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How does one identify differences between consulting firms?

MBB Personalfit
Recent activity on Oct 22, 2017
2 Answers
3.1 k Views
Christoph asked on Oct 14, 2017
Prepping for several interviews in Jan. Open to personal sessions in Munich.

Hey Guys,

to show great fit in a unique cover letter (and also to help identify the best possible employer for us) we need to know what makes a company special - in terms of culture, benefits, specialization, etc.

However, browsing through the various consultancies' websites, what they say about themselves and the people they are looking for looks mostly identical to me.

What resources do you use to efficiently learn more about how it is to work at the top strategy consultancies?

Thanks for your input!

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Content Creator
replied on Oct 14, 2017
#1 Coach for Sessions (4.000+) | 1.500+ 5-Star Reviews | Proven Success (➡ | Ex BCG | 10Y+ Coaching

Hi Christoph,

that’s a good question. As many candidates apply to 5-6 different companies, they usually find challenging to weight whether to (i) do proper research on firms, which may take relevant amount of time, knowing the cover may not be even read at the end and (ii) don’t do research and have a copy-pasted cover which may lead to poor impression if actually read.

In the end, in the company part of the cover, consulting companies mainly look whether you have done a minimum of due diligence or if you have copy-pasted your content. I would recommend focusing on three areas to personalize your cover letter, choosing at least one of them to put in it:

  1. Growth of the company in recent years. That may come from the number of offices or, if available, revenues growth rate
  2. Relevant sectors covered, with reference to clients/projects
  3. Relevant alumni of the companies, ideally coming from the office you are applying for

Each of the previous areas should require 5 minutes of online research to be covered, so you can get a personalized cover in max 15 minutes.

Identifying the best employer is a bit trickier; the best thing would be to talk to current and former employees to get candid feedback, as the online material would probably miss critiques – I used that approach when I had to choose between other companies and BCG from my side.



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Alberto replied on Oct 22, 2017
Senior analyst @McKinsey (2+ years experience). Looking for solid partners, with a focus on candidate led cases

Also consider that from office to office you may find lot of differences (e.g., main sectors served, lifestyle)

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