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Vault’s Verdict

Working for one of the leading names in the consulting world, BCG insiders have always been a pretty satisfied bunch. No surprises there: the firm works with an incredible array of household names, sets the benchmark for industry salaries, and is known as a career accelerator to some of the top jobs in the corporate world. And yet, despite all of that, this year’s batch of surveys had a very perceptible extra layer of satisfaction—one related to the firm’s sense of ethics, which seems to have kept it out of the headlines at a time when other firms in the industry have been facing their share of criticism.

All of which raises the question of whether we’re going to have to update the sentiment in that opening sentence in the years ahead, from “one of” the leading firms to a significantly more definite article. Either way: BCG is a firm that, at present, seems to have everything going for it. For those hoping to land  a career with the company, that won’t make the task any easier, but it is, perhaps, instructive as to the kinds of qualities you’ll need to demonstrate in order to stand out.

Firm Culture

“BCG cares deeply about its people and will work to protect them. Individual care is prominent in the culture, without losing sight of the needs of the entire firm.”

“High levels of focus and investment in ‘PTO’ (the predictability, teaming, & open communication group) to make sure that cases run smoothly and unnecessary work is reduced where possible.”

“One thing we hear from clients fairly often is that we are more of a partner in problem-solving, v. coming to an answer without gathering input from the clients that work on it day in and day out. While they may not always like the answers we provide, they can always trust that they have been an equal partner in the process / their voice has been heard and considered.”

“People-focused accelerated professional and personal development resulting in international, iconic brand recognition and trust.”

“The culture in such a high-performing environment is unparalleled. You would think that there is internal competition, but people honestly care about each other, go out of their way to help and give each other opportunities to grow.”

Quality of Life

“BCG culture values work-life balance. However, it is something that you need to be vocal about. If you are working till 3am and do not tell anyone nothing will change. As an associate/consultant it is on you to set your boundaries and tell the team when the workload is becoming too much to bear. My managers have always protected the boundaries I have set (e.g., I will be offline every day from 6pm-8pm). BCG has a formal process for teams to set these working norms and vocalize any sustainability and ways of working issues that might arise throughout the case.”

“Best: BCG is by far the most thoughtful employer I've had with respect to work-life balance and employee experience. This shows up in the policies, our process for revisiting policies, and in the mentality / culture with which we run our teams. I wake up happy every day.

Worst: On the consulting track, BCG's culture is like a family - but if you would prefer to be distant from your colleagues than it may not be as attractive of a workplace for you.”

“Highly supportive and down to earth culture. Teams openly discuss their individual and team norms, and regularly check in to ensure work remains sustainable and team members are able to balance work with personal commitments. ‘Time for You’ program allows employees to elect to take 2 month Leave of Absence every year for any reason; Weekly report tracks employees who are working long hours to allow the firm to intervene and provide more support where required.”

“The best aspect is the constant push by the firm for new creative ways of working 'Next-Gen Ways of Working' to improve work-life balance and drive higher job satisfaction. The worst aspect is some clients can be old school and have the old way of thinking that 'facetime is important'. When working with one of those clients, the work-life balance tanks.”

“This is a client service business, which comes with natural challenges in managing hours and staff sustainability. Demanding clients/projects can lead to heavier hours, but the firm has put many practices in place - including our weekly Predictability, Teaming and Open Communication (PTO) conversations on each case - to make the job more manageable.”


“BCG has extremely high salaries with clear transparency into market factors driving increases. An average performer can make a considerable amount in bonuses, and the incentives are even greater for a top performer.”

“Best aspects include high base pay with significant bonuses, profit sharing, retirement savings as well as amazing medical coverage with no or minimal copays. In addition to 3 weeks of vacation, have a new policy of offices closed Xmas-NY and a couple extra days that turn 3-day weekends into 4-day weekends throughout the year. Good, regular raises that more than cover cost of living adjustments. Worst aspects: jump in compensation from consultant to project leader doesn't quite track the jump in responsibility/work/etc.”

“High salary progression and high compensation for top performers are solid components of the compensation -- the gold-plated benefits package is also solid. Strict equality on base pay, with all bonuses related to performance evaluation, is also a strong selling point. In terms of quality of life, the fact that all expenses under $100 do not require receipts for consulting staff is also a major benefit in terms of administrative burden.”

“The compensation is world class. Often the first mover in raising compensation, annual salary progression in the 15-20%+ range, multiple special bonuses throughout the year. I'm not sure there are negatives to the compensation package. I don't know any other consulting firms with better packages.”

“There is not a ton of visibility on what bonus you will get at the end of the year. You know the range, but hard to identify where you will land.”

Career Development

“Amazing people developers and mentors that are truly invested in helping you achieve accelerated professional and personal development. that acceleration is highly dependent on the culture of inclusivity and mentorship that all the senior leaders embody.”

“BCG is a very inclusive environment that provides opportunities to learn for all stages of development. I found that, when an area for development was identified that could prevent me from getting promoted, BCG ensured I got coaching and lessons to overcome this barrier. I got successfully promoted and have continued to feel supported since.”

“Best: The training and mentorship are world class, particularly compared to other professional services firms I've worked at earlier in my career (2 other consulting firms, 1 law firm). The in person and online content are both engaging and thoughtful. On top of the content, the in-person training events help build career-long connections among personnel.

Worst: There are minimum time in role requirements for promotion. Some see this as a positive though.”

