What you will do at MBB depends on what track you choose to apply through. Your prior experience determines which track you are suitable for, even though you can still apply to other tracks. But once you choose to settle for one track, it becomes the single biggest determinant of the work you will do at these firms. "Private Equity Practice" and "Strategy & Corporate Finance" are NOT tracks, they are functions. A track can have different functions and sectors you can specialise in within that track.
The following are the different broad tracks you can recruit for:
- BTO (IT Strategy and Digital in BCG)
Now to provide details for the areas I mentioned:
- Power bases of the firm, traditional track for running the firm
- You can’t specialise here at the early stages. In fact, you don’t wasn't to specialise here until you have gotten to the EM level.
- Relatively hard to get into as most people apply to this path
- You will spend a significant amount of time here breaking down problems, collecting data to conduct analysis, interacting with client’s representatives or the client themselves(depending on your level) and also putting the problem back together to make a recommendation(mostly at the senior level).
- As the name implies, you are specialist—hired to do one thing that you have been historically known to do well.
- It is not one role but a catchphrase for many roles the firm has where specialization is required.
- It is not a track to partnership - you cannot be an equity partner (at least in Mckinsey and BCG)
- You are not stuck on one engagement at a time. An engagement runs into some issues or they need your expertise, you get called in to help them identify the issue. And once you are done, you get kicked out in a nice way. Back to whatever it is you were doing before.
- You don’t maintain or manage the client relationship. You are behind the scene. And like Micheal Boricki would say “You are that cousin no one wants at the party.”
- And ohhh, you are most likely stuck in this track for life. Switching is nearly impossible at the time of this writing and to the best of my knowledge.
BTO (IT Strategy and Digital in BCG) Path:
- A close cousin of the generalist track. You learned everything the generalist learn and more.
- IT is the future of the world and you will be focused on solving problems of that nature.
- Understanding data and technology is important for this role.
- Founded in Australia
- Newest of all tracks/paths so many stuff are relatively experimental
- A lot of its capability sits in Australia, you may want to go to Australia
- The skillset required for this path is radically different from the rest of the track. You are not going to learn the problem-solving skillset of a generalist
- Your focus is on executing recommendations made by the generalist or other consulting firms
- You have nothing to do with operations. Operations consultants are a highly trained specialist at Mckinsey. Don’t mix up the two
- Lowest salary across board/region
- It is about building trust and getting people to understand what is to be done.
- You don’t set the pace, the employees of your client generally do.
- Experience is key here. You must have a track record of implementing/executing plans.
I hope these provide you with the clarity you need.