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McKinsey vs. BCG vs. Deloitte for full-time?

R asked on Oct 18, 2018 - 3 answers

I had been fortunate enough to hold offers from McKinsey, BCG, and Deloitte. My first deadline to accept an offer is coming up, but I'm feeling pretty torn (this is a serious ask).

McKinsey pro: I like their entrepreneurial spirits and the flatter structure (BA & Associates are equal, there's a 3year BA->EM route). I feel that a lot more people reached out to me during the process; I received the offer earlier too so there's a bit of an attachment. The office is in the city where my college is, so I'll likely have some friends in the area. I'll also have the option to drop in my college's career services to *maybe* prep for grad school apps. Most prestige + exit opportunities from what I can understand.

BCG pro: The people there feel more approachable, and I was told that the trajectory for promotions are both more reliable and predictable. The base pay + bonus is higher, and the most important part is that their office is about a 10-minute drive away from home (whereas McK is a two-hour flight away.) I think my parents want me to take this one. They seem to have pretty cool benefits (like subscriptions for Headspace, unpaid leave for any amount of time, etc.)

Deloitte pro: Big company with a lot of potential horizontal movement if consulting isn't my thing (though I think I'll enjoy it from what I've learned so far.) Throughout this entire process, the two most genuine and *cool* conversations I've had were with two incredible women leaders in this company. Also in the city of my college.

I've been told by people to try to break my options down in different categories that I care about - stuff like long-term career goals, people, etc. And I did this analysis already, but it's a pretty even split between McKinsey and BCG. I want to add Deloitte on here because I also really liked it from what I have seen. I did not recruit with any other companies. I also don't have a background in finance/ec/biz, so I don't have a lot of friends/college alums that I know who I can talk to about this and bounce ideas off of. I really appreciate any help/suggestions this community has.

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Vlad replied on Oct 18, 2018
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The only real difference of BCG vs McKinsey for you will be the location close to the office. And the McK brand.

For the location - you will be traveling most of the time and will not spend a lot of time at the office, so you can always take a flight to your parents place anyway.

The difference in salary is not important since on the other side McKinsey has faster growth. McKinsey has unpaid leave. Headspace subscription - are you serious about this benefit? (even if mck doesn't have it its just 30$ a month). People are the same and different everywhere.

I would not give you the answer since I am obviously a biased McK person, but most of the reasons that you've provided here are either subjective or unpredictable.


Francesco replied on Oct 19, 2018
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Hi R,

I would consider BCG or McKinsey only for the choice - the brand name difference is too strong to consider Deloitte at this stage of your career given an MBB option.

Both the options are obviously great. I would not consider salary, perks and locations as not critical for the reasons mentioned by Vlad - unless you are very strongly linked to a group of friends in one of the two cities which are absolutely essential for you.

I would instead base my decision on the following factors:

  1. Where do you want to be in 10 years? Based on that, look for how many alumni are more present in that field. It is not relevant that McKinsey has more Alumni, if they are not related to what you really want to do in your life. If you still don't know, everything equal the McKinsey brand is stronger
  2. If you average the consultants/partners you talked to in each company, which one you would like to be? As Jim Rohn said, you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with. And you will spend a lot of time with your colleagues in the next years. Be sure you chose a company where people are close to the person you want to become.
  3. What is your gut feeling telling you? Our gut feeling is able to catch elements we cannot rationalize, most of the time aligned to what we really want. If you still cannot find a clear answer after the rational analysis of all the other factors, I would follow what this is telling you.



replied on Oct 18, 2018
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Deloitte isn't in the same ballpark at all. Congrats on securing BCG and McK, but please dont equate the three!

MBB comp is always very similar - if one gives a little higher bonus, the other will make up for in bonus. Any difference will be short lived, is central they all track each other.

You should probanly decide between these two based on the people and culture first and foremost. Beyond this, there are slight variations between offices, post-consulting opportunities and whatnot, but you cant go wrong either way

PS: BCG is the best of course - tho I might be biased ;) — Guennael on Oct 18, 2018

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