“I love the affinity groups and focus on DEI. I am proud that we are thought leaders across industries and junior staff have the opportunity to support that thought leadership. I also enjoy the myriad opportunities to drive social impact.”

“The best aspects are working with people who are supportive of my growth and have a good sense (backed up by action) of how to ensure I develop the necessary skills/experiences for advancement and any other career goals. Worst aspects are some difficulty in getting foot in the door with a new practice area-- not a significant barrier, but requires more legwork”

Community Engagement

“Annual DE&I report published to promote accountability and transparency to D&I efforts; Established Center for Equity and Inclusion; Strong diversity affiliation networks to provide extra support.”

“BCG is constantly tracking and reporting on D&I statistics to ensure equal opportunities for all employees. MDPs are also evaluated on the diversity of the teams they staff. I feel very respected as a member of multiple historically underserved groups.”

“Lots of efforts around creating safe and welcoming environments for individuals of all backgrounds. From clubs, affiliation groups, and office-wide programming and recognition, BCG has fostered a very inclusive culture for all. The SF office has a new physical space called ‘The Hub’ where Women at BCG events take place and is a safe space for women to affiliate throughout the day.”

“The firm is making very strong efforts on D&I in regards to particularly women and historically-disadvantaged minorities -- its efforts on behalf of recruiting women have historically been successful and have borne fruit in the higher ranks, while the efforts to recruit more Black and Latino/a consultants are younger but making a significant impact in the more junior ranks (which should become more senior over time.) I feel confident that consultants from across different D&I areas have access to interesting work and promotion opportunities.”

“Yes, all consultants have equal access to interesting work and promotion opportunities. In general, the firm is a very supportive place for women, people of color, LGBTQ+, etc. from my perspective. Certain practice areas may be more male-dominated or lacking other diversity, but as a whole I believe it evens out.”

Business Outlook

“BCG has consistently had the highest growth among the top 3 firms, and has continued this rapid growth for a long period of time. Its approach to building out its alternate business units (e.g. BCG X) leaves it well-positioned to compete in this economy, as well as the increasingly negative perceptions of McKinsey in the media.”

“BCG is going to absolutely dominate in the next 12 months. We've seen unprecedented levels of business growth and have been staffing appropriately to meet demand. The leaders selected are experienced, diverse, loyal, and passionate. We have incredible innovation - for example, check out all of our work in our moonshot projects - Climate and AI.”

“Incredibly strong position and growth in the environment; was a first mover on compensation increases in the market (not driven by inflation at all) was driven by strength in the market.”

“The business keeps growing in double digits growth consistently. It feels like the business grows faster than we can attract talent.”

“We have invested heavily in the areas that will drive growth for the next decade.”

Hiring Process

“BCG is seeking curious and polished high-performers who are genuine, eager to learn & grow, work hard, and have the potential to grow into leaders of the firm.”

“For MBA hires, the typical process is an application which includes resume, optional cover letter, Pymetrics, and a virtual case. The decision round is typically two interviews with senior level people, comprised of behavioral interview and case.”

“My firm is looking for open-minded, smart, driven, and dedicated people. Interview process for students is two rounds. The first includes a virtual (no human) case and a live (remote or in-person) typical interview (asked basic questions about strengths, weakness, etc.). The second is a live (remote or in-person) case interview.”

“The firm had two rounds of interviews, with both rounds containing a mix of behavioral and case interview portions. I received confirmation of my success in the first round 5 days (3 business days) after my interview, and I was offered the job the night of my final round interview. I think the ideal candidate is someone who is a quick-thinker and well-educated, as the interviews seem tailored to people who can quickly grasp a case concept and draw on past experiences to reach a reasonable and comprehensive solution.”

“We are looking for individuals with exceptional problem-solving and analytical skills, strong interpersonal and communication skills and experience that has enabled them to build skills that are translatable to the job.”

Interview Questions

“Cannot disclose specific questions, but interview process is case and behavioral-based. Cases will be similar in nature to other strategy consulting firms.”

“Interview: Questions about leading without authority, pushing through ambiguity, overcome failure, influencing clients. Also pointed questions about resume accomplishments (e.g. patents, hobbies, capstone projects).

Case: Real-world examples of business strategy, driven by interrogation of data and supplemented with off-the-cuff brainstorming.”

“Is a hot dog a sandwich?”

“The interview process is the typical case interview, but we encourage applicants to go beyond the typical frameworks and think on their feet. As an interviewer, I always try to move away from the linear solution and establish a brainstorming setup, similar to real case work. The applicant's potential is better measured when they can genuinely discuss a new problem, rather than apply a generic framework they might have repeated 100 times before.”

“We follow an interviewee-led case interview process that revolves around tackling a typical problem faced by one of our clients (company / govt entity / non-profit / other org).”

Boston Consulting Group

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Phone: (617) 973-1200

Firm Stats

Employer Type: Private
CEO: Christoph Schweizer

Major Office Locations

Boston, MA (HQ)
More than 90 offices in 50 countries

Major Departments & Practices

  • Business & Organizational Purpose
  • Business Transformation
  • Corporate Finance & Strategy
  • Customer Insights
  • Digital, Technology & Data
  • Diversity & Inclusion
  • Growth
  • Innovation Strategy & Delivery
  • International Business
  • Manufacturing
  • Marketing & Sales
  • M&A, Transactions & PMI
  • Operations
  • Organization
  • People Strategy
  • Pricing
  • Procurement
  • Smart Simplicity
  • Social Impact & Sustainability
  • Zero-Based Budgeting