Working For Boston Consulting Group
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Working For Boston Consulting Group

InsiderGuideHelping you make smarter career decisions.WetFeet,Inc.The Folger Building101 Howard StreetSan Francisco,CA 94105Phone:(415) 284-7900 or 1-800-926-4JOBFax:(415) Is ProhibitedCopyright 2004 WetFeet,Inc.All rights reserved.This publication is protected bythe copyright laws ofthe United States ofAmerica.No copying in any form ispermitted.It may not be reproduced,distributed,stored in a retrieval system,ortransmitted in any form or by any means,in part or in whole,without the expresswritten permission ofWetFeet,Inc.Table of ContentsThe Boston Consulting Group at a Glance....

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....1The Firm.

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....5 Overview.

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..6Competitive Strategy..........

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.9Industry Position.

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..11A Quick History Lesson......

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...13Organization ofthe Firm.

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.14Recent Client List.

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..18Typical Studies......

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....19Whats Hot.....

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22On the Job.

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.25 Associates...

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26Consultants.....

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30The Workplace...

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.33 Lifestyle.....

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..34Culture.

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.36Workplace Diversity..

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40Compensation.

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...43Vacation and Perks.

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...44Civic Involvement..

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...45Travel..

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...4Training.

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.47Career Path...

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............48Insider Scoop.

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.52Getting Hired..........

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57 The Recruiting Process........

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..58On-the-Record Recruiter Interview..

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62The Interviewers Checklist.

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.65Interviewing Tips..

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.66Grilling Your Interviewer.

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.69For Your Reference.

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.71 Consulting-Speak..

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.72Recommended Reading.....

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..77For Further Study.

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.79Key People and Places...

