The BCG recruiting process is like the recruiting process for other MBB firms. Specifically, BCG follows a relatively regimented process for applicants out of school (whether it be an undergraduate program or a graduate school program). For these students, BCG has general timelines to follow when filling each year’s intake. The timelines are even more standardized for students from a target school. For reference, target schools are schools in which BCG primarily recruits from and visits the campus for recruiting events.
This article will answer your burning questions about the BCG recruiting process, including: What does recruiting look like for undergraduates, MBAs, and advanced degree candidates? What target schools does BCG recruit from? And how to make a good impression with the BCG recruiter? Let’s dive in.
Table of Contents:
- BCG Recruiting Process
- BCG Recruiting Events
- Common Recruiting Questions
- BCG Resources
BCG Recruiting Process
The BCG recruiting process differs based on a few different factors:
- Whether you are joining BCG right out of school
- Whether you are applying to BCG from a target school or from another entry point
The below subsections will provide more details on the different recruiting cycles and timelines.
BCG Recruiting Cycle
There are two main BCG recruiting cycles: on-cycle recruiting and off-cycle recruiting. On-cycle recruiting refers to when you are applying to BCG straight out of school for either an internship or a full-time position. Typically, the recruiting timeline for target schools dictates the timeline for on-cycle recruiting. Off-cycle recruiting refers to a recruiting process that happens at a different time than the on-cycle recruiting for target schools. Generally, individuals joining BCG from another company go through off-cycle recruiting.
BCG Recruiting Timeline
Generally, the on-cycle recruiting process occurs during the summer / early fall whereas off-cycle recruiting can be year-round. However, each year the specific timelines for the recruiting process can change, so stay up to date with our deadline tracker.
BCG Undergrad Recruiting
Like McKinsey and Bain, the BCG undergraduate recruiting timeline can quickly creep up on you if you’re not paying attention. BCG has programs for students in their freshmen and sophomore years (Bridge to Consulting Workshop and Growing Future Leaders Sophomore Internship Program), and a formal internship for students in their junior year.
BCG MBA Recruiting
The BCG MBA recruiting process is more accelerated than the BCG undergraduate process, in that you have less time to decide if you want to work at BCG (MBA program is 2 years versus a 4 year undergraduate program). Despite candidates having prior experience, BCG does not require (or expect) candidates to have a traditional consulting / finance background before applying to BCG.
BCG ADC Recruiting
BCG ADC recruiting is for candidates with PhD, MD, or JD degree, as well as those with a Postdoc. BCG values advanced degree professionals given their expertise in specific skill sets (e.g., on a healthcare provider strategy case, having an MD is very helpful). Generally, the ADC recruiting process is like the process for MBAs, except it happens in the spring and summer. For more details on the ADC recruiting process, please see BCG’s ~40-page overview here.
BCG Recruiting Events
There are different types of recruiting events to help you connect with firms. Your opportunities will also differ depending on the school that you attend and if it’s a target school for the firm that you’re looking to apply to.
BCG Campus Recruiting
BCG hosts on-campus events and interviews for candidates at target schools. These events are designed for you to learn more about BCG, including the culture and experience you would get as a BCG consultant. For more details on the target schools, see below.
BCG Target Schools
BCG Undergraduate Target Schools
The list of BCG undergraduate target schools contains the most prestigious Ivy League schools and top tier 2 schools (e.g., Duke, Northwestern). As mentioned above, across BCG undergraduate target schools, BCG representatives will typically come on campus and host targeted events for you to learn about BCG (e.g., information sessions; coffee chats). BCG undergraduate target schools are:
- University of Michigan
- Notre Dame
- University of Texas at Austin
To read more about BCG undergraduate target schools, please see Management Consulted’s article here.
BCG MBA Target Schools
The list of BCG MBA target schools contains a lot of the schools you would expect (e.g., M7 schools). We’ve compiled a list of MBA programs which BCG recruits from here.
