Does it matter what country office you start with?

Advice Career Advising different country
New answer on Apr 10, 2021
2 Answers
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Anonymous A asked on Apr 09, 2021

Hello!

I was wondering if it makes a difference if you start from an office, let's say in the USA, vs in an office in Australia (particularly with BCG). I heard there is a bit more work-life balance in certain countries as opposed to others, and I was wondering if I do 2-3 years in consulting to kickstart my career and then want to move to Southern Europe, would it be best if I start my career in the US?

Does it matter?

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Francesco
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replied on Apr 10, 2021
#1 Coach for Sessions (4.000+) | 1.500+ 5-Star Reviews | Proven Success (➡ InterviewOffers.com) | Ex BCG | 9Y+ Coaching

Hi there,

The main differences long-term are that:

  • You will build a network where you start to work
  • You will work on projects related to the particular geography where you start to work (eg energy and mining in Australia)

Both may impact the next steps in your career.

There are also other differences related to:

  • Salary
  • Work-life balance

If you are interested in a particular geography and have the option to work there, it should be easier to start there to facilitate the next career steps/exits.

If your options are US and Australia, I agree with Ian, simply apply where it is more likely that they will interview you.

Best,

Francesco

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Anonymous A on Apr 10, 2021

I am starting in the Miami office (got accepted) but I eventually am considering Italy (where I've been living for a bit) or Spain (I speak both decent Italian and fluent Spanish). I was eventually considering a long term life in Southern Europe.

Ian
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replied on Apr 10, 2021
MBB | 100% personal interview success rate (8/8) and 95% candidate success rate | Personalized interview prep

Hi there,

Yes, the office matters. Coming from Australia BCG I can assuredly say that I'm glad I was there and not in, say, Germany. Work-life balances and prioritizations are pretty predictably tied to country cultures.

Furthermore, where you work changes what industries/function you work in, who your network becomes, etc.

Think about what you're optimizing, but remember there is no "best" spot. US/Germany may train you best but be utterly exhausting. Australia may give you better worklife balance (still 60-70 hr/weeks) but give worse training (it doesn't, but this is an example). Neither will help you build your after-BCG network in Spain, which is super important for success.

Moreover, you're assuming you have the luxury to pick. You kind of don't...apply where your resume actually makes sense. I highly advise you not to play this "game" of offices, and just network+apply in the office where you having working rights, education, work experience, etc.

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Anonymous A on Apr 12, 2021

Thank you Ian! I was wondering what your hours looked like in the Australian office (relative to the US offices) or how you have a different work life balance from those offices

Francesco gave the best answer

Francesco

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