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The Bridgespan Group


Vault’s Verdict

There’s no other firm quite like the Bridgespan Group out there. Consulting on some of the biggest challenges facing the world, and advising some of the best-known philanthropists to boot, it’s a genuine game-changer of an organization that will appeal to anyone who wants their work to have an impact that goes beyond a company’s bottom line.

As an employer, however, the firm had an interesting year in 2023, with some employees attempting to form a union. To be clear, we have no dog in this fight: we don’t know what prompted the attempt, or how the firm dealt with it. However, the fight did show up in several of the comments we received in our survey; as such, it’s worth mentioning, if only so prospective employees can form their own opinions.

That aside, the majority of responses we received this year indicated that insiders remain inspired by the mission, values and impact of their firm. The opportunity to do high-caliber, intellectually stimulating work that truly matters seems to be the core driver of satisfaction for most. If that sounds appealing, there are few better places to do it.


Employee Reviews

Firm Culture

  • “A good place for those looking to transition into management consulting without a major hit to work-life balance.”
  • “An incredible privilege to work on addressing society's toughest challenges with inspiring leaders and colleagues.”
  • “If you want to be challenged intellectually and work towards creative solutions, Bridgespan's model in finding clients, working with clients, and working in teams is unparalleled. It genuinely is a firm for life-long learners as proven with much higher retention rates than other consulting firms. Even for people who leave, they tend to place well at prestigious MBAs or leading social impact efforts at other companies.”
  • “True commitment to nonprofits and philanthropy, with a new focus on impact investing. The people here are motivated not just to solve problems but to see the bigger picture.”
  • “When it comes to racial equity, we ACTUALLY put our money where our mouth is.”

Quality of Life

  • “Best: Brilliant colleagues with the hearts and moral clarity to match. It is enriching to be in such an environment. Worst: It can be tough at times to be in such a pressure cooker of excellence. There are also some periods where deadlines converge and things blow up, but I think the reason why we get paid top-of-market is, in part, to deal with this.”
  • “For a consulting firm, I feel that it is very sustainable. I have worked maybe three weekends in eleven years. Bridgespan has many flexible opportunities for people to work part-time (by being on fewer projects) if they need to. People in leadership of the organization have significant caregiving responsibilities and are able to do both things, which is indicative for me. At the same time, I do wish we traveled more and spent time in person with clients since it is so high impact every time we do—both for advancing client work, and for internally motivating our teams. We used to do this more pre-COVID (I traveled on average 3-4 days per month) but have not really picked back up.”
  • “Management prioritizes quality of life while also emphasizing clear expectations that this is more than a 40 hour per week job. Bridgespan does an excellent job helping people adjust if they have personal circumstances come up (e.g., through staffing to internal projects). This flexibility is key for enabling a long career at Bridgespan.”
  • “The travel depends on the case, but generally, for me, it’s been one or two times a month, which is nice.”

Career Development

  • “Best: Clear performance standards at every level of promotion, pull-up points at which you get 360 feedback every six months. Worst: Sometimes these performance reviews can feel too frequent for how long it takes to develop skills. And we don't really have great ways to deliver training content outside of formal cohort trainings when a group of people is promoted (i.e., informal trainings).”
  • “Best: Having access to the resources of a large, multinational firm, by way of the Bain & Co. relationship, while retaining the intimacy of a boutique. Worst: Certain things, like geographic mobility and breadth of opportunities, are inherently constrained by the fact that Bridgespan is a small firm with a niche focus. The opportunities to transition to a remote role and to extern are decent counters to these challenges.”
  • “If you have a single bad case experience or don't have the best luck with staffing then your timeline and trajectory for promotion can be jeopardized.”
  • “Professional development is core to Bridgespan's model and is integrated into every single piece of our work. Besides formal check-ins, rubric for development at specific stages at the firm, and standardized feedback periods, everyone at Bridgespan is centered upon bringing you to where you want to be. I have created my own path of capabilities I wanted to build and managers/partners have worked on shaping a project to my need rather than jamming me into a point person on one specific project capability.”
  • “They have extensive professional development trainings and formal and informal mentors. They also have an eye to equity and everyone is helpful in supporting you to get there.”


  • “Best: for social sector, it's a great salary—especially for entry level. The student debt program is an amazing addition. I also love that the salary progression is standardized and transparent—making it more equitable for people with different backgrounds. Worst: for consulting, the salary isn't the most comparable to other firms our size.”
  • “Clear and transparent compensation by levels; sabbatical policy (not just for partners, but for all staff); retirement plan for partners.”
  • “Firm regularly makes sure that compensation levels are at the right level. Pay is provided fairly—pay differences are directly related to levels based on performance reviews, so the process is fair.”
  • “Salary progression is set by level/tenure to promote equity among advisory staff; great salary for sector (compared to other nonprofits).”
  • “The pay bumps per year are reasonable although the starting salary for entry-level positions is quite low compared to larger firms which makes sense considering Bridgespan serves nonprofits. However, considering the much healthier lifestyle Bridgespan enables, I would say the salary is actually quite reasonable and if we take salary into per hour, the pay actually becomes even with salaries at MBBs.”

