Offer comparison: MBB Consultant vs. Corporate Development/Strategy at FT 500

Bain BCG Client and MBB corporate development Corporate Strategy MBB McKinsey
New answer on Oct 01, 2022
5 Answers
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Anonymous A asked on Sep 13, 2022

Hi guys, I was lucky enough to receive 2 offers, one is post MBA consultant level at one of the MBBs in Europe office and another offer is Corporate Development/Strategy manager at the headquarter of a ft 500 company. 

Comp base is comparable, with the corporate position slightly higher.

Corporate position in a lean team, flat structure with a very acquisitive strategy going forward and very interesting projects. And my previous background is somewhat related and the team quite liked me.

However, MBB stamp on my resume and future exit options make me hard to turn it down either. 

Work-life balance-wise, the corporate side would not mean a 9-5 job either, the team made it clear, especially when the deal is running. During the MBB interview, the interviewer said it's manageable and they are really trying to improve the efficiency, but a 9-11 pm weekday is not uncommon.

Any insights would be helpful thanks!

p.s. career goal wise I am still unclear at this point

 

 

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Udayan
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replied on Sep 13, 2022
Top rated McKinsey Case & PEI coach/Multiple real offers/McKinsey EM in New York /6 years McKinsey recruiting experience

Congrats on two excellent roles. 

In general, I would not compare Corp Dev to MBB - it is highly focused on deal execution and is more of an exit point for ex-Investment Bankers and not ex consultants. Although your role does sound like it comes with some strategy as well.

To break down the opportunity based on things important to you : 

  • Comp - current comp might be comparable but MBB raises are 20-30% annually and higher depending on performance. No company can match that and for good reason. So in the short term you may be similar but in 3 years it won't be close
  • Hours - MBB hours are long (9-11 is quite normal on many projects Monday to Thursday). The other big issue is travel - it is so hard to put into words how much of a time suck travel is and how many hours it adds to your work week. The in FT500 role is a clear winner here
  • Exit opps - there is no doubt that MBB will provide many more exit options. There is a clear reason people go there for a few years

In my opinion - given you aren't completely set on a career path, going to MBB buys you optionality and better exit options even though it comes at the cost of higher hours and poor work life balance. Ultimately you have to decide on what matters to you most between the two.

All the best,

Udayan

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Stanislav
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updated an answer on Sep 13, 2022
Ex-McKinsey AP | Interviewed 50+ candidates, gave 10+ offers | Own MBB-inspired cases | Oxford and Cambridge graduate

Hello there, congratulations on getting not just one but two job offers, well done :) 

My two cents as an ex-McK AP who has exited into a strategy-like role in Tech recently: 

1. MBB allows your more freedom to explore industries, functions and geographies. This is less likely at a corporate job. If you have doubts about what and where you'd like to do in the long run, MBB might help you answer that. 

2. MBB year counts for 2-3 years in the industry in terms of what exit opportunities you will have. It is a way to ‘shortcut’ the normal career. Bear in mind that you will be paying for this by longer working days.

3. On this subject, the 9am-11pm lifestyle seems horrible. I know there are several offices like that in Europe (particularly in the South), but in general this seems on a high end of a spectrum and close to unacceptable, at least to me personally. That said, as you become more experienced, your working hours tend to go down. 

4. Money-wise, you should note that between Associate and early AP, your salary will not change significantly. However, from 2nd year AP and Partner the salary will go up quite a bit. You should compare this with the expected progression at the corporate job. 

Hope this helps, don't hestitate to reach out! I wish you the best choice for your personally. 

(edited)

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Pedro
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replied on Oct 01, 2022
Bain | EY-Parthenon | Roland Berger | FIT | Market Sizing | Former Head Recruiter

Do you think there's a good chance you'll want to stay and focus on that company on the long run? Do you want to move to general management in a few years?

Or do you think you'll want to move to another industry, location, etc.? Do you prioritize money over quality of life and projects?

I decided to prioritize Corporate Stategy after my MBA, particularly because I had already been in consulting. 

I found my projects more interesting when doing Corporate Strategy (vs. consulting before and after). I touched a broader range of type of projects and more exciting stuff. Although narrow down to a specific industry, but that was helping me become a valuable expert. Training on the job was a bit more variable, as it depended on who was supporting you. Autonomy was much higher. Quality of life usually better, at least less travelling and more control on the day-to-day schedule. I could see a clear advantage at staying in that company in the long run and going through the ranks. Culture was great.

However, at the end, location was starting to become an issue. I / my family couldn't make it for my whole life.

On the other hand, brand name and salary progression in consulting was much better. It basically ment more options. I didn't need to narrow myself to an industry (not in the lower ranks). And, I reckon, I enjoy the fast pace and pressure, and the broad range of knowledge I can get.

You see, there's not really a “better path”. I see tremendous advantages in going to corporate strategy, but I decided to return to consulting again. Not because it was bad, just because at that point it wasn't working for me anymore. 

You have to check what makes sense for you.

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Ian
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replied on Sep 13, 2022
MBB | 100% personal interview success rate (8/8) and 95% candidate success rate | Personalized interview prep

Hi there,

Look, you are *probably* going to be happier and have a better work-life balance in the corp dev/strat role.

Longterm, MBB is going to lead to a faster + higher career progression.

The two points above are of course situational and are boiling down two major differences. There are other factors to consider but I think the two above help simplify things. Ultimately, you need to decide what you care about and then which firm/role best matches your values.

Congrats on both offers! Either way you're in a great positions :)

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Emily
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replied on Sep 13, 2022
Ex McKinsey EM & interviewer (5 yrs) USA & UK| Coached / interviewed 200 +|Free 15 min intro| Stanford MBA|Non-trad

So the key question here is what are you looking for in the next 2 years? 

  • If it's very fast career progression then the MBB role is likely to serve you better - it gives you a stamp on your resume but more importantly teaches you some very core skills which are valued in the market and in which tend to improve your performance in industry. As you're still unclear on your career goals at this point, then this may make sense to you. 
  • If it's to become an expert in the industry that the FT 500 company is in then that role would make more sense. 
  • If it's to build your personal life then I wouldn't advise MBB - while 9-11 sounds rough to be honest it's pretty normal Monday through Thursday, with a much easier Friday and weekends protected 

Hope that helps! 

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Udayan gave the best answer

Udayan

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Top rated McKinsey Case & PEI coach/Multiple real offers/McKinsey EM in New York /6 years McKinsey recruiting experience
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