Stick with Operations or getting into consulting

Lets see what you guys think. Right now i’m an intern in the operations department of a bulge bracket IB. I may have the opportunity to get into a consulting firm as “Jr Business Consultant”. This company has as its principal clients several important commercial and investment banks as well as other kinds of financial services companies, but i don’t really know anything about any of the projects. The pay is obviously much higher (same with the hours), but even though ops is not precisely what i want (it sucks) i’m afraid i will deviate from all the “CFA related stuff”. I would like -as many- to get into asset management and i’m just a recent graduate, so i think i may be rushing too much and that it could be better to stay in my current role and work on the networking within my company. So, bottom line: is business consulting -mainly for financial services companies- really a good way to get into what i want? Any input will be appreciated.

in matters like yours. u shoud always follow ur gut feeling, because ultimately your perceptions will dictate how you feel about the job. other things id look into how many mths have u been working there. it doesnt seem like enough to make a move yet what kind of increase are we talking about percentage wise

Thanks CFAMaven. I’ve been in my current role for barely two months, but as i said it’s operations (mainly settlement and custody) which sucks. And since I’ve been here for such a short time, I don’t know yet whether there´s a real possibility of switching between departments or not, hence my fear about being too impatient. The pay increase would go into the 200s % (internship vs real job), but I’d prefer to stay where I am and hope to get an offer and then make the switch if going into consultancy entails definitely abandoning the investment field. At least my current company does has an asset management and analysis departments. Besides, the stories I have heard about the extremely long hours in consulting make me think I would have to abandon the CFA program and any dedication to this field. The only reason why I’m considering this is that the projects would be mainly in financial services companies, so I wonder if a couple of years would give me some good exit opportunities in finance. But as I said, I don’t know anything about business consulting…

Fdez, If I were you, I would take the Jr Business Consultant role. I really don’t know what your ultimate goal for your career will be; however, the consulting role sounds like a FO job and you always want to be in FO than BO as well as the consulting job sounds much more interesting than what you’re currently doing at your firm. Lastly, internship vs real job… come on. get a real job. Also, I honestly don’t think settlement and custody will count toward work experiences for CFA anyway, and as many AFs will agree: EXPERIENCES >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> CFA. I’m a level 3 candidate and have been trying to transition into consulting or banking from investment management and it seems like people don’t give fxxk about CFA… Lastly, you can study CFA anytime. Good luck.

Thank you, dhyun. Why are you trying to get out of investment management? My goal is to get into asset management. The kind of projects the consulting company works on seem to be operations related, so I’m afraid my exit opportunities would be more operations roles. Higher and better paid ones, but still operations. That’s why I wonder if it would be better to stay where I am and use the free time for networking within my current firm. I guess I will give the consulting firm a try and ask for more details in the final interview. I haven’t said it, but it may make a big difference: I’m talking about Spain. From what I’ve heard in my short experience, the transitions are not as difficult as in the US and the CFA seems to still be quite valuable since there’re barely 500 charterholders in the country.

Ok you have a bunch issues here. going into consulting doesn’t equal abandoning the investment field. Since you don’t know the the projects are about, I would advise you to find out. 2 months is a very short time in any internship, and if anyone hires you, it’s hiring you as if you were a undergrad. 2 months means nothing. you also said it’s an “opportunity” to get into consulting. Does that mean you have a offer? or you saw a online listing? HUGE difference. If it is offer, read my 1st point again. Yes you can study for CFA anytime, but keep in mind the pass rates keep declining on average year after year. And as you get older and have more attachments, it gets harder to study and pass.

Fdez, congratulations on your internship and possible opportunity. What is the typical career path for a “Junior Business Consultant” at this firm? Is it 2 years then MBA or something similar? If this is a generally desirable position, you should think about taking it. Ops is generally not a favorable place to start off if you want to make it to FO finance. Also, your goals might change as time passes. It’s never a bad idea to consider good opportunities in other fields. Good luck in whatever you decide.

Thanks iteracom. You have some more info on my last post. I haven’t received a formal offer yet, but I passed several rounds of tests and interviews and it seems likely that I will. I went to the first interview just to see what it was like and to get some experience in job interviews, but now that it’s becoming “real” I’ve started to think seriously about it .

