Quitting investment banking for consulting (London). I need help.

Mckinsey London
New answer on May 22, 2021
5 Answers
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Anonymous A asked on May 21, 2021

I've been working in a bulge bracket for the past 14 months. While it's been my dream to work in investment banking, I've come to realise that expectations fell short. Not that I expected meager hours, but oh my goodness how I'm burnt out. My social life is literally dying before it had a chance to start. I'm not sure if this burnout rate will continue, but I genuinely want to exit.

I come from a target 2-year MSc program in Europe, graduating in the top band of my class. I had already interned at McKinsey London and I have acquaintances who work there and could attest to my experience. I understand very well that consulting hours aren't great either, but I've been told (anonymously) that things are little less heated in consulting (specifically MBB)

My issue is that I'm fretting about how it would look to others, going into investment banking only to chicken out after 15 months. Would it be a bad look overall? Am I thinking this right?

Appreciate your help. Thank you.

(edited)

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Francesco
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Content Creator
replied on May 22, 2021
#1 Coach for Sessions (4.000+) | 1.500+ 5-Star Reviews | Proven Success (➡ InterviewOffers.com) | Ex BCG | 9Y+ Coaching

Hi there,

Sorry to hear about your challenges.

In terms of your questions:

  1. You can definitely move to MBB with 15 months of IB experience (I helped several people who did so), but you will probably get max 6-12 months of tenure as analyst recognized
  2. I would not move to consulting if the goal is a better lifestyle only (or prestige only). You may want to move instead to something you know you really like (even if it may require spending a bit more time “suffering” in IB). As an entrepreneur I work more than I did in consulting but fully enjoy it – that’s the kind of job you want. There are multiple ways to understand what is the right path for you. If you have no clue, you may consider an MBA to have a break and clarify what could be really interesting as next steps. If instead you are confident you will enjoy consulting (you have already tried it) definitely go for it.

Best,

Francesco

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Ian
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replied on May 21, 2021
MBB | 100% personal interview success rate (8/8) and 95% candidate success rate | Personalized interview prep

Do not switch into consulting if you are leaving IB because of long hours and burnout.

"Not that I expected meager hours, but oh my goodness how I'm burnt out. My social life is literally dying before it had a chance to start. I'm not sure if this burnout rate will continue, but I genuinely want to exit."

Consulting is not much better (it's better, but it's still 60-70 hours weeks PLUS travel and no social life Mon-Thurs).

You seem to care about work-life balance. If so, you cannot trade one bad for another bad.

All this said, leaving IB after 15 months is totally fine. Start the job search now. If you get an offer in hand, and stay at that future firm for 2+ years, you will be fine. No-one will raise eyebrows about this current role of 15 months if you prove yourself in the next role!

While looking, make sure you know what you're getting yourself into. Try to avoid the big brand names in highly competitive industries (Banking, Consulting, Tech), IF you're burnt out and want a better work-life balance.

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Adi
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replied on May 21, 2021
Accenture, Deloitte | Precision Case Prep | Experienced Interviewer & Career Coach | 15 years professional experience

Hey,

If you have tried everything and considered your options, then there is no question of "chicken out". The current firm and role is not a fit for you. Thats it. This happens a lot and all you need is a good honest story to tell future recuiters i.e you joined the firm-> felt like a good choice-> you learnt abc, did xyz projects-> but the culture & values of the firm didnt align with you-> now you are looking for a new challenge & a better fit. Explain why consulting is the next right step for you.

Work life balance in MBB is NOT going to be any good either, perhaps not as brutal as your current IB firm. So make sure you make an informed decision.

All the best.

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Ken
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replied on May 21, 2021
Ex-McKinsey final round interviewer | Executive Coach

I've seen a handful of IB analysts join McKinsey London after 1-3 years. You will likely need to start as a BA but I have seen some who have progressed very quickly afterwards.

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Antonello
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replied on May 21, 2021
McKinsey | MBA professor for consulting interviews

Hi, I confirm IB candidates are super appreciated by MBB, I have supported tens of them during the past years. I would definitely consider applying based on the context you describe. I would also look for corporate finance and PE practices to leverage your experience.

Best,
Antonello

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Francesco gave the best answer

Francesco

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