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Francesco

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BCG vs. Bain

Dear all,

I got the offer from both BCG and Bain in Milan office, however I still need some suggestion on how to choose between them. Both are intership offer, but I know that I will be staffed in a Fashion&Luxury case at Bain immediately if I accept and this is really one of my preferred industry. Also Bain said that after three months I already have the possibility to turn full-time. On the other side, it seems that BCG is a little bit more prestigious (gut feeling only) and people are really cute, at least the interviewers I met.

Which one should be preferred in the long-term? I did not notice such a big difference in terms of cultulre, since both are not so hierarchical and old-school style as McKinsey. Any kind of suggestion is super welcomed!

Thank you in advance!

Francesca

Dear all,

I got the offer from both BCG and Bain in Milan office, however I still need some suggestion on how to choose between them. Both are intership offer, but I know that I will be staffed in a Fashion&Luxury case at Bain immediately if I accept and this is really one of my preferred industry. Also Bain said that after three months I already have the possibility to turn full-time. On the other side, it seems that BCG is a little bit more prestigious (gut feeling only) and people are really cute, at least the interviewers I met.

Which one should be preferred in the long-term? I did not notice such a big difference in terms of cultulre, since both are not so hierarchical and old-school style as McKinsey. Any kind of suggestion is super welcomed!

Thank you in advance!

Francesca

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Book a coaching with Francesco

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Hi Francesca,

Congratulations on your offers!

I worked at BCG Milan and helped a good number of people to join both companies in Milan. Here are some elements to consider:

  • Industries. As you already know, Bain is strong in Luxury - which is something you like - plus historically in due diligence. BCG is quite diversified – less Financial Service projects than McK, several projects in consumer, energy, industrial goods. BCG Italy is also well connected with the Middle East and related public sector in the area, so if that geography/area is interesting for you that would be a plus
  • Clients. Bain in Italy focuses on smaller projects and it is more “entrepreneurial” (you may be staffed with only one manager on a project – which is quite rare at BCG). This is something you may or may not find positive
  • MBA. When I joined BCG, it was offering more MBA sponsorship opportunities than Bain. Now things may be different – you may want to check that if an MBA is relevant for you
  • People. Difficult to infer this just based on the interview interaction. My perception was both were a lot more down-to-earth than McKinsey in Italy
  • Global Prestige. BCG is bigger and with more alumni worldwide. Everything being the same, they will offer more exit opportunities for that reason

As next steps: I would recommend you talk with as many recent Alumni of the companies as possible to make a decision. Unlike current consultants, they won’t be biased and will tell you the truth about their former companies.

If you need more help please PM me.

Hope this helps,
Francesco

Hi Francesca,

Congratulations on your offers!

I worked at BCG Milan and helped a good number of people to join both companies in Milan. Here are some elements to consider:

  • Industries. As you already know, Bain is strong in Luxury - which is something you like - plus historically in due diligence. BCG is quite diversified – less Financial Service projects than McK, several projects in consumer, energy, industrial goods. BCG Italy is also well connected with the Middle East and related public sector in the area, so if that geography/area is interesting for you that would be a plus
  • Clients. Bain in Italy focuses on smaller projects and it is more “entrepreneurial” (you may be staffed with only one manager on a project – which is quite rare at BCG). This is something you may or may not find positive
  • MBA. When I joined BCG, it was offering more MBA sponsorship opportunities than Bain. Now things may be different – you may want to check that if an MBA is relevant for you
  • People. Difficult to infer this just based on the interview interaction. My perception was both were a lot more down-to-earth than McKinsey in Italy
  • Global Prestige. BCG is bigger and with more alumni worldwide. Everything being the same, they will offer more exit opportunities for that reason

As next steps: I would recommend you talk with as many recent Alumni of the companies as possible to make a decision. Unlike current consultants, they won’t be biased and will tell you the truth about their former companies.

If you need more help please PM me.

Hope this helps,
Francesco

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Congratulations! In terms of the long-term prospects, I think it really comes down to you. Choose the one where you feel that you will be most "successful" not just in terms of promotions but also your learning & development, friendship/community, work-life balance, etc. Below are some factors that I thought about when I was in your shoes:

+ Types of client and projects that you feel passionate about and will make the long hours more meaingful

+ Colleagues (including your peers) who you find inspiring and who you feel you can learn a lot from

+ Coaching, development and training that is aligned with what you are looking for as part of the early phase of your career

+ Performance culture that fits with your style - both when you're performing well but also not so well

Congratulations! In terms of the long-term prospects, I think it really comes down to you. Choose the one where you feel that you will be most "successful" not just in terms of promotions but also your learning & development, friendship/community, work-life balance, etc. Below are some factors that I thought about when I was in your shoes:

+ Types of client and projects that you feel passionate about and will make the long hours more meaingful

+ Colleagues (including your peers) who you find inspiring and who you feel you can learn a lot from

+ Coaching, development and training that is aligned with what you are looking for as part of the early phase of your career

+ Performance culture that fits with your style - both when you're performing well but also not so well

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Hi Francesca,

Congrats!

