Harvard | Mr. MacGruber
GRE 313, GPA 3.7
Kellogg | Mr. Real Estate Finance
GMAT 710, GPA 3.0
Emory Goizueta | Mr. Multimedia
GRE 308, GPA 3.4
Berkeley Haas | Mr. Poet At Heart
GMAT 740, GPA 3.7
Yale | Mr. Ukrainian Biz Man
GRE 310, GPA 4.75 out of 5
Darden | Mr. Former Scientist
GMAT 680, GPA 3.65
Stanford GSB | Mr. Sustainable Business
GRE 331, GPA 3.86
Wharton | Mr. Microsoft Consultant
GMAT N/A, GPA 2.31
Yale | Ms. Impact Investing
GRE 323, GPA 3.8
Cornell Johnson | Ms. Food Waste Warrior
GMAT Not written yet (around 680), GPA 3.27
Stanford GSB | Ms. Future Tech Exec
GMAT 750, GPA 3.4
Georgetown McDonough | Ms. Air Force
GMAT 610, GPA 3.8
Harvard | Mr. Healthcare Fanatic
GMAT 770, GPA 3.46
Kellogg | Mr. Finance To Education
GMAT 730, GPA 3.4
Rice Jones | Mr. Back To School
GRE 315, GPA 3.0
Columbia | Mr. Aussie Military Man
GMAT 710, GPA 3.0 (rough conversion from Weighted Average Mark)
Harvard | Mr. Hopeful Philanthropist
GMAT 710, GPA 3.74
Stanford GSB | Mr. FinTech
GMAT Not Taken Yet, GPA 3.5
UCLA Anderson | Mr. Analytics Man
GMAT 740, GPA 3.1
Cornell Johnson | Mr. FinTech Startup
GMAT 570, GPA 3.4
Darden | Ms. Teaching-To-Tech
GRE 326, GPA 3.47
Chicago Booth | Mr. Future Angel Investor
GMAT 620, GPA 3.1
Wharton | Ms. Software Engineer
GMAT 760, GPA 3.84
Harvard | Mr. PE Strategist
GRE 326, GPA 3.6
Harvard | Mr. FBI To MBB
GMAT 710, GPA 3.85
Harvard | Mr. MBB Consultant
GMAT 730, GPA 3.9
Chicago Booth | Mr. Cal Poly
GRE 317, GPA 3.2

Top 50 Consulting Firms To Work For In 2020

BCG’s new New York office at 10 Hudson Yards – overlooking the Hudson River. Photo by Anthony Collins

COMPENSATION RISES AT BCG

While McKinsey was teetering in the 2020 survey, the Boston Consulting Group was surging. Long feted for its custom-tailored, forward-thinking, team-driven approach, BCG knocked the Quality of Life and Work survey out of the park in 2020. Here, BCG earned higher marks in 11 of 21 categories over the year before. The biggest difference? Pay! In this category, BCG’s score jumped from 9.176 to 9.571.

Stephan Maldonado, the senior consulting editor at Vault, points out that the survey’s compensation questions, as a whole, yielded some of the “most overwhelmingly positive” responses he received in 2020. In the end, BCG took it to another level in the past year.

BCG New York office – 315 Park Avenue South

“Qualms with base salary, bonuses, and progression were very minimal,” Maldonado observes. “Recent raises seemed to tip the scales, meeting or exceeding the salary increases that the MBB firms saw earlier this year. Consultants also genuinely appreciate the transparency in BCG’s compensation structure; they understand their compensation and how it compares to their peers (there is also pay equality across salary bands), and that makes a substantial difference. Healthcare coverage also seems to be outstanding; there were slight variances in peoples’ accounts of exactly how much is covered, but generally, it seems as if most, if not everything, is covered by the firm.”

GAINING ON McKINSEY

This transparency extended well beyond compensation, adds an anonymous BCG survey respondent. Just look at the firm’s Promotion Policies, which rose by .224 of a point in the past year. “BCG’s promotion process is extremely transparent and equitable, which is a reflection of a culture of transparency and support. The firm practices what it preaches with diversity of thought, gender, and race. Training opportunities are unparalleled, with opportunities for on-demand training, analytics programs, and one-on-one coaching – to name a few. The office is supportive of initiatives outside of casework, with a variety of sports teams. I was even able to start my own group!”

Among the MBB, BCG outperformed its peers in the areas of Benefits, Compensation, Business Outlook, and Promotion Policy. In each of these categories, McKinsey had scored better than BCG during the previous year. At the same time, BCG showed marked improvement in Diversity and Firm Leadership. “BCG values the individual and appreciates diverse perspectives,” adds another survey respondent. “We do not want cookie-cutter consultants, nor do we implement cookie-cutter solutions for our clients. I believe BCG truly cares about the individual—both in who we hire and the work we do. It’s about doing what’s right to drive superior client outcomes.”

Members of the Boston office participate in a “Bridge 2 BCG” workshop for advanced degree candidates

To catch McKinsey, BCG will need to improve in several areas. That starts with McKinsey’s strength: Prestige. In the 2020 survey, BCG’s prestige increased by just .012 of a point – a far cry from improvements produced by blue-ribbon firms like PwC (+.208) and the Parthenon Group (+.318). Unlike McKinsey and Bain, which placed among the Top 25 firms in every Quality of Life and Work category, BCG failed to rank in two categories: Hours and Travel Requirements.

‘I COME TO WORK BECAUSE OF THE PEOPLE’

Still, among survey respondents, it would be difficult to find a more energized bunch than BCG. One survey-taker touted the firm’s “open feedback culture” – “You always know where you stand and there are multiple people invested in your success.”

Another credits their peers. “The people I work with are nothing short of incredible. They are talented, passionate, and just an amazing group to be a part of. I come to work every day because of the people there, more than any other aspect of the job.”

This enthusiasm bodes well for the firm’s long-term prospects. “BCG is growing rapidly,” adds another respondent. “We are constantly adding new and exciting clients, building new capabilities, and innovating in ways that other firms could only dream of. The firm’s leadership is rock-solid and I know we will continue this strong trajectory with them at the helm.”

Go to the next page to see why third-place Bain & Company is bullish about their prospects.