Received offers from all three MBB firms and don't know what to do
Hey guys! Recently, I found out that I received 2023 internship offers from all threefirms, and I couldn't be happier. This recruitment process has been great, and all of my interviews went smoothly and I felt confident about the result following each one. I participated in diversity programs for a few of them, so the timeline of my recruitment was a bit different. The past few months have been extremely stressful yet rewarding, and although I go to a target school, I am a FGLI student and it feels as if all of the hard work in my life is finally coming to fruition.
The fruits of my labor are showing, and I am extremely proud of myself. That being said, I now have a very big decision to make. All three of my offers are for the same location (I have not gotten specifics for Bain yet, but I'm 90% sure), so that is not a factor in my decision. I am also wary of the recent comp increase for undergraduate hires (I believe 112k for Bain & McK, and 110k for), but this is also not factoring into my decision (also, I find it funny and kinda petty that Bain & McK really one-upped BCG like that following their initial comp increase). Here are my thoughts on each of them:
At the beginning of the recruitment process, I got the sense that this was probably the best cultural fit for me. Objectively, my experience has been extremely positive here, and I have essentially liked everyone that I've met so far. The minority affinity group that I would be apart of as well is also particularly strong at the office I would be joining, and my experience with them has made me realize how important it is to have a strong network of people that look like you and want to support you. I am also aware of how strong their private equity practice is, however I am definitely not a PE junkie and don't know if I'd particularly want to exit into PE after consulting. Sometimes I wish I was more into PE so that this decision would be easier for me, but I just don't care about it as much so this is a nice benefit, but not a game changer by any means. However, I just get the feeling that if I chose Bain, I would have the most regret or FOMO out of my three options.
This was the first offer I received, and for the last couple of months I've definitely developed a preference for them. Everyone I've talked to has really made me feel wanted, and before the other offers, I was really content with potentially ending up here. However, there was a recent instance in which I met a few people at the office I received an offer from that I just really didn't vibe with, and this was the first time in which things just felt awkward. All of my other experiences have been positive ones though, and although I was initially thrown off by this instance, I have since chilled out on it and am not going to overblow this at all, but it did make me take a step back. I also feel as if I just know a lot more about the firm compared to the others just due to the sheer number of interactions I was able to have.
This one is interesting. I recruited for this one normally, so I have not had as many interactions with people from the firm compared to the other two. This is not necessarily a bad thing, it's just that this gives McK more unknowns to me. After receiving the offer, I will fully take the opportunity to talk to as many people as I can to get a sense of culture and vibes. Throughout recruitment, despite my preferences, I always had this lurking thought in the back of my mind that if Ioffer, was I going to look at it and say no to it? I am trying to set perceived prestige aside, but there's no denying that I haven't thought about that and the stereotypes surrounding it that are so prevalent in these circles in college.
Even though I am bound to make friends in any of these places, I am worried about the stereotypes about the McK culture being more cutthroat, more formal, more competitive, and less fun than the other two, which is why I want to do as muchcan to talk to people before making a decision. Also, one other thing that I'm thinking about is that if I like it enough, I may want to stay in consulting longer-term, and for some reason doing that at McK just feels harder and maybe even less likely to me compared to the other two.
Throughout my life, when it comes to choices, I feel like I've quite often made the head over heart decision and taken the best possible option for myself (at least on paper), and this time around, I was honestly thinking I could finally make the heart decision. However, since I have always made the decision to do the best possible for myself, the other part of me is thinking why would I stop now? I have truly worked so hard to be in this position and decided to continue to interview even after I received a great offer, and so would me doing all of this be in vain if I didn't choose this? I am also intrigued by the challenge of it all, and feel that maybe I should go this route to at least give myself the satisfaction of saying that I tried, and to signal to myself and others that I am fully capable and deserving to do this, and maybe even flex a bit.
Overall, I think I'm leaning BCG or McKinsey, and I just feel like I would have the most amount of regret if I chose Bain. Among these two though, it's tough. Like I said before, I can see myself staying long term at BCG more than I could at McKinsey, but I am drawn to the challenge and potentially greater opportunities (which may honestly be a ~1% difference, if even that) that McK provides. Even taking prestige out of the equation, McK undoubtedly has the largest network being the oldest of the three, and since I have no idea at all what industry I would potentially be interested in, this larger network would just generally be helpful if I did want to exit.
My ultimate goal in my career however is to own my own business, so I guess I would prefer to go to the best place that helps foster that. In general, I want to go to the best place that maximizes and leaves all of these doors open (staying, exiting, starting my own business) the longest. One thing that I realized as well is that this is still just an internship, and so there's no guarantee that I would have to re-sign for full-time at the place I choose.
What I'm thinking of right now is potentially interning at McK to at least give myself peace of mind that I tried it and challenged myself, and then evaluating everything afterward to see if this is really somewhere I would want to work full-time. I was at first thinking that there was no shot I'd re-recruit next year if I got one of these offers, but I'm honestly prepared to do so if absolutely necessary if I truly don't think I'm in the right place. The process for me was so smooth and I'm extremely confident in my behavioral and casing abilities, so I truly think I could do it again if I really wanted to. The only thing is that I have certainly made connections at BCG, and I would just feel bad for not accepting them. However, I ultimately know that I have to make the right decision for myself at the end of the day.
Sorry for writing so much, but I think this did me some good to be able to vent. This is certainly a great problem to have and I am so blessed to be in this situation. I want to open this up to you guys though. What do you think I should do? Are there really any differences in the exit opportunities between these firms, and is there a difference to how sustainable or possible it is to rise up the ranks at these places? Is one place better for someone considering entrepreneurship? Are the stereotypes regarding culture valid at all, i.e. McK being a cutthroat, more formal place where you can't have fun?
Finally, is my thought to do my internship at McKinsey and seeing how I feel about it a reasonable one, and how common/possible is it for people to make that internship to full-time lateral MBB transition? Open to ideas from anyone, especially those who were in a similar situation, have experiences with multiple of these firms/potentially transitioned between two of them, and those who rose up the ranks and stayed longer-term in consulting at one of these places. Please let me know what you guys think, and thanks in advance. For now, I'll celebrate!