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Internal strategy team vs lower tier 2 firm

Internal Strategy tier 2
New answer on Oct 27, 2023
9 Answers
1.3 k Views
Anonymous A asked on Nov 30, 2020

Hi everyone.

What are you guys' opinions on choosing between an internal strategy team of a very large multinational firm and a lower tier 2 consulting firm (it's quite well known esp in Europe), particularly in terms of career prospect and exit opportunities? Will one give me a better chances of joining MBB, PE, other top managerial positions, or even top MBA programs?

A little bit of context:

  1. I'm still in my bachelor and will be graduating next year. Region: Asia

  2. The internal strategy team consist of a small team of ~10ish, with managers mostly from MBB. They solely focus on strategy and not implementation. I have been offered a full time position starting next May

  3. The lower tier 2 firm consists of 20-30 people. I have secured an internship there next January which will be their only pipeline for recruiting analysts. So I have NOT gotten a full-time offer yet.

  4. I have two seniors working in two both places, both recommending their companies and saying they love their work culture. None of them know I have another option on the table and I don't want to offend either of them by asking their thoughts about this.

As of now, I think the less risky option would be to accept the internal strategy offer. However I wonder if it's a better idea to risk it and try to get a return offer from the tier 2 firm?

Thanks in advance!

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Adi
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Nov 30, 2020
Accenture, Deloitte | Precision Case Prep | Experienced Interviewer & Career Coach | 15 years professional experience

Hey there,

Firstly well done on having these options in these times. Please take a moment to feel happy if you havent already done so :).

Here's some pointers to help you make the choice. It will be inappropriate for me to pick one option for you, as you must be 100% comfortable with the choice you make.

1. Do what you really want to do which will make you joyful and aligns with your interests & values. This feeling comes from your heart/inner voice/sixth sense. Sleep on the decision, remove the emotions and see how you feel. Often people end up in jobs for all the wrong reasons- peer pressure, money, impatience etc etc. You can't predict the future but only make right moves to reach your destination. If you enjoy what you do, make the right moves, right things will happen even if this means taking a risk

2. Don't plan too far ahead. The situation of the world and economies is still uncertain at this stage. Good to be cautiously optimistic and take it in short windows at a time (perhaps 6-12 months) and build from there

3. As with every situation/event/choice in life, nothing will be perfect. Be mindful of this and work accordingly. Regardless of which job you take, there will be ups and downs and you cannot make that perfect choice as there will always be something a little better. So remove this pressure

4. Whats the pipeline of work/projects in the two companies for next 6 months-2 years? Which company will do better in the current financial crunch?

Good luck choosing!

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Benjamin
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replied on Oct 27, 2023
Ex-BCG Principal | 8+ years consulting experience in SEA | BCG top interviewer & top performer

Hi,

Here are my thoughts on the different potential exit options

  1. MBB
    • Both options here I think would allow you to switch to MBB into an entry level position, although it sounds like the industry role has slightly better prestige
    • What is more important here is the relevant skills and abilities that you build up
  2. PE
    • Both options are not optimal for breaking into PE
    • At least where I am from, PE (global shops) only hires from MBB and/or IB
    • And for those coming in from MBB, they would have spent significant time in the PE practice, which you would only get at larger MBB firms or T2 firms focusing on deals
  3. Top MBA
    • Here I would argue that the industry role probably makes more sense
    • For top MBAs, there is a quota for each type of job as they want diversity in the class (can't have 100% consultants or bankers in the class)
    • Corporate background would make you stand out more versus trying to compete with other consultants from MBB

Hope this helps to clarify for anyone facing a similar situation!

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Vlad
Expert
replied on Nov 30, 2020
McKinsey / Accenture Alum / Got all BIG3 offers / Harvard Business School

Hi,

Personally, I would try postponing an offer from an in-house strategy and doing an internship first. In terms of your questions:

  1. MBB - probably the chances are similar since both brands will be known.
  2. PE - neither helps. It's really hard to get into PE and both Tier 2 and industry inhouse consulting are not relevant enough
  3. MBA - I assume both brands are known in Eu - so no issues with EU MBAs. Would double check if you target US
  4. General exit opportunities - if you are still not sure about your industry preferences - consulting will be probably better. If the company is in the industry you are passionate about - the choice is obvious

Best

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Gaurav
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replied on Nov 30, 2020
#1 MBB Coach(Placed 750+ in MBBs & 1250+ in Tier2)| The Only 360 coach(Ex-McKinsey + Certified Coach + Active recruiter)

Hello there,

I would join Adi here concerning the situation and economics in the world, so probably risking is not an option.

