McKinsey, BCG, Bain… The big consulting firms still attract young graduates

McKinsey, BCG, Bain… The big consulting firms still attract young graduates

The best-known strategy consulting firm, McKinsey, has received nearly 10,000 applications in its French office alone since September 2022, or 30% more than last year. LIONEL BONAVENTURE / AFP

INVESTIGATION – Despite a tight job market and business that may have tarnished their image, the three American firms remain highly acclaimed by the best profiles of the Grandes Ecoles.

On his face, the stress is palpable. Xavier* is about to pass the last “round” of “processrecruitment for a major American strategy consulting firm: the much dreaded ordeal of the “case”. Two consultants on duty will present him in less than a quarter of an hour with the practical case of a company that calls on the firm, for any type of mission. It’s up to Xavier to imagine the best response to him in a few minutes. No idea what problem it will have to solve.

The pressure is mounting. However, from the height of his 23 years, Xavier has seen others: two years of preparatory classes, the competitions of the grandes écoles, the orals of HEC. So many brilliantly successful trials. “This is the completion of my whole journey, joining one of the top three consulting firms in the world”says the young man.

Consulting companies – including the American firm to which Xavier is applying – have been monopolizing the ranking of business sectors for several years…

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