Cosulting job is better than ops internship.

Valores Wrote: ------------------------------------------------------- > Cosulting job is better than ops internship. +100000 You get damn good exit ops from consulting since all security analysis eventualy rests on how well you can look at a business model and determine it’s feasibility. I have a buddy at Mckinsey and he has P/E shops fighting over him.

^I’ll third that. Get out of ops now or spend years of your life trying to get out and regretting it:-,1194524

Although with more experience than you I had the same question recently…and in a european country :wink: I was in ops for 2 years…although a lot of people talk about easy move into MO or FO-related role the reality is much more different! There is a big bunch of people with just more experience than you have that will be hired even if you know the HR or the manager of your company. In this time of uncertainty mgrs have to rely on senior’s and do not have that time to train juniors (unfortunately). It might certainly change but not for now…therefore I advise you to move into consulting. You will have the opportunity to develop some of the soft skills (communication, client-facing attitude, analyst-mindset, write clearly your opinion) and hard skills that you may use later on as a financial analyst, asset manager or wealth advisor. Do not focus on “getting the needed experience” right now but more about a learning curve (soft & hard skills) and career path that will permit you to achieve your goals! Do not be impatient…learn as much as you can, talk to people (as a consultant, you will learn that networking is really important!), make your job the best as you can - there is always a pay off on an investment. Anyway the choice is yours. Good luck! Paul PS: I made the move from ops to consulting (with missions in capital markets) - the first foot is in the door…the second will be for later

I’m currently a Business Consultant, but my title should really be Business Analyst. Before you make the jump to consulting…find out what type of consulting. If it’s management consulting, then go ahead and never look back!!! However, if the consulting is Business/Ops consulting for financial firms, then be careful. Currently, I’m the latter and I’ve been stuck helping the Accounting department reengineer their month-end processes and resolve P/L breaks. Boring as hell!! I’ve been exposed to more MO functionality, but not too much. And, nothing in the FO…yet, although my company keeps telling me that it’ll happen soon. I’ve been doing this for 2+yrs and I’ve been put in a box by head hunters. I’m in the states btw. All the positions I keep getting interviews for are for Capital Markets Business Analyst roles working heavily with IT. Definitely not interested in that! Just my two cents. Good luck!

^ This is the general problem with any back office job. The longer you do it, the deeper a hole you are digging (especially if you move up in rank) and it gets harder to move out.

Thanks everybody for your advice. They’ve really helped me. For now, I will try to get some more information about the specific role in the consulting firm before I -hopefully- get the offer. So far, it seems likely.

No contest man. Take the consulting role. FO experience will be much more valuable. There will be a ton of more exit opportunities. Also, if for whatever reason you change your mind about the CFA, the role will serve as a great hedge.

I haven’t speak to the company yet, but from what I read on their website, I’m afraid it can be what sjv1030 says, something ops-related. I have another interview on Monday, so I’ll try to dig a little more. This is the company’s website, in case any of you know something about it or want to take a look: Thanks again to all of you.

Consultants make me retch by the way. Look at this blurb from their site. Meaningless bumpf, all of it! “What do we do? Based on our extensive knowledge of the businesses and industries in which our clients operate, we help them to effectively meet and deal with their current business management challenges. What does “effectively meet” mean? It means strategically redefining business goals… …Finding an adequate functional definition of the requirements… … Efficiently implementing the organizational, operating and technological modifications that ensure success in the project… … In short: We turn “ideas” into lasting “tangible realities.” Our mission: To provide our clients the best way to realize their goals. This requires a strong culture of commitment and excellence and is the chief hallmark of our services.” Make sure you play consultant crossword when you get in there. It will be the only way you keep sane…

Exacly, all that wordy crap barely says anything useful. That’s why I’m seeking some insight from you guys. I just read the word “Operations” somewhere in the website and my body started trembling. They also say something about risk managament, but I guess that’s for the IT people they are also hiring.

Under industries / Fin instits: All our areas of specialty can be brought into play in this practice. Additionally, we have developed certain services that address industry-specific requirements. Especially noteworthy are our services in wholesale banking business, management of financial business risks (in any of its facets), optimization of equity, and regulatory compliance (Basel II, money laundering, etc.). Maybe something worthwhile in there partic. optimization of equity & Basel II