expert
Expert with best answer

Francesco

100% Recommendation Rate

2,842 Meetings

5,050 Q&A Upvotes

USD 349 / Coaching

4

Is it difficult to transfer from Italy to other locations within BCG?

I got an offer to join BCG as a VA in Italy. I would like to be able to continue my career also outside Italy and therefore transfer maybe to the ME or anywhere else in the world. Do you know whether is it easy to do so? How are the BCG exit packages designed?

I got an offer to join BCG as a VA in Italy. I would like to be able to continue my career also outside Italy and therefore transfer maybe to the ME or anywhere else in the world. Do you know whether is it easy to do so? How are the BCG exit packages designed?

4 answers

  • Upvotes
  • Date ascending
  • Date descending
Best Answer
Book a coaching with Francesco

100% Recommendation Rate

2,842 Meetings

5,050 Q&A Upvotes

USD 349 / Coaching

Hi Anonymous,

this was my experience based on working in the Milan office:

  • Many new graduates leave either after 2 years (pre MBA) or after 5-6 years after joining (including the MBA time or Senior Associate time if you don’t go for the MBA)
  • The easiest path to move abroad for new hires is either:
    • Relocate with BCG first:
      • Relocate in high-demand countries as soon as a project there is available (usually once reached consultant level). I know many people who moved to ME some years ago when it was in high demand for consultants. Once there, network to leverage exit opportunities
      • Do the MBA abroad and relocate in the country of the MBA after it (many people stick to the company to have the MBA paid before leaving)
    • Relocate outside BCG:
      • Build an external network in the country of your interest. This will require to take part in communities outside your daily job, thus will be requiring given the office hours in Italy, which are pretty intense.
  • BCG also offers the Ambassador Program, which allows to spend one year abroad in another office. This could be an additional opportunity, however most of the time is offered in the firm once you reached seniority, thus will have to stay longer in the firm

In general, to directly answer your questions: it’s not easy to move abroad to the hottest destinations from Italy – that’s what most of your cohort wants as well, thus is highly competitive. You may have more space in emerging countries, in particular moving there still as part of BCG to locally build your network there.

Best,

Francesco

Hi Anonymous,

this was my experience based on working in the Milan office:

  • Many new graduates leave either after 2 years (pre MBA) or after 5-6 years after joining (including the MBA time or Senior Associate time if you don’t go for the MBA)
  • The easiest path to move abroad for new hires is either:
    • Relocate with BCG first:
      • Relocate in high-demand countries as soon as a project there is available (usually once reached consultant level). I know many people who moved to ME some years ago when it was in high demand for consultants. Once there, network to leverage exit opportunities
      • Do the MBA abroad and relocate in the country of the MBA after it (many people stick to the company to have the MBA paid before leaving)
    • Relocate outside BCG:
      • Build an external network in the country of your interest. This will require to take part in communities outside your daily job, thus will be requiring given the office hours in Italy, which are pretty intense.
  • BCG also offers the Ambassador Program, which allows to spend one year abroad in another office. This could be an additional opportunity, however most of the time is offered in the firm once you reached seniority, thus will have to stay longer in the firm

In general, to directly answer your questions: it’s not easy to move abroad to the hottest destinations from Italy – that’s what most of your cohort wants as well, thus is highly competitive. You may have more space in emerging countries, in particular moving there still as part of BCG to locally build your network there.

Best,

Francesco

Thanks for the insight, Francesco. Do you think there's still a high demand for strategy consultants in ME (esp. Dubai)? Thanks. — Anonymous on Mar 26, 2018

Commenting this late for Anonymous (for some reasons I did not receive the notification of the comment and I just saw this) but hopefully useful for someone else: ME is still growing, but Doha is probably now the city growing the most — Francesco on Mar 11, 2020

Book a coaching with Sidi

99% Recommendation Rate

381 Meetings

2,575 Q&A Upvotes

USD 319 / Coaching

Hi Anonymous,

compared to McKinsey, BCG is operating more in "regional cells". This means, they are less globally integrated as a firm, which has a couple of implications of global mobility of consultants.

Generally speaking, there are several types of transfers - and it becomes trickier, the more "permanent" you want your move to be.

Temporary office transfers:
Lasting 12-18 months, you're essentially an expat, and you're expected to transfer back to your home office afterwards. One tricky twist (at least as of a few years back) is that the whole exchange program is supposed to net out, ie some other consultant needs to be found to take your place. As you can imagine, this is easy if you're based in a very popular location (like London or NYC), trickier for some other offices.

High-growth offices:
Some offices, especially the ones that have been setup recently and are growing fast with a lack of local talent pool have programs to facilitate temporary or permanent office transfers. It should be pretty easy for you to get to know which ones are currently "open" right now. Of course, by definition you're talking emerging countries and/or relatively exotic geographies - not NYC or London.

If you want to move permanently:
If you want to move somewhere else on a permanent basis, that's a bit trickier with BCG. Given that they operate less in a global "one firm" way, it is not in your home office's best interest to let you go, because they were the one to invest on finding you, firing you, and training you. So, they basically won't have an inclination to help much - instead they might try to have you wait. So, if this vital for you, being crystal clear about what you want will be critical to make it happen. You will literally have to go on peoples' nerves (CDA, HR, your current managers). Even more important: reach out to your target office to sell yourself! Concretely, to make the transfer happen, you have to make the target office pull you!

All of that being said, ther is one overarching truth to it: if you are a high performer, everything will be MUCH easier. If you struggle, you might not be a ble to pull it off.

