I spent Monday traipsing about the offices of two major consulting firms in Chicago, and the differences, from a visual perspective, were quite apparent. One was in the midst of a huge renovation project and an out-of-loop office; the other had offices overlooking both Merchandise Mart and the Lake. One had a small vending machine in the corner while the other had a full-service break room stocked with all sorts of goodies. One is a relative newcomer to the market while the other’s founder literally wrote the book on a how a management consulting firm should operate.
But the projects, the meat of my summer experience, were far, far more diverse. It’s likely that one firm would place me on an operations strategy project for an aerospace or automotive firm, while the other would place me in the firm’s Higher Education consulting arm — something non-profit and, well, a lot more relevant to the type of work I want to do when I grow up. 🙂
So here comes the reality check: I got an offer from the less reputable firm with the work I would love to do, followed by a rejection from the other. If you strip away the ego and the desire to be coddled, it’s obvious which one would make sense.
But I’m human, and I don’t pretend to not struggle with the lack of polish on what’s been offered to me. Ironically, though, I’m considering a few non-profits for the summer as well, so if it’s glitz and glamour I’m looking for I better get over that fast. 😉
But am I happy? Figuring that they assured us that only 40 Rossers would be getting consulting offers this year, I’m pretty humbled to be included in that group. And stoked…regardless of what offers come my way, this first one was a great start.