Go for that option which is a better fit with your career aspirations, values and risk apetite. Go for that option where you expect to be a happier and give your best. Its very hard to choose "the best" option, as life is such. There will always be some risk. There will always be something better out there, so remove this pressure. There will be ups and downs and the key thing is how you make the most of the whatever you choose.

Good luck!

Hi Francesca,

Congrats!

Go for that option which is a better fit with your career aspirations, values and risk apetite. Go for that option where you expect to be a happier and give your best. Its very hard to choose "the best" option, as life is such. There will always be some risk. There will always be something better out there, so remove this pressure. There will be ups and downs and the key thing is how you make the most of the whatever you choose.

Good luck!

Thank you for your response Adi, really appreciated it! — Francesca on Jan 30, 2021

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Hi,

both are very good in the long-run per se. It comes down to your:

  • specific goals
  • exit plans
  • specific required experiences in the next 3-5 years
  • Consulting for life in Italy?
  • MBA / PhD?
  • Transfer to another country?
  • Exit into Corporate?
  • Exit into PE?

Impossible to give you value-adding advice without knowing the context. You will not make any mistakes by joining the one over the other. What I would do:

Get as many people from both offices on the phone (i.e. your future colleagues and bosses) and chose the firm you click with the best. Content / Industries etc is by far not as important as getting along with the people - but typically overlooked by new starters.

Best,
Denis

Hi,

both are very good in the long-run per se. It comes down to your:

  • specific goals
  • exit plans
  • specific required experiences in the next 3-5 years
  • Consulting for life in Italy?
  • MBA / PhD?
  • Transfer to another country?
  • Exit into Corporate?
  • Exit into PE?

Impossible to give you value-adding advice without knowing the context. You will not make any mistakes by joining the one over the other. What I would do:

Get as many people from both offices on the phone (i.e. your future colleagues and bosses) and chose the firm you click with the best. Content / Industries etc is by far not as important as getting along with the people - but typically overlooked by new starters.

Best,
Denis

Thank you for the response Denis! The thing is that sometimes it is really difficult to say what people would do after 5 years. I will definitely evaluate these element that you mentioned. Thank you again! — Francesca on Jan 30, 2021

Feel free to DM me if that would be more comfortable for you. On top of this. It is not about you knowing what will happen in 5 years, but evaluating and prioritizing your options carefully. This can and should certainly be done today. — Denis on Jan 30, 2021 (edited)

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Hi Francesca,

Congrats on your offers!

It is crucially important that you work on the projects that you are curious about. From that perspective, Bain would be a #1 choice.

The pros you mentioned about BCG are prestige and nice people - do these aspects really win over the pros of Bain?

In any case, I agree with the coaches that it makes sense to make a decision based on exit options, 5-year life plans, etc. But it also makes sense not to overthink it sometimes. Both options are great!

Hope it helps!

Cheers,

GB

Hi Francesca,

Congrats on your offers!

It is crucially important that you work on the projects that you are curious about. From that perspective, Bain would be a #1 choice.

The pros you mentioned about BCG are prestige and nice people - do these aspects really win over the pros of Bain?

In any case, I agree with the coaches that it makes sense to make a decision based on exit options, 5-year life plans, etc. But it also makes sense not to overthink it sometimes. Both options are great!

Hope it helps!

Cheers,

GB

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Hey there,

That is a good problem to have! :-)

All the usual chatter aside, go where you feel most at home and vibe with the people. Did you take part in any recruiting activities?

In the end, the people you work with will influence your lifestyle and experience the most. All else is pretty much comparable across the two.

Cheers,

Florian

Hey there,

That is a good problem to have! :-)

All the usual chatter aside, go where you feel most at home and vibe with the people. Did you take part in any recruiting activities?

In the end, the people you work with will influence your lifestyle and experience the most. All else is pretty much comparable across the two.

Cheers,

Florian

Thank you Florian, really appreciated! — Francesca on Jan 30, 2021

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Hello Francesca!

Congrats! Auguroni!

You cannot make a bad decision here, this is the good side.

I would ask to spend one day with each of the companies and see what your feeling is, tbh.

Hope it helps!

Cheers,

Clara

Hello Francesca!

Congrats! Auguroni!

You cannot make a bad decision here, this is the good side.

I would ask to spend one day with each of the companies and see what your feeling is, tbh.

