After we announced that Sanjeev from TCO 1 landed a consulting job at Boston Consulting Group (BCG), there has been renewed interest amongst our readers in possible BCG careers. There are many good materials about the management consulting firm, which include the BCG Career site itself, the GlassDoor BCG page, Wiki page, etc.
However, these pages usually provide official statistics and formal descriptions. After years of working with many talented young people and experienced hires, we have collected a large number of unique consulting career stories that paint a fuller and more colorful image of different BCG careers and the unconventional paths into those roles.
For example, before they joined BCG, what schools did they attend? What GPA and GMAT scores do they hold? What kind of careers did they have before consulting? And, eventually, what kind of roadblocks did they face during their BCG careers?
We therefore compiled a collection of our quarterly articles, podcasts, and client stories about BCG. Many of the tips, suggestions, and techniques are useful for any aspiring or young consultant at any firm. We also included a few major recent developments at BCG at the end of the article.
Enjoy! Send us any questions you have in the comments section below.
Firmsconsulting Quarterly is the leadership publication from our firm, prepared by our partners and contributors, who were ex-MBB principals and directors.
“Melike, an aspiring consultant, is about to have interviews with BCG Istanbul and McKinsey Boston. She emailed Firmsconsulting for advice…” Read more
“During a BCG engagement, what goes through a partner’s head when consultants in the team perform poorly?
As a younger consultant, you may ask yourself the following questions: What happens when your first engagement is not just bad, but is a disaster? Do you have a future? …” Read more
“…I would be going onto my first BCG business case engagement and wanted to know if you had any specific guidance on what I need to know to support my manager…Here are some general tips, followed by my experience of working with each level…” Read more
“Straight off, I want to say that I have never used a spreadsheet throughout my life…Therefore, it was a bit of a surprise to me when I passed BCG’s screening test and even more of a surprise when I made it through all the interviews. I knew I could do it, but felt that some of my lack of analytics experiences could have held me back…” Read more
“I have an offer from BCG but my question is what would happen when I join. How important is this skill as a consultant, what must I know and how do I learn it. Everyone has a different opinion here… Lots of people who can recite the meaning of ROA, EROC, EV, asset dissipation etc, but actually have no idea how to generate meaning from this” Read more
“…Only Booz offered him any interviews for North America. Bain, BCG and McKinsey all turned him down… Murat’s dreams would have been over were it not for a direct breach of BCG’s ‘global hiring policy’…” Read more
“… a relatively-older candidate from a non-target school, he was able to meticulously follow our advice on networking to eventually build a very effective support network of partners and consultants at his preferred offices…” Listen
“It is indeed a rare moment when the Worldwide Managing Partner of Bain calls a client to encourage him/her to accept an offer. We have had similar situations happen on a handful of occasions…” Listen
“Merging the BCG and McKinsey approach, elegantly. This is a simple discussion on how to merge both approaches so you do not need to worry about learning different techniques…” Listen
“…It discusses a study I led to help a major corporation completely redesign their entire R&D strategy and restructure their R&D division, a behemoth of a unit with little direction…” Listen
“…Not all BCG engagements begin via a call from the CEO or Chairman of the board. Many do, but life is not that simple. Some, unusually, begin with a call from a middle-manager…” Listen
“It is the glamorous engagement all aspiring consultants dream about and imagine consulting is about. In this engagement, we worked for the largest company in the world, in its sector…” Listen
“The power and privilege of management consulting: I was in my early 20′s when I was given my first engagement to interact directly with the COO of a major European multinational. There is no greater privilege in the world than gaining permission to sit across the table of an executive officer of a firm…” Listen
Many of you already know about our successful online training program: The Consulting Offer (TCO). In fact, the two seasons of TCO are developed from our tailored coaching service, which is a highly selective program with a 87% rejection rate – that is we only admit 13% of applicants who apply.
Of those who join our program, we currently have a 72% success rate of placing them at McKinsey, BCG or sometimes Bain. The rate is over 90% if includes other companies such as Deloitte, Roland Berger, etc.
Many of our clients provide detailed feedback on the program. Over 1/3 of the stories, some of which are listed here, are related to BCG careers. We are not trying to promote the coaching service though.
We do, however, think that many tips and anecdotes included in these reviews are helpful for people who are pursuing BCG careers.
“On my first financial modelling engagement I was like the energizer bunny – all excited about building my slides to show my analyses and findings..”
“What is your philosophy for networking?… What were your objectives when you planned a networking call or meeting?…”
“This client was a Firmsconsulting Emerging Fellow and scholarship recipient…”
“I was able to land a position in BCG… the challenges I would face as a female PhD applying for a BCG consultant position in Tokyo/Singapore/Hong Kong…”
“I was an experienced hire from an accounting firm at the manager level and looking to transition into MBB either in London, South Africa or the Middle East.”
“I was sold on Bain since that meeting. Unfortunately I got into BCG but still hope to hop along one day to Bain…”
“I had a 630 GMAT, embarrassingly low on quant, a degree from a weak public university (but I graduated 1st in my class) and barely got into an Ivy League MBA program…”
” I had a PhD from a “non-famous” Canadian school and was returning to Dubai to be closer to my family. Networking was not my forte and it was a major struggle…”
“He told me to know how to do DCF calculations on a sheet of blank paper if I hoped to pass! Everyone else told me this was not important and such calculations are not needed…In my 5 interviews with BCG, I was twice asked to do complex calculations case books insisted I would never be asked…”
“I was a foreign candidate pursuing a US office with relatively weak language and communication skills – I have a US PhD in engineering from a tier-2 school…”
Experts at BCG gave talks at two TED events on two themes: The Shape of Change and Reinventing the Rules. The talks are targeted to wide audience and covering many interesting topics.
A Harvard Business School (HBS) professor, Leslie Perlow published some research results from a study done at BCG. She argues that the always “on” mentality can have a long-term detrimental effect on many organizations. Here is her talk at TED.
In response to the increasingly digitized economy, BCG started their new focus with a new CIO, who was the CIO of Cisco Europe, Middle East, Africa and Russia. Here is their press release. We also recommend to read their technology publication “Winning in the Digital Economy: A New Focus for the CIO”.
BCG have been ranked top five of FORTUNE’S “100 Best Companies to Work For” for 4 years in a roll. In the 2014 list, they are the 3rd. They seem to be on the cool list, too: Best Companies for Millennials.
We hope you enjoyed this collection on BCG careers. Don’t hesitate to send us any questions you have about it. If you like these collection pages, let us know by sharing, tweeting, emailing, commenting, etc. We will continue with different career collections for other companies as well.
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