Consulting

M2 at KPMG Strategy with $180k salary. Currently have an offer from MBB, but the MBB offer is for a 1st year post MBA position at $165k salary. Generally satisfied with my experience at KPMG.

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I'm going to be the contratian and say don't take it. You're more than satisfied at KPMG and are on an upward trajectory. Salary is lower than MBB, but that's not a huge deal (unless you're chasing money). From salary/hour worked, you're probabaly better. This idea that MBB opens doors and opportunities that nothing else can compare to is getting tired. If this were the truth, all the most successful companies in the world would be populated by MBB people only. I don't buy that, and neither should you. Its part truth, part confirmation bias. There's more than one path to success. More than one way to advance. Do what makes sense for you.

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Ok, it’s not true in every case. Just 8/10.

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It depends how hard you're working and how hard you want to work. If you're burning 60-70 hrs/wk, then maybe you're already pulling the workload of the MBB. Might as well take the chance to up skill and learn about areas that KPMG won't expose you to. But, if you're one of those that is managing to put in 40-45 hrs and call it quits, then you'd be making a clear choice of career over WLB. If you're 26 and single, take the opportunity. If you're 35 with a pregnant wife or a young child then figure out what your priorities are and what you're willing to sacrifice.

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smart
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You're considering leaving a job you like in order to take a pay cut and a more junior role for the sake of a brand?? That is insane. You're much closer to those precious "exit opportunities" now, so why throw all post MBA accomplishments away?

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Yeah, I’d like to double click here and ask if you, OP, are not getting the exits opps you want. I’ve chatted with many folks from D and tier 2s who are getting damn good exit opps into strategy. I suspect if Kpmg’s legit strategy practice will yield the same.

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Yes 100% life isn’t about 1 year in front of you. Over a career MBB will be worth much more than KPMG

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Eh idk man. Maybe. If you’re doing the right work you want and you’re probably a big fish there, it may be ok to pass on this. You have job security and you’re not far from the next level. It’s not as clear cut of a decision since 1) you’re doing the strategy work you like (if you were yearning for a different type of strategy that mbb does well in then it’s a different story) and 2) you’re a bigger fish that’s closer to more seniority vs coming as a straight mba grad

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If you think you can make partner at kpmg stick around else leave in the next hr - take mbb lot of exit opportunities and you will gain respect based on resume

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likesmarthelpful
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OP: Don’t just look at the base when you are coming salary. MBB all in can give you around 220k , I don’t think KPMG bonuses are that high

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likeuplifting
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Agree with this. You’ll make up the difference in no time, as the income growth is quick. Profit sharing and other benefits on top of base/bonus. I think the big question here is to ask how quickly you can progress at the new firm. The reason they’re putting you at first year MBA is likely so you have time to grow your network and learn the ways of working, NOT because they want to demote you. To really crush it as a manager and then ultimately principal/partner, you need to have strong teams behind and above you, and it’s helpful to have more time to develop that. Think of it as a blessing in disguise vs. a lack of consideration of your promise/potential. So back to next steps: ask what the trajectory looks like, and whether you can accelerate a bit if you can prove yourself as a C1/Associate/whichever title you’re being offered.

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OP, don’t take it. You’re taking a cut, going back in seniority, and adjusting to a new system. Have seen laterals get counseled out at a year. Very risky for limited upside.

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I left Mgr 1 at Big 4 pre MBA and joined as Consultant after MBA, so a little different but similar. I was not taking a pay cut though. It was a good call for me but you may be different. A few thoughts: Pros: - income trajectory is far steeper and faster. Pay cut will be very temporary. - brand is huge. Opportunities I have access to now via recruiters are fundamentally different. Now there’s no longer a huge hurdle to climb - you’re worth looking at for literally everything. - I’ve found the work more interesting because a much higher % of it is truly strategy/strategic, not just “strategy” in name -Step back in role means there’s a good chance you’ll crush it right out of the gate and set yourself up for success long term. In my firm, and even moreso in the other two from what I hear, success begets success. You’ll have better opportunities if you’re good and if you’re going back to being a C1 I hope you’d be good. - I worked in the strategy group in my big 4 but didn’t do much real strategy work. My MBB experience completely changed how I think about business problems which has been truly priceless. Cons: -Step back in role stinks and will be frustrating at times. You’ll be working for people younger than you with less management experience at times. If you come in as a C1 (at least at Bain) there’s a pretty set tenure path - you’re going to be in the consultant role at least 2 years barring you just absolutely kicking ass at all phases of life. - the hours are worse on average. More strategy work = more late nights in my experience. - leaving a cozy home where you’re doing well for a coin flip is scary and the downside risk is real. Overall it’s a decision only you can make. Biggest consideration if I was in your shoes is “do I have 4-5 more years in me to get back to M2?”. If so then I’d say MBB is the way to go. If you’re ready to move on from consulting in the near future probably doesn’t make sense bc you’d be taking a step back in role. Hope this helps!

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OP - did you understand when you were interviewing that it was for a role 3 years junior to where you are? If so, then you must’ve had a reason to spend everyone’s time and effort to get to an offer. Think about that reason and then accept. If not, did they give you a reason why they don’t value those years at KPMG?

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You applied and went through the process for a reason. Now you got what you want and don’t know. If you absolutely love where you’re at stay but if you think in 2 years you’ll kick yourself then go mbb

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likeupliftingfunny
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I would ask for one year tenure post mba and match your current salary. If they will do that then take mbb. If not you need to create a career wants pros and cons list and figure not out that way. Do you want to make partner at either firm? If not, why not go to industry now and get a director role paying $200k or more. Lots of things to be considered. Good luck!

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Yeah, but it doesn’t work that way at mckinsey. You can start managing an engagement whenever a partner lets you: there isn’t a strict time requirement. So if you come in with experience you can start EMing in a year or less

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Upper end of comp from fresh post MBA is ~220k. After two years you make PL and upper end there is ~300k

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likeuplifting
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Don’t anchor yourself on upper end. Not a slam dunk to get the top

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likesmart
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Other consideration is moving when a recession may be coming in 24 months. Good luck - I would stay, if I were you.

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That’s contingent on firms laying folks off during a recession. No guarantee that won’t happen anywhere. I’m sure BCG will consider cyclicality hiring as well; they don’t hire on short term need but based on long term growth.

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One more comment to add: I am 4 years out of MBA if that affects the calculus at all

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Just want to say thanks to everyone and one more point to clarify is that I was not told what the level or compensation would be until the end (Could be Manager/Consultant based on interviews)

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See note above!

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This is very normal. Take the MBB offer. Exit ops will improve immediately. The manager level pay at MBB is 250-300k all in. You’ll earn it back if you succeed.

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Did they give you a reason for C vs PL offer? I made that jump recently and took it because I did the move from M2 to PL. happy to chat more if it helps

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It depends on whether you have a strong network at KPMG, u are on track to make partner, and u r happy working there. MBB will definitely open new doors, and total comp will have a higher growth rate in the future.

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Do I take this offer because MBB?

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