AMA: Former McKinsey EM

All, It has been awhile. I did an AMA quite a long time ago ("Ask me anything: Project Leader/Engagement Manager/Case Team Leader at MBB") and predictably, a lot has changed. I left McKinsey as an EM and am now happily employed at a larger/growing startup.

So I thought I would create another AMA, as I'm now a bit more free to talk about my experience in consulting and my advice on recruiting. So please fire away, but please respect the following rules:

- Please don't ask a question that's been asked in the thread before
- Please don't ask me to divulge confidential information about McKinsey's recruiting process. Similarly, I will likely choose to be vague about some details of my McKinsey tenure for the sake of anonymity
- If you have more specific questions about your individual candidacy or have things that are better discussed privately, please send me a PM.

Lastly, please give me time to respond; I'll do the best I can!

All the best!

Karl

Mod Note (Andy): This AMA originally went up in January but @karl_pilkington" told me he's still able to take questions, so fire away!

Comments (142)

Jan 14, 2016

What skills do you think have been most important for you during your McKinsey years and your current work at your start up? In other words, what would you tell someone to learn in their college years that would help them later down the line in consulting related work?

Best Response
Jan 14, 2016
sprint123:

What skills do you think have been most important for you during your McKinsey years and your current work at your start up? In other words, what would you tell someone to learn in their college years that would help them later down the line in consulting related work?

Good question. When I look back, I do see a strong linkage between what is helping me be successful now and what I learned / was successful at when I was at McK.

When you boil down to a very simple level, the big skill buckets at McK were 1) Problem solving ability and 2) Leadership.

1) This isn't just cognitive ability. This is how you deconstruct a problem, structure your thinking, gather and understand data, then package and present your ideas in a coherent story. What I wish I did more of prior to McK was not just calculating numbers, but questioning them and thinking about what those numbers were really saying. Breaking apart a problem isn't memorizing frameworks - it is how you think. Practice it. Then it's about storytelling. How would you explain to your grandma why you think company x will succeed or not?

2) I won't even try to solve this one, but my advice is to know yourself. Everyone has different leadership styles and there are different avenues to being a successful leader. Find yours and double down on it. Be introspective and learn to change and adjust.

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Jan 14, 2016

If you had to do it over again, would you go the consulting route over other avenues? Do you feel like it has really given you a boost in your career you couldn't have gotten otherwise?

Jan 14, 2016
Eskimo Brothers:

If you had to do it over again, would you go the consulting route over other avenues? Do you feel like it has really given you a boost in your career you couldn't have gotten otherwise?

A resounding, 100% yes. This was as close to a career rocket ship as I could have imagined. Consulting isn't for everyone, but if it's something you are a good fit for and you go into it with a clear idea of what you want from the experience, it is awesome. There was no way I was going to want to make the push for Partner, and I knew I wanted the experience of being an Engagement Manager. In the end, I learned a ton in a short amount of time, met some great people, and got to have some really incredible experiences.

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Jan 14, 2016

What's your current role at the startup / how did this opportunity come to you?

Jan 14, 2016
Manks:

What's your current role at the startup / how did this opportunity come to you?

I am in strategy with some marketing mixed in. I got the opportunity through a fellow McK alum. I had a very focused job search, almost entirely network-driven, which afforded me some nice choices.

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Jan 14, 2016

Nice. That's pretty unreal how strong of a network you get from working at MBB.

What kind of strategy do you focus on if you don't mind me getting more specific? Pricing? Growth?

Jan 14, 2016

Can you buy bottles with Starwood points?

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Jan 14, 2016
CRE:

Can you buy bottles with Starwood points?

Ha. Probably, but I didn't have to worry about paying for bottles if the Partner was taking us out for dinner.

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Jan 14, 2016

Advice for newly graduated analyst who want to switch over to consulting? (In terms of recruiting, networking, etc)

Jan 14, 2016
keithape:

Advice for newly graduated analyst who want to switch over to consulting? (In terms of recruiting, networking, etc)

Uphill. All of the MBB basically do all their undergrad hiring at once and rarely hire experienced BA's (at least from what I saw at McK). Bigger question in my mind is why are you newly graduated and looking for a new gig? That's a story you'll have to tell for any consulting firm you apply to.

Jan 14, 2016

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Jan 14, 2016
Stillmoves5628:

Thanks a lot for doing this! I have 3 questions:1) Looking back at your time at McKinsey, is there anything you would have done differently?2) How long were you an EM for?3) How did you know, when you started, that you did not want to try to make partner but that you did want to have experience as an EM?

1) On the whole, no. I think I did pretty well for myself there - I was an above average but not distinctive performer and got good work. However, I do think that I should have done a better job networking and playing the politics. Much of the job early on as an Associate is about building the skillset, but the smart ones know how to play the networking and politics from day 1. I wasn't one of those, and when I hit EM it made things harder for me. I did good work and was known as a good team leader, but that ceases to be enough once you are a mid-tenured EM. Then it is almost entirely about positioning yourself to get designated as an AP, then elected as a Partner. To be blunt, that's mostly politics.

