I've heard it called a "brain machine".
Is BCG more theoretical than McKinsey and Bain?
This is a great, great question... that I suspect no-one can systematically answer :) Unless you have spent significant time working for or with all three, how can you truly compare?
FWIW, I only know BCG first hand, both as a client (pre-consulting) and a consultant. I have also worked with and for Bain and McK folks, but don't claim to know how they compare. BCG did build its early reputation on some theoretical models in the 60s and 70s ('BCG matrix' anyone?), but I doubt there is a significant difference in how BCGers approach a new problem vs. the other 2 guys anymore.
All three are outstanding companies, led by smart, passionate and competent managers and partners. They spend significant time and money trying to get better, so if an approach works better, that's what they will try first in the future. Still, my personal guess would be that the variance between individuals within a company would be greater than between companies. So if you have to chose which of MBB to join, make your decision based on location, industry strength or people you met, not based on reputation - either way, you can't really go wrong.
Related BootCamp article(s)
LubricantsCo, a very successful Asian premium producer of lubricants in their native region, would like to further increase their revenue and profit. The product range ranges from lubricants in the automotive sector (e.g. motor and gear oil) to industrial applications (e.g. fats, heavy-duty oils). ... Open whole case
You have inherited the “Old Winery” from your grandfather, a winery which has been family owned for five generations and can be dated back to the 16th century. Half of the eleven hectares are used to grow white grapes, the other half to grow red grapes. They are grown in the conventional way, i.e. ... Open whole case
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
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
Tell me about a difficult situation you had to cope with. Tell me of a task which you didn’t like doing and explain why you performed it nevertheless. Why do you do things? What do you like doing most / What is your favorite hobby? Walk me through a situation where you showed leadership skills. Open whole case