Boston Consulting Group

The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) prides itself on its treatment of clients and its employee-focused culture. Unsurprisingly, BCG stands as one of the world's top-ranked consulting practices and is home to over 7,500 consultants in more than 40 countries.

8.6 / 10 8 reviews Overall Satisfaction

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317 employee reviews - read more

Pros

  • Interesting cases and challenging work with client interaction from day one
  • Plenty of opportunities for training and feedback
  • You’ll be exposed to a wide range of industries
  • Excellent reputation and career prospects

Cons

  • Unpredictability of the hours
  • You're required to travel to clients and stay in hotels a fair bit
  • Lack of a work/life balance
  • You have to find time to attend training and fit it around your workload

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The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) is most notably known for two reasons; both its treatment of clients and the treatment of their staff. A massive 90% of BCG’s customers are repeat customers, and the firm prides itself on its employee-focused culture.

BCG was founded in 1963 by former Bible salesman Bruce D. Henderson. After dropping out from Harvard Business School three months before graduation, Henderson went on to work for Westinghouse Corporation, becoming one of the youngest vice presidents in its history. After Westinghouse, he worked in management at Arthur D. Little – one of the earliest consulting firms. From here, Henderson was headhunted by a client, the Boston Safe deposit and Trust Company, to start an autonomous consulting division at the bank, which became known as the BCG. The firm eventually became independent in 1975 and has remained privately owned by its partners ever since.

While most consultancy firms focused on making easily quantified increases in their client’s bottom line or adjustments to their operations, Bruce Henderson had a more ‘teach a man to fish approach’. His plan was for his clients to understand macroeconomics and social change, so they could better position themselves within their markets.

BCG’s consultants operate in every industry, specialising in a variety of services and functions, including strategy and portfolio development, branding, finance, globalisation, IT, intellectual property and operations. Its clients include some of the world’s largest corporations, as well as a number of Fortune 500 companies, non-profits and government organisations.

The firm is headquartered, unsurprisingly, in Boston, and has now more than 70 offices in 43 countries around the world. In fact, it was one of the first consultancies to establish an office in Japan in 1966, soon after opening outposts in London and Paris.

Current CEO Rich Lesser is only the sixth person to lead the firm. Since Lesser’s appointment in January 2013, BCG have opened three new offices in Montreal, Seattle and Bogotá, Colombia. The latter of which is part of the firm’s commitment to seeking out new markets in developing economies.

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The majority of BCG’s consultants have an advanced degree from a leading business school, such as INSEAD, Harvard, SDA-Boccini, LBS, ESSEC or Heidelberg. Recruits are primarily drafted between September and February, and are ordinarily plucked from applications made through the firm’s web forms. Experience abroad or foreign languages aren’t necessities, but they’d certainly help to set any hopeful applicant out from the crowd. But most importantly, ‘candidates need to be able to demonstrate that they have the breadth of skills… [required] for the job – a combination of analytical capabilities, structured thinking, creativity and drive.’

Three rounds of interviews stand between you and a position at BCG. The first round consists of one interview as well as a couple of tests; while the second comprises simply two interviews. Theses interviews will be held by Project Leaders and Principals, but make it through to the third round and you’ll face three interviews with Partners. Regardless of the round, most interviews will be about ‘25% CV questions and 75% case studies’, according to one junior consultant.

The personal discussion is intended as a ‘get to know you’, so this stage will often revolve around a specific experience or time in your life. One junior consultant states, ‘I was asked to talk about what I was most passionate about on my CV, and each conversation flowed differently from then on.’

Case studies are always based on real client projects and in turn provide the main insight into whether a candidate can do the job or not; the BCG website offers examples of such case studies. However, interviewers aren't looking for industry knowledge; they simply want to make sure your reasoning is sound and logical.

Interviewers will often end a case study by assessing a candidate’s communication skills. This is done with an “elevator test” in which applicants are given 30 seconds to clearly and concisely sum-up the case they have just discussed as if they’ve just bumped into the CEO of the client company in a lift.


Boston Consulting Group 2013 campus events:

Cambridge

Name of the event Location Date Time
AD Presentation De Vere University Arms Hotel, Cambridge  08/10/2013 19:30 - 21:30
Coffee Chats Cambridge (tbc) 25/10/2013 tbc
Consulting Fair Cambridge Campus 17/10/2013 13:00 - 18:00
LGBT Drinks Reception River Bar, Quayside  Cambridge CB5 8AB 17/10/2013 19:30
Main Presentation Peterhouse, Cambridge 21/10/2013 19:30 - 21:30
Skills Session (Case Study) Cambridge (tbc) 18/10/2013 tbc
Skills Session (Case Study) - tbc Cambridge (tbc) 08/10/2013 tbc

For more information BCG events at Cambrige university please visit: www.cambridge.bcg.com

