Difference between working in consulting at firms such as IBM (in-house) and MBB

IBM inhouse consulting
New answer on Oct 26, 2019
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Anonymous A asked on Oct 25, 2019

I am wondering how working as a business consultant at a firm such as IBM would be different from working in a top3/top 10 consulting firm in terms of career progression. Can you expect to gain a similar amount of skills in consulting at IBM to non in-house consulting and then build a career within IBM comparable to the careers built at other firms by former MBB consultants?

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Antonello
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replied on Oct 26, 2019
McKinsey | MBA professor for consulting interviews

Hi,

jobs are quite different. While in IBM you will serve the same industry with a few functions (I imagine operations, sales, and analytics) in MBB you will be more a generalist, serving a broad range of industries (e.g. banking, consumer goods, pharma) and functions (e.g. strategy, marketing&sales, digital).

In terms of exit options, within IBM and its few other partners, you would have a good visibility with their internal consulting. However, for any other big companies, MBB are much more appreciated for business positions.

Best,

Antonello

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Francesco
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replied on Oct 26, 2019
#1 Expert for Coaching Sessions (3.600+) | 1.300+ Reviews with 100% Recommendation Rate | Ex BCG | 8+ Years of Coaching

Hi Anonymous,

IBM and MBB have a different focus in terms of projects. Specifically, at IBM you will have more focus on IT and implementation and less focus on strategy projects.

In general, compared to IBM, in MBB you get:

  • Higher competition
  • Stronger alumni network
  • Better exit opportunities
  • Higher pay (may depend by the country)
  • Longer hours (may depend by the country)
  • More strategy focus
  • Support for extra stuff – there are specific MBB department for research and you can outsource the most boring activities (eg slides realignment)
  • On average, a higher budget for travel
  • More exposure to CXO level

Best,

Francesco

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Antonello

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McKinsey | MBA professor for consulting interviews
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