Bain vs. BCG in Toronto

Hi everyone,

I have offers from Bain and BCG's Toronto offices, and so far I've learned a lot about the differences between the firms in general and have met some nice people at both firms, but was wondering if anyone had any information specific to their Toronto offices (especially as I wasn't able to visit either). 

In general, my perspective is that Bain is more tight-knit and supportive, but BCG is bigger and so I would have access to a greater diversity of projects. BCG seems a little more cut-throat, and Bainies tend to be friends with each other a lot more. That's my perspective, but I'd love to know if it holds true in Toronto and if you have any other insights that might help me choose.

What's most important to me is definitely the culture (I like to have friends at work and to work in a very supportive environment), and the next most important thing would be the possibility to work on diverse projects (I wouldn't want to only do PE or financial industry for example). 

Thank you so much!

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Comments (13)

Sep 10, 2020 - 4:31pm

I have friends at both. There are some obvious differences in operating models which have a huge implication on travel. Friends at BCG are at home during the week 75%+ of the time while those at Bain tend to travel (all pre-covid of course). BCG's Canadian offices are known for being "chill" and client list is largely large corporates (although huge focus on financials) while Bain does more PE diligence which tend to have a lot more time pressure. I know Bain used to pay less at the post-MBA level, not sure if still the case. 

  • Prospect in Consulting
Sep 10, 2020 - 4:41pm

Wow, that's surprising! One big appeal of Bain vs BCG/McK was that the local staffing (from what I know of the US offices), but it sounds like it's the opposite in Canada. What do your friends think fo the culture if you have any info? Is Bain in Toronto also a lot more tight-knit supportive and overall "more fun" as it's known for in the US? 

Sep 13, 2020 - 4:50pm

Bain is full of bros and quite fratty, up to you whether that's a plus or a minus. The issue with Bain's local staffing is that Natural Resources are their key focus (along with PE) and there's nothing local about natural resources, especially since Bain doesn't have a western office like McK and BCG so a lot of "local" project involve spending the week in a potash plant in Saskatchewan...

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  • Associate 1 in Consulting
Sep 11, 2020 - 6:36pm

I interviewed at both BB but landed at McK Toronto. MBB is small to begin with and Bain is especially small with around 100 consultants. I didn't like the idea of home office staffing when there are only a handful of partners and you have to work on their cases. The focus of the work on PE and natural resources felt narrow too. I didn't feel I connected with Bain's people (fratty) as much as the other 2, but that's a personal thing. If you don't care about industry I would go with the firm where you liked the people more. That's a sign of how you'll fit in with the culture and get promoted. 

  • Prospect in Other
Sep 11, 2020 - 8:42pm

If you could bucket exit options from consulting in TO, what would they be? How are the processes run (compared to PE, which is extremely structured), and how do you hear of these jobs?

Most Helpful
Feb 22, 2021 - 3:36pm

Anonymous Monkey

Hi everyone,

I have offers from Bain and BCG's Toronto offices, and so far I've learned a lot about the differences between the firms in general and have met some nice people at both firms, but was wondering if anyone had any information specific to their Toronto offices (especially as I wasn't able to visit either). 

In general, my perspective is that Bain is more tight-knit and supportive, but BCG is bigger and so I would have access to a greater diversity of projects. BCG seems a little more cut-throat, and Bainies tend to be friends with each other a lot more. That's my perspective, but I'd love to know if it holds true in Toronto and if you have any other insights that might help me choose.

What's most important to me is definitely the culture (I like to have friends at work and to work in a very supportive environment), and the next most important thing would be the possibility to work on diverse projects (I wouldn't want to only do PE or financial industry for example). 

Thank you so much!

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Jun 5, 2021 - 2:45pm

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