McKinsey Careers vs working at Bain or BCG


McKinsey careers differ from working at Bain or BCG. Listen to our McKinsey careers video and get important insights sourced from the professional team of ex-MBB consultants (including McKinsey consultants) at Management Consulted.

There are some important differences in structure, philosophy, and even to some extent the day to day activities when you start a career at McKinsey. Culture is particularly important, so make sure you understand these key differences of McKinsey careers vs working at Bain or BCG.

YouTube Transcription:

Have you ever wondered what it’s actually like to work at McKinsey?

Well, we’ve got some deets for you today – some really great insights from people that are on our professional team at Management Consulted, and also readers who worked at McKinsey. I’m going to share just a couple of the things that make McKinsey different from Bain and BCG.

I’m Jenny Rae Le Roux, the Managing Director of Management Consulted, and I’m a former Bain consultant, so this isn’t coming directly from my first hand information. This is coming from, again, our large community of readers and staff that worked at McKinsey. But here are a couple things that you can expect if you get a job at McKinsey.

McKinsey Careers: Heavy Travel

First of all, you will be traveling all…the…freaking…time. People at McKinsey are staffed on global projects and they’re staffed not necessarily with folks that are in their own office. You could be staffed with people from three different offices, so you’ve got to travel to the client every week. McKinsey is very travel heavy, and it also means that you’ll be traveling a lot outside of your region. So expect to get [airline] status really quickly.

McKinsey is very travel heavy, so you'll be traveling a lot outside of your region. So expect to get airline status really quickly.

McKinsey: An Expertise Based Firm

McKinsey is also an expertise based firm. So…rather than starting and trying to create a new thing over and over again, they take a large amount of knowledge that they keep in a central knowledge database, and they pull it out for specific projects, and work on modifying the approach, and also utilizing the expertise from their other projects. It’s a very different approach than at Bain or BCG which is generally a little bit more tailored, a little bit more hands on with the client.

The McKinsey Way: Structured Approach

And then, finally, with McKinsey they have a very structured approach. mckinsey structure-management-consultedYou’ve probably noticed if you’ve done any McKinsey cases that McKinsey cases are very organized. They are pre-written, they are pre-organized, they go through specific pieces at specific times. And you can expect McKinsey projects to be run in very much the same way. Folks that are effective at moving up the ranks in McKinsey are very good at managing that structure. So the commentary around it is that the structure provides freedom, because you know what to expect, when to expect it, and a high volume of work can come out of it on the other side.

Conclusion for McKinsey Careers vs Bain or BCG

So these are the main things you can expect if you go to McKinsey vs Bain or BCG: Lots and lots of travel to be with your globally staffed teams, lots of knowledge center information that you can draw on for projects, and finally, tremendous amounts of structure inside the projects that provide both stability and also a calling card for the way you actually do your specific projects.

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