Career choice: Hope for BCG or accept current offer

BCG Career Advising career choice career progression Change Career
New answer on Aug 25, 2021
5 Answers
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Anonymous A asked on Aug 25, 2021

Hi all,

I need some help in a decision: should I stay at my current small employer and hope for the BCG offer or accept an offer from a better known company and a better role (but still far not as good as MBB)?


Im a recent graduate, soon to have 1 year of full time experience. I’m currently working in a small company - 6 months as a full-time after 6 months being an intern.

I always aimed for consulting and believe I may be good enough for MBB - my current job is due to the little choice I had during worse times of COVID.

I have applied to a number of corporate strategy and consulting positions earlier this summer. Currently, I hold an offer from one company while waiting for the exact date invitation from BCG (since already 4 weeks from the time I was invited to the first round). BCG would be Middle Eastern office, current job + offer are in Europe.

Ultimately, I have 3 choices:

- stay at current company, perform at best during BCG rounds & hope for the best;

- accept the new offer, forget about BCG for next X years;

- accept the new offer, quit the job shortly after the start in case of BCG offer.

Not an easy choice given BCG would be in a potentially less exciting location and given I do not want to be an asshole (quitting already 2nd job so fast).

 

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Andrew
CoachingPlus Expert
replied on Aug 25, 2021
Recent Bain SF | UVa Recruiting Lead | Experienced on Both Sides of the Table

Hi there! This is a tough situation.

I would first decide whether you'd rather be employed with BCG in the Middle East or one of the other two options in Europe. People can get trapped into the “MBB or bust” mindset, and while there are definitely real differences between the MBB firms and others (in terms of comp, perceived prestige, casework, and exit opportunities), I do not think it is healthy or practical to put all your eggs in those baskets. The differences are too small, life is too complicated, and there is too much luck / arbitrary chance in the recruiting process. 

If you decide that you would truly rather be employed with BCG in the Middle east, then I would be approach the company who made you an offer and be open with them (if you can) that you are pursuing an opportunity with BCG and that you would like to weigh your options after hearing back from them. See if they can give you a little more time. In the meantime, reach out to the BCG recruiter and let him/her know you have an “exploding offer” with this other firm. MBB recruiters will often accelerate interviews for candidates in these situations (which is actually what happened in my case at Bain).

At the end of the day, if BCG can't accelerate your interview and if the company that made you an offer is unwilling to work with you, you have to take care of yourself first.

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Ian
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Aug 25, 2021
BCG | 100% personal interview success rate (8/8) and 95% candidate success rate | Personalized interview prep

Hi there,

For these types of questions I normally prompt the candidate to reflect on a few things to help them make their decision.

That said, I think given your situation and expressed desires you should go with the 3rd option.

You clearly want “out” of your current job, so you should accept this new offer. The odds of getting BCG are low in the best of times…so, cross that bridge when you get there!

One flag: If you do this you cannot leave BCG within 2 years. You better be darn sure that you will make it at BCG because having 3 jobs of <1 year each is basically career suicide. Something to consider in terms of risks…

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Sofia
Expert
replied on Aug 25, 2021
McKinsey San Francisco | Harvard graduate | 5+ years of coaching | >90% candidate success rate | Personalized approach

Hello,

This is ultimately a personal decision, but one thing that might be helpful is reaching out to the recruiter from the smaller company that gave you an offer, and asking if they could possibly extend the deadline for you to accept as you are waiting on a few other things. I would say that a reasonable extension time frame would be 1-3 weeks, so if it would be possible to time that with when you'd expect to hear back from BCG, you could have both offers on the table (or know with certainty that you didn't get BCG). Similarly, you could politely reach out to the BCG recruiters to ask them when you should expect to have your interview and hear back to clarify their time frame . No company wants to hire someone only to have them leave a few weeks later, so being upfront about your recruiting processes and asking for an extension might be a better option for the smaller company too.

Beyond that, it is definitely up to you and your preferences. Here are some questions I would consider:

- Would you rather live and work in the Middle East or in Europe?

- It would also be worth talking to people both at the BCG office and at the smaller company's office. Ask them about the working culture and hours, the type of work they do, what they like and don't like about the job. Think about which one feels like a better fit. 

- How would you feel about joining MBB later down the line as a more experienced hire? 

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Pedro
CoachingPlus Expert
replied on Aug 25, 2021
Bain | EY-Parthenon | Roland Berger | FIT Interview | Principal Former Head Recruiter | Launched EY-P Lisbon Office

It's difficult for a coach to give you an answer because this is about YOUR preferences.

So let me give you some toughts:

  • Are you losing market value staying in your current job?
  • If you reject your current offer, can you get another one?
  • Are you excited about the new job? Or would you be excited if BCG wasn't an option anymore?
  • Is being in the Middle East a real problem if you take a longer term perspective? Are you factoring in that you can (try to) move between offices after a few years?
  • If you get a ME BCG offer will you actually accept it?
  • Why do you really want to go into consulting?

I just get the feeling that neither the offer you have nor the one you expect to get are what you really want…

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Adi
CoachingPlus Expert
Content Creator
replied on Aug 25, 2021
Accenture, Deloitte | Precision Case Prep | Experienced Interviewer & Career Coach | 15 years professional experience

Hey,

Tough spot to be in…

If you feel completely stuck in the current job with no/little growth prospects & are willing to take the risk, then worth waiting for BCG. Provided you are convinced that BCG Middle East is where you want to be. Worst case scenario is that BCG doesn't work , you loose the other offers and have to stay put- are you willing to accept this?

Otherwise, you might want to delay signing the current offer and nudge BCG politely to speed up the process. 

Don't make any decisions out of fear or anxiety. You are in early days of your career & can afford some risk.

Have a look at this article for some tips on this subject: https://www.preplounge.com/en/how-do-i-know-which-career-is-right-for-me

All the best

 

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Andrew gave the best answer

Andrew

CoachingPlus Expert
Recent Bain SF | UVa Recruiting Lead | Experienced on Both Sides of the Table
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