Comments (21)

Most Helpful
Aug 21, 2019

I work at one and my roommate works at the other. There's no difference between the two in terms of exits, prestige, or business school. If the offers are for the same city, there will likely even be minimal difference in case variety as well. I would choose based on culture/fit, staffing model, promotion timeline, and interest in PE.

Culture fit: Both are great. If there's one you click with more, this should be your first filter and deciding factor.

Staffing model: BCG has a regional staffing model whereas Bain is local. If you're in BCG New York you could work with consultants from Boston, Philly, and DC as well as NYC. If you're at Bain New York you'll work with just other consultants from New York. Note this does not affect how far you actually travel for casework (both have local and travel cases).

Promotion timeline: BCG's is faster. You can get promoted to the post-MBA role after 2 years, and to the project leader role at 4 years. For Bain it's 2.5-3 years to post-MBA and 5-6 years for project leader. Really not sure why Bain's is slower, but that's something to consider.

PE interest: Given you're posting on WSO, you might be interested in PE/Finance and want to recruit for PE once you start. If that's the case, Bain has an advantage. It's PEG practice is the best in the business, and they send more people to PE than either McK or BCG. That said PIPE at BCG is growing and BCG does certainly place people into PE, just not like Bain does.

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Aug 21, 2019

Thanks so much for the detailed response, I really appreciate it!

Sep 6, 2019

Don't want to Hijack this but do you mind sharing your location?

If you're not comfortable in that perfectly fine, I imagine Bain's local model means NYC is more sought after than perhaps Philly / DC / Boston?

Basically wondering what the location impacts are for both local and regional staffing models? Does pay drastically differ? Exit ops? Quality of work? Prestige?

Thanks a lot!

Sep 6, 2019

Would prefer not to disclose location, but I'll answer broadly for Bain and BCG because I think the answer is basically the same. Staffing model shouldn't really affect which city you choose. Cases might be a little different (more TMT in LA, more healthcare in Boston, more gov't in DC, etc.) but if you're in one of the major offices (NY/SF/CHI/LA/BOS/DC ) you'll have plenty of cases to choose from. Pay is the same across the board, so the folks in low COL office like Dallas are making a killing vs. NYC. For quality of work and prestige, it's largely the same, with maybe a quarter point extra given to those major offices I mentioned. You can imagine it's tougher to recruit top talent to Philly as opposed to NYC, so there might be a slight dropoff there but I don't think it's material.

All in all, location really doesn't matter that much. Pick where you want to live.

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  • Associate 2 in CorpDev
Sep 27, 2019

Great input mate. I'm in T2 consulting focusing on DD in Asia but don't see many successful moves into PE despite a lot of interest from Consultants.

Would you be able to speak to why it's much more prominent in your region - is it the branding, regional hiring habits or something else? Appreciate you might not have the full Asia context, but any thoughts are welcome.

Aug 21, 2019

Bain if you're interested in PE.

BCG has a pretty good rotation program if you're interested in tech: you can do stints at Digital Ventures (building new products) and Gamma (advanced analytics/ML). Although I don't believe this is immediately available as an undergrad hire.

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Sep 6, 2019

Very good points in the above posts (assuming you are in the US)!

Sep 6, 2019

How would it differ in Canada?

Sep 12, 2019

Can't talk specifically about promotion timelines. Pay should be highly comparable and the remainder of the equations boils down mostly to culture fit and interest (incl. the PE factor).

Basically, @1600mPenn's post is still highly relevant.

Sep 8, 2019

People always say that the MBB's are quite similar, but as someone in MBB, I'd say McK & BCG have much more in common than Bain does with the other two. Look at the history of the firms and you'll see this has always been true.

Outside of all the good points people have make, I'd recommend you think carefully about what types of industries you want to work in. While Bain is extremely strong in certain areas, it's size and scale mean there are larger gaps compared to BCG and McK. For example, if you want to work with financial services companies (i.e. banks, fintechs, any non-PEG finance) or public sector, BCG is the way to go. If you want to focus on CPG and private equity, Bain is probably the better choice. All top consultancies have great cultures, but what helps a lot of people get up in the morning is the opportunity to work in industries and on problems they care about. Just make sure you are optimizing for that.

Gimme the loot

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Sep 15, 2019

I'm at one of the MBBs and agree with this sentiment.

McK & BCG generally have a broader range of industry and function areas compared to Bain (including more 'new' consulting products / ideas). Bain definitely has the advantage in PE (both in terms of the strength of its PEG practice / people interested in PE).

Sep 15, 2019

Yup. Don't think it will really influence exit opps after 2 years at MBB, but I think McK or BCG will offer a more well-rounded experience with more internal opportunities.

Gimme the loot

Sep 25, 2019

Regarding your argument on cultures, you can say that all firms have great cultures, but I would insist that they can be very different and that it can significantly impact your experience at the firm, e.g. the level of rigidity in the hierarchy.

Sep 25, 2019

Gimme the loot