Interning in London: BCG vs. McKinsey

palimpsest's picture
Rank: Chimp | 2

I've got offers from both for a summer internship (undergrad) in their respective London offices.

I suppose I might have liked the atmosphere at BCG slightly more, but I just don't feel that a few interviews is enough for me to draw definitive conclusions -- everyone I interviewed with was lovely. Also, while I'd previously thought there wasn't a big brand difference between the two in Europe, I've recently been hearing the opposite.

Has anyone got any opinions/advice for me? Possibly about the London offices in particular (major industries, atmosphere...?)

Boston Consulting Group Compared to McKinsey for European Summer Internship

First it is important to note that having offers from both of these firms puts you in a great position as both are well regarded firms in the industry. That being said, McKinsey is typically thought to have a better brand reputation internationally. Of course, the importance of brand should be balanced against your firm culture preference. If you connected better with one firm vs. another that should not be discounted.

seekingalpha2 - Consultant:

McK London is larger and stronger across the board than BCG London. The McK brand is also stronger. The answer depends on what you want to do with your career.
If this is in fact going to be your career, you would be wise to look closely into BCG as from a work-life perspective you may be better off, such that the other tradeoffs may be worth it. That said, you are too young to know with any certainty what your career will be. Hence, maxing out the option value of the next two years is probably the best way to go - McKinsey.

However, another user disagrees with this perspective. User @yhp2009 feels that it is incorrect to choose McKinsey just for the sake of the brand. They emphasized that BCG is an equally fine institution that gets excellent clients and work flow. In the end, your success comes down to the group you are working in and how well you perform.

You can learn more about McKinsey in London in the below video.

You can learn more about McKinsey on the Wall Street Oasis Company Database.

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Comments (28)

Mar 2, 2012

BCG is definitely a big name in Germany, but not sure if that holds true across all of EMEA.

One thing I will tell you is that BCG is much more likely to try to "sell" you on their brand, etc. McKinsey just doesn't believe in that approach. So don't perceive lack of a hard sell as lack of interest in you personally - McKinsey takes that approach with everyone.

Mar 2, 2012

take mckinsey man... Goldman or Morga stanley? Harvard or Stanford? The answer is obvious.

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Mar 2, 2012
infu:

take mckinsey man... Goldman or Morga stanley? Harvard or Stanford? The answer is obvious.

^Yep...both great companies though. congrats.

Mar 2, 2012
infu:

take mckinsey man... Goldman or Morga stanley? Harvard or Stanford? The answer is obvious.

I'm going to suggest that the choice between Harvard and Stanford is not obvious anymore. But I agree with you in regards to OP - Mck over BCG for sure.

Mar 5, 2012
infu:

take mckinsey man... Goldman or Morga stanley? Harvard or Stanford? The answer is obvious.

To OP: Goldman or Morgan Stanley? Harvard or Stanford? The answer is obvious.

You go with whichever place feels like a better fit for you, because they're both great firms and either choice is fine.

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Mar 2, 2012

I disagree with picking McKinsey just for the name's sake. BCG is a hard hitter as well, and you can gain a lot from either institutions. It's true that McK may have a slight edge in prestige, but when it's all said and done, it really comes down to the group you will be working in and how well you perform at that level. Dig some more.

Mar 2, 2012

McK Londong is larger and stronger across the board than BCG London. The McK brand is also stronger. The answer depends on what you want to do with your career. If this is in fact going to be your career, you would be wise to look closely into BCG as from a work-life perspective you may be better off, such that the other tradeoffs may be worth it. That said, you are too young to know with any certainty what your career will be. Hence, maxing out the option value of the next two years is probably the best way to go - McKinsey.

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Mar 2, 2012

I'd say McK.
Global presence.
enough said.

Mar 2, 2012

they're both top notch and while McK has a stronger brand name, if I were you, I'd pick the place where I felt most comfortable

Mar 2, 2012

that harvard stanford, goldman ms analogy was downright awful

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Mar 2, 2012
DJ LIBOR:

that harvard stanford, goldman ms analogy was downright awful

Glad I wasn't the only one who blinked twice.

