The Boston Consulting Group
What They Do
Provide management consulting services to Fortune 500 companies, as well as mid-sized companies, non-profits, and government agencies.
What Makes The Boston Consulting Group, Inc. Great
Boston Consulting Group (BCG) is regarded as one of the world’s most prestigious consulting firms, and employees relish the opportunity to work on "world-changing" projects for leaders in major companies and governments around the world. For those who can keep up, BCG is ultra-generous with benefits, paying the full tuition costs (including living expenses) for people to attend grad school, and lending new consultant hires up to $100,000 as a down payment on a home. Ninety-eight percent say they have special and unique benefits here.
BCG was founded in 1963 by Bruce Henderson, a Harvard Business School graduate who started the strategy consulting firm (a novel concept at the time) as a one-man operation inside a Boston bank. The company grew and eventually spun off, and Henderson imbued the company with a strong sense of purpose. “He believed that dedicated people, their ideas, and a commitment to acting with integrity had enormous potential to create value, impact the evolution of industries, and indeed, to change the world,” the company says.
Last year, the company celebrated its 50th anniversary, and today has more than 9,000 employees working in 81 offices in 45 countries. People still take seriously the founding vision, including core values like “integrity” and “respect for the individual.” “Bruce Henderson believed he could change the world, and that is still part of our DNA,” says one employee.
As it has grown, BCG has remained focused on luring top-caliber people, and the firm is home to "just the most talented, interesting, collegial group you could imagine," one person explains. Employees praise how the company “inspires the passion of workers and unleashes their talent,” and they relish the “great autonomy and independence” and the “ability to influence what you do.”
Many BCG’ers end up leaving the firm after a few years to pursue other opportunities (the list of BCG alumni includes Benjamin Netanyahu, Prime Minister of Israel; Jeffrey Immelt, CEO of GE; and Indra Nooyi, CEO of Pepsi). Yet while the firm is sometimes seen as a stepping stone, 83 percent of current employees say they want to work here for a long time.
Opportunities for Impact
Far from cutthroat, the culture is full of people who are “really smart, really motivated, always eager to help each other,” according to employees, 95 percent of whom say that people care about each other here. “In a rough-and-tumble business world, BCG has managed to retain its sense of idealism after 50 years of history,” explains one happy BCG'er, who extols the "culture where people think critically while still being idealistic about their power to change things.”
Employees appreciate how the firm enables them to work with global aid organizations and charities like the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, often on a long-term basis. “Our pro bono and low-bono work in world health and hunger make this an amazing place to be,” says one employee. Adds another: "this group takes pride in their work and I especially take pride in our social impact work around the world." Ninety-eight percent say they are proud to tell others they work here.
Striving for Balance
The management consulting industry is known for long hours, and BCG expects its people to work hard: 97 percent say that people are given a lot of responsibility, and that they are willing to give extra to get the job done.
"The work-life balance in a high-intensity, client-service job is sometimes tough to manage," says one BCG'er, "but it's a well-understood part of the job that management tries to deal with transparently." To their credit, BCG invested $14 million last year in work-life balance programs, and the firm issues a Red Zone Report that alerts management when someone is working too many hours. The vast majority (83 percent) of people say that people are encouraged to balance their work and personal lives, and many express thanks that "employees can work from wherever – and for the most part whenever – they want, as long as they get the job done."
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