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September 30, 2020

BCG Gamma: what is it and how can I work there

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In this article we'll learn what BCG Gamma is and how you can work for them! 

We’ll focus in particular on candidates from technical backgrounds and how they can quickly get to grips with case interviews.

Let’s get started!

1. What is BCG Gamma?

BCG Gamma is a subdivision of BCG which focuses on using advanced data analysis methods, as well as AI and machine learning, to come up with answers to business problems. It is BCG Gamma’s strong belief that ‘competitive advantage exists at the intersection of data science, technology, people, and deep business expertise.’

All this means that they use both traditional consulting methods together with an expertise in data science to deal with novel business situations. 

The emergence of BCG Gamma can be explained by the rapid expansion of technology, which has brought along a whole set of unique issues and opportunities to consulting firms that generalist consultants are just not fully equipped to deal with.

The importance of micro-targeting in marketing and cybersecurity are just a couple of issues that stem mainly from the wide availability of large volumes of data.

With this availability comes the need to understand and use said data in an efficient manner. Here’s where BCG Gamma comes in.

BCG consultants extract information using deep data analysis and machine learning, and develop predictive algorithms which transform businesses. In their own words, they are looking for ‘big wins’ with data and for ways that companies can ‘accelerate and monetize’ those ‘big wins’.

This means that, unlike generalist consultants, BCG Gamma actually work alongside their clients in an Agile manner to quickly develop and implement solutions to problems.

Because they deliver an actual tangible solution rather than a recommendation, BCG Gamma’s involvement with a project is longer than that of generalist consultants – usually 9-12 months.

1.1. How does BCG Gamma operate?

An example of a BCG Gamma program is personalizing a clinical care program for a health insurance company.

By doing a combined analysis of data from medical claims and procedures that patients underwent, BCG Gamma developed a strategy which drew up a personalized intervention road-map for each patient, causing them to spend less time in the hospital and saving the client $1bn.

1.2. BCG Gamma vs. McKinsey Digital and Bain Vector

BCG isn’t alone in bringing tech solutions to consulting. McKinsey and Bain each have their own digital consulting divisions, McKinsey Digital and Bain Vector.

While there is a lot of overlap between how the three operate, in particular their use of data science and machine learning, the main difference is that BCG Gamma focuses more on improving business operations with data analysis solutions, whereas both McKinsey Digital and Bain Vector offer a larger array of tech solutions which include modernizing clients’ core technology.

1.3 Whom does BCG Gamma hire?

Naturally, in order to achieve this blend of business consulting and tech expertise BCG Gamma hire people from technical backgrounds, of various levels of experience (from undergrads to full-fledged specialists in their field) such as:

  • software engineers

  • machine learning engineers

  • analytics architects

  • data scientists

It offers three career paths, as part of the:

  • Engineering Team

  • Data Science Team

  • Advanced Analytics Team

So, if you want a job with BCG Gamma a technical background is required.

2. What is the selection process?

Because of the nature of the technical role, apart from the fit interview you will have to face a technical test based on the role you are applying for. This will either be a coding or a data science test.

Due to your technical expertise you will be familiar with this. You will also have to face one or several case interviews. This is common for consulting roles and although you might not be familiar with the concept you shouldn’t' worry: we can give you all the tools to ace this portion of the interview!

You might also be thinking that because you are entering the consulting world additional qualifications, such as an MBA, may be required.

3. Do I need an MBA to work at BGC Gamma?

The short answer is: No, you don’t!

While an MBA might be somewhat helpful networking and getting an interview in a general consulting role (more about the pros and cons of an MBA here ), BCG Gamma is looking for technical knowledge, experience in the industry as well as a strong academic background.

However, you have to remember that this is still a consulting role! So, despite your technical expertise you will still be expected to think and solve problems as a consultant would! In fact, BCG Gamma stress that the most important step in their process is understanding their clients’ business – the algorithm used to solve the problem comes second.

Therefore, you will be asked to showcase those consulting skills in the case interview.

