Which consulting firm has the highest compensation for starting analysts? Which is better for career advancement? For getting time off? Or for work life balance?
With salaries that can reach $100K for first-year analysts or even interns, competition for a spot at the top firms can be fierce, and the interviews notoriously grueling. Let’s face it. Not every aspiring consultant is going to snag a position at one of the Big Three firms – McKinsey and Company, Boston Consulting Group, or Bain & Company, known in the industry as MBB.
“There are some great other firms out there: Oliver Wyman, for example, or LEK which is a little bit smaller and has a good reputation,” Patrick Curtis, founder and CEO of Wall Street Oasis (WSO), tells Poets&Quants. “MBB is still where everyone wants to be, but the Deloittes of the world, the PwCs, they all have great practices and can provide a great career in consulting. I would tell candidates that all is not lost if they don’t fit into an MBB. They can still build a great career.”
WSO is an online community, news site, and career center for people working and aspiring to work in finance related fields. It has almost 900,000 registered users who report a trove of data on the companies where they work. WSO’s 2022 Consulting Industry Report takes this user-reported data to provide insight into nearly 20 different metrics job hunters would be strapped to find anywhere else: How many hours employees work per week, for example, or how fair the company is when granting promotions.
WSO’s reports are constantly changing based on new information users report to the WSO Company Database which includes more than 50,000 submissions across thousands of companies. The report we are looking at today is up-to-date as of this month and includes year-to-date data as well as data for the prior two years. Because of this, some of the latest trends reported by users won’t start showing up until later reports. (WSO uses Bayesian statistics to create percentiles for companies with few observations.)
Read more about WSO’s report methodology here.
WHICH CONSULTING FIRM PAYS THE MOST?
For aspiring consultants chasing the highest paychecks, WSO tracks average salaries and bonuses for users at all career levels. On average, based on 409 respondents, interns/summer analysts make a base salary of $60,000 per year (or about $5,000 per month) and a $7,000 bonus. First year full-time analysts make about $75,000 a year with a $10,000 bonus while principals make upwards of $211,000 per year with an average bonus of $58,000.
Obviously, some firms pay more than average, others pay less. According to Wall Street Data, TresVista, a private financial services firm based in Mumbai, India, paid the one summer analyst that reported to WSO some $175,000 per year along with a $38,500 bonus.
Looking at companies that had 10 or more respondents to WSO, Boston Consulting Group paid its summer analysts (18 respondents) an average of $94,200 (or $7,850 per month) with a $40,000 bonus. Summer associates made an average of $68,800 ($5,733 monthly) with a $10,000 bonus while first-year analysts pulled in $84,700 with a $12,800 bonus.
McKinsey & Company paid summer analysts $72,100 per year ($6,008 monthly), summer associates $94,600 per year, and its first-year analysts $$83,800 with a $12,800 bonus. It was followed by the other firm in the Big Three, Bain & Company, which paid $66,700 per year ($5,558 monthly) plus a $1,000 bonus to summer analysts, $93,300 ($7,775 monthly) to summer associates, and $88,900 plus a $10,200 bonus to first-year analysts.
“We are seeing compensation going up in consultation as well, especially at the junior levels. Consulting firms do compete, not directly, but they do compete somewhat, with investment banks in recruiting top talent,” Curtis says. “So, as we’ve seen base salaries move up in banking, we are starting to see that in consulting. Not up to the $120K level, but I think at some places it’s close to $100K if it’s not $100k already.”
WSO’s data dives much deeper, also showing some very high-paying firms with far fewer respondents. You can also break its pay data down by sex and race, to see which firms live up to their DEI mantras. Pay for higher-level employees is available as well. Find the full report here.
When asked how well they are paid compared to people working similar jobs at other firms, employees at Cornerstone Research felt they were the most fairly compensated. Boston Consulting Group and Oliver Wyman employees also reported feeling well paid. (See chart below.)
NEXT PAGE: Consulting firms with best opportunities for career advancement
MBA Handicapping: Can You Punch Above Your Weight (GPA/GMAT) at Harvard/Stanford?
Shriya is a 27-year-old consultant working in London for a boutique firm. She applied to Stanford in round 2 last year and re-applied in round 2 this year, but had not gained an interview.
Her question: Has anyone ever gotten into Stanford on the third try?
Our answer: Not with a 690 GMAT score.
But Shriya does plan to retake the test, aimed for a 700-plus score and wants to apply again. She also plans to wider her options by applying to the first time to UC-Berkeley, UCLA, Wharton, Harvard, Stern and Kellogg.
