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What's the difference in consulting experience between MBB+ (S&, OW etc) and prestigious boutiques?

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Hi,

Generally, the experience differs for every consultant, of course. However, having worked for both a boutique and an MBB+ I believe the following (non-exhaustive) list provides a first overview to address your question:

  1. Travel
    • Oftentimes, travel load is less in boutiques, which can vary, though. MBB+ usually require consultants to be on client site for 4 days per week
  2. Workload
    • Oftentimes, workload is less in boutiques, which can also vary, of course. Average hours per week in the boutique I worked amounted to about 50-60 hours. At MBB+ workload is more around 70 hours per week and sometimes more, including weekend work
    • Generally, the more specialized firms offer a better work-life balance than MBB+
  3. Promotion / Standing out
    • In boutiques there is usually less competition and pressure to advance and less stress. Most small consulting firms / boutiques do not have the up or out practices of MBB+. In addition, this allows a better opportunity to stand out based on performance.
    • Advancement may be quicker in boutiques because consultants have greater opportunity to get involved in tasks such as project management, proposal writing, and other business development activities
  4. Knowledge acquisition
    • Boutiques potentially offer greater opportunity to develop a deeper knowledge of the specialty of the firm since they focus on a narrower set of problems
  5. Bureaucracy
    • Less administrative work and fewer approvals required in boutiques

Hope this provides a first overview. Of course, the specifics differ by firm and by region. Also, when you decide for one or the other you should factor in your long-term objectives (e.g. when do you plan/do you plan an exit, desire to develop niche expertise vs. broad range of subjects etc.)

Best regards

Hi,

Generally, the experience differs for every consultant, of course. However, having worked for both a boutique and an MBB+ I believe the following (non-exhaustive) list provides a first overview to address your question:

  1. Travel
    • Oftentimes, travel load is less in boutiques, which can vary, though. MBB+ usually require consultants to be on client site for 4 days per week
  2. Workload
    • Oftentimes, workload is less in boutiques, which can also vary, of course. Average hours per week in the boutique I worked amounted to about 50-60 hours. At MBB+ workload is more around 70 hours per week and sometimes more, including weekend work
    • Generally, the more specialized firms offer a better work-life balance than MBB+
  3. Promotion / Standing out
    • In boutiques there is usually less competition and pressure to advance and less stress. Most small consulting firms / boutiques do not have the up or out practices of MBB+. In addition, this allows a better opportunity to stand out based on performance.
    • Advancement may be quicker in boutiques because consultants have greater opportunity to get involved in tasks such as project management, proposal writing, and other business development activities
  4. Knowledge acquisition
    • Boutiques potentially offer greater opportunity to develop a deeper knowledge of the specialty of the firm since they focus on a narrower set of problems
  5. Bureaucracy
    • Less administrative work and fewer approvals required in boutiques

Hope this provides a first overview. Of course, the specifics differ by firm and by region. Also, when you decide for one or the other you should factor in your long-term objectives (e.g. when do you plan/do you plan an exit, desire to develop niche expertise vs. broad range of subjects etc.)

Best regards

(edited)