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What are the different cultures?

 
#1 What are the different cultures?
03/05/2004 03:39

David

Could someone tell me what the different cultures are like among the main str. cons. firms (McKinsey, BCG, Bain, Berger, OC&C,...) Why should I prefer McK, BCG, ... - except for the prestige they 'have'?

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#2 Re: What are the different cultures?
05/05/2004 12:58

Rodger

With the greatest respect, please stop worrying about what you should prefer/like and concentrate on what you do prefer/like!

Research, investigate and visit each organization and establish a best personal fit - Much like dating, would you ask others who you should be dating...?

Our society markets to what we can be not who we are... Hope this makes sense!Rely on tyour own opinion, not one downloaded from other people.

Best of luck.

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#3 Re: What are the different cultures?
06/05/2004 11:02

MissO

I think it's a fair enough question. it is very difficult to get an idea of what a firm is like and what its culture is like purely from own research. It helps if one asks around and gets an idea from people who might have had more exposure/experience in the field or with the firms.

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#4 Re: What are the different cultures?
06/05/2004 11:35

londoc

Yes it is difficult to gauge a firm's culture. That's why you have so many interviews. It's a two way process. Culture and 'fit' obviously are important, but is anyone seriously going to base their decision on whether or not to apply to a company on the unsubstantiated opinions of somebody they don't even know on an anonymous message board?? I hope not.

There are four possible scenarios:

1)You don't apply to a firm. End of story.

2)You apply, get interviewed and get on well with everyone. Take the job.

3)You apply and don't get on with anyone. In which case only you can decide whether you are going to accept the job and you shouldn't be swayed by people you don't know.

4) You apply and don't get an interview, or are rejected after interview. In which case it doesn't matter what the firm culture is like.

A specific question about named companies and positions offered from someone who has two competing offers might be an exception, but other than that are any replies here going to change whether or not someone applies to McKinsey???

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#5 Re: What are the different cultures?
06/05/2004 21:02

David

True, it will not effect my plans whether to apply or not for a certain company, however:

1. people who have worked in these companies certainly know about the culture

2. when you ask the interviewer about the culture, he/she will only focus on the positive points, where here a more objective opinion can be given

3. although it will not completely effect my choice, I would like to know what kind of company I'm applying with

I therefore still have some questions like:

What is the difference between big companies like McKinsey/BCG and smaller ones like Berger/OC&C

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#6 Re: What are the different cultures?
07/05/2004 09:22

londoc

Well I am glad that it won't affect your plans at least.

I'm afraid I don't work for any of the companies you have mentioned so can't offer much, but did recently interview with one of them.

I can't give you any specifics, but would say that you can learn much more at an interview than just the questions you ask the interviewer. If you spend four or five hours there, you should at least make time to have a wander round, check out the social areas, see the working atmosphere, even stop people in the corridors or the lifts and ask them questions. If you can't find any part of the office that you like, then maybe it is not for you.

As far as office culture goes, I have heard it said that BCG is a bit more laid back than McK, but then that is just one or two opinions. I have no idea about how they would compare to the smaller companies in that regard, but as a rule you would expect that a smaller company might be less formal and a bit more 'fun', if that's what you are looking for. Unfortunately there are exceptions to every rule.

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#7 Re: What are the different cultures?
07/05/2004 12:35

Rodger

I agree David, you do need to find out more about each company, but as someone wrote above, please dont rely on opinions that perhaps reflect different value systems (use them as a vague guide only) - Consultancy culture/values also varies from country to country, town to town, department to department. Any opinion offered has to be seen in the light of who is giving it and their own particular experience. The concern here is that someone like yourself, educated/experienced enough to contemplate a job at any of these outfits, should rely on your own opinion, not on what others have to say. Read Miso's comment above again.

I think it is your question "what should I prefer...?" that conveys the idea that you are relying solely on external input. My concern is that your excellence find its own way and not depend entirely on external validation - You will need this skill at any of the big consultanies..!

Again, best of luck

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#8 Re: What are the different cultures?
07/05/2004 17:25

David

Thank's

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