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McKinsey Digital role vs BCG/Bain Generalist Strategy role

Bain Bain & Company BCG Boston Consulting Group McKinsey McKinsey Digital The Boston Consulting Group
New answer on Oct 18, 2023
7 Answers
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Anonymous A asked on Oct 17, 2023

Hello everyone,

I need you kind consultation and advise on an important matter.

I am in the process of interviewing with McKinsey Digital for a Consultant role and for generalist strategy roles with BCG and Bain. I am continuously thinking which offer to accept knowing that I have background experience in digital transformation with a big-4 firm with aligns with McKinsey Digital role but I have a strong desire to work as a generalist strategy consultant which made me move to apply to MBB firms.

The firm's offices are all great environments in the UAE. I need help what factors to consider in making a decision to which offer to accept. 

1. Should I go with McKinsey with its name and reputation or should I go with the generalist strategy roles with BCG or Bain? 

2. If I go to McKinsey Digital's offer, will I get a chance to work on projects as a generalist strategy consultant?

3. Or should I go with the highest paying offer regardless of roles or firm name?

Thank you

(edited)

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Best answer
Alberto
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Oct 17, 2023
Ex-McKinsey Associate Partner | +15 years in consulting | +200 McKinsey 1st & 2nd round interviews

Hi there,

Congrats on getting all interviews in MBB :) To your questions:

1. Should I go with McKinsey with its name and reputation or should I go with the generalist strategy roles with BCG or Bain? 

I suggest you step back and think where you want your career to move towards in the next years. McKinsey Digital role would strengthen your position as a digital leader while BCG / Bain generalist role would open up possibilities in more industries and functional roles in the long term. You should also consider what your value proposition will be compared with your peers. You have 3-4 years of digital experience but zero experience as generalist consultant in MBB, which is a big leap from a big-4 (I made the same move from PwC to McKinsey, happy to discuss if you send me a message).

2. If I go to McKinsey Digital's offer, will I get a chance to work on projects as a generalist strategy consultant?

Short answer will be no, or at least not easily. From my experience at McKinsey, digital and generalist consultants normally work together in projects but digital consultants generally cover the digital workstreams. You would still have the chance to things beyond the digital part but it is not always obvious.

3. Or should I go with the highest paying offer regardless of roles or firm name?

I suggest you take a more strategic approach rather that money here. Nevertheless, offers should be quite similar (McKinsey digital and generalist salaries are the same).

Good luck!

Alberto

Check out my latest case based on a real MBB interview: Sierra Springs

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Frederic
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replied on Oct 17, 2023
ex Jr. Partner McKinsey |Senior Interviewer| Real Feedback & Free Homework between sessions|Harvard Coach|10+ Experience

Hi there, McKinsey of course ;-) (ok I am biased, but here some food for thought):

Flexibility at McKinsey Digital: It's possible to find opportunities to work on generalist strategy projects within McKinsey Digital. The firm values talent and often allows for some flexibility in project selection. However, it's essential to express your career goals clearly with the firm to ensure alignment. I had many McK Digital guys on my strategy projects, typically 50% utilization outside Digital is acceptable. 

Reputation and Network: McKinsey boasts a strong reputation and still has the biggest alumni network. This can be valuable throughout your career and open doors to various opportunities. 

Compensation: While compensation is a factor, don't make it the sole driver of your decision. Consider the entire compensation package, including benefits, and weigh it against your career goals and job satisfaction.

Work-Life Balance and Culture: I'd say better at Digital, so if this is a factor for you, keep it in mind. 

Best of luck,

Frederic 

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Raj
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Content Creator
replied on Oct 17, 2023
FREE 15MIN CONSULTATION | #1 Strategy& / OW coach | >70 5* reviews |90% offers ⇨ prep-success.super.site | MENA, DE, UK

Here are some factors to consider:

Career goals and interests: Think about your long-term career aspirations and which role aligns better with your goals. If you have a strong desire to work as a generalist strategy consultant, BCG or Bain may provide more opportunities in that area. However, if you are passionate about digital transformation and enjoy the work you have done in that field, McKinsey Digital could be a great fit.

Learning and development opportunities: Consider the learning and development opportunities offered by each firm. Research the types of projects and industries they work in, and assess which firm can provide you with the exposure and experiences that will help you grow professionally. Keep in mind that McKinsey Digital may offer a mix of digital and generalist projects, but it's important to clarify this during the interview process.

