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Is it realistic to go for a project leader position/ engagement manager position in BCG/Bain?

New answer on Oct 17, 2023
4 Answers
3.3 k Views
Abraham asked on Jun 19, 2019


I just finished my Rotman MBA after ~ 7 years of experience across several roles

  • Equities Research in a Swiss bank,
  • IB (boutique private placements shop in DXB)
  • Healthcare Strategy Consulting (Boutique in Toronto)

I have a double major in electrical engineering and economics for my undergraduate degrees.


While I am very interested in consulting, I was attempting to grow my business ( a combination of a corporate accelerator and VC fund) alongside my MBA until very recently and completely missed on-campus recruiting. I had to shut it down due to unexpected circumstances.

Recently, I got warm introductions to the partners at Bain, BCG and Oliver Wyman in Canada and the US and am considering applying for project leader/ engagement manager positions.


I wanted to know how realistic chasing such a strategy is given my work experience and position as an MBA graduate? Should I be aiming for a Senior Consultant role instead?



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Content Creator
replied on Oct 17, 2023
Ex-BCG Principal | 8+ years consulting experience in SEA | BCG top interviewer & top performer


This is a great question and one that is often asked by experienced candidates.

My POV, based on spending 8+ years in consulting and having gone through the ropes - join as a Consultant 1 (post-MBA role).

PL year 1 is the worst/toughest role in consulting. Many people who have spent years in consulting before this (myself included) still suffer at the transition. 

Spending 2 years ‘extra’ really does not make a difference in the long run, if your goal is longevity at MBB.

Hope this clarifies!

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Content Creator
replied on Jun 20, 2019
#1 BCG coach | MBB | Tier 2 | Digital, Tech, Platinion | 100% personal success rate (8/8) | 95% candidate success rate

I completely agree with Sidi. I've seen too many lateral project lead hires in a terrible place - they're trying to learn the ropes AND manage others. Get Consultant level 2 and aim for a promotion in a year!

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updated an answer on Jun 20, 2019
McKinsey Senior EM & BCG Consultant | Interviewer at McK & BCG for 7 years | Coached 350+ candidates secure MBB offers

I would strongly suggest to go for a Senior Consultant role instead of directly starting as a Project Leader. The latter is incredibly tough, and yllowing yourself one year to learn the specific ropes of MBB consulting will set you up MUCH better for your career inside the firm. The success rate of direct Project Leader hires is ridiculously low (about 2x chance of getting managed out compared to other hires based on historic figures). But starting as a Senior Consultant is a proven way to long term success.

Cheers, Sidi


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replied on Jun 19, 2019
McKinsey / Accenture Alum / Got all BIG3 offers / Harvard Business School


Unfortunately, MBA downgrades you to a post-MBA role. However, I know the case when one of my classmates was hired directly for a manager role in Israel. So you can always try. Worst case you'll get a 2nd year consultant and will soon be promoted


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Abraham on Jun 20, 2019

Thanks! Appreciate the frank feedback. I'll inquire about a 2nd year post if the more senior role doesn't work out.


Benjamin gave the best answer


Premium + Coaching Expert
Content Creator
Ex-BCG Principal | 8+ years consulting experience in SEA | BCG top interviewer & top performer
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