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    Hi all,

    Just wondering if you're working at a decent consulting firm (i.e. not McKinsey but BCG/Bain/Booz/Monitor/OW) how often can you expect to work past midnight? Weekend work? All-nighters?

    I like the sound of the work but not too sure about crazy late nights - I like sleep too much!

    Any ideas?
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    You never work past midnight. Some people cut their Fridays short and work Saturday mornings by choice. Typically you'll work 11-12 hours a day, 5 days a week.

    The real issue with regards to work/life balance is time spent travelling. I.e. catching a 6am flight on Monday, getting back at 10pm on a Thursday night, spending the week/weekend in another country. But it depends how much you like travelling - personally I found that appealing. And of course you have an input in how much travelling you do.
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    My understanding was that during crunch periods at the end of a project you can work much more than 60 hours a week. Also I'm told people count travel time as work (typically you're working on a plane anyway) which would mean you're finished on Monday by 6pm (unlikely). And given that you're in a strange place far from home with no distractions people will just work until they're too tired to do any more? These are all just rumours but if anyone has any knowledge/evidence to the contrary I'd appreciate it!
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    It's 50-60 hour weeks, tending to the upper end of that, with as much time as is required at crunch periods, of which there might be two or three a year. Plenty of consultants manage to never work weekends etc.
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    (Original post by topofthemorning)
    My understanding was that during crunch periods at the end of a project you can work much more than 60 hours a week. Also I'm told people count travel time as work (typically you're working on a plane anyway) which would mean you're finished on Monday by 6pm (unlikely). And given that you're in a strange place far from home with no distractions people will just work until they're too tired to do any more? These are all just rumours but if anyone has any knowledge/evidence to the contrary I'd appreciate it!
    Stop being a moron.

    Of course you may work more with looming deadlines. How many industries does this not happen in?

    I nicely segregated travel time and standard hours for you because you don't catch a flight every morning and every evening. Most places work on a 5-4-3 basis. I.e. two flights (or alternative) a week.

    Do you think with an evening or weekend free in Paris or Abu Dhabi or wherever else people can't or wouldn't want to entertain themselves?

    These aren't "rumours". This is you being an idiot.
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    (Original post by PorcineAviation)
    Stop being a moron.

    Of course you may work more with looming deadlines. How many industries does this not happen in?

    I nicely segregated travel time and standard hours for you because you don't catch a flight every morning and every evening. Most places work on a 5-4-3 basis. I.e. two flights (or alternative) a week.

    Do you think with an evening or weekend free in Paris or Abu Dhabi or wherever else people can't or wouldn't want to entertain themselves?

    These aren't "rumours". This is you being an idiot.
    I don't think he was having a go at you


    Anyway, being a consultant means a hell of a lot of traveling, so even without the long hours when you ARE in the office/city, you probably won't be at home a whole lot of time. If your single and are outgoing, this is good. If your in a long term relationship such as I am, the traveling isn't as appealing.
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    (Original post by PorcineAviation)
    Stop being a moron.

    Of course you may work more with looming deadlines. How many industries does this not happen in?

    I nicely segregated travel time and standard hours for you because you don't catch a flight every morning and every evening. Most places work on a 5-4-3 basis. I.e. two flights (or alternative) a week.

    Do you think with an evening or weekend free in Paris or Abu Dhabi or wherever else people can't or wouldn't want to entertain themselves?

    These aren't "rumours". This is you being an idiot.
    I don't think he was having a go at you


    Anyway, being a consultant means a hell of a lot of traveling, so even without the long hours when you ARE in the office/city, you probably won't be at home a whole lot of time. If your single and are outgoing, this is good. If your in a long term relationship such as I am, the traveling isn't as appealing.
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    (Original post by topofthemorning)
    Just wondering if you're working at a decent consulting firm (i.e. not McKinsey but BCG/Bain/Booz/Monitor/OW) how often can you expect to work past midnight? Weekend work? All-nighters?
    1. Don't put McKinsey on a pedestal, they're no more or less reputable than BCG and Bain.