Hi Anonymous,

compared to McKinsey, BCG is operating more in "regional cells". This means, they are less globally integrated as a firm, which has a couple of implications of global mobility of consultants.

Generally speaking, there are several types of transfers - and it becomes trickier, the more "permanent" you want your move to be.

Temporary office transfers:
Lasting 12-18 months, you're essentially an expat, and you're expected to transfer back to your home office afterwards. One tricky twist (at least as of a few years back) is that the whole exchange program is supposed to net out, ie some other consultant needs to be found to take your place. As you can imagine, this is easy if you're based in a very popular location (like London or NYC), trickier for some other offices.

High-growth offices:
Some offices, especially the ones that have been setup recently and are growing fast with a lack of local talent pool have programs to facilitate temporary or permanent office transfers. It should be pretty easy for you to get to know which ones are currently "open" right now. Of course, by definition you're talking emerging countries and/or relatively exotic geographies - not NYC or London.

If you want to move permanently:
If you want to move somewhere else on a permanent basis, that's a bit trickier with BCG. Given that they operate less in a global "one firm" way, it is not in your home office's best interest to let you go, because they were the one to invest on finding you, firing you, and training you. So, they basically won't have an inclination to help much - instead they might try to have you wait. So, if this vital for you, being crystal clear about what you want will be critical to make it happen. You will literally have to go on peoples' nerves (CDA, HR, your current managers). Even more important: reach out to your target office to sell yourself! Concretely, to make the transfer happen, you have to make the target office pull you!

All of that being said, ther is one overarching truth to it: if you are a high performer, everything will be MUCH easier. If you struggle, you might not be a ble to pull it off.

(edited)

Book a coaching with Marco-Alexander

100% Recommendation Rate

66 Meetings

258 Q&A Upvotes

USD 219 / Coaching

Hi Anonym,

I worked at BCG until recently

If you like, just write me and we can have a call

Best regards
Marco-Alexander

Hi Anonym,

I worked at BCG until recently

If you like, just write me and we can have a call

Best regards
Marco-Alexander

Book a coaching with Andrea

100% Recommendation Rate

129 Meetings

783 Q&A Upvotes

USD 269 / Coaching

I would say that is quite difficult, especially if you do not have strong personal reasons. As mentioned, if office you are targeting is growing strongly that makes it somewhat easier but you will need to work harded to network. At the end to transfer you need a pull from your target office and assume home office will try to retain you as much as they can.

Hope it helps,

Andrea

I would say that is quite difficult, especially if you do not have strong personal reasons. As mentioned, if office you are targeting is growing strongly that makes it somewhat easier but you will need to work harded to network. At the end to transfer you need a pull from your target office and assume home office will try to retain you as much as they can.

Hope it helps,

Andrea

Related BootCamp article(s)

Interviewer-Led vs Candidate-Led cases

Case Interviews can be led by the candidate or by the interviewer: In Candidate-led cases the main challenge is the structure. In Interviewer-led cases the main challenge is to adapt quickly

Related case(s)

BCG Questions

Solved 24.8k times
BCG Questions 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 you were not the official leader.
4.5 5 203
| Rating: (4.5 / 5.0) |
Difficulty: Intermediate | Style: Fit interview | Topics: Personal fit

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 ... Open whole case

Espresso, Whatelse?

Solved 1.3k times
Espresso, Whatelse? Espresso Whatelse is an Italian company that produces coffee and espresso machines since 1908. It is the Italian market leader and has a strong presence overall in Europe. In 2019, Espresso Whatelse has increased its revenues but it has seen declining profit margin. Your client wants to understand the root causes of this 2019 trend and how to increase its profit margin again.  
4.7 5 53
| Rating: (4.7 / 5.0)

Espresso Whatelse is an Italian company that produces coffee and espresso machines since 1908. It is the Italian market leader and has a strong presence overall in Europe. In 2019, Espresso Whatelse has increased its revenues but it has seen declining profit margin. Your client wants to understand ... Open whole case

Increasing net worth of Johnny Depp

Solved 100+ times
Increasing net worth of Johnny Depp Johnny Depp, now 56 years old, has started to feel that his acting career is about to get over. His net worth crossed over $650 million at the peak of his career but has since dwindled, amid lawsuits and lifestyle expenses. As such, he thinks that his current wealth might not be enough for his upcoming years. So, he’s hired you as a consultant to help him find ways to multiply his worth. What can you suggest?
4.4 5 7
| Rating: (4.4 / 5.0)

Johnny Depp, now 56 years old, has started to feel that his acting career is about to get over. His net worth crossed over $650 million at the peak of his career but has since dwindled, amid lawsuits and lifestyle expenses. As such, he thinks that his current wealth might not be enough for his upcom ... Open whole case

Smart Education

Solved < 100 times
Smart Education Your client is SmartBridge, a nonprofit educational institution offering face-to-face tutoring services. The client operates in the US. The mission of SmartBridge is to help as many students as possible to complete studies and prevent that they drop from the school system, in particular in disadvantaged areas. The client is considering starting operations for its services in the Chicago area. They hired us to understand if that makes sense. Due to the nonprofit regulation, SmartBridge should operate on its own in the market, without any partnership. How would you help our client?
4.4 5 9
| Rating: (4.4 / 5.0)

Your client is SmartBridge, a nonprofit educational institution offering face-to-face tutoring services. The client operates in the US. The mission of SmartBridge is to help as many students as possible to complete studies and prevent that they drop from the school system, in particular in disadvan ... Open whole case