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@MBB fish, what are your hours like typically? I know there’s a wide range so please provide some context (e.g. travel project vs non-travel)

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M-W: 8-6/7ish at the client site. Back to the hotel or elsewhere for dinner and then working again for a few hours say until 1030/11.
Thursday 8-3/4 depending on what time I have travel arrangements. Usually an hour or two of work when I get home. Friday doing work until 3 usually. Client is usually gone by then so not much of a reason to keep going. Then no work again until Monday.

But those hours vary depending on the week. Have had weeks being done at 6 everyday and others going 7am until midnight/1am (although more rare for me). I’d say on the 60-70 hour guideline people usually give, I’m more often on the 60 end

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Obviously depends on project and industry more broadly. M1 has had a very comparable experience to me (12 hrs of actual work, but with dinner break and some chill time so working til 11ish). In New York for reference.
FWIW, most people in my class seem to be working longer than me, but it’s hard to tell how much of that is true vs just playing misery Olympics

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55 hours on a local and low key project to as high as 80 on a travel DD that wasn’t going super well. Average probably around 60. Have worked two weekend days in 18 months

55-70 as per my colleague above.

Spikes to 80 on bad projects.

Seriously people, why?

This is very helpful... are there any firm initiatives to improve work life balance? A BCG consultant I spoke to back when I was going through recruiting mentioned the firm is made aware if someone continuously works 60+ hours and intervenes. Does this actually happen?

Yes. It is called the red zone report and it is taken very seriously by partners and managers. I have personally seen it result in additional resources being added to a case

Thanks BCG1. That’s very reassuring How long does a person have to work for more than 60 hours a week to be helped out? Is there anything similar at McKinsey/Bain or is this unique to BCG?

We have some initiatives. But it’s generally thought that Bain has marginally the best lifestyle of the 3 (unless you’re doing a lot of PE work). McKinsey and BCG are very comparable

It depends on the situation. If there is a spike and it’s just you working high, the PL may just flag it with you. If it’s the whole team that is where the partners tend to get involved and discuss scope and resources

Ah, I see. Thank you - this is helpful! Any idea why Bain is marginally better than the other two?

I personally haven’t heard that and my friends there don’t seem to work less than me. They tend to have a lower travel model, which could be driving that perception

Bain staffs locally. Less travel fewer development opportunities greater in-office connection.

Gotcha. I personally don’t mind the travel.

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