However you need to decide what you are really interested in and whether you are ready to lend yourself to strategy or implementation. In terms of joining MBB there wouldn't be a big difference, but still it's a good start.

Hope it helps. Good luck!

GB

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Clara
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Content Creator
replied on Dec 01, 2020
McKinsey | Awarded professor at Master in Management @ IE | MBA at MIT |+180 students coached | Integrated FIT Guide aut

Hello!

Can you share with us the names of the companies? Not for gossip ;) , but because brand (for future projection, exit opportunities, etc.) is usually key for the decision making process between the 2 firms.

Best,

Clara

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Anonymous replied on Dec 24, 2020

Hi,

Just an addition from me on top of the other advise:

  • Sometimes PE wanted someone with industry experience to staff their portfolio management team
  • Working with ex-MBB could enable you to learn the workstyle and expectation
  • A consulting form will enable you to be more flexible in terms of industry choice

Best,
Iman

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Raj
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Content Creator
replied on Feb 26, 2021
FREE 15MIN CONSULTATION | #1 Strategy& / OW coach | >70 5* reviews |90% offers ⇨ prep-success.super.site | MENA, DE, UK

First of all congrats on having such options in these current times!

In terms of choosing them, what I would suggest is look through the requirements for the types of jobs you would like to have. You mention MBB, PE or MBA. Pragmatically, each of these will be far easier to get into with a consulting background.

Now the counter argument to that is whether you think the internal strategy will provide a better environment and team for you to excel and prosper. This depends on your personal passions too.

Ultimately, try to choose a place where you think you are more likely to enjoy as that will lead to you outperforming and ultimately having access to broader options afterwards

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Ian
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Content Creator
replied on Dec 01, 2020
#1 BCG coach | MBB | Tier 2 | Digital, Tech, Platinion | 100% personal success rate (8/8) | 95% candidate success rate

Hi there,

Unfortunately I'm going to throw a spanner in the works and recommend the internal strategy team role.

While I try to avoid saying x over y with these sorts of things, it does seem that this role fits what you need better. Since you're graduating, you really need to lock in a full-time role, not an internship. Building that experience over a few years is incredibly valuable. Furthermore, it seems that you'll get great mentorship in this internal role AND you'll have access to ex-MBBers...they can connect you brilliantly in the future to MBB when you're ready to move there.

The tier 2 role I don't like as much given it's just an internship (fairly risky), I'm less sure of the mentorship/networking opportunities, and MBB doesn't look at tier 2s and go "Oh my gosh, that's fantastic, we must have that candidate".

All that said...when you read our responses to your question, what's your gut reaction? Do you read my message on think "Thank god" and feel relieved that I've justified your decision? Or, do you think "Ah, I'm just not sure". (Reflect the same way with the other coaches' responses).

Go with the one that you feel good/positive about!

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Francesco
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replied on Dec 01, 2020
#1 Coach for Sessions (4.500+) | 1.500+ 5-Star Reviews | Proven Success (➡ interviewoffers.com) | Ex BCG | 10Y+ Coaching

Hi there,

I agree with Vlad, the best option would be to postpone the internal strategy role and do the internship first, so that you can ideally compare two full-time offers.

In terms of your questions - it depends on the brand of the Tier 2. If it is Strategy&, RB, OW, Kearney, the brand would be stronger than an in-house consulting one and would make the transition to MBB easier. I would recommend checking on LinkedIn where the alumni of the two companies are now to get an unbiased answer to your questions.

Best,

Francesco

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Adi gave the best answer

Adi

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Accenture, Deloitte | Precision Case Prep | Experienced Interviewer & Career Coach | 15 years professional experience
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