Consulting Firm Profile: Boston Consulting Group

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Consulting Firms

Boston Consulting Group is the final member of the big four management consulting firms, and while it is not based in New York City like the others, it does retain a prestige and alumni network that is very strong. In fact, one of the benefits of working at BCG is the strong collegial atmosphere. Read more…

An Entry-Level Career at BCG

In that vein, there is a three-week introductory core curriculum to ensure that entry-level associates all begin on the same page. Unlike Bain, McKinsey and others, BCG continues opportunities for advanced training in various aspects of strategic consulting. Former associates note that there are a number of opportunities for personal growth that they might not have found at the other major firms.

That same atmosphere of learning means that BCG employees may come off as somewhat elitist; the firm tends to take the lead in ensuring that management consultants need only focus on improving processes for clients, rather than focus on more mundane aspects of the practice. Higher level thinking is critical to maintain an edge, but in return, Boston Consulting Group offers extremely competitive compensation and benefits packages.

Boston Consulting Group History

There’s a reason that higher level thinking is critical. Founder Bruce Henderson pushed early BCG management consultants to develop new methodologies, and the matrices used to help explain these solutions to clients are well-known throughout the industry. One of the most critical concepts was developed early, before 1970, and is known as the experience curve, which states that a company’s knowledge and capability of producing something as they are able to create more of it. The firm also has made a concerted effort to chase subject matter experts to enhance its radical decision-making. It gained more than 1,000 consultants between 2006 and 2010 alone.

Practice Areas and Compensation

In terms of services covered, there is perhaps a bit more emphasis on branding and marketing than at, say, Booz, as well as a stronger emphasis on strategic goals regarding effective globalization of different wings of a client firm. However, the size of the firm enables it to provide services in corporate finance, information technology and leadership development as well. There are also a heavy concentration of offices throughout much of Western Europe, but especially Asia that allow for management consultants at Boston Consulting Group to embark on a wide variety of cases on behalf of clients.

Boston Consulting Group may not have the absolute best name recognition in the industry, with McKinsey and Bain still the top names, but they do offer something different from the other firms. For one, the signing bonus and compensation options are among the best in the industry. That’s a key factor considering that management consultants are salaried employees, and regularly work 60 hours or more per week. At the same time, the collegial atmosphere ensures that networking possibilities remain strong for BCG alums who decide to move on after a few years.

Facts about Boston Consulting Group

Founded: 1963
Offices: 69
Central Locations: United States, Western Europe, Asia
Headquarters: Boston, MA
Employees: 4,500 (2010)

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