more beneficial than Tier 2.
  • It's hard to get a PE job after MBA without a prior job at PE. At Harvard, even people with prior PE background are struggling with getting a post-MBA PE offer
  • Networking is the king. If you know someone from the PE firm - your chances to get an interview are much higher.

Best

(edited)

Guennael replied on Nov 05, 2018
Ex-MBB, Experienced Hire; I will teach you not only the how, but also the why of case interviews

Not much to add on the PE front: these jobs are very hard to get, especially on the investment side, MBB would help but banking would help even more.

You also asked about doing a lateral from boutique or tier 2 towards MBB. This is definitely possible, and happens a lot. Expect to "lose" your experience, and start from scratch. It does work however. I know of 3 examples in my immediat circle:

1. A consultant spent 2 years at Infosys, joined Strategy& as a 1st year consultant and is now a partner there

2. Someone did 2 or 3 years in a boutique, joined BCG as a 1st year consultant and was a rock star until he left very recently to join a start up

3. A Senior Principal at ATK did a lateral to BCG (joined as Principal, probably Junior Principal), and has now been a BCG partner for 5 or 6 years

You may lose a couple of years of experience, but all these guys would argue it was the right thing to do, and would do it again

Francesco replied on Nov 04, 2018
#1 Expert for coaching sessions (2.100+) | Ex BCG | 1.000+ reviews with 100% recommendation rate

Hi Anonymous,

it is difficult to answer without knowing the name of your future firm. In general terms:

  • You should get an idea of whether it is possible to move from your future employer to MBB/2nd tier looking at the list of alumni of the company who managed to make the transition. LinkedIn should be sufficient to do that. If you realise this is possible, the best thing to move would be to find a referral through those contacts.
  • The MBB brand definitely helps for PE - it is difficult to find a consulting brand that is better. Obviously you need to develop experience in the sector to be attractive for a PE fund
  • To understand if you have chances to move from your future employer to PE directly, I would still need to look at LinkedIn and see if such transition was done by previous employees.

You can find some additional information on referrals at the following link:

https://www.preplounge.com/en/consulting-forum/mbb-referral-1933

Hope this helps,
Francesco