Consulting Lessons Learned 36: MBB or boutique firm

Many graduates are very unsure about which consulting firm fits best to them. Many of our clients receive numerous offers from different consulting firms and it can be quiet difficult to decide for one firm in the end.

One major component you should consider in this thought process is whether you fit better to a large MBB firm or a consulting boutique. Here are a few pros and cons for both:

Large consulting firm

  • Stronger brand that can make it easier to have a good exit
  • Typically all industries and functional practices to choose from
  • It can get a bit anonymous as you often don’t know all of your colleagues
  • A lot more standardized processes (e.g. recruiting, travel policies, …)
  • Not getting along with a few people won’t hurt your reputation as much

Boutique firm

  • Everyone knows each other well, family-like working environment
  • Often with more “entrepreneurial” spirit (e.g. consultants often take responsibility for firm tasks)
  • Often slightly better salaries compared to large firms
  • Often limited in terms of service offering (industries / functions)
  • Sometimes even more international in terms of projects you could get staffed on compared to large firms, where international projects have unfortunately gotten rare

In the end, this is a highly individual decision. Also, every firm has a slightly different culture. You should try to get a feeling on which firm fits best to your personality. In our ConsultingPerfection Elite-Coaching we support aspiring consultants also in choosing the right firm for them. Interested? Apply now for a free strategy session on your consulting career!

Categories: Best practices