McKinsey and BCG Policy differences in detail (for Germany)

BCG Guidelines McKinsey McKinsey vs BCG Travel
New answer on Aug 26, 2020
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Anonymous A asked on Aug 24, 2020

Hello everyone,

I hope you are all doing fine and continue to be healthy!

I don't want to start another topic related to McK vs. BCG and how they differ regarding prestige, network, culture, or exit opportunities because I think there are already a lot of really good answers.

What I am interested in is how policies/guidelines that affect everyday life as a consultant are different between those firms in Germany. The background to this question is that I participated in a McKinsey virtual event last week and had the unique opportunity to have a 15 minute Zoom Call with a really honest engagement manager who also worked at BCG for a few years and therefore had some really nice insights how guidelines/policies differ.

For example:

1.) Educational Leave: When using the educational leave in Germany to pursue a Phd, you could leave McKinsey directly after finishing the Phd without having to pay back the money, while in the case of BCG you commit yourself to work for BCG for another 1 or 2 years upon return. If you leave earlier, you have to pay back a share of the study fees.

2.) Travel Policy: At McKinsey Germany, they "only" pay the travel costs from the client to the home office location and vice-versa. For example, if I am assigned to the Berlin office and have a project in Munich, McK pays for flights between those locations but wouldn't pay for a flight to e.g. Frankfurt, in case I wanted to spend my weekend there and go to the Frankfurt office on Friday. This is quite different from BCG Germany as they allow you to travel to the client from every BCG location in Germany, even if it is not your designated home office and also travel from the client to a location that is not your home office.

3.) Hotels on Sundays: I know that at BCG Germany you can also arrive at the clients location on Sundays and they will pay the additional night, is this also the case for McK?

I know it might be difficult to get some insights into such guideline and policy differences as only a few people worked for both firms, but in case you are aware of any other differences, I would really appreciate some insights!

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replied on Aug 24, 2020
McKinsey Senior EM & BCG Consultant | Interviewer at McK & BCG for 7 years | Coached 350+ candidates secure MBB offers


  • Number 1 is true
  • Number 2 and 3 are not really true - it all depends on the project and client needs! So at the end of the day, the responsible partner will decide on it. Unless there are clear reasons why it should be against the interest of the client or project, this will not be a major problem.

Cheers, Sidi

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Anonymous replied on Aug 24, 2020

Hi Anonymous

I can clarify on points 2 and 3:

2) Not true however you will need to demonstrate that the cost from the other location i.e. Frankfurt is equal to or lower than Berlin to Munich and although you will need to request advance permission - it is rare for this to be withheld

3) Yes also the case for McK but again one you need to take advance permission for this but as long as you have a reason i.e. client meeting or sub-optimal flight schedule - you will get this approved


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Anonymous replied on Aug 26, 2020

Dear A,

If you are just comparing these 2 firms, I would say that generally speaking McKinsey has better terms, especially if it comes to educational program, because what you have described about the PHD program also apllies to an MBA program, whic is even more interesting since you would get a chance to do an MBA at for example either in US (Warton, Harvard or Columbia) with more than 120K fees for an MBA. This is where it make the difference on what of policy you have there.

So, basically McKinsey doesn't hold you when do you MBA for 2 years upon graduation. In fact it retains talents simply by providing them the best conditions. The other interesting aspect for McKinsey Germany is that you will be able to fly business class, which is not always the case BCG Germany.

Of course, both firms have really good policies in terms of hotels, so you you will be surrounded by luxury and comfort.

Hope it helps you.

If you need any further insights into policies or cultures of both firms, just let me know, since I was working in Germany for 6 years and know both firms and their culteres pretty well.

Good luck,

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Sidi gave the best answer


McKinsey Senior EM & BCG Consultant | Interviewer at McK & BCG for 7 years | Coached 350+ candidates secure MBB offers
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