I have offers from both the Bain and McK offices in London. At the moment, I don't know precisely what I'd like to do in a few years time. I'm thinking I'd like to stay in consulting and work my way towards Partner. This may, of course, change as I start work and have new experiences and find out more about exit opportunities.
McKinsey vs. Bain
I wanted to reach out to you: Which is better in terms of opportunities it provides? What are the different exit opportunities available from each firm? Which would you take if you were in my position with the amount of knowledge I have now? And what are good questions to ask the people there?
Please help me out. I'm not asking for politically correct 'it's your decision' answers. Obviously, it is my decision. But I want to see what people think about these 2 firms and the thought processes that you would use in distinguishing between them!
How to Decide Between Bain and McKinsey
When you have the good fortune of deciding between two offers at top consulting firms, there's really no wrong choice. To help you make the decision, here are some factors to consider:
No matter who you reach out to for advice, remember it's their perspective. It can help you gather information, but in the end it's about selecting the best opportunity for you. WSO community members offer the following input.
- At McKinsey you will travel 4 days a week basically every week on a project.
- At Bain 50% of the projects in London require less than 2 days away each week.
- McKinsey has the better brand and is probably the only company that, if you make partner, you could walk straight into a very senior industry role.
- Bain obviously has a great brand too but it probably isn't quite as good as McKinsey across the board. That said it is probably stronger in Private Equity and equal in many other areas (except Public Sector).
- Also, what have you made of the people you've met? You're going to be working long hours and working with people you get along with will make it much more bearable.
- I would say that Bain is a better choice since it is a much "younger" company in terms of attitude and culture.
- In terms of your actual projects, McKinsey does way more operational work than they would care to admit.
- All three are essentially the same in hours and travel (days/week).
- BCG is on par w/ McK/Bain but for some reason does not place as well in exit opps.
- All three are a lock to get into a top 5 b-school (assuming GMAT, GPA etc).
- McKinsey and BCG tend to be maximize the experience of its consultants (post-MBA) while Bain tends to maximize the AC (pre-MBA) experience (not my words).
- WSO Consulting Forum
- Ex-McKinsey Consultant Here Answering Questions
- Why BCG or McKinsey?
- MBB Consultant Answering Your Questions
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