Consulting in London vs SEA

Bain & Company EY-Parthenon London Oliver Wyman
New answer on Dec 11, 2021
5 Answers
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Anonymous A asked on Dec 08, 2021

Hi,

I currently hold undergrad entry-level consultant offers from London (OW, S&, EYP) and SEA (Bain). I would like to hear your firm/region specific perspectives on the following:

1. Quality and breadth of projects

2. Culture (e.g. WLB), support and progression

3. Exit opportunities

If you were in my position, what would you go for?

Thanks.

(edited)

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Ian
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replied on Dec 08, 2021
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Hi there,

There was a good answer for EY earlier this week here: https://www.preplounge.com/en/consulting-forum/ey-parthenon-or-rb-london-12271

While I don't like giving specific details with these types of questions (local recruiters are best placed for this), I'd advise the following:

  1. First, determine if you're prioritizing location or brand + exit ops. If brand/prestige/exit ops, Bain SEA is the clear choice. If location, then London (I'm guessing you'd prefer London or else this choice would probably be clear)
  2. Second, setup office visits, phone calls, and outside networking to get a better feel for your #2
  3. Third, recognize that your #1 is a bit subjective and truly depends on what you're interested in (industries, functions, etc.) Again, have frank and open discussions with HR, the Partners, and other people at the firm to figure out which company best fits your values/needs.

Good luck with the decision - what a great “problem” to have!

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Francesco
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replied on Dec 08, 2021
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Hi there,

Congratulations on the offers!

I will leave it to someone with direct experience in those offices to answer the initial questions.

In terms of criteria for the choice, I would consider the following:

  • Where do you want to be in 5-10 years? Look at the company that can help you to achieve that goal faster. If you are not sure, Bain would be better in terms of the brand (although you have to consider if the location fits your goals as it is different).
  • If you consider the average consultant/partner you talked to in each company, which one would you rather be? Quoting Jim Rohn, you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with. You will spend a lot of time with your colleagues in the next years - be sure you choose a company where the people are close to the person you want to become.
  • What is your gut feeling telling you? Our gut feeling is able to catch elements we cannot initially rationalize. You may “feel” a company is better, but don’t know exactly why. Delve into why you feel that way, do some research and try to understand if that point is valid. This should unlock your true personal criteria for a choice.

If you want to do extra due diligence, contact Alumni of your university (not current consultants) that worked in that office (bonus if they worked for both companies). You will learn more in a 30min call with them than with any online research you may do.

Best,

Francesco

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Adi
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replied on Dec 08, 2021
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Clara
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replied on Dec 08, 2021
McKinsey | Awarded professor at Master in Management @ IE | MBA at MIT |+180 students coached | Integrated FIT Guide aut

Hello!

For me, it would be Bain out of question. 

The opportunities that MBB opens for you are not what so ever comparable, and given that you are starting your career, I believe this is what needs to be prioritized. 

If location is a problem, there are so many ways around it (staffing yourself somewhere else, moving after 18 months…)

Hope it helps!

Cheers, 

Clara

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Pedro
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replied on Dec 11, 2021
# Bain | EY-Parthenon | Roland Berger | FIT | Market Sizing | Former Head Recruiter

Those are 4 firms with distinct positionings, and it's difficult that one can really give you insights on all of those firms particularly considering the different locations. 

Bain has the best brand and probably the better exit opportunities and career progression. But I can't really comment on the location plus and minuses.

OW is a strong Tier 2 and (or “but”) you will specialize early in terms of industry expertise. If you want one of those sectors… then it is a great option for you (and can help with exit opportunities there). Otherwise not so much.

EYP is quite strong in Commercial Due Dilligence work, as well as work in Education and TMT. If you want PE or CDD type of work, it's one of your best options.

S& is being dilluted by its Big4 presence, but this is not the same in every office. London should be one of the places where they have their strategy firm DNA a bit more intact.

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Ian gave the best answer

Ian

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