McKinsey in developing country or strategy& in Dubai


I'm exteremly lucky and I recieved an offer from McKinsey in my home country ( a developing country in the middle east) and also an offer from strategy& in Dubai. I was looking for advice on which to accept 

Pros of mckinsey/cons of strategy& in developing region: 

1) its McKinsey, the brand name is unparalleled 

2) I'm actually very curious to see how the firm operates from within, and I'm attracted to be the 'McKinsey' consultant 

3) I've been working on building friendships and connections in my home country and although idm leaving I just dont want to restart building my social life. Although I did live in Dubai and know people there 

4) I liked everyone I dealt with in McKinsey they seem genuine while I have this eerie feeling when the strategy& consultants came to campus. And I generally dont like PwC ( they offered me a job with laughable pay and had a terrible recruiting process that took over an entire year)  

pros of strategy&/cons of McKinsey 

1) I'll live alone. Which is a major factor from here.  In my culture you cant move out ( even if u have the money) unless for marriage or work abroad

2) the salary is double. And even when accounting for cost of living and living alone and all the savings is almost also double. And financial independence and saving early is important for me 

3) I dont want to be trapped in my country in terms of exits opportunities and even maybe Dubai is seen more favorable for MBA recruiting if I go that route 

What are your thoughts? 

Comments (11)

  • Prospect in Consulting

Congrats on both offers! Curious to know, what is the start date of these roles? Are these for immediate start or for FT 2022?

ushguli, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Congrats! McKinsey is clearly the better name, and Strategy& is becoming more and more integrated into PWC. If you liked the people at McKinsey more, than that is the most important. In terms of global mobility, McKinsey will give you international projects and will allow you to easily move to Dubai/elsewhere down the road if you choose. 

A5s, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Seconding this. The pay and the international opportunities will come. Focus on finding an environment where you'll get along with people, learn a lot, and develop your resume. Sounds like that's McKinsey for you.

  • Associate 2 in Consulting

Sounds like an offer with McK Pakistan (only ME office I know of with significantly lower pay)? If your goal is to leave for a US MBA or eventually transfer to another global office, go with McKinsey. Short-term personal sacrifice in terms of lifestyle and pay for better long-term outcomes.

If you are really dead-set on building a career in MENA (particularly GCC), then S& is a good place to start. However, S& has a historically bad culture that continues to follow them around for a good reason. Very cliquey and political. 

Squalus, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I second this. S& is one of the top names in the MENA region, but a buddy of mine really hated it there. He spent considerable time on the beach just because of the connection-first way of staffing.

  • Associate 2 in Consulting

also think about the type of projects you will be on. i heard that many firms based in dubai focus a lot on Saudi government clients (or other similar type work). 

id recommend you post your question on fishbowl (app/website) - its dedicated towards consulting and youd get much more insight. 

Ruhm, what's your opinion? Comment below:

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