2) Two years
3) See my comments on #1. I wanted the project mgmt, executive exposure, analytical skills, storytelling, etc. that is required to be a good EM, but I found the politics very unappealing. Some may disagree (probably disproportionally those who are AP's or Partners) but I saw the AP role as basically cranking out LOP's at your "core" clients, being your "supporters" bitch, and "building a knowledge base" to form the key pillars of your "program". Don't get me wrong - this is the way things are, and I'm not suggesting that they change it. It's clearly working. But there's a reason why a lot of people don't see that making a push for Partner is for them.

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Jan 15, 2016
karl_pilkington:

I should have done a better job networking and playing the politics. Much of the job early on as an Associate is about building the skillset, but the smart ones know how to play the networking and politics from day 1.

Can you talk in more detail about what it takes to play office politics well from the start -- it sounds like the Associates had some experience in an office setting already, so what should a new-to-the-working-world BA do to stay on the ball?

Array

Jan 14, 2016

I did not do well in college due to health issues, I graduated with a 3.2 GPA in the end in Economics with a minor in Spanish after 1 year of study delay (final year was a 4.0 straight). I am currently 23.

Since starting college I wanted to go into consultancy but got very distracted by things going on in life with regards to health and family.

I tried applying to even the most basic events organized by McKinsey, Bain, BCG, Oliver Wyman and Roland Berger, all have been unsuccesful. I agree with their selection (since they only see the paper), however I personally believe that I am a good fit. Of course I can not prove this unless I actually meet people, or show this on paper (grades,ECs, etc).

I am afraid that if I take a job that is currently suitable with my profile, that I will regret it for the rest of my life since I do not live up to my potential (I think).

For that reason I would like to do another bachelor degree, preferably in AI, math or physics (I would love to learn more about), however at the moment I would still love to end up working as a top consultant. Then develop myself more in leadership in my university and internships, all of which I had not done during my college years.

Would you think this idea is absurd? As in even if I graduate with a 4.0, good internships and ECs, I still will not make it to my goal as working for McKinsey, BCG, Bain, or those that come close to it? Because they will see it as a weakness (''failing'' the first time).

Thank you for your time.

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Jan 14, 2016
LFG123:

I did not do well in college due to health issues, I graduated with a 3.2 GPA in the end in Economics with a minor in Spanish after 1 year of study delay (final year was a 4.0 straight). I am currently 23.

Since starting college I wanted to go into consultancy but got very distracted by things going on in life with regards to health and family.

I tried applying to even the most basic events organized by McKinsey, Bain, BCG, Oliver Wyman and Roland Berger, all have been unsuccesful. I agree with their selection (since they only see the paper), however I personally believe that I am a good fit. Of course I can not prove this unless I actually meet people, or show this on paper (grades,ECs, etc).

I am afraid that if I take a job that is currently suitable with my profile, that I will regret it for the rest of my life since I do not live up to my potential (I think).

For that reason I would like to do another bachelor degree, preferably in AI, math or physics (I would love to learn more about), however at the moment I would still love to end up working as a top consultant. Then develop myself more in leadership in my university and internships, all of which I had not done during my college years.

Would you think this idea is absurd? As in even if I graduate with a 4.0, good internships and ECs, I still will not make it to my goal as working for McKinsey, BCG, Bain, or those that come close to it? Because they will see it as a weakness (''failing'' the first time).

Thank you for your time.

Poor grades are not insurmountable, but it is very difficult if you cannot get past the resume screen. How are your job prospects otherwise? Can you find a job that you will be very interested in, do well at, and learn a lot from? If so, consider doing that for 2 years then going to b-school.

Jan 14, 2016

Thank you for your reply. I tried emailing the recruitment of several companies organizing these events as well as admission offices of business schools, but out of 300 carefully written and polite emailsI only recevied a handful of replies.

I have been offered jobs at local and unknown consultancy firms, backoffice accounting roles at larger firms (such as IBM), ETF trader. I realize I should be happy with those offers (its something), but I do not see how they will truly develop me in the long run. Nor do I think they help me getting into business school as no one has ever heard of these.

Most other companies here require a masters degree, but the problems I face are:

  • companies (I have been told) tend to only look at undergraduate GPA when hiring, since most people perform really well in their masters degree
  • My undergrad GPA is not good enough to get into a good masters programme
  • I wont be able to go back to do another bachelor degree after finishing my masters (in term of financial possibilities)
  • Graduate GPA wont be taken into account by business schools

Besides all that, and job prospects, I sometimes just feel not having challenged myself enough in college and I feel this hunger on an intellectual level to learn more. But then again if someone would offer me a a really interesting job I would probably take that over feeding my ''hunger'' in an academic setting.

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Jan 15, 2016

I know you said you didn't play the politics well enough, but was there a moment when you decided that consulting wasn't for you anymore? Similarly, did you always know you wanted to move to industry/startup or were you determined to go partner track out of b school (I'm assuming because you mentioned associate experience but not analyst).

TIA, a career consultant who's trying to figure out his career.