Mar 5, 2012
A Posse Ad Esse:
DJ LIBOR:

that harvard stanford, goldman ms analogy was downright awful

Glad I wasn't the only one who blinked twice.

It's not necessarily wrong. I definitely feel this way, and I'm sure the average person thinks that way too...

Mar 2, 2012
palimpsest:

Hi all,

I've got offers from both for a summer internship (undergrad) in their respective London offices.

I suppose I might have liked the atmosphere at BCG slightly more, but I just don't feel that a few interviews is enough for me to draw definitive conclusions -- everyone I interviewed with was lovely. Also, while I'd previously thought there wasn't a big brand difference between the two in Europe, I've recently been hearing the opposite.

In short, I'm pretty confused. Has anyone got any opinions/advice for me? Possibly about the London offices in particular (major industries, atmosphere...?)

Thanks!

OP - What specifically did you like about the atmosphere at BCG? How does that contrast with McK? Sure the sample size is small but this is important to understand, because your personal fit is important.

Also, I would make sure you really make the effort to talk to people at each. If you don't feel you've gotten enough exposure to make a decision, ask to talk to more people.

Thirdly, this isn't an end-all decision. If you choose one of the two and do a great job but are not sure you like the culture, there's nothing to stop you from trying to secure an offer from the other one. The fact that you have offers from both for summer says that both like you and the firm that doesn't get you this summer will still probably want to see you again next fall.

Nov 7, 2013

.

Mar 2, 2012

McKinsey is more highly regarded on a global basis. That said from my friends who work there, the culture is slightly more intense. BCG is also intense, but varies greatly group-to-group.

Mar 2, 2012

go where you like the people/environment more. Name is the same.

There is no right answer between Goldman or Morga stanley and Harvard or Stanford/ Whoever thinks there is probably isn't smart enough to get into any of those places anyway.

Mar 5, 2012

Agree with the above few posts. You're going to be working with these people for over 60 hours a week, I think your fit is more important than the prestige (especially since fit can affect your performance). McKinsey is better regarded but I think the difference is not as big as what some people on this board makes it seem to be.

Mar 5, 2012

I met a BCGer now working in the Southern Cone system who spent his post MBA park at the London office and had only good things to say. Other than that the diference is nil, they pay exactly the same. BCG people are supposed to be nicer, McK is supposed to be more prestigious.

Best Response
Mar 5, 2012

Incredibly obvious - like bloods vs. crips

"Just go to the prom and get your promotion. That's the way the business world works. Come on, Keith!" - The Boss

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Mar 6, 2012

Well, it is really cool that you have both offers and although I do not know anything about these two I think that you will make the right choice. Sometimes what we think would be a good thing can be better than we expected.

 

 

Getting offered two internships can be a great thing for anyone who is in some en ligne casino or about to enter but making the decision can be brutal.

Jun 11, 2012

I like both offers internships, but it's your choice and your decision to take. You need to know that the one you'll peek it's the best for you. Good luck and keep us informed.

Nov 20, 2012

*edit

Mar 2, 2012

Show up in a big duck costume at your local McK office, do a little dance, draw some attention to yourself?

Your odds are slim. If they aren't looking for you at your school, that leaves 2 options: either you know someone, or you submit online. General consensus is online submissions disappear into a black hole. Since you're on an internet forum asking for advice, I further assume you don't know anyone at MBB that can put in a word, get your resume looked at, etc. so it appears both of those options are out. Lastly, and perhaps unfortunately, even if those weren't barriers, MBB won't look very favorably on Big4 advisory experience so even if you got it looked it, it's probably going in the trash. That's too "middle of the pack". Even Deloitte S&O kids have a hard time finding opportunities to transition to MBB, and Deloitte is arguably the only one of the Big4 that does real strategy engagements on par with the big MC shops.

I would suggest your time is better spent rocking out in the Big4, and later transitioning to a F500 gig.

Jun 23, 2012

McK

Jun 24, 2012
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Jul 25, 2012
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