Career insights by GGI is a new series by GGI sharing hacks and tips around management consulting, MBA, product management and public policy.
In this GGI career insight, we will be sharing insights into: the perks and fancy lifestyle of a consultant.
As most of us are aware, MBB Consultants are not just known for their competence, but also for their flamboyance and luxurious lifestyle. Before I begin unrolling these lavish perks of management consulting, you must note that consultants' experiences change based on roles and geographies and I would be sharing my experience as a BCG consultant in the India Office.
Typically undergraduates and people in their mid-20s are eager to hop onto the bandwagon of consulting because of the status and glamorous lifestyle attached. While there are undeniably some great perks, the job does come with more fulfilling experiences, meaningful learnings, and relationships. And all these elements continue to bear fruits, even as an alum.
As always, I have structured this career insight into 4 significant sections as follows.
Right off the bat, let's get into the most interesting topic, which is the travel lifestyle of a consultant. As a consultant, if I were to be transparent, I experienced all the finer things that accompanied this strenuous job.
For example, I traveled on a premium class ticket from Vistara to Kolkata, every Monday morning for my first case. Post that, every Thursday night I would fly back to my home office in Delhi on Fridays. To put it mildly, you do become well acquainted with airports over time :)
To put things into perspective, every consultant takes a bare minimum of 2 flights, to and fro, every week. However, as you move higher up on the ladder, you can fly out at least 5 times a week. Overall, I have met very less consultants who have been fond of traveling so much.
To bring the point of perks back, you are also rewarded by flights with premium or business class membership, as a result of an extensive amount of travel. I recall a colleague and a friend in BCG who funded his trip to Bangkok without spending a penny from his own pocket!
Now talking of the other benefits, minor things such as your entire food and drinks on the flight are taken care of by your firm. Taking luxury a step further, you also get access to a BCG car with a chauffeur for road travel. This certainly prevents the hustle-bustle of booking a cab and meeting at the right location.
Overall, as shallow as these perks might sounds but they definitely appreciate the value of a consultant's time and make their life much easier.
2. Fancy Stays
Diving into the most fantasized point- the high-end hotel stays. It is commonly known that Mckinsey, BCG, and Bain consultants get to stay at the Hyatts and the Marriotts of the world. We were mostly hosted at 5 Star hotels for work trips. You get the luxury of dining at Michelin-star restaurants while not looking at the prices.
In fact, we have flown to Bangkok for our South Asian BCG orientation. I had a gala time during this 1 week's trip.
Moving onto the most scrutinized aspect of consulting.
The salary of a consultant is like a hockey stick, their salary and bonus increase with time and experience. There is no end to the bonuses after climbing up to a certain point in the hierarchy.
It is well known, that consultants don't only make a fixed salary, a large part of their salary is accompanied by generous annual bonuses they receive.
4. Alum benefits
Finally, many people don't consider being an alum as a perk, but I would certainly like to recognize and appreciate non-material aspects of consulting which are often overlooked.
These account for the many small tokens of appreciation alum gets through gifts that maintain a network with your firm. I certainly cannot call them luxurious gifts but sweet gestures.
They have definitely kept me connected to the BCG family. This network is close-knit. For eg- I have been invited to the monthly BCG alum meetings in North America with the Global CEO which have helped me connect with a lot of notable personalities.
Excited to share that at Global Governance Initiative, we invite top CEOs and Partners from BCG, Mckinsey to teach young professionals on what it entails to be a management consultant. So that after rigorous efforts and building up the competence required to be a consultant, you can enjoy the luxurious lifestyle that comes along with it :)
Author: Shatakshi Sharma, Co-CEO Global Governance Initiative, Ex-BCG Management Consultant, Former Policy Advisor, Tony Blair Institute for Global Change