    2. From anecdotal evidence, weekends are likely at McKinsey.

    3. General pattern would be 60-70-hour weeks or more during projects, less when you're on the beach. Monday to Thursday will be given over in their entirety to the firm but Fridays tend to be sacrosanct with a 6pm finish and usually office drinks. The overwhelming majority of firms will never tell you to work a weekend.

    4. Less reputable consultancies (such as advisory arms of Big 4, and places like PA) seem to have a reputation for making you travel at times that you would deem your 'own' time e.g. 4am on a Monday morning. The strategy consultancies, from what I have seen at least, don't seem to be as bad with this.

    5. Consulting is not a sensible career choice if you value your free time highly. However, it is entirely reasonable and indeed normal to do consulting for three years or so and then move over to a cushy 9-5 in a decent management position in industry. If you can bear having little free time for three years or so, don't rule out consulting.
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    That's another thing I don't fully understand about consulting.

    McKinsey (apart from having a brand name that's recognisable outside business) are pretty much on a par with BCG and Bain. But while McKinsey work their BAs intensively I get the impression Bain certainly make life quite managable for their ACs. So how do they both end up with similar results, similar pay, similar exit opps, etc?!

    Working hard Monday to Thursday with decent weekends definitely sounds fair and a lot more appealing than IBD given it's interesting work!
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    To be fair, it could just be that Bain manage their public image better than McKinsey do. But without exception people who I have spoken to who work in the sector - not in MBB but in small firms looking enviously upward - were quite dismissive of McKinsey and quite in awe of Bain, for probably a number of reasons that I could not quite discern.
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    Bain is a great place to work in for the medium to long term.
    McKinsey is a great place for the exit opportunities.
    So if consulting is just a stepping stone to greater things, choose McKinsey.
    If you plan to stay at the same firm for a decade, Bain might be better.
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    (Original post by topofthemorning)

    McKinsey (apart from having a brand name that's recognisable outside business) are pretty much on a par with BCG and Bain. But while McKinsey work their BAs intensively I get the impression Bain certainly make life quite managable for their ACs. So how do they both end up with similar results, similar pay, similar exit opps, etc?!
    As a boss, are you going to get more out of your team by -

    a) offering prestige and perks, but in return being very demanding
    or
    b) offering a better balance of work/life but in a less prestigious and perk driven environment?

    The answer is that if those are (very crudely) the alternatives, applicants will likely be self selecting. People who are happy with a) to work hard to get the McKinsey name will choose McKinsey and accept the pros and cons. People who want the slightly less perk laden but still challenging environment of b) will choose Bain (or BCG). That's a dramatic simplification, but most candidates will apply to all three and get a feel for the internal culture of the offices. For those lucky enough to get one, or even multiple MBB offers, it seems to invariably be a matter of 'fit' with the culture that is the determining factor.
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    At the end of the day you're highly unlikely to ever be in a position of choosing between McKinsey, Bain and BCG, so if one of them makes you an offer - unless they REALLY put you off and/or you really liked Oliver Wyman/Roland Berger/Monitor - then snap it up.
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    Bizarrely, one of my friends did actually get offers from Mck, Bain, and BCG. He ended up choosing BCG.
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    Sounds more like a pretty accurate understanding of the upper levels of strategy consulting. I don't think anyone who was working for any MBB firm would disagree. McK isn't professionally on a different level to Bain or BCG within the business world. To argue so would be like arguing that one of Oxford or Cambridge is better than the other - only if you break it down into specific subjects maybe. Same as MBB firms have different strengths in different practice areas.
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    Just how much travellling is involved in a strategic consultants life?
    Is is normal that every week you leave on monday and not back until thursday?
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    (Original post by schoolrunner13)
    1 + 2 = Sounds like a McKinsey reject?
    Rejected at CV stage by all MBB firms. My successes and failures with applications are on show in the appropriate thread; I've nothing to hide.
 
 
 
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