Firm culture and fit: Evaluate the culture and values of each firm and determine where you feel you would thrive the most. Consider factors such as work-life balance, mentorship opportunities, and the overall fit with the firm's values and working style. It's important to choose a firm where you feel comfortable and can see yourself succeeding in the long run.

Compensation: While compensation is an important factor, it should not be the sole determinant of your decision. Consider the overall package, including base salary, bonuses, benefits, and potential for future growth and advancement.

Ultimately, the decision should be based on a combination of these factors and your personal preferences. Take the time to reflect on what matters most to you and weigh the pros and cons of each offer. Good luck with your decision-making process!

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Francesco
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replied on Oct 18, 2023
#1 Coach for Sessions (4.500+) | 1.500+ 5-Star Reviews | Proven Success (➡ interviewoffers.com) | Ex BCG | 10Y+ Coaching

Hi there,

It seems you are still in the interview stage, in this case I would recommend postponing the decision once you have some actual offers.

In terms of your questions:

1) Should I go with McKinsey with its name and reputation or should I go with the generalist strategy roles with BCG or Bain? 

Given you would prefer the general practice, you might ask McKinsey if you could be considered for a generalist role if you would prefer that path, after they extend the offer. Then, make a decision based on the company you prefer (you can find a few criteria in the link in answer #3).

2) If I go to McKinsey Digital's offer, will I get a chance to work on projects as a generalist strategy consultant?

You might be staffed on non-digital projects even if you are working in the digital division, however you should expect a good percentage to be in the digital area.

3) Or should I go with the highest paying offer regardless of roles or firm name?

I would recommend considering exit opportunities and perceived culture as the main drivers. You can find a few tips on how to make a decision below:

How to Compare Different Offers

Good luck!

Francesco

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Cristian
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Oct 18, 2023
#1 rated MBB & McKinsey Coach

Needless to say, they're all very similar. So you can't really go wrong.

The core difference is that in digital roles you'll almost exclusively be doing digital projects (but leveraging the exact set of skills as if you were a generalist), where as a generalist you can do digital projects (though you have a weaker value prop for it than somebody who is a digital consultant) as well as any other type of project. 

I wouldn't make the decision based on the firm name (all MBBs are great in that sense) or on compensation (even out over the long-run anyway), but rather on where you want to be in a few years from now. 

If you want your value prop to be closely associated with digital work, then it makes sense to go for the digital consultant role. If you want to explore other areas, then it makes sense to go for a generalist role. 

Best,

Cristian

———————————————

Practicing for interviews? Check out my latest case based on a first-round MBB interview >>> SoyTechnologies  

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Ian
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Content Creator
replied on Oct 17, 2023
#1 BCG coach | MBB | Tier 2 | Digital, Tech, Platinion | 100% personal success rate (8/8) | 95% candidate success rate

Hi there,

The best consultation + advice, in general, comes from paid sessions! You have a super important life decision here right? Maybe consider investing a small % of that offer money into a career coach that can help advise you here.

1. Should I go with McKinsey with its name and reputation or should I go with the generalist strategy roles with BCG or Bain? 

You should go with the one that gives you an offer.

You're wringing your hands over this false choice. What if neither give you an offer?

Both have a great reputation.

2. If I go to McKinsey Digital's offer, will I get a chance to work on projects as a generalist strategy consultant?

It's great they've given you an offer! What an amazing opportunity! :P

(No, in general, you are “confined” to digital")

3. Or should I go with the highest paying offer regardless of roles or firm name?

It's so great you have 2 top-tier firm offers to choose from!

(Evaluate what you care about…hint not JUST name+money I'd hope, and select accordingly)

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ALEXANDRE
Expert
replied on Oct 17, 2023
FREE INTRO I exMcKinsey EM I exKearney consultant I High Success Rate I Official Coach for HEC (160 coachees in 2022/23)

Hi,

First congratulations for your interviews in both firm.

My answer is quite simple go to BCG if you want to be a generalist consultant. BCG and McK reputations are close (and I'm a former McKinsey EM…). And don't take your decision based on money, you will always regret it.

Cheers,

Alexandre

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Alberto gave the best answer

Alberto

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Ex-McKinsey Associate Partner | +15 years in consulting | +200 McKinsey 1st & 2nd round interviews
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