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KPMG Strategy vs ERM Sustainable Finance for T15 MBA admission

Big Four - Strategy MBA Application Advice Sustainability
New answer on Apr 05, 2024
4 Answers
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Anonymous A asked on Apr 04, 2024

I have two offers: one from KPMG for its strategy team, and the other is from ERM (environmental resources management) for its sustainable finance team.


My experience is account manager at fintech so coming from a different industry. 

My mid-term goal is T15 MBA in the US, MBB/T2 and the long term goal is to develop a career in sustainable finance space. 

I am confused as to which position would make me stronger for MBA admission holding other things constant. KPMG is a better brand and strategy sounds more prestigious, but sustainable finance is unique, and I’m interested in schools that have strong sustainability courses like Sloan, Fuqua and SOM.


Your advice is really appreciated.

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Iman
Expert
replied on Apr 04, 2024
Systemiq | Ex-BCG | 10 years experience with 8+ specialising in sustainability | Free Intro | Ex-PrepLounge candidate

Congrats on 2 offers!

Short answer: take the ERM role since you want a career in SF. 

You’re right that KPMG has a stronger brand in general but ERM has a better reputation in sustainability/SF. To be frank, genuine sustainability expertise is so scarce still (even some T1 consulting firms can deliver advice to clients on sustainability that lack nuance and a holistic perspective). So you want to choose the path that sets you apart. There will be 1000s of KPMG strategy folks competing with you.

Good luck!

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Pedro
Expert
replied on Apr 04, 2024
Bain | Roland Berger | EY-Parthenon | Mentoring Approach | 30% off first 10 sessions in May| Market Sizing | DARDEN MBA

If you want to have a career in sustainable finance you should take the sustainable finance role.

Don't make decisions solely based on prestige or on intermediate steps that don't have value in itself but only as tools for improving your ability to have a career in your target field. As such, if what you want is to have a career in sustaibable finance, taking a different role is likely to be detrimental to you.

Moreover, what MBAs really value is DIVERSITY of experiences. Taking a role that is simply similar to other candidate's doesn't make you a stronger candidate, what they really value are candidates who bring a UNIQUE VALUE PROPOSITION! (also remember that KPMG is not that reknown for it's strategy department… is the weakest of the Big4… meaning that with that background you have consultants from 10 other top firms ahead of you… but for sustainable finance you will probably be one of the best candidates!).

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Cristian
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Apr 04, 2024
#1 rated MBB & McKinsey Coach

Both options are great. 

I marginally lean towards KPMG because the brand will increase your chances with B-schools, but you could also claim that the ERM option would make you more attractive for the sustainability-focused courses. 

So then I'd recommend you go for what you genuinely feel most attracted to. From a ‘rational' point of view, both options are fine. 

Also check out this article on choosing B-schools:

Best,
Cristian

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Francesco
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Apr 05, 2024
#1 Coach for Sessions (4.500+) | 1.500+ 5-Star Reviews | Proven Success (➡ interviewoffers.com) | Ex BCG | 10Y+ Coaching

Hi there,

Q: I am confused as to which position would make me stronger for MBA admission holding other things constant. 

You can reverse-engineer which options has the highest chances for the MBA as follows: 

  1. Look for alumni of the two companies on LinkedIn.
  2. Check how many moved to your target MBAs.
  3. Normalize for the size of the companies.

On the other hand, this will just let you know which option is best for an MBA. It might be possible that one of the options aligns more with your long-term goals, even if doesn’t provide a good exit to a top MBA.

Good luck!

Francesco

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Iman gave the best answer

Iman

Systemiq | Ex-BCG | 10 years experience with 8+ specialising in sustainability | Free Intro | Ex-PrepLounge candidate
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