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McKinsey brand is about 1.25-1.5 times better. I just left and have had frank conversations with recruiters and the hiring manager at the fund I’m joining to ascertain this figure. It is frankly a much better brand name, while we like to pretend MBB are all equally good, it’s not really true mck>>BCG>Bain. McKinsey also have much better support teams whereas at BCG they’re so weak you’ll spend 50% of your time aligning boxes on slides and designing slide layouts. From the ex McKinsey joiners in London this would never happen at McKinsey. They also apparently have a much better knowledge team which makes a huge difference in removing time consuming desk research time (at BCG London they’re so appalling that 80% of the time they send back itching of use - most case team leaders will never allow them to be relied upon. BCG in London is growing at roughly the same rate as McKinsey London (globally BCG is winning share however) If I could go back I would chose McKinsey every time. The brand value is a major factor as are the dramatically better support teams, but the other clincher is that they’re just much more mature with well established methods. At BCG it just feels like we’re constantly scrambling something shabby together - almost like startin an essay the day before the deadline. Finally, a huge amount of the work in BCG London is crappy transformations and implementation - it’s probably also true at McKinsey but at least they have a separate business called McKinsey implementation which should reduce your exposure to that mundane stuff.

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For what it’s worth, I would argue that BCG is continuing to grow stronger while McKinsey only has the top spot to lose in the eyes of most. BCG probably better/more capable in Digital from what I hear around. Interested to hear other thoughts. My advice would be to go and speak with more people at both firms (if you can) and see what they will *honestly* tell you about factors that you care about - make a list. I would be asking about work life balance, staffing (this is a hugely important factor), current progression rates, likely change in work post COVID incl. return to office and travel... In my experience I got the sales pitch over and over from a competing offer but I got the ‘genuine’ answers from the BCGers, which is partly why I chose BCG.

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McKinsey London is bigger, slightly more prestigious, etc. BCG has some areas of strength (digital/media being one). Have heard complaints about WLB from both offices.

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I’ve never worked at BCG but have friends there + one of my PD managers (staffers) was from BCG so have some insight into things that would make a big difference to your day to day as a BA/Associate. 1. Staffing autonomy - at McK you generally don’t get force staffed (unless the staffing pool is extremely tight) beyond your very first study. You negotiate staffing directly with partners/APs and if you have a good reputation (word gets around v quickly either way), you’ll usually have plenty of options. From what I’ve heard, at BCG you indicate your preferences / rankings of options but don’t get to make the final decision. The ex-BCG PDM used to get super frustrated because her job was much more complicated at McK since we have significantly more autonomy and can’t just be assigned to studies. 2. The support teams at McK are astounding. Apart from graphics & research, you can get help w/ anything incl ringing up and getting a specialist to build/fix your xls in real time

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I’ll correct the staffing thing. After your first case you won’t be forced onto anything unless it is the only option available to staff you on. Any time you have more than one case that wants to staff you, it’s your discretion. As a Principal I am often telling staffing who I want on my case, then find out whether they want me too. Not an issue very often. Usually you have a mutual understanding of this is what they want, but if it’s a couple good cases they are talking to sometimes it’s wait and see what the C/A decides from the case leadership perspective. I can’t imagine what the former-BCGer you know had figured out to get push-button staffing. It’s not a thing!

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