expert
Expert with best answer

Antonello

98% Recommendation Rate

101 Meetings

1,689 Q&A Upvotes

USD 189 / Coaching

3

The Group vs The Firm

Hi everyone,

I have a bit of a luxury problem: I hold offers from several consultancies, but I'm deciding between the group vs. the firm / BCG vs McKinsey. (Note: Both are for Master's entry in the German generalist track)

These are the current arguments that I have:

Pro-McKinsey

- Better prestige

- I know more people on my level around the world

- International Staffing (quite important to me)

- Much better conditions for educational leave (at least the case in Germany)

- McKinsey Digital is stronger than BCG Digital (quite interested in this)

Pro-BCG

- More social culture from my impression - I heard McK can have a cut-throat culture?

- I know a senior partner in Germany, who has been mentoring me for a long time, so I would feel quite bad for taking McKinsey

- Better work-life balance (from what I've heard)

- Option to work with BCG Gamma or even to transfer to them - I heard the McK equivalent 'Advanced Analytics' is more separate from the generalists? (This is also quite important to me since I really enjoy programming and working in data science. I also come from an Engineering background.)

Does anyone have tips for me how to decide? Have you heard of similar things as listed above, or have you heard of any other differences? Also, does anyone know how easy it is to transfer to non-German offices at these two firms? I might have to do that at some point...

Thanks everyone!

Hi everyone,

I have a bit of a luxury problem: I hold offers from several consultancies, but I'm deciding between the group vs. the firm / BCG vs McKinsey. (Note: Both are for Master's entry in the German generalist track)

These are the current arguments that I have:

Pro-McKinsey

- Better prestige

- I know more people on my level around the world

- International Staffing (quite important to me)

- Much better conditions for educational leave (at least the case in Germany)

- McKinsey Digital is stronger than BCG Digital (quite interested in this)

Pro-BCG

- More social culture from my impression - I heard McK can have a cut-throat culture?

- I know a senior partner in Germany, who has been mentoring me for a long time, so I would feel quite bad for taking McKinsey

- Better work-life balance (from what I've heard)

- Option to work with BCG Gamma or even to transfer to them - I heard the McK equivalent 'Advanced Analytics' is more separate from the generalists? (This is also quite important to me since I really enjoy programming and working in data science. I also come from an Engineering background.)

Does anyone have tips for me how to decide? Have you heard of similar things as listed above, or have you heard of any other differences? Also, does anyone know how easy it is to transfer to non-German offices at these two firms? I might have to do that at some point...

Thanks everyone!

(edited)

3 answers

  • Upvotes
  • Date ascending
  • Date descending
Best Answer
Book a coaching with Antonello

98% Recommendation Rate

101 Meetings

1,689 Q&A Upvotes

USD 189 / Coaching

First of all, congratulations!

I think your summary is good. The only point is about data science practice: I would say that both BCG gamma and McK advanced analytics are well separated from the generalist path, you cannot go back and forth whenever you want, but pass from generalist to there will be easier if you have the right background, since they are growing a lot and are less selective.

In any case - whatever you choose - you will go great!

Best,

Antonello

First of all, congratulations!

I think your summary is good. The only point is about data science practice: I would say that both BCG gamma and McK advanced analytics are well separated from the generalist path, you cannot go back and forth whenever you want, but pass from generalist to there will be easier if you have the right background, since they are growing a lot and are less selective.

In any case - whatever you choose - you will go great!

Best,

Antonello

Book a coaching with Francesco

100% Recommendation Rate

2,889 Meetings

6,418 Q&A Upvotes

USD 349 / Coaching

Hi Anonymous,

congratulations on your offers! I would consider also the following elements:

  1. Where do you want to be in 5-10 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 are keen to digital or you still don't know, everything equal the McKinsey brand is stronger.
  2. If you consider the average consultant/partner you talked to in each company, which one would you rather be? Quoting Jim Rohn, 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. You should be able to chat with some additional people if you are not sure, companies are usually happy to put in touch with consultants to help with a decision.
  3. What is your gut feeling telling you? Our gut feeling is able to catch elements we cannot rationalize, most of the time aligned with what we really want. After evaluating all the elements, if you still cannot decide I would recommend taking that into consideration as well for your final decision.

Best,

Francesco

Hi Anonymous,

congratulations on your offers! I would consider also the following elements:

  1. Where do you want to be in 5-10 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 are keen to digital or you still don't know, everything equal the McKinsey brand is stronger.
  2. If you consider the average consultant/partner you talked to in each company, which one would you rather be? Quoting Jim Rohn, 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. You should be able to chat with some additional people if you are not sure, companies are usually happy to put in touch with consultants to help with a decision.
  3. What is your gut feeling telling you? Our gut feeling is able to catch elements we cannot rationalize, most of the time aligned with what we really want. After evaluating all the elements, if you still cannot decide I would recommend taking that into consideration as well for your final decision.

