BCG vs. McKinsey (U.S. North-East office, focus on renewable energy/utilities/decarbonization)

BCG McKinsey & Company
New answer on Aug 02, 2021
4 Answers
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Lucio
Certified
asked on Jul 31, 2021

Hi all, 

I'm currently in the process of deciding between a BCG and a McKinsey offer (both based in Boston). I currently considering three main factors to make my choice: (1) culture and people (2) work/life balance and (3) level of the work (depth, breadth, etc.) and exit opportunities. 

While I'm open to exploring different areas, I have a broad interest in renewables and the energy transition/decarbonization space (from generation to distribution/storage all the way to electric vehicles). 

I'm going to focus on (3) for this question. 
 
3) Do you believe there is a significant difference between the type and level of work BCG and McKinsey would do in the energy/utilities/decarbonization space?
How would you recommend that I find out more about this? I've been talking to folks at all levels at both firms, but it's hard to get an accurate gauge. How do you do your "due diligence" on this topic? 

Thank you! 

Best, 

Lucio 



 

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Sofia
Expert
replied on Aug 02, 2021
McKinsey San Francisco | Harvard graduate | 5+ years of coaching | >90% candidate success rate | Personalized approach

Hi Lucio!

First of all, a massive congratulations on your offers!

As a general answer, I would say that there is unlikely to be a significant difference between the type and level of work done in the energy/utilities/decarbonization space between BCG and McKinsey. They are both very large top-tier consulting firms that have deep expertise across a very wide range of industries, and energy/decarbonization is certainly a priority area for them both. At a high level, you should be able to find interesting work in this space at both BCG and McKinsey.

That being said, there are undoubtedly going to be some differences between the specifics of the work that each firm does in the sector. One thing to consider is the clients they work with. There may well be a good degree of overlap here, but there will also be companies that have standing long-term relationships with just one of those firms, so it might be worth asking about who their long-term clients in the space are. Another thing to consider is whether there are any particular sub-fields or technologies you are most interested in in the energy space. If you have more specific interests here, it might be worth seeing the extent to which each firm does business in that specific sub-sector. Finally, office location/staffing model is something to think about, especially given the COVID work from home situation. Many of the larger energy clients will be headquartered outside of Boston, so if there is a particular client you are interested in working with in a different city, would you be able to do that under their current staffing model, or would you be more tied to your home office?

I certainly agree that the best way of doing due diligence on this would be to talk to people at each firm. I would encourage you to talk to partners and experts specifically within the practice that deals with energy/utilities, and ask them a bit about their long-term clients and any current work they are doing. Staffing managers would be able to answer any questions about how the staffing model works.

Feel free to DM me if you want more details on any of this, and best of luck with your research!

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Francesco
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Aug 01, 2021
#1 Expert for Coaching Sessions (3.600+) | 1.300+ Reviews with 100% Recommendation Rate | Ex BCG | 8+ Years of Coaching

Hi Lucio,

Congratulations on the offers. It seems you have already done your homework with current consultants. I would try to find Alumni of the two companies who work in that space – they will be free to tell you their real experience with the company and their point of view on the exits.

Best,

Francesco

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Udayan
Expert
Content Creator
updated an answer on Jul 31, 2021
Top rated MBB coach with many offers /Ex McKinsey EM in New York /6 years McKinsey recruiting experience/Real cases

Is there some difference? Yes it depends on the relationships that each firm has with the companies you want to work with. It also depends on the specialties that each firm is working on and that depends on internal capabilities etc.

Overall the difference is not that large. All the firms compete with each other for similar projects and while there can be differences within industries it is usually not that large.

Its great that you are doing your due diligence on this - the best way to do this is to speak to the people in the firms and ask them about the work you are interested in and see if they do that kind of work. People are usually very honest about it.

Udayan

Udayan

(edited)

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Ian
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Aug 02, 2021
BCG | 100% personal interview success rate (8/8) and 95% candidate success rate | Personalized interview prep

Hi there,

Congratulations on the offer - what a fantastic decision to have in front of you!

Ultimately, I highly recommend you network a bit more to get a better feel for these offices.

That said, my personal view is that BCG is pushing more in this space than McKinsey. Unfortunately, I don't have the data to back this up and has more to do with what my colleagues are talking about, what I'm seeing in terms of hiring, and understanding of cultural differences. That said, your best bet is to talk to the people in these offices to get a better view.

Good luck with the decision!

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Sofia gave the best answer

Sofia

McKinsey San Francisco | Harvard graduate | 5+ years of coaching | >90% candidate success rate | Personalized approach
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