BCG vs. McKinsey - who wins?

Anonymous A asked on Dec 27, 2017

Who would you say "wins" regarding

  • projects,
  • international opportunities,
  • corporate culture (company parties, activities, general environment),
  • work-life-balance?

I recently read an interesting discussion on this and would love to hear your point of view.

  • Plus: I've heard that there's a stereoptype that BCG is more creative and "cool" compared to McK which has a more competitive environment. Do you agree?

I'm aware that this is a very subjective question, but nontheless I would appreciate your opinions and insights! Thanks in advance :)

2 answers

  • Upvotes
  • Date ascending
  • Date descending
Best Answer
Anonymous replied on Dec 27, 2017


I don't think you will be able to find absolute answers for any of your questions. However, would like to share my personal view (based on experience) on a few of these topics

  • Both firms are really global, with offices all around the world and lot of opportunities to undertake international projects if you want
  • From personal experience, work-life balance tends to be a more of a country-specific standard rather than McKinsey vs. BCG (e.g., had a great lifestyle in McK Australia; Portugal, Spain or Italy are very well known for theyr quite aggressve lifestyles for both McK and BCG)
  • Despite the "generalized perception" on McKinsey environment, which is often described as competitive and though to work on, all my experience stands for the opposite: super friendly and cooperative environment, where you are really encouraged to ask for help from all tenure colleagues (from the youngest Analyst to the most experienced Senior Partner) and where the success of everyone is tightly linked to each other
An (Jack)
replied on Jan 14, 2018
Google Strategy Manager | Ex- BCG Consultant | References Available
Book a coaching with An (Jack)

100% Recommendation Rate

25 Meetings

99 Q&A Upvotes

USD 219 / Coaching

Hi there

Thought I would add the BCG perspective in addition to Bruno's perspective (totally agreed with his point 1 and 2 btw).

BCG, from my personal experience

- Fantastic set of cases - all complex, CEO agenda stuff. BCG is currently investing heavily in digital with its new BCG Digital Ventures offering. I worked with BCG DV for 70% of my time at BCG, their projects are typically about building new products or new businesses for clients - super interesting stuff and a very different consulting experience to typical BCG cases for sure.

- International opportunity - yes, plenty. Although tends to be "in region", e.g., if you were in Australia, there are plenty of opportunities around Asia Pacific, and less so for North America.

- Culture - very strong, very people oriented. There is definitely a "BCG way of thinking" and you find that consistency across offices, which makes the culture very strong.

- Work/life balance - as with all top tier, high performance environments, you cannot expect at 9-5 job. I've had periods of relaxed pace and also periods of intensity. There are specific BCG programs to drive better balance (e.g., PTO), which you can find a lot of public info about. I found these programs received a lot of leadership attention when I was at BCG and sustainability was taken seriously.

Related BootCamp article(s)

Interviewer-Led vs Candidate-Led cases

Case Interviews can be led by the candidate or by the interviewer: In Candidate-led cases the main challenge is the structure. In Interviewer-led cases the main challenge is to adapt quickly

Related case(s)

McKinsey Questions

Solved 31.1k times
4.5 5 829
| Rating: (4.5 / 5.0) |
Difficulty: Intermediate | Style: Fit interview | Topics: Personal fit

Tell me of a situation where you had an opinion and no one seemed to agree with you. What was your goal when you decided to join university / work / clubs / a sports team? Did you have a goal that you were not able to reach? What did you do? What do you want to be remembered for and how are you a ... Open whole case

BCG Questions

Solved 20.8k times
4.5 5 177
| Rating: (4.5 / 5.0) |
Difficulty: Intermediate | Style: Fit interview | Topics: Personal fit

What arouses your interest when you are working / studying / doing another activity (from the CV)? Tell me of a time where you had no idea what you were doing. When did you use an uncommon approach to do something? Have you ever had responsibility for other people? Tell me of a situation where y ... Open whole case