Stuck with a BCG offer

BCG Bain McKinsey
New answer on Oct 30, 2020
10 Answers
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Anonymous A asked on Aug 17, 2020

Hey guys,

I hope all is well, I have a PhD in Biotechnology and a decent job in my current company, However, my main goal is to join an MBB in a decent position. I applied to a program with BCG and that program gives you an opportunity to interview with BCG after the end of the program. I finished the interview and I received an offer thankfully. However, the offer is for a starting position and the deadline to sign this offer is one week, because the starting date is fixed. I also have interviews with Mckinsey in a month for the position that is appropriate to my qualifications. I called BCG and asked if it's possible to extend the offer deadline and they said it's not possible. What should I do given my current situation? and is it worth it to switch careers for a starting position in BCG?

I would really appreciate your input on this. Thank you.

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Content Creator
replied on Aug 18, 2020
Bain Consultant | Interviewer for 3 years at Bain |Passionate about coaching |I will make you a case interview Rockstar

Hi Anonymous,

I think your options are as follows:

1. Try to renegotiate the BCG offer for a higher position - extremely unlikely to workout. But maybe you can discuss what your trajectory will look like if you perform above your starting peers.

2. Decline and interview with Mckinsey - Extremely high risk given how many things potentially can go wrong. They might even end up offering you a lower position than post-MBA if your case performance is not in line with expectations or not give you an offer at all.

If I were you I would take the BCG offer and focus on performing well and climbing the ladder quickly if you are motivated to be in consulting.

All the best


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Content Creator
replied on Aug 17, 2020
MBB | 100% personal interview success rate (8/8) and 95% candidate success rate | Personalized interview prep

Hi there,

Interesting lead-in title - you don't see many people say "stuck with a BCG offer" :)

First, congratulations and well done. You should be ecstatic!

Second, I agree with the rest that you should 100% be taking this offer - worry about the rest later (but it's good to consider this). A bird in the hand is better than two in the bush.

If McKinsey is your #1 target (i.e. you are 100% sure you would take their offer over anyone else's), then you need to decide where your morals lie. If you decide to not interview, you've done the "right" thing. If you decide to interview, you're done the right thing for you.

This is something I do not condone, nor would I do it myself (at my stage in life I would never ever go back on my word, written or verbal). That being said, early on in one's career I do understand one's motivations to take this gamble if they so choose - your hand was in a sense forced here.

Good luck!

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Anonymous replied on Aug 17, 2020


Just my 2 cents. I think top consulting firms are quite consistent in the role/level requirements, even though they do use different titles which sometimes is confusing.

If BCG gives you a starting position, I am not sure McK would give you a much more senior role. There might be 1 year (or max 2) difference if you really win the McK interview with fantastic performance. But I am not sure that's a risk worth taking...



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Anonymous D replied on Aug 18, 2020

I'm confused - I'm also a PhD with an MBB offer and all PhDs enter at the post-MBA level (Consultant for BCG/Bain, Associate for McK), even if you have postdoc experience. Unless you have significant industry experience and applied as an experienced hire.

What level is the offer for?

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Anonymous on Jan 17, 2021

Depends on geography and on firm. You're generally correct for US offers, but in Europe (UK for example), PhDs start at the level below for McKinsey and BCG (Junior Associate - McK and Senior Associate - BCG). Not sure about Bain, but one of the many reasons I didn't apply to Bain is that PhDs in the UK start as Associates.


Anonymous C replied on Aug 17, 2020

I concur with Anonymous B - take the offer. In theory you could take the offer and if McK goes through then pull out of BCG. BCG will probably blacklist you forever but I suppose that's the worst that could happen

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Anonymous B updated the answer on Aug 17, 2020

Don't forget that an important factor in interviews is luck and if you have a good day or a bad day. And I speak from experience when I say.. just take the offer!


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Anonymous replied on Aug 19, 2020

Dear A,

First of all, my congratulations to your BCG offer, especially in the current times, it's really great job.

Secondly, I would strongly recommend you, if BCG is not giving you any freedom regarding extending the signing period for several weeks, until you finish your application process, then simply sign the offer BCG, go to McKinsey interview, get another offer from McKinsey and then decide whether you want to join BCG or McKinsey.

If McKinsey offer would be better for you then you would be able to reject the BCG offer.

Wish you best,

If you need further help or advice, reach out and let me know.



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Content Creator
replied on Oct 30, 2020
Ex-Mckinsey|Certified Career Coach |Placed 500+ candidates at MBB & other consultancies

Hi there,

Congratulations on your offer! I am sure you did a great job!

Honestly, I would recommend you take this offer, prepare for the interview in McKinsey and try to get a job in the company you would like to work.

So for now it’s better to relax and take the offer from BCG.

What do you think about it? Did you accept the offer?

All the best,


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Rajeev replied on Aug 20, 2020


I'm just another person aspiring for a career in consulting and so not as qualified as others who answerd your question. I however want to gently nudge you to ask yourself the following questions:

1. Is your present "decent" job statisfying your all other needs apart from your goal of joining consulting?

2. Do you firmly believe you are capable for a more senior position at BCG than the offered?

3. Are you confident with your preparation for McKinsey?

4. Is there any absolute requirement/necessity for you to change your job right now?

If answers for 1,2 and 3 are a YES, then try negotiating with BCG on your position. If they don't agree, then maybe donn't accept the offer and focus on McKinsey.

If for 4, your answer is YES again, then maybe it is wise to accept the offer at BCG. If it is a NO, then you may follow the first possiblity that I listed.

Depending on your answers for these four questions, you may play with your permutations and combinations.

My take: If I already have a decent job, then I would want to look for improving on that without any compromises.

Wish you the best.

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Anonymous E replied on Aug 18, 2020

I would not recommend to take the offer for a starting position with a PhD in Biotechnology. BCG does not seem to appreciate your qualifications. I would try to join mckinsey...

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Anonymous D on Aug 18, 2020

Well, his BCG offer might be for the post-MBA starting position. In that case, it's appropriate as this is the level that PhDs start at as well.

Axel gave the best answer


Content Creator
Bain Consultant | Interviewer for 3 years at Bain |Passionate about coaching |I will make you a case interview Rockstar
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