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80at a GlanceExchange Place,31st FloorBoston,MA CompetitorsBain & Co.,Booz Allen Hamilton,McKinsey & Co.Key Differentiating FactorsHeavier focus on strategy and operations projects (less on reengineering)than other firmsHuge international presence (only about 30 percent ofrevenue is U.S.-based)One ofthe most prestigious consulting firms in the worldIn the Recruiters WordsWe are looking for candidates who are both analytically facile and possessstrong interpersonal and leadership skills.We are looking for people who otherswill be motivated to follow.In all our new hires,we look for evidence ofcreativity,strong analytical andcommunication skills,and a fondness for problem solving.Candidates shouldalso communicate their desire to make an impact on our clientsbusinesses.In the InterviewIn the interview,I spent about 40 percent on case questions,40 percent on myresume,and 20 percent on asking questions about the firm,says one insider.BCG case questions tend to be based on real business issues that the firmsAt a Glanceconsultants have tackled in the pastnot on brainteasers.I interviewed at Bainand BCG,one recent associate hire says.At BCG,the case was a challengingexercise and my interviewers worked through it with me.It was not adversarialat all.With Bain,it felt more like a test.We have a very open atmospheretitles dont matter here.You can go intothe office ofa senior partner or someone a week out ofschool,and have thesame conversations.BCG people arent just using the firm as a stepping-stone to their next careergoal.They want to be here.The folks that do well here are people who are innately curious,dont like thecop-out solution,and have intellectual horsepower and social grace.Theyresocially adept.We are in a growth phase.We are hiring more associates.Were looking tobecome a bigger firm.Theres a real emphasis on helping people get exposure and a diversity ofexperiences here.BCG tries to give people the flexibility to find somethingtheyre interested in.First and foremost,the people make this a great place to work.They havegreat integrity and are ofthe highest caliber intellectually and in many otherways.The work is also engaging.We have a lot ofpositive impact oncompanies.The Career LadderUndergraduates enter as associates.MBAs,lawyers,and PhDs enter as consultants
working for boston consulting group
Working Papers The Consultant-client Interface – A Theoretical ...
Working Papers. The Consultant-Client Interface – A Theoretical Introduction ... a strategy consultant at the Boston Consulting Group. His major research areas are (mba-berlin.com)
Boston Consulting Group 2004
• What BCG employees love and hate about working for the firm. ... Boston Consulting Group defies its provincial name. The firm is comfortably (mba-berlin.com)
Partnership Guide For Professional And Consulting Services
consulting services to Boston Scientific. ... Working with their consulting counterpart, they are responsible for creating and maintaining the project plan. (mba-berlin.com)
.Candidates with Mastersdegrees in unrelated fields start as associates orconsultants,depending on the relevance ofthe degree to business leadership,work experience,and honors that they have received.Industry hires with 4 or more years ofexperience are usually required to startas consultants.Candidates with less experience may start as associates,depend-ing on the depth oftheir previous roles and educational background.At a Glance2003 revenue:$1.12 billion1-year growth rate:9.8 percentSource:Hoovers.Consulting professionals worldwide,2003:2,600+Estimated number ofhires,200405,United States and CanadaUndergrads:7080MBAs and other advanced degrees:200300MBA summer consultants:75125Undergrad summer associates:1525Estimated Compensation,200304,United States and CanadaUndergrads:$54,000,plus $5,000 signing bonusMBAs:$100,000,plus $20,000 signing bonusMBA summer consultants:$1,900/week,plus $6,000 upfront paymentUndergrad summer associates:$800/week plus $1,000 upfront paymentSource:WetFeet research.Note:BCG does not release compensation figures; these arebased on WetFeet estimates.At a GlanceThe Firm Overview? Competitive Strategy? Industry Position? A Quick History Lesson? Organization of the Firm? Recent Client List? Typical Studies? Whats HotThe FirmOverview With offices in places like Helsinki,Sao Paulo,and Warsaw,and about 70 percentoftotal revenue (which were $1.12 billion in 2003) coming from overseas,TheBoston Consulting Group defies its provincial name.The firm is comfortablysettled within the top tier ofmanagement consulting firms,and its widelyrecognized strategy work and international status make it competitive with thelikes ofMcKinsey,Booz Allen,and Bain.With little more than 2,600 consultants(compared to more than 8,000 for McKinsey) and a reputation for generatinginnovative ideas,BCG manages to stand out despite its relatively small size.BCG differentiates itselffrom the competition with its autonomous but sup-portive atmosphere,its creative approach to problem solving,and a heavy focuson strategy and operations work.Founded in 1963,BCG came to prominence in the 1970s when it began chal-lenging industry giant McKinsey at its own game.Aiming straight at CEO-levelstrategy work,it grabbed clients,headlines,and top MBA talent,demonstratingthat McKinsey was not the be-all and end-all ofconsulting.From the outset,BCG studiously avoided being just another firm,putting in the hard work ittakes to be an innovative industry leader.It developed a number ofanalyticaltools that quickly wrote the firm into the management consulting canon,including time-based competition,disease management,the experience curve,and ofcourse the ubiquitous cash cows,dogs,stars,question markstwo-by-two matrix.Insiders say creativity and new ideas are highly valued.We make real,fundamentalchangewe push our clients very hard sometimes to find the right solution,says one insider.We approach problems in a very difficult,structured,andThe Firmlogical waya way that might not be easiest to implement,or the mostpolitically acceptable.The technology and e-commerce explosion ofthe last decade was a great boonfor the consulting industry and BCG was no exception.But BCG wasnt sparedthe effects ofthe downturn that followed.Global revenue fell in 2001,and thevoluntary attrition rate slowed.Similar to other firms,layoffs followed.BCGcut consulting and support staffby 12 percent in North and South America inthe first quarter of2002.But now business is surging again,driven by rebounding financial services andindustrial goods markets.BCG insiders say they are working on a range ofprojects,picking up new clients and serving companies theyve already helped.The firm is eager to build long-term relationships.Theres a lot ofrepeatbusiness,follow-up work,says an insider,adding,Theres more work than wehave staffto put on projects.The prospect is that we will be very busy inupcoming months and years.Our hiring directives have gotten much higherover the past 6 months.In an annual poll ofconsulting