Compared to the other MBB companies, BCG recruits at more target schools than McKinsey and a comparable number of target schools as Bain (37 for BCG compared to 17 for McKinsey compared to 40 for Bain). Here they are:
- Anderson School of Management (University of California-Los Angeles)
- Booth School of Business (University of Chicago)
- Columbia Business School (Columbia University)
- Darden School of Business (University of Virginia)
- Fuqua School of Business (Duke University)
- Haas School of Business (University of California-Berkeley)
- Harvard Business School (Harvard University)
- Kellogg School of Management (Northwestern University)
- Ross School of Business (University of Michigan)
- Sloan School of Management (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)
- Stanford Graduate School of Business (Stanford University)
- Stern School of Business (New York University)
- The Wharton School (University of Pennsylvania)
- Tuck School of Business (Dartmouth College)
- Yale School of Management (Yale University)
- Foster School of Business (University of Washington)
- Goizueta Business School (Emory University)
- IE Business School (IE University)
- IESE Business School (University of Navarra)
- Johnson School of Management (Cornell University)
- Judge Business School (University of Cambridge)
- London Business School (London Business School)
- McDonough School of Business (Georgetown University)
- Olin Business School (Washington University)
- Owen Graduate School of Management (Vanderbilt University)
- Tepper School of Business (Carnegie Mellon University)
- Carlson School of Management (University of Minnesota)
- ESADE (Ramon Llull University)
- HEC Paris (HEC)
- Howard University School of Business (Howard University)
- INSEAD (INSEAD)
- Jones Graduate School of Business (Rice University)
- Kenan-Flagler Business School (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)
- Marshall School of Business (University of Southern California)
- McCombs School of Business (University of Texas at Austin)
- Rotman School of Management (University of Toronto)
- Saïd Business School (University of Oxford)
Common Recruiting Questions
When Does BCG Recruit?
The BCG recruiting process timeline follows a few different tracks. The on campus recruiting timeline is generally regimented and occurs in the summer and fall. For example, application drops for undergraduate and MS students start in July, and interviews take place in August and September. The BCG on campus recruiting timeline is like that of McKinsey and Bain.
The off-cycle recruiting process is varied and dependent on BCG’s business needs, but generally, lateral hire candidates can apply and interview year-round. However, the best times to apply are spring (March-May) and fall (October-November).
Where Does BCG Recruit Besides Target School?
Outside of the target schools, the BCG recruitment process is less standardized. BCG does not have a “hard and fast” list of non-target schools to recruit from. Instead, BCG interviews candidates who stand out throughout the recruiting process, specifically those who have networked with current BCG consultants and those that have glowing recommendations.
How Long Does the BCG Recruitment Process Take?
The BCG recruiting process typically takes one to a few months to complete. Generally, the on campus recruiting timelines are shorter and more standardized.
Questions to Ask BCG Recruiter?
While the questions you ask the BCG recruiter are not “mission critical,” it is important to show the BCG recruiter your interest in the firm. As such, while you can ask specific questions around the recruiting process (and you should clarify the recruiting timeline if it is not clear), it is important to also show your distinct interest in BCG. Specifically, you can ask questions around specific practice areas or programs at BCG that excite you. Potential questions include:
- I am interested in BCG’s employee groups, including the Hispanic and Latinx groups. May you connect me with someone in these groups to learn more?
- I am very interested in pharmaceuticals, given my prior internship at Pfizer. I understand BCG has a distinct strength in healthcare and was wondering if you can introduce me to someone in that practice area?
- I am interested in working in the Philadelphia office. May you introduce me to someone in that office so I can learn more about the culture?
BCG Podcast and Thought Leadership
While the BCG podcasts and reports do not give a super close look at the ins and outs of the recruiting process, they provide a good overview of the type of second level insights you may uncover during your work at BCG. The podcasts can be found here and BCG’s thought leadership can be found here.
For further insights into the BCG recruiting process, subscribe to Management Consulted’s podcast, Strategy Simplified.
BCG Recruiting Videos
BCG publishes videos that provide an overview of the recruiting process and can be helpful to supplement your understanding of the recruiting and interview process. The video links can be found here:
Find more BCG recruiting videos, including case walkthroughs, on the Management Consulted YouTube channel.
BCG Case Interview
The BCG case interview is generally considered one of the most difficult case interviews you will experience throughout the consulting recruiting process. As such, it is important to prep for the case interview early and often. For more details on the BCG case interview, see the Management Consulted article here.
BCG Resume and Cover Letter
The BCG recruiting process is extremely competitive – full stop. To stand out in the crowd, it is important that your resume is truly distinctive with clear, concise, and action-oriented / results-oriented bullets. In addition, your cover letter should be specific to BCG and should clearly show why you want to work at BCG. For Management Consulted’s guide to winning resumes and cover letters, please see here and here respectively.
Given the competitiveness of the BCG recruiting process, it is strongly recommended that you have a warm introduction / consultant in your corner. This is even more important if you are coming from a non-target school. For more information on how to network in an authentic way, please see Management Consulted’s guide here.
The BCG recruiting process is relatively standardized (especially for on-campus recruiting and target school recruiting). Given that the timelines for the BCG recruiting process have accelerated in recent years, stay up to date with our deadline tracker to ensure you never miss a deadline.
Given the BCG process can creep up on you, it is important to start prepping for the interviews with ample time before the process starts. This will enable you to have a distinctive resume and cover letter and to be able to nail the cases. Case prep is especially important for BCG, given the cases can often be bespoke. Get your resume edited and prep for interviews with a former BCG consultant.
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