{ "media_type": "text", "post_content": "Fellow 🐠 in MBB - there is a belief in a few consultants that being a part of MBB is the main goal at any cost. Being on the inside and having seen, through this application or your networks, what other firms do, do you think this belief is healthy? Would you consider your work to be just as enjoyable at another firm? If not, where do you think other firms fall shy of the MBB.", "post_id": "60dfc6f931481300299888e8", "reply_count": 19, "vote_count": 3, "bowl_id": "552d1d24dc1c586b09d2d051", "bowl_name": "Consulting" }

Fellow 🐠 in MBB - there is a belief in a few consultants that being a part of MBB is the main goal at any cost. Being on the inside and having seen, through this application or your networks, what other firms do, do you think this belief is healthy? Would you consider your work to be just as enjoyable at another firm? If not, where do you think other firms fall shy of the MBB.

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Consultants tend to put too much effort on career and income. MBB should absolutely not be the main goal at any cost. Career-wise, I can talk for BCG compared to ATK (worked there) and all big 4 (worked with), that BCG is a very different league (sport even if we want to use cliches). And as such offers much more developmental opportunities, super smart people to work with (also making it all more enjoyable), better projects/part of projects, better exits opps and last but not least, better comp and benefits.

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The work is one thing (likelihood of more exciting and impactful projects is higher at MBB), but the biggest reason to want MBB (IMO) is the prestige and exit opp potential. I know I’m going to get flak for the ‘prestige’ bit but my opinion is that it matters A LOT when you’re younger/first starting out in your career or right after the MBA (begins to matter less over time), because the brand name of MBB allows you to have the best exit opportunities (be it b school, PE, or others) right out of consulting and for years beyond that.

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Sure you make more money but you also work a hell of a lot more than partners in say Big4, and would have sacrificed a lot more to get there. Essentially trading your life for $$$

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The belief is 100% not healthy. It’s largely driven by the constant credential culture and everyone wants the next badge (or the hedonic treadmill). Also, only young consultants tend to get worked up about this vs. the rest of the world. It is funny how often our senior clients interchange the firms (not so much their person). I think all consulting firms are so big now that the overlap of work is higher than folks realize. Ask anyone selling, we’re all competing with each other. We often say the project a consulting firm does for the first time this year is an industry commodity two years from now. And guess what, there is no single firm doing cutting edge project day after day. One other part, if any person let’s say from b4/boutique made this post, you’d dismiss it as sour grapes. If someone from mbb does it, then you’ll challenge them and say, then why do they pay xyz or some anecdotal point which in their view signals value. In reality, all the firms are structured differently and that definitely changes its nature, economics, wages etc. However the work itself or projects sold are closer to each other.

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Appreciate your perspective on this. I am definitely one of the younger consultants that is obsessed with the credential culture. I have self reflecting a lot and asking myself as to why, hence this post. I guess for me it was about enjoying work and remaining driven. MBB sounded like the holy grail to me and I am unsure when and why this obsession came into place. Perhaps glances at LinkedIn on other people’s career had me feel inadequate by comparison. That said I am still driven to become a partner. I think it is because I like the role a lot. It is sales focused with a heavy emphasis on strategy and flexibility. I like the challenge of that role. Maybe I am wrong but I guess there is only one way to find out.

Principals comin’ in hot. Nice work

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I turned down T2 offers and would turn down MBB any time - earning 30% less but have a work life balance

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What about small boutique? Couple friends there also had great exits.

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Even at MBB/Big4 it is somewhat unfair to generalize. But impossible at the “all boutiques” level. Depends… whatever makes you happy 🤙

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I’ve worked at Big4 and there is so much overlap in the work we do. A lot of the time we are competing directly with Deloitte etc on tenders. More often than not they win due to rate differences. We seem to place too much esteem in MBB. I can say at Big4 as I was even more challenged as I often had little support and had to get more done with less firepower due to the variability in capability and motivation in junior team. Also limited help from leadership. At MBB everything is put on a plate for me. But the brand does signal to the market that I am good enough for MBB. That’s about it

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May I ask what you mean by motivation in the junior team? Do you mean that B4 teams tended to be less aggressive in pursuing skill sets/assignments vs MBB teams?

I’ve been obsessing over MBB for the last 14 years. It’s absolutely not healthy; but it’s also necessary because that’s what the job market demands. Literally every job post I see for even entry-level roles wants 10 years of relevant industry experience or 2-3 years at MBB. For those of us who weren’t born and raised in big tech, pharma, CPG, etc., MBB has become a mandatory prerequisite just like college or even an MBA. I’ve been rejected from over 500 jobs for this very reason. So it’s not always young people seeking prestige; industry leaders have also created systemic barriers to entry.

There was no way for me to know that these application were before Deloitte, and I have personally never heard of "MBB or bust". If a hiring manager told me that, I'd walk straight out of the interview because that speaks volumes to their poor culture and arrogance. I would be genuinely interested to know what companies/industries are like that.

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