Besides working as a consultant for two and one-half years, she also worked for Equiniti Group Plc, a London-based fintech firm for four and one-half years, during which she gained three promotions. She has a bachelor’s degree in biomedical sciences from the University of London.
In this episode of Fridays With Sandy, HBSGuru.com founder Sandy Kreisberg candidly tells Shriya to give up on a third try at Stanford and assesses her chances at her other target business schools.
DON’T MISS PREVIOUS FRIDAYS WITH SANDY EPISODES
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Meet the MBA Class of 2023: Ricardo Aaron Carrillo, Dartmouth College (Tuck)
Ricardo Aaron Carrillo
Hometown: Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico
Fun Fact About Yourself: In the last eight years, I have lived in seven cities on three different continents.
Undergraduate School and Major: ITESM—Tecnológico de Monterrey, Architecture
Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Woods Bagot Architects, Senior Designer
What word best describes the Tuck MBA students and alumni you’ve met so far and why? Encouraging. From my application process to being admitted, I have seen this value in all Tuck students and alumni. Every Tuckie I have met has been so invested in helping me achieve my goals. People like Michael Barbe (T’22), Kristin Ng (T’22), and Sanjana Tikkoo (T’22) exhibited selfless support to me even before I was part of this family. Compared to other top schools, Tuckies truly surprise you with an unparalleled level of encouragement. It is simply unique; I’ve never seen anything like this.
Aside from your classmates, what was the key part of Dartmouth Tuck’s MBA programming that led you to choose this business school and why was it so important to you? It would be the general management program, challenging core curriculum, student collaboration, and career outcomes. The general management program at Tuck allows you to gain skills to be successful in any industry you want. A combination of cases and traditional classes are used to gain the hard skills that complement case discussion. For me, being part of a school that took a structured core curriculum and had a collegial student body was crucial in my MBA school selection.
What course, club or activity excites you the most at Dartmouth Tuck? It is really hard to mention only one, but I will mention where I will be more involved. I am really excited to engage with Tuck Pride, the Finance Club, the Rugby Club, and the Center for Business, Government & Society. I am interested in Tuck Pride as I would love to attract even more LGBTQ+ individuals to our community and push forward LGBTQ+ representation in the business world. I also chose the Finance Club because I am fascinated by the power finance has to change the lives of many people. I chose the Rugby Club because I love to play rugby, and the Center for Business, Government & Society as I want to be more effective in creating social change.
What excites you the most about coming to live in Hanover? What is the one activity you can’t wait to do? The aspects that excite me the most about living in Hanover involve being in contact with nature, to have spaces to reflect on the big issues I want to solve and engage with my classmates 24/7. Hanover is a safe, friendly, and utterly charming place. One activity that I can’t wait to do is to play rugby. I love the comradery, collaboration, and open communication rugby brings out of each player.
Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: I consider my biggest accomplishment to be the mentorship I offered kids, teenagers, and younger staff in my previous industry. Mentoring low-income kids and LGBTQ+ teenagers, while helping them to take positive changes in their lives, has been the best thing I’ve ever done.
How did COVID-19 change your perspective on your career and your life in general? COVID-19 taught me a lot of lessons. It taught me to keep dreaming and be industrious while making positive change for a better society. The COVID-19 pandemic caused me to re-evaluate my life, goals, and relationships with others. In my career, I realized that I wanted to be a more effective agent of change for minorities—women, LGBTQ+, and racial minorities—around the world.
What led you to pursue an MBA at this point and what do you hope to do after graduation? I am pursuing an MBA because of the impact it allows you to have in the world. I want to have a positive imprint on our planet. An MBA will help me develop the skills and credibility to bring more diversity to the workplace, to help others get better jobs, improve society, and work on nonprofit endeavors. After graduation, I hope to continue working in a company that allows me to advocate for more diversity and opportunities for minority groups while creating wealth for everybody.
What other MBA programs did you apply to? Harvard, Wharton, Oxford, LBS, Stanford, and Yale.
What advice would you give to help potential applicants gain admission into Dartmouth Tuck’s MBA program? I love this question! First, I would like to say there is no formula. Tuck is transparent in how applications are evaluated and what the school is looking for. Tuck looks for smart, accomplished, aware, and encouraging individuals.
Second, take the GMAT or GRE and score at or above the school mean. However, if you have taken it a few times and are still below the mean score, do not let it deter you from applying. Schools recognize that you are more than a score. On this subject, I personally recommend test prep services like GregMat, who was a game changer in my preparation.