4. What are BCG Gamma case interviews like?

Your BCG Gamma case interview will be very similar to a generalist consultant one. In fact, throughout the interview process you will be assessed by both GAMMA and generalist consultants.

You will be given an initial business problem, you will have to make some calculations based on data that the interviewer provides and be expected to make a recommendation at the end.

There may be some more technical content – so make sure you know your field well to understand the questions! But this will most likely be very straightforward and only there to set the scene for you to showcase your analytical and problem-solving skills just like a generalist consultant would.

Indeed, BCG Gamma suggest that you should prepare just as you would for a generalist consultant case interview .

5. How can I prepare for BCG Gamma case interviews?

As previously mentioned, you should already be on top of the technical aspect!

What you will have to learn is how to efficiently crack cases and get into the consulting mindset. 

This can be quite tricky at first because you will be expected to solve problems in a certain which includes:

  • having a hypothesis-driven approach

  • using quick mental math to back up your arguments

  • communicating your results efficiently

Here are a few tips to get you started!

5.1 Listen, take notes and talk through your work

When your interviewer sets up the problem, listen carefully and take notes as you go along. It will be very useful to be able to refer quickly to information from previous stages of the interview.

Being organized will also help you structure your responses and avoid going off in directions that are not relevant. It will also help talk the interviewer through your work.

Which means that, whether you are doing math or setting out the key issues, it is vital that you explain exactly what it is you’re thinking and doing. A good idea that’s kept to yourself is useless!

5.2 Structure your approach

The top recommendation that BCG consultants give is make sure you understand and frame the case. However, the interviewer will be looking for a framework specific to the facts of the case, NOT a generic framework!

Generic frameworks (or textbook frameworks, as BCG consultants call them) are very dangerous because they entail assigning each case to one of several categories and then providing generic answers. We have explained the dangers of generic frameworks in case studies in our article on the famous resource Case in Point.

What BCG Gamma interviewers are looking for is for you to use a hypothesis-driven approach and display your analytical skills based on the case that is in front of you!

5.3 Practice a LOT!

Cracking cases effortlessly doesn’t come easy – so don’t expect to prepare the night before the interview and do well! It will take some time to get into the mind frame of a consultant.

Practicing cases is the other top recommendation that BCG consultants involved in the interview process make. However, as Nadja Yousif, BCG Partner and Managing Director, puts it you don’t want to try and memorize as many cases as possible! More often than not, it’s about the quality of the time that you put into practicing, rather than the quantity!

BCG interviewers also love to see innovation happening right before them, welcoming new approaches to a case, so make sure you make full use of your creativity!

6. Sounds tough? Don’t worry, help is at hand!

We offer you the best tools in order to acquire the required background knowledge and reasoning skills to crack any case interview.

6.1 MCC Academy

Your first stop is the MCC Academy - a comprehensive, structured course of full-length, high quality, animated video lessons.

It will teach you how to solving cases from start to finish by guiding you through finance and accounting basics to advanced reasoning skills, consulting math and our Problem Driven Structure case method .

Learn more about MCC Academy here

Additionally, we will provide you with a rich library of generalist case interviews which you can use to practice your skills as much as you need.

6.2 Practice with a real consultant

However, the single best way to simulate a case interview is with an experienced professional. MyConsultingCoach offers the best quality coaching experience on the market – all of our coaches have at least two years consulting experience with either McKinsey, Bain or BCG, combined with well as extensive coaching expertise. In short, these are case interview experts.

From them you will receive the kind of detailed, actionable feedback which takes your skillset to the next level and greatly increases your chances of landing a job.

Learn more about coaching here .

6.3 Mentoring: the optimal path to your dream job

For those who have little time to spare – as many of the BCG Gamma candidates who might already have a demanding job in their respective fields – the most efficient way to prepare is to sign up for our comprehensive mentoring program.

Let an experienced MBB consultant take personal charge of planning and overseeing your whole case interview preparation!

From editing your resume and cover letter, to guiding you through our course material, mentoring gives you the best possible chance of getting a job at BCG Gamma!

Find out more about mentoring here.