Competition level inside the BCG?

BCG
New answer on May 31, 2020
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Anonymous A asked on Feb 04, 2018

Hi everyone,

I understand the compeition within the junior level at BCG, but what's the compeition level like once you are inside the firm ? Are associates/ team are more collabrative or people are compeition against others to get their promotions and bonuses ?

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Vlad
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replied on Feb 04, 2018
McKinsey / Accenture Alum / Got all BIG3 offers / Harvard Business School

Hi,

In general, people are not competing with each other in BIG3 companies. There is a number of reasons for that:

  • Your day-to-day tasks require so much energy that even if you wanted - you'd find it hard to find extra energy to compete
  • Consultants are not measured against each other. There are no ranks. You can be subjectively compared to a person with a similar role on a particular project by your manager. But since everyone is doing different work streams it is quite hard. Moreover, you should compare yourself to others proactively and copy the best practices.
  • Your promotions and bonuses are not related to the promotions and bonuses of other people. Period
  • Consultants are pretty opened and friendly since you all realize you are in the same boat.

This may be different on the pre-partner level when it becomes extremely tough to get a promotion, or when you are one of the associate partners with the same tenure in the same industry. But personally, I've never heard about these cases.

Best

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Andrea
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replied on Feb 04, 2018
Former BCG Principal and decision round interviewer

Wanted to specify that while what Vlad and I both said stays true(there is no or very little unhealthy competition); all people that belong to a cohort are ranked against their peers in a very clear and straightforward base: synthetic evaluation score on cases, positioning on the performancd vs. Potential matrix every six months. I think the nuance is that no one cares if you are #2 or #5 but they do care if due to your rank you move from first to second to third rank bucket. Those macro categories determine bonus, promotions, cancel out decisions. Bucket size in terms of people is forced (with some wiggle room).

hope this clarifies,

andrea

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Andrea
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replied on Feb 04, 2018
Former BCG Principal and decision round interviewer

Across the offices I worked with level of collaboration and friendliness was very high. This because you quickly realize that promotions are about your own performance and relationships you form with the leadership (is anyone of them willing to sponsor your promotion?). Performance is also mostly about yourself, true there is a forced curve distribution, but your performance will determine where you fall in that distribution, being competitive against others will not change it (well, unless you sabotage them...which clearly is not the best way to create an healthy environment :)).

hope it helps,

andrea

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Clara
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replied on May 31, 2020
McKinsey | Awarded professor at Master in Management @ IE | MBA at MIT |+180 students coached | Integrated FIT Guide aut

Not at all, and this is like this also in the other MBBs

In fact, some of my best friends I met in McKinsey!

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B
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replied on Feb 05, 2018
NOT AVAILABLE

Hey,

i would definitely second the opinions below around a high level of collaboratiin and even friendship (that’s what happen when you spend 20+ hours with the same people 5 day per week and everyone is nice and interesting :) ) rather than competition environmental within the teams and offices, but would like to add two caveats:

- I’ve seen some change in the levels of collaboration across geographies - as far as people explained it was highly influenced by the culture of some countries - and I’ve found even more collaboration in smaller offices (not that the big ones is pure competition, but found it to be somehow less caring sometimes)

- it can get more competitive at more senior levels, especially for Partner position (not noticeable in most of the cases for the junior people anyway!)

best

Bruno

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Vlad gave the best answer

Vlad

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McKinsey / Accenture Alum / Got all BIG3 offers / Harvard Business School
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