Third, get to know Tuck. Go to the school’s Diversity Conference (DivCo) and Women in Business Conference. Attend admissions events, meet ambassadors, engage with clubs, and talk to alumni. I view Tuck as a family, not just classmates or a “network.” I really mean family, where you develop trust with classmates and alumni, and people will have your back. For this reason, I encourage you to get to know the family and demonstrate how you can contribute to the community here.
Fourth, do a lot of self-reflection on your essays, show your true self, be vulnerable, and leave your ego at the door.
DON’T MISS: MEET DARTMOUTH TUCK’S MBA CLASS OF 2023
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Original Source: poetsandquants.com
Meet the MBA Class of 2023: Francisca Carpentier, Dartmouth College (Tuck)
“A curious learner who firmly believes that we change the world with our day-to-day actions.”
Hometown: Santiago, Chile
Fun Fact About Yourself: I am probably among very few women arriving at their MBA experience pregnant! My husband is a fellow Tuckie, and the school was very supportive with planning how to approach this academic year. We couldn’t be more excited. Many classmates have already volunteered to babysit!
Undergraduate School and Major: Bachelor of Business Administration, Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile and Master of Science in Economics from Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile
Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Associate at SummaPartners, a boutique firm founded by experienced consultants to join the worlds of management consulting and private equity.
What word best describes the Tuck MBA students and alumni you’ve met so far and why? Seekers. Tuck students are open to change and learning; students come here to question themselves and be questioned, to have an authentic transformational experience. I am also impressed by how humble successful Tuck alumni are, transmitting that same will to keep learning and challenging themselves.
Aside from your classmates, what was the key part of Dartmouth Tuck’s MBA programming that led you to choose this business school and why was it so important to you? I wanted a small school, a place where I would get to know my classmates and professors and truly connect. Before enrolling, every Tuckie I spoke with would always reflect on how transformative their two years at Tuck were and how Hanover was a special place to make human connections and life decisions. That’s what I was looking for in my MBA experience.
What course, club or activity excites you the most at Dartmouth Tuck? Everything is exciting, but I don’t think TuckGO can be topped. The idea of traveling the world with a group of classmates and a professor to learn about the most relevant topics in our global economy is an experience I am sure no one could forget.
What excites you the most about coming to live in Hanover? What is the one activity you can’t wait to do? It is living in a place far from the noise and rhythm of the city. I’ve always lived in big cities, and I love it, but doing my MBA in a small place where I could focus on the experience resonated with me.
The one activity I can’t wait to do is skiing. I need to go to the Dartmouth Skiway at least once to say I did it!
Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: My first project as an associate was to reduce a company’s size, given the risk profile of some of its operations. It was the biggest company in its industry in the region, so the project’s impact was huge. It was a multi-variable problem, where we had to work on several scenarios and consider multiple effects in a short time. We built a cohesive team with the client and finally came up with a well-thought-out solution. We accompanied the company through implementation and managed to reduce over 40% of accidents in a year, positively impacting the company’s results. In the beginning, we truly believed it wasn’t possible, and I will never forget an experienced partner telling me this was the most fun and challenging project he had worked on.
How did COVID-19 change your perspective on your career and your life in general? I think working on challenging projects without having day-to-day team interactions had an impact on me. I realized a huge part of why I enjoyed my job so much was the great team I was surrounded by and how those small breaks and jokes throughout the day truly made a difference. It changed my career because I now know how important it is for me to work with a cohesive team with whom I can have fun and learn from. It’s more about the people than the role, and that was a great life lesson.
What led you to pursue an MBA at this point and what do you hope to do after graduation? After four years working alongside great leaders and mentors, I was more aware than ever of the dreams I had as a future leader and the gaps I needed to close to become that leader. After my MBA, I hope to join the strategic team of a large tech firm. I enjoyed consulting in tech and would like to keep growing on strategic roles in that industry because I genuinely believe those companies are changing the world.
What other MBA programs did you apply to? Darden
What advice would you give to help potential applicants gain admission into Dartmouth Tuck’s MBA program? Talk with Tuckies! They are the most open community I’ve known, and you will never meet anybody more willing to talk about Tuck, Dartmouth, and Hanover than alumni: they jump at the opportunity and truly enjoy it. So go through Linkedin. Find a Tuckie you can relate to because of your experience, what you want to do after your MBA, place of birth, or whatever reason and write; I always got an answer!
DON’T MISS: MEET DARTMOUTH TUCK’S MBA CLASS OF 2023
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