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Career Advice Needed! — Filling 8-months before start at Big 4 consulting?

Anonymous A asked on Aug 08, 2019 - 4 answers

I have a bachelors for a top UK university and a professional master's degree from a top American university, not an MBA, but something similar (economics related).

I have a grad scheme job confirmed at a Big 4's consulting practice in London, but I don't start for 8 months. To fill the next ~8 months, which of these options should I take?

1) Work for a large but non-brand name pension fund. I am interested in finance, especially private equity, infrastructure, and investments with longer time horizons, all of which a pension fund would give me exposure to.

2) Set up and run a subsidiary at my father's company. My father is an entrepreneur; he doesn't have any formal education but runs a successful fabrication/engineering firm with factories across the UK. He thinks I should develop a business idea, see it to market and then pass the business on to him.

Long term, I want to realign from management to strategy consulting — this could mean reapplying to MBB during the next few months, in which case working for myself/father would give me the flexibility to attend interviews. I also want to earn my MBA within the next 5 years, so I am also concerned about how each option would look to their admissions departments.

Thank you for any thoughts.


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replied on Aug 08, 2019
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This is a very hard question to answer, as we don't know your personal circumstances and your career ambition going forward.

Until you start working in the grad scheme, you could use this time to explore what you like by doing an internship e.g. at a pension fund for a couple of months. Running a subsidiary of a company sounds like a longer-term commitment.



Matthias replied on Aug 08, 2019

If I understand you correctly:

  • 8 month vacancy, I guess starting right now
  • 2 option
    • 1. a to your interest perfect matching firm
    • 2. subsidiary at your father company

First and foremost, congrats to all your achievements thus far.

If I were in your spot, I would apply to pension fund, just in case you're going to struggle at setting up and running a subsidiary at your father company.

In the meantime, I would entirely focus on the second option.

Because I think the entrepreneurial side can give you such a deep insight for your future aspiration in PE or VC, which is priceless.

A lot of successful PE or VC personalities started their career on the entrepreneurial side.

But this is just me, I’m more prone to the entrepreneurial side, but maybe a more regulated employment suit you better.

A third option could be that you take the sparse time to reflect about yourself. To try new things, or to travel.

You can use the time to work in a social facility.

I think, as a consultant, the more perspective you have on a problem, the better solutions you can provide.

Disclaimer: This is only food for thought, only you know what is right for you.

Much success, you will figure it out.

Please excuse my English.

replied on Aug 09, 2019
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From the MBA admission perspective, entrepreneurial experience is much more valuable (if you manage to prove it was a standalone and not your father's business)

From the MBB perspective - it'll give you time to prepare and apply.


updated his answer on Aug 08, 2019
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Given that you already have degrees from top universities and a good job lined up, I would focus more on what sounds more exciting at this stage and where you think you would learn the most and have the highest impact. Personally that would be setting up a subsidiary but both sound like good options

All the best!


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