Hope it helps!

Cheers,

Clara

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Hi Francesca,

First, congratulations! What a fantastic decision to have to make!

If you are looking at global prestige, brand, and sustainability of business, BCG is the clear cut #2 (after McKinsey of course). They are also far more likely to still be #2 in 10 years time due to their numerous investments etc.

That said, Bain is also a fantastic choice - you can't go wrong here.

Ultimately, your career will do the best if you're in the place that you like the best. I'd recommend you pick the one whoose culture/people seemed to fit what works for you.

Hi Francesca,

First, congratulations! What a fantastic decision to have to make!

If you are looking at global prestige, brand, and sustainability of business, BCG is the clear cut #2 (after McKinsey of course). They are also far more likely to still be #2 in 10 years time due to their numerous investments etc.

That said, Bain is also a fantastic choice - you can't go wrong here.

Ultimately, your career will do the best if you're in the place that you like the best. I'd recommend you pick the one whoose culture/people seemed to fit what works for you.

Book a coaching with Pedro

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In Bain Italy people tend to specialize very early in their industries (which goes a bit against what is usual at Bain). Bain also has a better Luxury / Fashion practice. That means that if you want to specialize in that industry, Bain seems to be a much superior offer.

Otherwise, BCG should be more prestigious in Italy and provide you with a more rounded experience.

Please note that for historical reasons, Bain Italy has some cultural differences vs. overall Bain. This means you should really do your "due diligence" on the company with local people. (also check the MBA policy and career progression expectations)

In Bain Italy people tend to specialize very early in their industries (which goes a bit against what is usual at Bain). Bain also has a better Luxury / Fashion practice. That means that if you want to specialize in that industry, Bain seems to be a much superior offer.

Otherwise, BCG should be more prestigious in Italy and provide you with a more rounded experience.

Please note that for historical reasons, Bain Italy has some cultural differences vs. overall Bain. This means you should really do your "due diligence" on the company with local people. (also check the MBA policy and career progression expectations)

(edited)

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Ciao Francesca,

I was in your position when I had to choose between Bain, BCG or McK in Milan and I know the feeling. I pointed out some differences between Italian offices in this post:

https://www.preplounge.com/en/consulting-forum/what-is-your-review-and-experience-of-mckbcgbain-milan-offices-5546


Below you can find my answer to this topic:

Hi,

I have been working in the BCG office and I did the interviews also for Bain and Mckinsey, where I have many friends. It's really hard to summary the differences between these 3 offices but I will tray to address your points:

  • Culture: The working culture is really similar in each office, the customer comes first, no matter what. Mckinsey is maybe still the office where you feel "more exclusive" but probably also the more though for work. Bain and BCG have developed a little "start up" attitude with some small initiatives that make your life better.
  • Growing: BCG has been impressively growing in the past years (double digit per year), while McKinsey has slowed down a bit in Italy . Bain has just joined the international network and is in the middle as growth.
  • Type of projects: I would say no difference between McK and BCG (there are often teams of both companies for the same client). Bain is doing these kind of projects but also differentiating a bit focusing on small projects (that's why you could experience double staffing even as new hire)

All of them are excellent offices and place to work, but you should try to understand which office is closer to your personality, also looking around and knowing people working there during the interviews. One aspect that you should consider is also the MBA policies, that are quite different between them.

Best, Luca

Ciao Francesca,

I was in your position when I had to choose between Bain, BCG or McK in Milan and I know the feeling. I pointed out some differences between Italian offices in this post:

https://www.preplounge.com/en/consulting-forum/what-is-your-review-and-experience-of-mckbcgbain-milan-offices-5546


Below you can find my answer to this topic:

Hi,

I have been working in the BCG office and I did the interviews also for Bain and Mckinsey, where I have many friends. It's really hard to summary the differences between these 3 offices but I will tray to address your points:

  • Culture: The working culture is really similar in each office, the customer comes first, no matter what. Mckinsey is maybe still the office where you feel "more exclusive" but probably also the more though for work. Bain and BCG have developed a little "start up" attitude with some small initiatives that make your life better.
  • Growing: BCG has been impressively growing in the past years (double digit per year), while McKinsey has slowed down a bit in Italy . Bain has just joined the international network and is in the middle as growth.
  • Type of projects: I would say no difference between McK and BCG (there are often teams of both companies for the same client). Bain is doing these kind of projects but also differentiating a bit focusing on small projects (that's why you could experience double staffing even as new hire)

All of them are excellent offices and place to work, but you should try to understand which office is closer to your personality, also looking around and knowing people working there during the interviews. One aspect that you should consider is also the MBA policies, that are quite different between them.

Best, Luca

(edited)

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