The best part of working at BCG is that you get to define your own career path. You can choose what you like doing and excel in it with the help of an excellent support system provided by partners and other peers.
My background is in consumer insights, and I joined BCG after practicing consumer research for almost nine years in top-tier market research firms. I joined BCG as a consultant in the expert track, assigned to lead the Southeast Asia Center for Customer Insight.
In my first case, right from day one, I was seen as the expert on the consumer topic and was leading the discussion around it. At the same time, I was able to go beyond consumer insights to learn about the business dynamics and how to effectively use consumer insights to come up with impactful recommendations.
BCG also provided me with the opportunity to publish thought leadership reports on consumers in ASEAN. It was again a great learning experience on authoring reports, identifying key consumer and market trends, going beyond what is happening today to predict consumer behavior in the next five years, and, finally, articulating our message in an impactful way. I coauthored four reports on Indonesia and Bangladesh consumers, which were covered widely in business media and generated a lot of client conversations.
Finally, the industry exposure has been excellent. I have worked in diverse industries, from financial services to consumer goods to heavy engineering, which has helped me widen my learning across industries.
Prior to joining BCG, Vivek was associate director of consumer insights at Nielsen Singapore, handling regional business. He is a postgraduate in international business and a graduate in information technology.
Q: How has BCG helped you grow and succeed?
A: BCG provides diverse industry exposure. On a Friday, I may be working on a case to understand the beverage landscape in Thailand, and on the following Monday I get to work on a case in which we are helping a mining client to optimize its pricing. The width of learning is tremendous and cross-industry learning helps in coming up with innovative solutions to client problems.
Q: What characteristics do you believe define a BCGer?
A: A BCGer is a type A personality, a winner in all fields, and a role model for others—someone who is a born leader. But the challenge for recruiting is that not every type A is a good team player; born leaders are not necessary good followers. At BCG, we value individual capabilities as much as being a team player—someone who can be part of the team, perform the role to the best of his or her abilities, and also help peers succeed.
Second, the most important characteristics that differentiate BCGers from others is their ability to solve the toughest problems. Problems that make anyone else say, “Wow, that’s going to be really difficult” get a BCGer completely fired up to take the problem head-on, put a structure around it, and simplify it.
Q: What is something that has surprised you about working at BCG?
A: What surprised me most about working at BCG is discovering that it’s a myth that management consulting does not provide a work-life balance. BCG is one of the top employers in the world because it has implemented best-in-class employee-friendly mechanisms to ensure that any employee can have a good work-life balance without sacrificing career growth. Predictability, teaming, and open communication (PTO) as well as Flexibility@BCG are some of the mechanisms that help balance the work load and let you take breaks and return to work refreshed.