Greg Boison shares his personal journey and perpetual appreciation of the people who make up BCG.
For 15 years, I worked at Lockheed Martin, where I had the opportunity to fulfill a lot of different functions. I worked in strategy, M&A, business development, and running P&Ls. Besides supporting the US Department of Defense, US Department of Energy, and the FBI, my final role was in homeland security and cybersecurity.
I thought about returning to BCG almost the whole time I was away.
I missed the well-rounded people at BCG—their immense creativity and outgoing energy—and although I worked with some great people in my other roles, I hadn’t experienced anything else like BCG. So, when making the transition from this working environment to a very large, heterogeneous organization, I found there was (understandably) less comradery than on a BCG case team. I missed the collaborative culture tremendously.
Even though I was having strategic conversations with senior government leaders, the teams around me were positioned to prioritize other objectives. Following this experience, it was so great to return to the business challenges and work that BCG enjoys every day.
Well, for starters, I had my first BCG case interview at age 21, so going into it again with almost 20 years of nitty-gritty operational experience while also lacking my former ability to stick to only the big picture―that made it a much different conversation!
Besides that, I had extremely high expectations coming back to BCG, and my return far and away exceeded all of them. Everyone told me how different BCG had become, but I found the working environment to be just as comfortable and great as I remembered.
BCG seems to have grown exponentially. We still have a great team dynamic within our practice and a close-knit office, so it’s amazing when you take a step back and consider the number of new offices that have been created over the years. When I first joined BCG, I believe there were 50 people from the Americas in associate training, which is nothing compared to the associate class size today.
It’s so great to see people coming from more diverse backgrounds, and I love the way they’ve expanded accommodations for the Advanced Degree Careers program and the Expert Career Track, most importantly. My experience from Lockheed Martin helped me bring a unique perspective to the expert role, and I was able to collaborate in an extremely effective way with lifelong BCGers who have spent their careers building a well-established strategic toolkit.
The highlight for me has been BCG’s flexibility and ability to let me grow into the roles as I was comfortable and ready for them.
Upon my return, I was able to develop quickly from a first-case consultant into a subject matter expert and then into the role I have now by combining my past BCG experience with the expertise I gained outside the firm. I now oversee multiple case teams as a broader expert and case manager. My growth story is only possible because of the trust I had in my colleagues and managers to quickly put me in front of senior clients to showcase my expertise and skill set in the strategic context of the case. Being able to run multiple teams in that kind of effective and efficient fashion is unique to BCG.
Recently, we’ve been building a startup practice within BCG in the federal public sector. It’s been great to leverage what I’ve learned at Lockheed Martin to create one of these organizations by supporting proposal writing and organizational standup. I’ve had the luxury of not just being a consultant, but also being able to help support the standup of business operations in the federal public sector.
My advice for alumni is to meet occasionally with people still at BCG after you leave, even if it’s just having lunch with a partner annually. After I left, I found that keeping relationships at BCG was useful not only to challenge where I was in my career, but also to help me understand what was evolving at BCG and determine the right time to return to the firm.