The following is an excerpt from a field report. This reader received a full time offer from BCG following a three-month Visiting Associate (VA) role.
The second topic I would like to cover is finding yourself in a position of getting a VA offer instead of a full time Associate offer (not usual). It happens in offices which almost exclusively recruit Associates by choosing from their Visiting Associates, which is the case in my office.
As I had a full time job already, I applied for the full time Associate position, while most people apply straight out of university and thus their only option in my office is to go for the VA role. BCG explains this by telling you that they must be 100% sure of their choice, as they really want their people to perform on the job.
Anyway, when I got my feedback from the interviews, I was very clearly told which areas I would need to show top level performance in during my VAship to get the full time offer. I was also told that they really want to be able to give me the full time offer so I shouldn't treat it as some sort of sign that I am not good enough but rather I should just show them that I can perform to their standards.
So, I think if anyone finds themselves in this position and they are confident in their skills and are committed to working hard, then they should give it a chance! It is definitely worth it. And if you get an offer but somehow feel that this job is not for you, it's much easier to simply not accept it. It is a two way deal, they get to try you and you get to try them. Even if a full time offer after the VAship does not materialize, you still have a unique experience of seeing how a strategy house works.