Best,

Francesco

Book a coaching with Vlad

97% Recommendation Rate

388 Meetings

7,450 Q&A Upvotes

USD 239 / Coaching

Hi,

You perfectly provided the arguments. I don't think anyone else can help you here. It's up to you to decide.

Best

Hi,

You perfectly provided the arguments. I don't think anyone else can help you here. It's up to you to decide.

Best

Related BootCamp article(s)

Interviewer-Led vs Candidate-Led cases

Case Interviews can be led by the candidate or by the interviewer: In Candidate-led cases the main challenge is the structure. In Interviewer-led cases the main challenge is to adapt quickly

Related case(s)

McKinsey Questions

Solved 36.8k times
McKinsey Questions Tell me of a situation where you had an opinion and no one seemed to agree with you. What was your goal when you decided to join university / work / clubs / a sports team? Did you have a goal that you were not able to reach? What did you do? What do you want to be remembered for and how are you achieving it? What is your typical way of dealing with conflict?
4.5 5 851
| Rating: (4.5 / 5.0) |
Difficulty: Intermediate | Style: Fit interview | Topics: Personal fit

Tell me of a situation where you had an opinion and no one seemed to agree with you. What was your goal when you decided to join university / work / clubs / a sports team? Did you have a goal that you were not able to reach? What did you do? What do you want to be remembered for and how are you ... Open whole case

BCG Questions

Solved 25.3k times
BCG Questions What arouses your interest when you are working / studying / doing another activity (from the CV)? Tell me of a time where you had no idea what you were doing. When did you use an uncommon approach to do something? Have you ever had responsibility for other people? Tell me of a situation where you were not the official leader.
4.5 5 206
| Rating: (4.5 / 5.0) |
Difficulty: Intermediate | Style: Fit interview | Topics: Personal fit

What arouses your interest when you are working / studying / doing another activity (from the CV)? Tell me of a time where you had no idea what you were doing. When did you use an uncommon approach to do something? Have you ever had responsibility for other people? Tell me of a situation where ... Open whole case

Espresso, Whatelse?

Solved 3.8k times
Espresso, Whatelse? Espresso Whatelse is an Italian company that produces coffee and espresso machines since 1908. It is the Italian market leader and has a strong presence overall in Europe. In 2019, Espresso Whatelse has increased its revenues but it has seen declining profit margin. Your client wants to understand the root causes of this 2019 trend and how to increase its profit margin again.  
4.7 5 197
| Rating: (4.7 / 5.0)

Espresso Whatelse is an Italian company that produces coffee and espresso machines since 1908. It is the Italian market leader and has a strong presence overall in Europe. In 2019, Espresso Whatelse has increased its revenues but it has seen declining profit margin. Your client wants to understand ... Open whole case

MBB Final Round Case - Smart Education

Solved 3.7k times
MBB Final Round Case - Smart Education Our client is SmartBridge, a nonprofit educational institution offering face-to-face tutoring services. The client operates in the US. The mission of SmartBridge is to help as many students as possible to complete studies and prevent that they drop from the school system, in particular in disadvantaged areas. The client is considering starting operations for its services in the Chicago area. They hired us to understand if that makes sense. Due to the nonprofit regulation, SmartBridge should operate on its own in the market, without any partnership. How would you help our client?
4.6 5 131
| Rating: (4.6 / 5.0)

Our client is SmartBridge, a nonprofit educational institution offering face-to-face tutoring services. The client operates in the US. The mission of SmartBridge is to help as many students as possible to complete studies and prevent that they drop from the school system, in particular in disadvant ... Open whole case

Coronavirus Times - COVID-19 Brainteaser

Solved 1.1k times
Coronavirus Times - COVID-19 Brainteaser You and your family are faced with a challenging set of decisions. Due to coronavirus, your partner has taken a 20% paycut and you are worried you may lose your job. In addition, while daycare is still open, you are worried that sending your two children there will increase the risk of them bringing the virus back to your house, where your elderly grandparents are also staying. How would you go about thinking about this problem, and what would you recommend?
4.5 5 28
| Rating: (4.5 / 5.0)
Difficulty: Beginner | Style: Brain Teaser | Topics: Brain teaser

You and your family are faced with a challenging set of decisions. Due to coronavirus, your partner has taken a 20% paycut and you are worried you may lose your job. In addition, while daycare is still open, you are worried that sending your two children there will increase the risk of them bringing ... Open whole case