Given my background in finance, what type of management consulting role would be the most logical to pursue post-MBA

MBB
New answer on Nov 20, 2020
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Michael asked on Nov 18, 2020

Hi - I currently work in investment banking and will be applying to MBA programs in the US in January 2021. Through my researched I've gained a general sense for the role of a management consultant, but could really use some insider knowledge to help crystalize how I’m thinking through my next career steps. My intent is to transition from investment banking to management consulting after my two-year MBA program. Fair warning: This post is a bit lengthy, but I want to get all the information down in order to help you tailor any advice you may have to my situation. I’m seeking specificity because I need to, in thorough detail, explain to the MBA commission what type of consulting I’d like to target and likewise what type of consulting I’d be well suited for with my prior banking experience.

My motivation is that I believe management consulting can provide me with a broader range of problems to solve/experiences to learn from that will span a wider range of industries and functions than what my current role provides. I’m also interested in learning the structured approach that consultants use to break down complex problems. My hope is to “round out” my quantitative banking skillset with the skills I develop as a consultant before embarking on a more entrepreneurial journey in my mid-thirties.

My current role in banking is oriented primarily around debt capital raising for cities, states, airports, universities, and renewable energy projects. Essentially we help these clients acquire capital by facilitating the issuance of bonds on behalf of the client in the capital market. I have also worked on several corporate finance transactions during my 5 years at my bank. I have extensive modeling experience, manage a team of analysts/associate/assistants, and am a primary point person involved in managing our day-to-day client relationships.

My question is this - given my background and experiences, what type of management consulting role would I most naturally be able to recruit for post MBA? Financial services? Also, are there any specific consulting firms that come to mind? I’d like to target MBB ideally, but am primarily focused on the prospective projects/teams I’d be working with vs just targeting a name brand company. I know this is a wall of text and if you’ve made it this far, thank you! Given my profile/work history, I’d really appreciate any specific insight or guidance you can provide related to my goal of transitioning to management consulting post MBA.

(edited)

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Francesco
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replied on Nov 18, 2020
#1 Coach for Sessions (4.000+) | 1.400+ 5-Star Reviews | Proven Success (➡ InterviewOffers.com) | Ex BCG | 9Y+ Coaching

Hi there,

Answering your main question: after an MBA you can target any consulting company as a generalist.

Some companies such as OW are more focused on Financial Services, but if your long term goal is to become an entrepreneur, you probably want to maximize the brand recognition, unless you fall in love with a specific company/team.

The MBB brand is very useful if you become an entrepreneur and have to raise money – that’s what I did after BCG and it helped me a lot to have it in my CV.

Best,

Francesco

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Ian
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replied on Nov 18, 2020
MBB | 100% personal interview success rate (8/8) and 95% candidate success rate | Personalized interview prep

Hi Michael,

Based on what I've read, you can go into any of these firms as a generalist OR specialist.

If you want to stay in finance/banking, you have the route open to you. However, coming from an MBA program you have every ability to come in as a generalist to round out your skillset. Also, note here that, form an MBA program you're almost exclusively recruiting as a generalist.

For context, I was similar to you prior to my MBA in that I was purely specialized in 1 year (IT implementations). I also had a team (of developers) and IT/Devleopment was my bread-and-butter. I went straight into a Generalist role at BCG without looking back. 80% of my consulting recruiting was for Generalist Strategy. I also applied/interviewed as a specialist with PwC (Tech) and IBM (also Tech).

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Vlad
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replied on Nov 18, 2020
McKinsey / Accenture Alum / Got all BIG3 offers / Harvard Business School

Hi,

All MBB companies are hiring generalists and I don't see any specific reason why you can not pursue that path. Your background is an ideal fit for consulting

If you want to work in financial services consulting - again, pretty much any company is doing that. The one that specializes more is Oliver Wyman

If you want to be more on the financial side (i.e. due diligence) - any company has such a group and you can get a job directly in that group as a generalist

Overall, I don't think there are any restrictions here and you can go with any company, generalist role.

Best

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Adi
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replied on Nov 18, 2020
Accenture, Deloitte | Precision Case Prep | Experienced Interviewer & Career Coach | 15 years professional experience

Hi Michael,

Great to see the thoroughness you are approaching this with. Here' some pointers to help you structure better & include in your essays/thought process:

General Industry Trends and Direction of Travel

  1. Sustainable business models to tackle climate change, plastic pollution etc
  2. Digital Transformation: how to harness the right technology (AI, ML, Blockchain etc) quickly to unlock more value for businesses
  3. New ways of working & organisation structure (post pandemic world)

Why Consulting

In addition to ideas you have, be bold and say that you want to accelerate your career, learn a lot quickly, be put into chaotic environments and figure stuff out etc. Consulting gives you all of this. Be wary of putting a 10 year plan down. Do you really know whats going to happen to you or the world :)? Cautiously approach this, have a rough idea but be ready to take risks, adapt and change course as required.

Options Post-MBA

If you make the right moves, you could end up in one of the followng places:

  1. MBB/BIG 4 strategy focused on Financial Services industry (due diligence, M&A type, capital investment type work)
  2. Digital Finance Transformation in Accenture/BIG4 (read up on their websites)
  3. Infrastructue & Capital Projects consulting across industry but mostly Aerospace and Manufacturing in Accenture/Big 4 (read up on their website)
  4. PE/VC firms

All the best!

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Henning
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replied on Nov 18, 2020
Bain | passed >15 MBB interviews as a candidate

If you're targeting MBB, there is nearly exclusively the generalist pool. Although there are certain specialized recruiting tracks (data scientists, designers, implementation specialists), I'm not aware of a special corporate finance recruiting path.

I'm sure there are specialized, niche firms. But since your motivation is to acquire a broader set of management skills, I feel it makes most sense for you to aim for MBB and the generalist track. After all, you don't want to stay in finance, so digging deeper into the trenches there don't seem to line up with your long-term goals.

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Clara
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replied on Nov 20, 2020
McKinsey | Awarded professor at Master in Management @ IE | MBA at MIT |+180 students coached | Integrated FIT Guide aut

Hello!

Rich comment in details :)

After an MBA, you would join MBB as a generalist, in the Associate Mck position -and equivalents-. It´s rare to specialize at that moment, and you can do it shortly after you join.

Hope it helps!

Cheers,

Clara

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Francesco gave the best answer

Francesco

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