Community Engagement

  • “Bridgespan centers equity in everything it does, including its internal operations. There is deep thought and effort put in by leadership to ensure work and opportunities are equitable.”
  • “DEI focus has been significant—actively discussed and implemented throughout the firm. All consultants have equal access to interesting/high-quality work and promotion opportunities.”
  • “Making good progress around racial equity and hiring and needs continued attention here. More than half female. Very safe and welcoming for LGBTQ folks. Few veterans. For people with disabilities, not a lot to note. People who are neurodivergent (like ADHD) may struggle with the way of working.”
  • “There are strong racial programming and DEI efforts for current events but the firm suffers in their retention of staff of color beyond the consultant level.”
  • “While diversity at Bridgespan is top-class, socioeconomic consideration is also an area I would like to see growth in. Bridgespan is very candid about what type of people they're looking for to integrate into firm culture and enable different perspectives on the work we do. However, socioeconomic upbringing has been lacking and something the firm has discussed internally. Women make up a majority of the workforce (around 70%) and there is a diverse and representative amount of seniors.”

Business Outlook

  • “Bridgespan is privileged to work with the world's marquee nonprofits and deepest pocketed philanthropists. As a result, it feels as though the firm is generally less affected by downturns in the business cycle. Upturns create new wealth for us to engage. The firm's brand is incredibly strong and I expect this will mean a robust book of business looking forward.”
  • “Bridgespan solves the toughest problems plaguing the world, like poverty, racism, and sexism, all of which are systemic. We take multiple approaches to solve the problem and enable those who have lived experiences in terms of both us as consultants and the clients. We admit to not knowing how to change systems and know that it's impossible to change a system through just one perspective. Consultants are constantly empowered through affinity groups and conversations about lived experiences. We are encouraged to be sympathetic and understand people, not just as numbers or data but as someone who lives a very real, often hard life.”
  • “Strong partner group driving interesting and impactful work. More innovation on our offerings will help compete with other providers.”
  • “Twelve month client backlog shows consistent demand for our work.”
  • “Very clear and unique positioning, and working with some of the most important leaders/organizations in the sector; more opportunities than we have capacity to pursue.”

Hiring Process

  • “Initial interview by phone to avoid bias. Conduct case interviews as well as fit interviews. Ideal candidate has strong analytical skills, is highly collaborative, has strong communications and written skills, is committed to DEI.”
  • “Standard multi-round model, with a mix of cases and behavioral rounds. Firm wants to assess alignment with the work. Consulting skills can be taught, but passion for impact probably cannot.”
  • “The ideal candidate centers racial equity and has a passion for social impact in and outside of work. They also are logical in their categorization and clear in their communication.”
  • “The people interviewing you will call back in a few days if you do move through the recruitment pipeline. The HR team also works very closely with you to make sure you're given all the information you need. Ideal candidate is probably someone who brings a different perspective on race, socioeconomic background, ethnicity, gender, etc. to the firm. Strong case interviewing skills are also necessary to get you to the final round. Looking at insights rather than digging really deep into granular pieces of data is important to manage time during an interview.”
  • “We have two rounds of interviews. We are looking for candidates who are passionate about impact in the social sector, have a team-oriented attitude, and are comfortable with and persistent through ambiguity.”

Interview Questions

  • “Case (mostly interviewer-led) of a philanthropist evaluating prospective grantees for their portfolio. Behavioral questions regarding commitment to DEI.”
  • “Five one-hour interviews: 2 for the first round and 3 for the second. First rounds are case interview while second round is 2 case interviews and one behavioral. All case interviews are based off cases the firm has done before. Very similar and helpful examples are provided in recruitment handbook.”
  • “Name a situation where you had to work with a team to accomplish a major objective and things were challenging. What was challenging? What did you learn? “
    “Provide an example of when you incorporated DEI principles in a project you worked on. What was the situation? How did you incorporate DEI?”
  • “Typical case interviews, there are also information cases where a candidate gets a lot of information and needs to develop a recommendation from it.”
The Bridgespan Group

2 Copley Place
7th Floor, Suite 3700B
Boston, MA 02116
Phone: (617) 572-2833

Firm Stats

Employer Type: Private Non Profit
Managing Partner: William Foster
Partner, Head of U.S. Advisory: Nidhi Sahni
Partner, Head of Asia and Africa Advisory: Jan Schwier
2024 Employees (All Locations): 468

Major Office Locations

New York
San Francisco

Major Departments & Practices

  • Children Youth and Families
  • Education
  • Public Health
  • Global Development
  • Foundations and Philanthropists
  • Funder Collaboratives
  • Impact Investors