What does it feel like to be a BCG consultant?
Starting a career as a consultant is the end goal for many MBA graduates. Consulting is one of the most popular industries for MBA talent keen to put their new business knowledge to the test.
Joining a consulting firm like Boston Consulting Group (BCG), one of the Big Three consulting firms, can be considered the pinnacle of an aspiring consultant. The firm is often ranked among the best consulting firms to work for.
So, what is it like to be a BCG consultant?
Work as a BCG consultant
Varied project work
As a junior BCG consultant, you will usually be working on one client project at a time, explains Eugene Goh (on the picture), who worked as a director of the company for over eight years.
A client project will require you to get to the bottom of a particular issue a business is facing and work together as a BCG case team to resolve that issue.
Once you move beyond the role of a project manager and work towards a partner, then you can run multiple projects at once.
The work is varied. Eugene has worked on projects in banking, telecommunications, public sector and shipping. He also spent six months on an internal research project at BCG.
“I have worked with the World Economic Forum,” he says. “We have published two reports from the World Economic Forum on sustainability in emerging markets.
“It was doing something more intellectually stimulating that I really enjoyed. You work with some of the smartest partners who think things very differently.
Working at BCG also offers the opportunity to undertake client and social impact secondments, as well as special projects in your community.
“This unique combination of opportunities and support allows you to learn, grow and explore your passions with the comfort and security of knowing that you will be appreciated for you and the perspective you bring, regardless of the path. that you choose through BCG, ”says BCG. MBA recruiter, Angela Michalik.
Links with colleagues
BCG is all about people. Eugene fondly remembers the camaraderie between colleagues. “You were pretty sure if you met other BCGers you would get along fine,” he says.
Eugene notes that he would often run into a coworker in the hallway and ask for help with a problem. “People will put their own things aside to spend time with you drawing on board to develop ideas,” he says.
“It’s that sort of thing that might sound simple but for me it was really the most enjoyable conversation I’ve had.”
It is common to come across stories of poor work-life balance in the consulting industry. Long working hours, no time for breaks, burn out. But opinions on work-life balance at BCG are mixed, according to Glassdoor.
While 313 opinions state that “long working hours” are a negative aspect of working in the company, 111 opinions state that there is a “good work-life balance” in the company. A review also indicates that work-life balance is increasingly a priority, a positive step if true given the increase in burnout and stories of extreme work culture during the shift. pandemic.
Your work-life balance will likely depend on the type of work you do. As a BCG consultant working on a client project, you can probably expect your hours to increase as you prioritize work and availability for your client. Secondments or internal research work, while still demanding, are likely to require less travel and less time on site with a client.
The hardest part of working as a BCG consultant is finding a pace that works for you, according to Angela.
“Sometimes you have to prioritize based on what excites you most and what your schedule allows you to do,” she says.
Figuring out where to specialize can also be tricky. Eugene recommends trying out different functions and industries before making your decision.
“The learning curve is going to be very steep and I think the more variety you have tends to help you rather than specialize you,” says Eugene. “I would say, if possible, explore a few areas before you settle into a niche. “
BCG consultant career & salary development
If you are an MBA consultant working at BCG, you will generally have a clear career trajectory as you take on more client and BCG leadership roles and, as Angela says, “Ultimately you take ownership and shape the leadership. of the company “.
The typical path of a BCG consultant is:
→ Associate (undergraduate hiring)
→ Consultant (MBA hiring)
→ Project manager (two years post-MBA)
→ Director (four years after the MBA)
→ Associate (six years post-MBA)
→ Managing Director & Partner (eight years post-MBA)
Each milestone sees a healthy pay rise, with a typical BCG consultant salary hitting six figures.
An incoming associate can expect a salary of $ 100,000, while an entering consultant can expect a salary of $ 175,000 per year, according to BCG figures. Salaries increase with each promotion.
Data from Directorate consulted
Your total compensation at a leading consulting firm will also include performance and signing bonuses. Masters graduates can expect a performance bonus of up to $ 18,000 and a signing bonus of $ 5,000 at BCG, while MBAs can expect to earn a performance bonus of up to $ 18,000. ‘at $ 41,250 and a signing bonus of $ 30,000, according to Management Consulted.
Data from Directorate consulted
There are also various benefits at work that BCG consultants receive.
According to Management Consulted, in addition to huge salaries, Masters graduates can expect 15 days per year of paid leave at a company like BCG. They also receive up to $ 8,000 for the move, and up to $ 4,400 per year is deposited into their 401k retirement account as part of an employee profit sharing initiative.
MBA hires also benefit from 15 days of paid vacation per year at BCG. MBA hires can also expect between $ 2,000 and $ 8,000 for the move, and $ 10,312 per year in their 401k retirement fund.
Starting your career as a consultant after an MBA will take a lot of hard work and determination. But once you’re there, the benefits are clear.
Becoming a BCG consultant will give you the opportunity to work in multiple functions and sectors, and to give back to your local community. You’ll also be surrounded by an ambitious, like-minded peer group, while earning the dazzling salaries that come with a career at a large consulting firm like BCG..
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