McK Corporate Finance V.S. BCG

plainboy's picture
Rank: Senior Chimp | 23

I am a first year MBA student. Got offers from McKinsey corporate finance Practice as a Summer Associate and BCG, both in Shanghai.

For McKinsey CF, 50% of time is CF related, the other 50% is generalist type of work. BCG is generalist.

Seek advice on how should I choose between these two offers.

Many thanks,

Comments (11)

Feb 5, 2015

I would go with BCG. MCK is bigger in China, but there won't be a significant difference in prestige/exit opps.

There is significant value in being a generalist. Even if you want to specialize in corporate finance ultimately, good to see lot of different industries / functional areas especially at this stage in your career.

Feb 5, 2015

To clarify, for McKinsey CF, 50% of time is CF related, the other 50% is generalist type of work. The recruiting process for CF is almost the same as the generalist.

Feb 6, 2015

Choosing an early specialization does not restrict you all that much at McK. You will get first look on projects within the CF area (and if you focus on CF projects you will move up the ranks faster). You will also have ample opportunities to do other things (all consulting firms value a breadth of experience).

If you have no interest in CF, I'd go with BCG. Otherwise I'd look into the following:

- quality of consultants in China at each firm (use your own opinion)
- where do people go once they leave these firms (do a quick linkedin search)
- what industries do these firms focus on in China? how deep are their industry connections?
- what staffing model will be used? do you care for local vs. global staffing?
- how deep is the talent pool in the CF group at McK (China office(s) specific)? if it is not that deep, this can be very favorable to you...
- what do you want to do after consulting (you may stay for a long time, but odds are low)?
- ask your friends in Asia what the reputations of these firms are (in terms of quality of work, quality of consultants etc)

At the end of the day, you are doing an internship, so you can't really go wrong. Make a choice and if doesn't work out that well, then you can (easily) change for full-time.

making a one eight zero.

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Feb 8, 2015

I would probably go with BCG. Very comparable in reputation and outcomes, but McK CF (even at 50%) only makes sense if you have a very strong CF-specific interest. BCG gives you much broader options.

Feb 13, 2015

Still not sure about a CF trek...want to understand the flexibility of doing non-CF job, thanks!

Feb 14, 2015

Thanks for sharing!

Feb 14, 2015

It seems like your preference is;

Mckinsey generalist > Bcg generalist > McKinsey corp fin

I know a few people last year who got McKinsey non generalist, and then leveraged an offer from bain/BCG to get into a generalist role.

Not sure if it works that way in Korea, but you have nothing to lose. You should always use that BATNA.

Feb 15, 2015

Speaking for a US office here, but the McK "alignments" are extremely loose. A CF person can do non-CF stuff, and a non-CF person can do CF stuff. As a CF person, you really have 2 primary tracks to get on engagements rather than 1. You can go the generalist route, or the CF route. When recruiters describe the role to use, they always use mention "50%" but that percentage can be as high or low (even 0%) as you want it to be.

The other thing to keep in mind is that the CF and strategy practices are aligned together and intertwined. Lots of people who spend time in CF also spend lots of time in strategy, and even the staffer for the 2 practices is the same. If you look at the McK CF website, it has strategy in the sidebar as a related practice. ( So if that is something you are interested in, it may be easier to get on strategy projects as a CF person.

So my point is really don't make your decision on CF vs generalist. Make it based on office to office.

Feb 16, 2015

Speaking for US and ME offices here for BCG, and I'll echo what @Emous said. Since you're going in for the Summer only, you might get experience on up to 2 cases so you won't really be "stuck" with anything. If you're at BCG, they'll likely leverage your previous experiences and put you on something that you've done before (if your background is CF, look for FS cases).

That being said, if you do McK CF, you can definitely leverage that in BCG interviews and vice-versa (BCG to McK generalist) if you're not happy with it.

Feb 16, 2015

Thank you all for your information. I signed an offer with McKinsey.

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Feb 18, 2015