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Offers from 3 MBB Consulting Firms? Here’s How to Choose the Right Fit!

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April 29, 2022
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5 minutes
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All your hard work has paid off, and you’re sitting with three offers from prestigious MBB consulting firms: McKinsey, Bain, and BCG. In this lucky case, how do you choose which top tier consulting firm is the right fit for you? We give you the low-down on making one of the biggest decisions of your life an easy one.

Which is the best offer?

Unlike what many think, it’s not just the salary that should sway your decision. You might end up being paid a lot of money for being completely miserable. In order to prevent this, in the following a few factors that will point you in the right direction:

Do you really know the consulting firms?

It’s one thing to know the names of MBB consulting firms based on their reputation, but it’s quite another to truly know them. Any employee who has ever worked for one of the companies will confirm this. Thus, before we go any further, let’s take a closer look at these MBB consulting firms:


McKinsey is probably one of the most famous consulting firms, with a legacy going back almost a century. They put a lot of focus on sustainability and economic growth. Furthermore, the company puts a lot of stock into their staff and places a lot of emphasis on diversity.


Bain places a lot of importance on innovation and teamwork. Their drive to redefine the consulting industry and be the number one top tier consulting firm reminds one of the Silicone Valley disruptors (without the staff in skinny jeans and a Ping Pong table in the foyer). Besides, they invest quite a lot in pro-bono services when it comes to social injustices and other modern-day problems. In the same vein, they put a lot of focus on their company values and beliefs.


BCG is another “golden oldie” that was founded in the 60s. As a company stating that they want to make the world a better place, they put a lot of stock into diversity and collaboration. In a way that reminds one a little of Bain, they highlight their values, beliefs, purpose, and promises.

If your offer is from another firm than the three we focus on in this article, the same rule applies – do proper homework before you decide that you “know” what the business is about.

“Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” – Confucius

Does it align with the work you want to do?

Luckily, all three of our MBB firms offer pretty much the same industry opportunities, such as:

  • Aerospace;
  • Automotive;
  • Consumer Goods;
  • Financial Services;
  • Education;
  • Retail;
  • Real Estate;
  • IT;
  • And many more.

However, all three companies are still known for specific fields, even though they don’t advertise it outright.

For example, McKinsey has quite the reputation when it comes to organization, strategy and operation work, while Bain seems to have an affinity for Private Equity Funds. BCG, on the other hand, holds rank as being more focused on innovation, corporate development and business growth.

Is there room to grow?

This relates to two things: career growth within the company as well as your personal development. Is there a step up from being the intern? Or is that where your journey will begin and end? And is there some sort of training advantages? Some companies even have bursaries for further study.

If we take our three specific MBB firms, for example, McKinsey is a massive organization with plenty of career opportunities. They advertise over 500 jobs on any day, ranging from junior to senior positions. Additionally, the company offers ample opportunities to learn from basic readiness to tech and other consulting areas. These training sessions can be in-person or virtual. On top of that, McKinsey offers collaborative teams, coaching, and mentorship with peers and partners.

Bain, on the other hand, has much fewer available positions. Further, their training is pretty much limited to providing industry insights, webinars, and interview prep.

At the same time, BCG promises its staff access to a global alumni network of over 29 000 professionals.

Furthermore, it might be helpful to consider the size of the companies. McKinsey obviously tops the charts at 9000 consultants. Thus, it has not only the highest reach, but also offers the largest network. BCG comes in second with 7000 consultants, while Bain comes in as the smallest of the “Big Three”. They employ 4000 consultants.

Do you suffer from wanderlust, or are you a home-body?

This very much depends on the specific job you’re applying for, and not so much the top tier consulting firm itself. Nevertheless, it’s something that needs to be considered. Especially if you have preferences on where you would like to be located or if you are not ready to change your location.

For example, McKinsey has a stronghold in Latin America and Sub-Saharan Africa, while BCG is especially known for its presence in German cities. Generally, though, the differences in location are less noticeable across Europe and North America.

How stable is the company?

With our “Big Three” MBB firms that have almost been around since the dawn of time, you can rest assured that there will be job security. The differentiating factor here is how much stock you place in someone’s reputation in terms of awards. McKinsey boasts’s award as the #1 consulting firm globally. Yet, Bain is raking them in with awards such as the Best Place to Work 2022 from Glassdoor, a Gold-Level Corporate Social Responsibility Rating by EcoVadis, Top 100 Workplaces with the Best D&J Initiatives in 2021 by Mogul, and many more. BCG also has quite a few accolades behind them. However, it seems to be more socio-economic by nature, with certified titles such as Validated Science-based Targets and a CDP A List Climate Disclosure rating.

You need to find your tribe

That is not just a slogan for a cute poster. A company’s culture can hugely impact job satisfaction and overall happiness. Discovering a company’s culture from the outside can be quite tricky. With our MBB firms, we already know that McKinsey places a high value on work-life flexibility. Bain already consists of 20% remote workers. And BCG focuses on employee retention, which means they invest time and energy into their personnel. This also stems from their belief that happier consultants offer better value to clients.

It is clear that making potentially life-changing decisions such as this can be nerve-wracking. Hopefully, some of our valuable past Consultport resources as well as this article can make the choice a little easier, and you can find the top tier consulting firm that’s the perfect match for you.