Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Pet Peeve

Question for any of you who have worked in corporate development/corp M&A roles...

Why do many companies insist on one having had i-banking or strategy consulting experience beforehand?

I admit I have not done Excel modeling on a daily basis like those who have come from the aforementioned professions, but I have done a ton since I have been in school, both in and out of class. I certainly think I could hold my own if I was doing it day in and day out, and would certainly be willing to put in any extra effort to make my Excel kung fu as good as the next guy's :)

Is there that much of a learning curve, or is this just the recruiting function at these companies using that criteria to reduce candidate volume?


Anonymous said...

My guess is that it's two-fold:

1. They're lazy and time-constrained. You can hold your own in Excel modeling and YOU know that, but THEY don't deeply know that without testing you on all the nitty gritty details. Recruiters can use IB experience at a bulge bracket firm to quickly cut down the recruiting pool to qualified candidates that are guaranteed to know the modeling, without having to test all the candidates' modeling proficiency. As long as there is a deep pool of people with IB experience, requiring IB is the path of least resistance for recruiters and it consistently works. Just like recruiters prefer CBS to a second or third tier business school, the other candidates might be just as good but recruiters can use CBS admissions and experience as an easy filter to cut down the recruiting pool to qualified candidates. Sux for people in your situation (I've been in a similar situation) but unfortunately it's a reality. If there's a way for you to really prove your skills (aside from an A in Corp Fin) then you could try it, but...who knows.

2. Snobbery. A lot of the people themselves went through IB and they think that nobody's at their caliber of learning and effort unless you've been through the same. It's like a right of passage or Greek system, they think you have to go through initiation to become a brother. If you haven't gone through initiation like them, they don't think you're worthy (regardless of your ability to perform the functions of the job).

Deadhedge said...

This was a pet peeve of mine also. I would add conservative to the list also as well as lazy. No one will get in trouble for hiring a former consultant or ibanker. There is also the laziness of basically outsourcing their recruiting to ibanks or consulting firms. Basically, they're saying that if those companies found you acceptable, they will also.

My company's internal consulting dept is run by a former Big 4 consultant. She has put Big 4 consulting experience as a criteria on job postings.