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Hi, I am a fresh grad in a dilemma. I happen to have offers from Mckinsey and Bain, but I cant make an accurate decision on which firm to accept. Pros of M - brand name, prestige, better exit, more diverse work and bigger clients Cons of M - unsure of culture, harder to progress and stand out Pros of B - friendly less hierarchical culture, PE work, higher pay (at the start) Cons of B - lesser brand name, significantly smaller than M What are some considerations and why would you choose M/B?

likehelpful
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There’s PE work at McKinsey too—plenty of it these days. Progression is just fine at McKinsey—can’t imagine it’s any harder or easier than Bain. Culture is hard to differentiate and generalize about given the sizes of these companies, but I’d suggest talking to folks in your potential offices and seeing what you think of them. Prestige doesn’t matter. The reality is that there’s little difference between the two in any practical sense, so pick the place you feel more excited about and comfortable with. The diversity of work point you mentioned and the regional staffing point that BCG1 brought up are potentially important, so consider those, but you really can’t go wrong either way. Congrats!

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Second this

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Prestige is a differentiator that you’ll forget soon after joining - actual impact on your happiness likely minimal. I’d push you on the culture piece - there is far more difference within firms (across industries, geographies, functions) than between firms - based on conversations with MBA classmates at each. I won’t speak for all of McKinsey and I haven’t worked at other firms .. but the home I have found is collaborative, friendly, non-hierarchical, invested in my development, and I love it. If I served financial clients in NYC at any of the firms, I’d probably hate it (personal bias here) All that said - in your shoes - I’d trust my gut on personal fit based on the people that I’ve met, within my specific geography and industry of interest (if known). That will be more targeted and meaningful to your experience. Finally, congrats! No need to downplay this hard won success with “I happen to” :)

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I’ve taken a job for prestige over culture before and it was the worst mistake of my life. The exit opportunities will be similar. Go where you will be happy. PS - Before I worked at Accenture I was at one of those tech start ups everyone drools over and we used Bain, not McKinsey.

likeuplifting

Yeah as someone who has worked in both industry and consulting (and hired consultants as a buyer), I can tell you that no one outside of our little bubble can delineate or even remember the names of any of our firms. I wish I could go back in time and tell college me that!

likehelpful

Go with McK, as your exit options will be better. Plus the resume branding is priceless. Good luck and congrats!

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Go with McKinsey! The ability to be staffed on projects beyond your home office is huge. BCG for example does regional staffing and it is very, very difficult to be staffed on an interesting case at say Microsoft, if you’re in the New York office. Whereas it’s very easy to be staffed on New York projects, if you’re in the Washington, D.C. office. Bain’s office based staffing model is even more restrictive This will be a HUGE determinant of your project opportunities. Do not ignore this difference.

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Gotcha, just repeating what I heard from a large NA office.

If have a personality, choose Bain. Otherwise McK will be a great fit for you.

likefunny

Who hurt you baby?

likefunny

Congrats on both offers! Are you in the USA? I would suggest going with your gut based on your impression of the people you met during the interview process. If no clear preference, default to McK. I wouldn’t factor in pay at all - the difference would be minimal imo.

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I rejected conversion from Bain ACI to go to McK full time and it's been great (based in SEA)

Tbh, Bain if you have a personality (want to be friends with people you work with, enjoy culture, better WLB but less prestige and slower promotion cycle) McKinsey if work is your personality

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B2 - what are you talking about? 50 - 55 hours is awesome!! I have been averaging 70-75 hours at Mck lol

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Do they both have sell weekends? If so, go to both of them. Do that, and it won't even be a question.

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In my opinion. Go for McKinsey. Everyone knows it is #1.

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Is better exits for McK really true? Job listings will often specify a requirement for “top tier consulting”, or sometimes specifically “Bain, McK, BCG”, but I’ve never seen specifically McK being required/helpful over Bain, BCG. If anything it’s more limited by the specific domain expertise you build up while there, so maybe McK would open more public sector doors, and Bain more PE doors, but it’s a bit of a stretch. Anyway, congrats on both offers, you’re in a great position!

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Got it! Sounds like the kind of thing that should therefore be prioritized way behind some of the other factors (staffing model, culture, etc.), unless somebody knows they are likely to find themselves in that position in the future

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Given that both offices are located in Asia, go with McK. Prestige is more of a factor in the region than in the west, and Bain has a much smaller presence relative to McK and BcG.

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OP - McK is a much bigger name than Bain in Asia and will definitely open more doors in the future. However we work considerably long hours compared to other firms. If you just want to spend a couple years in consulting and leave, McK is probably the place. If you want to be a lifer, you should weigh in other factors people mentioned above. I know you will be able to make this decision only after you start, but wanted to give you some info.

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McKinsey. Just Do It.

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There’s gonna be very little difference between the two... which is why it doesn’t matter... which is why I would pick McK..

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Bain has a fantastic culture and I like their approach to growth compared to McK/BCG, but seems to have more exposure to COVID economic impacts (correct me if I’m wrong Bain people).

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Another thing to consider is exit opportunities- Mck will help find you and position you for a good role even when it’s up or out

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That’s not necessarily a differentiator. Bain also has a pretty solid career support service/network (at least in my region), and I’d bet BCG does too.

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Opp to do PE work is great.

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