Bain vs. McKinsey (received 2 offers)

Bain McKinsey
New answer on Nov 29, 2022
10 Answers
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Anonymous A asked on Nov 24, 2022

Dear community, 

I need urgent help. Yesterday I received my Bain offer and the week before McK. 

From the fit perspective and all the people I know Bain feels like a natural fit to me. I also like to do finance related cases and am interested to work in the private equity group. 

McKinsey feels like the no-brainer from a brand perspective, however. 

It is super hard for me to decide at the moment. 

My heart says Bain but my ego says McK. 

What would you say?

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Benjamin
Expert
replied on Nov 24, 2022
Ex-BCG Principal | 8+ years consulting experience in SEA | BCG top interviewer with ~5 years of interviewing experience

Congrats on the offers! 

A great problem to have and like other coaches mentioned you are definitely in a really good position.

I will make just 2 points, based on my own experience:

  1. Having a good brand is great. It does feel good when people recognize your firm and go “oh wow, you work at [firm]”. But the reality is you will be spending almost all of your waking hours working in a very intense environment, and working closely with other people in the firm - and working in a place that you feel you fit-in with makes a big difference
    • From an exit POV, depends on your office but I generally feel that MBB are seen in the same tier and you shouldnt worry about that
  2. Ego is a real thing - we all have it and shape some parts of our life around it. But if you reach a stage (maybe in the future) where you start caring less about what other people think, you'll be happier with a choice made with your heart

In any case, whichever choice you make, do so without regret and live that path to the fullest :)

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Florian
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Content Creator
replied on Nov 24, 2022
#1 rated McKinsey Case and PEI Coach | 5 years at McKinsey | Mentorship Approach | 120+ McK offers in 18 months

Hey there,

First of all, congrats. An amazing achievement! :-)

For once a simple question and a simple answer: Go with your heart.

You spend so much time, effort, and energy on the job. You want to do this in the environment where you feel best.

Also, this will impact the success you have on the job in the long run as well.

All the best!

Florian

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Emily
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Nov 27, 2022
Ex McKinsey EM & interviewer (5 yrs) USA & UK| Coached / interviewed 200 +|Free 15 min intro| Stanford MBA|Non-trad

I always recommend going with your heart. They're both great firms and will open doors to you. It's better to be somewhere where you feel you'll be happy and have a great couple of years, then it is to go somewhere because there is a slight brand advantage. 

That being said, be careful if they tell you things like ‘we work less hard than McKinsey' or ‘we care more about you'. These things rarely are true!

A few things that you might want to think about which may not come up when talking to people but which will have an impact on your experience:

  • How the promotion cycle works - Bain tends to promote as a class, McKinsey on your performance 
  • How you get ‘staffed’ e.g., on projects - McKinsey gives you more flexibility
  • What the industry mix is in your office and how much travel is involved

If you feel that you have all the information, then go with your heart!

Good luck!

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Clara
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Nov 27, 2022
McKinsey | Awarded professor at Master in Management @ IE | MBA at MIT |+180 students coached | Integrated FIT Guide aut

Hello!

Congrats! I love the way you put it. 

The great news: you cannot make a mistake here. Both are awesome.

I would ask for a day in each company to get more insight on fit, and decide after. 

Hope it helps!

Cheers, 

Clara

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Ian
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Nov 24, 2022
MBB | 100% personal interview success rate (8/8) and 95% candidate success rate | Personalized interview prep

Hi there,

I can't tell you what to do here, but you need to decide what's most important here. Do you value your heart or your ego more?

I personally value my heart (and most people who value ego learn the hard way). That said, McKinsey is the #1.

If it makes you feel any better, with any MBB offer you are going to be just fine and have a splendid career.

Congrats on a “hard” choice! Ultimately, you can't go wrong here! (Imagine if you only had 1 offer, how happy you would be)

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Rushabh
CoachingPlus Expert
replied on Nov 24, 2022
Immediate Coaching Available! | 50% discount on mocks! | BCG Expert | Middle East | 60+ mocks delivered | IESE & NYU MBA

Hello,

Here's my two cents to help cope with your ego: Tell yourself that you've already received the McKinsey offer and thus you are clearly good enough to join the brand IF YOU WISH TO. However, it is YOU who is choosing to turn them down, and not the other way around. 

Thus, you should go with your heart (Bain) and also satisfy your ego (since you received the McKinsey offer).

All the best!

Rushabh

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Lucie
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Nov 24, 2022
10+yrs recruiting & top BCG trainer & BCG Project leader & experienced hire & ICF coach

this is hard to say but many would say, nice problem to have :-)

It seems Bain fits you better - btw from the brand perspective, they stand equally, no worry about this! If you are still not certain, ask for a few chat with any former employees to compare. Or you just follow your intuition :-)

Good luck!

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Dennis
Expert
replied on Nov 24, 2022
Seasoned project leader with 7+ years of consulting and recruiting experience in USA and Europe

Congratulations!

You list many good reasons to choose Bain in your situation.

You will be more successful in an environment in which you feel a sense of belonging. While ultimately you only got a glimpse into the true culture of both firms during your recruiting process, listening to your instinct and acting on first impressions is probably a good call to make here. 

In any case, you have a luxury problem so whatever choice you make, you'll still be fine.

All the best

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Udayan
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Nov 29, 2022
Top rated McKinsey Case & PEI coach/Multiple real offers/McKinsey EM in New York /6 years McKinsey recruiting experience

Go with your heart. McKinsey brand may matter more at a macro level but it really is not that big a difference. Every single company would look at Bain at the same level as McKinsey. 

You need to show up every day and be your best self. That only happens when you feel like you belong and enjoy the culture of the firm and the people you work with. This is the most important part in the long run.

Congrats on two excellent offers!

Udayan

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Adi
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Nov 24, 2022
Accenture, Deloitte | Precision Case Prep | Experienced Interviewer & Career Coach | 15 years professional experience
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Benjamin gave the best answer

Benjamin

Ex-BCG Principal | 8+ years consulting experience in SEA | BCG top interviewer with ~5 years of interviewing experience
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