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MBB comparisons in Canada

Anonymous A

Hey guys,

I was wondering if any of you know the main differences between each MBB firm specifically in Canada. What's the industry focus like for each? The culture? Career development programs and events? Etc.

Basically, I would like to know how I would answer questions like: "Why BCG?".

Thank you!

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An (Jack)
Expert
replied on 05/21/2018
Google Strategy Manager | Ex- BCG Consultant | References Available

Hi

I think currently there are 2 points on BCG that differentiates itself from other MBB firms - see below.

Maybe you can perhaps weave them into your answer if relevant?

1. Heavy investment into tech and digital topics

  • BCG invested alot into its new digital division called BCG Digital Ventures - which is a mix between IDEO + Product Management. This division usually helps clients develop new tech products and businesses, and is usually staffed by designers, product managers, engineers etc.
  • BCG also has a venture fund called B Capital, which invests in growth stage startups which might have synergies with its BCG DV consulting work.

2. Historical trackrecord on thought leadership on new management techniques

  • BCG has historically been known as a more 'academic' firm as it developed some of the key frameworks to think about various management issues - portfolio matrix, experience curve etc. Clayton Christensen is also ex-BCG and he developed the concept of innovator's dilemma.
  • BCG now has an internal institution called "Henderson's Intitute" which continues develops thought leadership on key issues.
  • Therefore, if you enjoy the academic / theoretical aspect of things, you could conceivably position your interest around this aspect.

Also, some other tidbits - historically BCG has been strong in the public sector. Bain is very strong in the PE sector, McK is very strong on leadership, geographic presence, diversity of work

Hope that helps!

Francesco replied on 05/17/2018
#1 Expert for coaching sessions (1800+) | Ex BCG | 900+ reviews with 100% recommendation rate

Hi Anonymous,

as for your question “Why BCG”, one of the most important thing to understand is why consulting companies ask such question. Of course, every consulting company knows that 90% of the interviewees are doing multiple application in consulting, and that they may have a preference for a specific MBB. Thus why such questions?

The key reason is that they want to see if you are able to do due diligence in advance on your target/prospect: if you are going to an interview and have not studied the company you are going to interview with, chances are you are going to do the exact same thing with the client. And a consulting company definitely doesn’t want this happening.

Thus the question translates in how you can show you have done due diligence on the company. Potential options and sources include:

  • Company potential: how much the company grew, ideally in Canada, in the last year, which is a good guarantee for your future career as well. Source: online reserach or current consultants
  • Sectors of interest: specific focus of the company in areas interesting for you, ideally in Canada. Source: company website. So far that there is a specific partner page, their coverage area should be a good proxy for the focus of the firm.
  • People you met and culture: specific people of the company you discussed with, and the things they shared on the company. Source: Current consultants. Talking with current consultant is of course also useful to get information on the other areas listed in this answer
  • Your growth opportunities: specific programs of the company you heard about to enhance your growth. Source: company websites or current consultants. In many countries, MBB have specific pages dedicated to potential growth opportunities
  • Size/reputation of the firm: smaller companies usually offer a more entrepreneurial culture, with higher growth potential internally. Bigger companies have more resources and support staff, and more prestige in terms of exit. Source: online research, with focus on company turnover/size compared to competitors in a specific market.

Whatever topic you choose, you can apply a simple rule of thumb: if you can substitute the name BCG with another name, and have the answer still making sense, it means your answer is not specific enough. To be specific, you should talk about growth rates/specific people you talked to/specific research paper you read on the company. Yes, that will require some time spent to prepare this question. But will also allow you to stand out, as very few people invest the time preparing on this.

Best,
Francesco

(edited)