BCG specific: can someone explain the difference between an associate and consultant please?

associate BCG consultant
New answer on Jul 02, 2019
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Anonymous A asked on Jul 01, 2019

I mainly would like to know from a BCG-only hiring perpective. What are the experiences, academic levels expected for associates and consultants at BCG. Also, there are numerous other titles that confuse me over and above these 2 like associate consultants, senior associates, junior consultants etc. It will be very helpful to know the distinction between these since even the BCG website doesn't elaborate on this - I came across it on Glassdoor.

Are the graduates from MBA/ non-MBA masters courses without experience hired as consultants or associates?

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Ian
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replied on Jul 02, 2019
BCG | 100% personal interview success rate (8/8) and 95% candidate success rate | Personalized interview prep

Associate = Associate Consulant = Lowest level (think Analyst). Few years of experience

Junior Consultant = Senior Associate = An "in between" of Associate and Consultant that is pretty rare and for special situations

Consultant = 4+ years experience and generally an MBA or equivalent

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Deniz
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replied on Jul 01, 2019
BCG | A.T. Kearney | University of Cambridge | 350+ coachees | 5+ years of consulting experience in London, Dubai and Istanbul

Hi,

Associate is the entry level position, which does not require an MBA degree. Most associates have either graduate or post graduate degree. In some offices, there is a distinction between junior associate (or simply associate) and senior associate. One reaches senior associate position after 2-3 years of junior associate (or simply associate) role. Consultant position is post MBA position.

To recap, graduates from MBA are typically hired as consultants, and graduates from non-MBA masters without experience are hired as associates.

Best,

Deniz

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Anonymous A on Jul 01, 2019
Thanks a lot for the clarification! Would the graduates from non-MBA masters be hired as associates even when they have work experience (non-consulting) of say 3-4 years in finance/ social sector research?
Deniz on Jul 01, 2019
I guess this would depend on the office. I sometimes saw people with 3 4 years non consulting background hired as associates, but they were given 1 or 2 years of tenure.
Anonymous A on Jul 01, 2019
Understood. Again, thanks a lot!
Vlad
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replied on Jul 02, 2019
McKinsey / Accenture Alum / Got all BIG3 offers / Harvard Business School

Hi,

It's very easy:

  • Associate - fresh grad with minimum experience (0.5-2 years)
  • Consultant - MBA grad or experienced hire (3-4+ years of experience)

You can either grow to senior associate within the company or you can be hired as SA if you have enough work experience for the role and demonstrated good performance on the case interview.

Best!

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Ian

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