Imperial

Name of the event Location Date Time
AD Presentation Queen's Tower Room, Sherfield Buidling, Imperial College Campus 02/10/2013 19:00 - 21:00
Business School Talk Imperial Campus 23/09/2013 18:30
Finance and Consulting Fair Queen’s Tower Rooms, Level 1, Sherfield Building, Imperial College Campus 03/10/2013 17:00 - 20:00
Main Presentation Imperial Campus - Huxley Building - Clore Theatre 09/10/2013 19:00 - 21:00
Meet the BCGers/Engineer Talk London (tbc) 04/10/2013 12:00 - 14:00
Skill Session Imperial Campus 10/10/2013 13:30 – 15:30

For more information BCG events at Imperial please visit: www.imperial.bcg.com

LSE

Name of the event Location Date Time
3rd Sector Talk London (tbc) 28/10/2013 tbc
Case Study LSE Campus 16/10/2013 afternoon
Consultancy Fair LSE Campus 10/10/2013 17:00 - 21:00
Internship Fair LSE Campus 22/10/2013 17:00 - 21:00
Main Presentation LSE Campus 15/10/2013 19:00 - 21:00
Meet the  BCGers London (tbc) 09/10/2013 tbc
Skill Session LSE Campus 22/10/2013 tbc

For more information BCG events at LSE please visit: www.lse.bcg.com

London Events

Name of the event Location Date Time
LGBT Drinks Reception BCG London office, 20 Manchester Square, W1U 3PZ, London 10/10/2013 19:30
AD Presentation BCG London office, 20 Manchester Square, W1U 3PZ, London 18/09/2013 19:00 - 21:00

For more information BCG events in London please visit: www.londonevents.bcg.com

Oxford

Name of the event Location Date Time
AD Presentation Malmaison Hotel, Oxford 24/09/2013 19:00 - 21:00
Case Study event Worcester College, Linbury Room, Oxford 14/10/2013 14:00 - 16:00 and 16:30 - 18:30
Oxford African and Caribbean Society drinks  House Bar, Oxford 21/10/2013 tbc
Consultancy Fair Townhall, Oxford 23/10/2013 14:00 - 18:00
Main Presentation Rhodes House, Oxford 23/10/2013 19:00 - 21:00
LGBT Drinks Reception The Grand Cafe, 84 High St  Oxford OX1 4BG 24/10/2013 19:30
Coffee Chats Turl Street Kitchen 29/10/2013 13:00-17:30
Internship Fair Oxford Town Hall 06/11/2013 14:30  - 18:00
How to Tackle a case study Oxford (venue tbc) 15/11/2013

14:00-15:30

For more information BCG events at Oxford University please visit: www.oxford.bcg.com

Dublin

Name of the event Location Date Time
BCG Presentation TCD Campus 26/09/2013 12:30
BCG Presentation UCD Campus 26/09/2013 16:00

Other

Name of the event Location Date Time
Traction (Engineer) Workshop Paris 16/17/11/2013 n/a
UnlimITed Workshop Milan 28-30/10/2013 n/a

For more information on these BCG events at LSE please visit: eur-traction.bcg.com or it-business-course.bcg.com

For more information on any of the events, please visit: http://www.bcglondon.com/join_bcg/graduates_and_phds/bcg_events.aspx

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Stats

No. of employees worldwide: 7,500
No. of employees in the UK: 293 consultants and total staff of 408
Approx. no. of applications per year: 10,000+

Departments

Automotive
Biopharmaceuticals
Capabilities
Consumer Products
Corporate Development
Corporate Finance
Energy & Environment
Engineered Products & Project Business
Financial Institutions
Globalization
Growth
Health Care Payers & Providers
Information Technology
Innovation
Insurance
Managing in a Slow-Growth Economy
Marketing & Sales
Media & Entertainment
Medical Devices & Technology
Metals & Mining
Operations
Organization
Post merger Integration
Private Equity
Process Industries
Public Sector
Retail
Strategy
Sustainability
Technology & Software
Telecommunications
Transformation
Transportation Travel & Tourism
Turnaround

Make sure you get lots of case study practice with friends and/or (ex) consultants if possible.

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Read all reviews in Interview: Tips & Advice

Three rounds of interviews, with one or two interviews in each. Largely case-based interviews, but elements of competency questions too. Standard numerical test in first round.

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Weekly office-based training program that you can tailor to your needs. Beyond that, huge volume of online training that you can access as and when you want it. Training also in informal way within project teams on a regular basis.

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Gives extra consideration to applicants from the poorest performing schools.

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Locations

London Office:
20 Manchester Square
London W1U 3AP
Tel: +44 (0)20 7753 5353
www.bcg.com

Head Office: Boston

No. of offices worldwide: 69

European Offices:
Amsterdam
Athens
Barcelona
Berlin
Brussels
Budapest
Cologne
Copenhagen
Düsseldorf
Frankfurt
Hamburg
Helsinki
Kiev
Lisbon
London
Madrid
Milan
Moscow
Munich
Oslo
Paris
Prague
Rome
Stockholm
Stuttgart
Vienna
Warsaw
Zurich

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