Investment Banking vs. Management Consulting

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Like other applicants, you may have entered “management consulting vs investment banking” on Google search field. Consultants may wear a lot of hats, so there is clearly an overlap with other corporate sectors. If we were to tell you that there’s a big difference between a theoretical physicist and an electronics engineer, you would understand, right?

Let’s back up for a second. A theoretical physicist doesn’t go after the nuts and bolts of a specific system, rather he or she is trying to find an explanation that works in every case. An electronics engineer is the one tasked with providing the practical outcome based on that new theory, as well as the body of work before it.

You can refer to the comparison above to resolve the consulting vs investment banking issue. Employees of both industries help companies take their strategies in new directions, but the tactics they use greatly differ.

Investment Banking as Theoretical Physics

Like research assistants at a top university, i-bankers are not likely doing much different from what they did at university, applying what they know to large quantities of data in order to help a more senior member of the firm prove a case to a client.

As they move up the corporate ladder, however, the greater interest becomes in developing a story line of how to make money work better for a firm. This can hold especially true for firms looking to make their growth dependent on mergers and acquisitions.

Management Consulting: In the Trenches

As many management consultants in the early part of their career can vouch for, travel plays a huge role in defining what you do on a weekly or monthly basis. Especially at top firms with many satellite offices, management consultants are expected to come up with strategies on the site with their clients, after meeting with senior and junior staff members.

And since we’ve talked about how to master the case interview questions by going through concrete assertions, it makes sense to re-iterate that point. A management consultant’s goal is to come up with creative solutions that take into account what the company has done and move it towards what it can do.

Unlike investment bankers, you may find yourself working in divergent departments like helping a marketing team trim excess weight or finding new ways for a human resources department best roll out a new health benefits package.

Which Fits You Best?

As you look for explanation on consulting vs investment banking, you will not see the main difference at the start, although financial wizards will see the most overlap between the two sectors. But if you don’t feel a pull into the sales and story side of things, you aren’t likely to be happy to remain in investment banking.

On the other hand, if you’re interested in starting with concrete building blocks and putting them together in ways that benefit your clients, management consulting is probably the best fit. Don’t assume without experience that one is better for you than the other, but this way you may have a better framework for judging for yourself.

Get a better understanding on consulting vs investment banking by reading more articles on the Internet. Then if you’re convinced that the former is where you want to build your career on, download this free e-book. It gives you tips on how to go through its recruitment process successfully.

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