professionals conducted by Consulting Magazinein 2003,BCG ranked number five on the list ofthe best firms to work for,falling one spot from the previous year.But falling from first to five doesntnecessarily mean muchthese types ofshifts are not unusual on best ofsurveys.Some BCG critics have complained about the high-pressure environ-ment,but thats part ofthe management consulting culture.Its an intensejob,says one insider.Still,BCG has a reputation for being a great place to work largely because ofitsegalitarian and humane work environment.One insider who went part-time tobe able to devote more time to family praised the firms flexibility:Maintaininga good work/life balance can be hard,but Ive done it.Part-time is only toughThe Firmon the client service end.We do great work for clients,and theres always theurge to do more.Fortunes annual poll ofbusiness school students,BCGranks fifth among consulting firms that future MBAs would like to work forafter graduation.With so much going for it as a career option,BCG is a toughplace to get hired at both the associate and consultant levels.But insiders say itsworth the effort.BCG is considered a desirable place to work,says oneinsider.Its hard to get a job here so expectations can be high.But workinghere has more than met my expectationsits been a phenomenal experience.BCG may be one ofthe smaller strategy firms but it casts a long shadow.Clearlyamong the consulting elite,BCG measures itselfagainst McKinsey and Bain.Anumber ofother top management consulting firms measure themselves againstBCG.Although the work itselfis pure consulting,the preferred flavor at BCGis strategy and cutting-edge analysis.As at many top consulting firms,thecongenial environment and prestige dont come cheapthe people at BCGwork extremely hard to earn their salaries.Competition for the available spots each year is always intense.One insiderinvolved in recruiting confirmed that the firm hires about one in 200applicants for associate positions.More ofthese candidates are applyingthrough the outstanding careers section on the companys website.Ournumber ofapplications has not changed a lot over the past 5 years,says theinsider.Were getting more applications through our online portal.The FirmSince its inception,BCG has focused on strategy projects rather than imple-mentation work.Were not a firm youd hire to implement an already existingstrategy;we dont take on implementation work that we didnt come up with,says one insider.Indeed,BCG insiders stress that clients come to it for creativeapproaches to tough problems.Through good and bad markets,BCG hasnt much altered the way it differ-entiates itselfin the consulting marketplace over the years.The way weredifferentiating ourselves is not all that different than what weve done in thepast,reports one insider.Were not an off-the-shelfsolution type ofplace.There isnt much pandering to the client and telling them what they want tohear.Its not always easy,but we tell them what we really think.Ultimately,thats what keeps us in business.BCG is known for its academic approach to business and its use ofconceptualframeworks based on macroeconomic trends.Two ofthe latest BCG-originatedconcepts are deconstruction ofthe value chainand asset productivity.In anutshell,the two concepts refer to the increasing tendency ofcorporations tooutsource production and their consequent need to extract more value fromcore assetsalthough one BCG insider warns that deconstruction is,in fact,abit ofa vague catchall term that could be applied to any number ofstrategicapplications.(For more information,refer to the Whats Hotsection.) BCGpeople also describe the firms growing network ofrelationship-based clientinteraction.Like all top-tier consulting firms,BCG strives to secure repeatbusiness by making its client relationships as collaborative as possible.We callit going north with clients,says one insider.Were striving to do more thanThe Firmjust one project with companies.Clients dont just want you to hand them astrategy in a binder and then leave.They want to build a relationship with you.Another insider thinks that BCG works with clients more effectively thansome ofour competition.Despite the widely reported slump in big technology initiatives,technologyprojects still make up a significant portion ofBCGs cases.Unlike giants suchas Accenture and Capgemini,BCG doesnt actually write the code and do hands-on technology implementations.One insider says,Theyre more likely to tellyou to buy the technology,because theyre after the implementation business.At BCG,youd get a more objective opinion,because we stop short ofprogram-ming code.Instead,BCG places the technology investment decision into astrategic framework,helping the client determine whether such an investmentwould add sufficient value.Besides IT,insiders mention these areas as core to BCG:distributive strategy,market-entry strategy,technological licensing strategy,change management,andpricing.Internal projects,called Tier One projects,also demand the time ofsome BCG consultants.These projects may not generate direct revenue,but theresults ofinteresting projects are often widely reported in the press,enhancingthe firms reputation.We will always do those types ofprojects.They helpkeep us smart and on the cutting edge,says one insider.The general consensusamong insiders is that business has picked up and that BCG is well positionedfor future growth.In the past,we have had a tendency to capture market shareduring downturns,notes one insider.The FirmIndustry PositionBCGs ability to attract high-profile strategy and operations projects has helpedthe firm to maintain a position ofinfluence thats disproportionately larger thanits physical presence.2004 ranking ofthe 50 Largest ManagementConsulting Firms in the World,BCG came in at number 22.Ofcourse,mostofthe largest firms on the list do more large-scale technology implementationsthan strategy.The table on the next page shows where BCG ranks in terms ofrevenue
working from home. 35 years ago my colleagues in the 114th Medical Battalion provided medical support for 3 weeks in Boston
I travel by train to Boston Saturday for a convention. 108 feet is a lot of snow - hope the Zambonis are working! Despise snow!
Hey Boston! We're working on rescheduling the event at for I STILL BELIEVE ANITA HILL which is cancelled due to weather.
Thanks for following the 13s Jonathan! We are working hard to develop here in Boston and the USA!!
woohooooo! I know I'm working my ass of in the gym ATM. And off drink for lent! Garret was saying your for Boston???
I'm working 11days straight. Then I'm off to Boston with the Boyf for a few days :) exciting!!!
Working from home in the Boston area while we wait for to find us. I think he is not going to be a passive fish.
I just finished working in Culver City. I'm shipping out to Boston tomorrow for a few weeks but ill let you know when I'm back.
Thanks for following the Boston 13s Sean! We are working hard to develop here in Boston and the USA!!
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