BCG Shares Insights with Aspiring Consultants at IE
Impact. Opportunity. People. These are the reasons to work at Boston Consulting Group (BCG), according to Abril de Bonis, Recruiting Manager for BCG Spain.
Last week, IE hosted BCG on campus in Madrid to speak to students about their firm’s diverse project portfolio, company culture, and recruitment process. Over 70 students attended the presentation and Q&A, which went in depth into the three areas that make BCG stand out in a highly competitive and sought after industry.
From improving KLM’s operations using AI to managing the 2014 Ebola crisis, BCG representatives took students through real-life cases and the impacts they created. Cross-sectional and transnational, lucrative and pro-bono, the range of projects BCG is involved in has led to a popular saying among BCGers: One BCG, Many Paths.
“Each of us decides what path we want to have, and BCG is the platform that allows us to achieve it,” said de Bonis. She shared that, because the firm works with some of the most important companies in each of the geographies they are present in, the opportunities to join projects aligned to individual interests are plenty. Surprising to many students was the fact that employees receive career-advising services from BCG even when they decide to leave their employer.
Among the BCG representatives was IE Business School graduate Alberto de la Serna (IMBA ’17). An industrial engineer, de la Serna spent five years as Tech Consultant and Business Relationship Manager at Indra in Spain and Italy before coming to IE for the International MBA. He has been a Consultant at BCG for over a year, working on their digital transformation projects.
De la Serna recognized that the teamwork and international atmosphere he experienced at IE are important qualities that prepare students to become consultants. “You need to understand how to work in these types of environments, and I think IE prepares you for that.”
Students who attended the event came from varying programs and with different goals in mind. Rekiyat (IMBA Jan. ’19), from Nigeria, is on the Consulting Track of the International MBA and came for very specific information. “I’m particularly interested in industry consulting – not management consulting – so I’m hoping to learn more about that.”
Francesco (Dual Degree MIM Jan. ’19 + Talent Development & Human Resources ’19) has had his eye on consulting ever since he considered coming to IE. “It’s something I’ve been shooting for from the very beginning. Part of the reason I studied the MIM was to change sector into consulting.”
An MBB firm – the acronym representing three of the largest management consulting firms, including McKinsey & Co. and Bain & Co. – BCG has seen double-digit growth in recent years, both globally and in Spain. As a result, university recruiting has become essential to keep up with their pace.
All BCG applications begin with a CV and cover letter, submitted online through the company’s website or the IE Career Portal.
After passing the initial CV screening, applicants receive an online case to complete. Applicants are given 45 minutes to answer 23 questions.
Face-to-face interviews consist of two rounds: one interview with Consultant Project Leaders; followed by a second interview with Principals, Partners, and MD Partners. Both interviews follow a similar structure: 10-15 minutes to talk about the applicant’s CV and experience; 30 minutes to work through a case; 5-10 minutes for the applicant to ask questions.