{ "media_type": "text", "post_content": "BCG Final Round Decision - Down-leveled to consultant from project leader. I am a Senior Manager at PwC and recently interviewed for Digital BCG. I am 28 years old and I rose very quickly within the firm. If I were to accept BCG offer, I would not only be taking a pay cut but also would be going in 2 levels lower than my current role. I do value the prestige BCG has but not sure if Digital BCG is the same as traditional BCG. Thoughts?\nBoston Consulting Group", "post_id": "613b5d5488d6e1001dc2a944", "reply_count": 108, "vote_count": 18, "bowl_id": "552d1d24dc1c586b09d2d051", "bowl_name": "Consulting", "feed_type": "crowd" }
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If you think you can survive the next 10 years at BCG, your comp at BCG is likely to be better than what you would have earned at PwC for next 10 years. Odds are stacked against you though, so if you feel like you want a brand upgrade and are willing to take a chance, then go. Otherwise don’t.

One more thing - even if you join BCG, you will never shake that feeling off that you are underappeciated and there’s always a doubt about you given the C offer so think about if you can forget about how you feel now, shake it off and start afresh. This feeling will haunt you down for awhile.

likesmart

I came in as a lateral PL even though McKinsey was offering me AP. BCG still had me do my first case as a C and then after three months put me in a “safe” PL situation.

In hindsight, it was without a doubt the best decision. It really did take some time to learn the ropes of how the firm works, and it’s not something you can learn through a training. A good bit of it is cultural stuff.

My advice would be to take the offer and swallow your pride (which you don’t really need to do anyway). You can also ask for 6-12 months of tenure credit as a C. It’s also possible to get promoted from PL to Principal in 18 months so you can make it up on that timeline.
At the end of the day, think about your timeline and compensation trajectory to MDP. Very hard to beat.

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I am a principal at another firm and was offered PL2 at BCG. While BCG was attractive for some reasons, overall I declined. BCG failed to provide a compelling reason for the downgrade, except “it’s the BCG way.” Not about actual capability. And the pay was short too.

It’s a hot market, find someone who values you appropriately.

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Totally agree with P1 and M3 here.

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To play devils advocate - the reason they do this is to set you up for success when you do get to manager (PL) levels. Lots of tension between lateral PLs/Principals and teams that feel they haven’t adapted to BCG culture/style - many of these hires don’t last long. Of course, if the pay cut is a no-go for you, then don’t take the offer

likefunnysmarthelpful

Agree with this - PL is the hardest role and it’s night ti have some runway. Also with the new comp you should be able to make $250K all-in as a consultant - which isn’t too shabby

likeuplifting

I was a manager before business school, finished business school at age 30 and then started as a C at BCG. 28 is a pretty normal age for a C at BCG.

Historically we’ve found that coming in as a lateral hire can be tough, and entrants are more successful when there is a slightly slower ramp. But once you’re in the groove, your career here turns into a rocket ship. The short term pay cut may feel painful, but the comp trajectory is exceptional.

Digital BCG is well regarded in the firm. I’m not aware of any drawbacks with being part of Digital BCG vs the more traditional route.

likefunny

No drawbacks except ofcourse the pay gap, right?

Would never switch companies with a pay cut.

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I did going from TCS to B4 - zero regrets. You have to consider long term career growth and cultural fit….

I am a Recruiting Director for Executive Hires in a European market for BCG, so I decide those things on a day to day basis. Couple of thoughts:

1) Downleveling you is not ill intent. Historically success rates for SMs coming from Big4 at Principal level are VERY low. So since many years the mapping is SM -> PL. This is about making you successful and in the larger scheme of things the max 2 years do not make a meaningful difference. You want to maximize chances to make Partner.
2) I find it hard to believe that comp is not meaningfully better. At least in my geo a BCG PL earns 30% more than a Big4 SM
3) there should be some wiggle room on giving you tenure credit (i.e. making your timeline to Principal promotion faster) and signon bonus if there is a comp gap
4) DigitalBCG if recruiting for non PLA non Brighthouse roles has the same brand equity and pay as core BCG - for Gamma even better pay in some instances

likesmarthelpful

The feedback is precisely what I mean: performance too bad for PL, but likely good enough on the more relevant dimensions for a C.

For me this is the Q on how likely are u to stay until Partner/want to stay until Partner. If yes, BCG likely still worth it, if not no

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Ouch

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I am a former Director at PwC who came in at PL2. From a comp perspective, having survived 6 years, I don’t think I’ve suffered as I’ve been making >450 the last 3 years. It was annoying at first to be juniorized but I can’t deny learning a lot my first year. I had many habits I think I didn’t recognize at that point which being juniorized helped me see. I think it comes down to whether you see a team that will support you and help you come in swinging.

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Hello BCG23, I am a director and going through some self reflection. I am trying to move but never felt I could try for BCG.

Would you be open to a phone chat? I would really appreciate it. I hope you say yes.

The problem at PwC is some people get promoted way too fast just because they are in the right place at the right time and luck works in their favor. They fail to realize the outside world does mimic PwC and has its own set of rules. What I have also noticed is that some of the younger SM's and Director lack the emotional maturity and do not perform similar to the older and mature SM's/Directors.

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Buddy, being at the right time at the right place is an art and what all fast career progressions are all about

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Why not just try Strategy&

likesmart

Don’t. I came in as D->P from B4 couple of years ago and wasn’t even considering a level down. If they want you, they will consider you at the level you want. As someone above said, this “BCG way” is overblown and hubris. Trust yourself.

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This is actively wrong. We’re recruiting PLs like mad right now. If this person was believed to be qualified as a PL we would hire them as a PL.

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Are you a French dude, just asking? If you are that French dude you are over-promoted at PwC, and you should be down-leveled.

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Dying at this & I know exactly who this is 😅💀

I'd stay at pwc, unless you have reason to believe your quick trajectory there will start to slow

likesmart

FWIW I am a 31 year old PL. Joined as an A at 26 (army and a different career before that). No regrets

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Came to BCG DAS from PwC. Happy to talk through. I lateraled as an SA3 to C1.

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Tell them take PL or no beuno. 1 level below is standard , 2 levels not so much . Also I know Ms in big4 who joined as PL so…

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Going to McK next month. I’d say don’t do it. Digital BCG is not as prestigious as generalist + you can get to an EM level at McK easily. Don’t undervalue yourself

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If the opp was “within DAS” and not DV or Platinion, then it’s exactly the same as BCG classic, and is as prestigious as we get. You clearly dont know what you’re talking about. Also, jumping into EM or PL without having experience at MBB is a recipe for disaster. Starting at consultant is actually setting you up for success. But you do you.

Thanks for the responses so far. Are the exit opportunities better at Digital BCG?

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So “DAS” is a system within classic BCG that specializes in digital cases - but that still includes everything from big tech tranformations, to people and org strategies, digital marketing and sales, etc. We aren’t doing Salesforce or anything like that. So, you get all the exit opportunities that come with being a BCG consultant, but you can also put down all your tech/digital experience. And yes, BCGers exit to strategy, product, and project roles in FAANG and other tech all the time, but it’s undoubtedly easier if you’re coming out of DAS. The point is that digital isn’t a separate entity here - it’s baked into everything, and DAS just means you specialize. It’s not hugely different from specializing in the government practice or private equity.

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I had offers from McK and BCG. McK offered me a SBA role while BCG only offered Assc.

I suggest you try interview with McK. Perhaps they will bring you at EM.

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