Jan 15, 2016
spinergy:

I know you said you didn't play the politics well enough, but was there a moment when you decided that consulting wasn't for you anymore? Similarly, did you always know you wanted to move to industry/startup or were you determined to go partner track out of b school (I'm assuming because you mentioned associate experience but not analyst).

TIA, a career consultant who's trying to figure out his career.

I went in (you are correct, as an Asc, not as a BA) with the mindset that I knew 100% that I wanted to put in at least a year as an EM to get all the training and toolkit stuff that's required to be successful to that point. And if I were to consider going for Partner, then it was on McK to convince me to stay. So in essence, I never really decided that consulting wasn't for me. I had the ingoing hypothesis that at some point somewhere around my second year as an EM, I'd realize that so I was prepared for it.

At some point in your McK career, the word shifts from being about your work (did you as an EM deliver a good study? was your team happy? did you have the client impact expected and then some?) and more about your trajectory to being elected a Partner. This is all basically about communicating your brand and why you are valuable to the Firm and its clients.

I loved solving problems and working with my team and my clients. I hated doing client development work (proposals). I also looked ahead of me and saw AP's and Partners and decided I didn't want to live that life. When you make Partner, you do not just head out to your summer home and hang out whilst your team's work their tails off. You are still on the hamster wheel, but it is just called the "path to Director" and it is no less stressful than making Partner to begin with.

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Jan 15, 2016

Thanks for doing this!

1) I will be starting at McK later this year as an associate - you seemed to be fairly successful there, and I'm a bit nervous of working for the very strong / distinctive ratings when all the people are really motivated and bright. What did you do to make yourself stand out and be above average?

2) My summer associate project was fairly intense - midnight nights during the week the norm, fair chunk of weekend work as well. I got the impression that's unusual, but am not so sure. I know there's no "typical" engagement, but what would you say the middle 50% of your life was like at McK lifestyle-wise?

Thanks again.

Jan 15, 2016
palwhan:

Thanks for doing this!

1) I will be starting at McK later this year as an associate - you seemed to be fairly successful there, and I'm a bit nervous of working for the very strong / distinctive ratings when all the people are really motivated and bright. What did you do to make yourself stand out and be above average?

2) My summer associate project was fairly intense - midnight nights during the week the norm, fair chunk of weekend work as well. I got the impression that's unusual, but am not so sure. I know there's no "typical" engagement, but what would you say the middle 50% of your life was like at McK lifestyle-wise?

Thanks again.

1) I think it is very easy to look at your peers and be a bit in awe. You will be working with people that have done some incredible things in their careers and look ridiculously impressive on paper. But the sooner you get past the intimidation that comes with that, the better off you will be. Quite simply, in your first 9 months, focus solely on doing good work. Learn the Associate toolkit and get feedback and help from your EM to strengthen it. Take initiative - don't just sit back and wait to be asked, but be proactive. Do whatever you can to help the team push their collective thinking - share your opinion. Question things. Be confident and assertive without being arrogant or pushy. I think success as an Asc is the sum of doing a lot of these things right (and learning those things fast)

2) For me, average was fly to the client super early Monday AM, work till Thursday on average 8 or 9am to 7pm from the client site, break for dinner/workout, then work in the hotel until 11 or midnight. Fly home Thursday late afternoon or evening depending where I was. 9-5 day in the office or at home on Friday. No weekend work. Weekend was indeed abnormal in my 4 years with McK. But feel free to PM me if you want more info on this - lifestyle tends to vary across offices, industries, type of study, etc.

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Jan 17, 2016

Many thanks!!

Jan 15, 2016

Could you specify what the politics game was about, in term of daily basis, and what would you have done differently to be better at politics from day 1?

Jan 15, 2016

What can you expect during your first few weeks on the job? If you don't get assigned any work what would you do? How would you best position yourself in a new job? Tips/advice?

Jan 16, 2016
moonlight:

What can you expect during your first few weeks on the job? If you don't get assigned any work what would you do? How would you best position yourself in a new job? Tips/advice?

You'll go to orientation, which is basically a week long training of the basics. Then you'll get staffed. They'll try to put you with a study that you'll be able to learn well on with a tenured EM. Best thing to do is learn and ask questions. Have confidence, but be open and moldable. I've had "newbies" on my team that were totally awesome, and much of that was because they were not afraid to push themselves but balanced that by being really teachable.

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Jan 15, 2016

Thank you for your post. What are the chances that a candidate with stellar credentials will be hired off-cycle? I inquired about a position in December 2015, was told it was too late because the incoming class will be entering in January 2016, that I should fill out the general applicant profile in March 2016 and wait until applying for the January 2017 incoming class. I am interested in my chances of being hired off-cycle.

Jan 16, 2016
CLU:

Thank you for your post. What are the chances that a candidate with stellar credentials will be hired off-cycle? I inquired about a position in December 2015, was told it was too late because the incoming class will be entering in January 2016, that I should fill out the general applicant profile in March 2016 and wait until applying for the January 2017 incoming class. I am interested in my chances of being hired off-cycle.

It depends mostly on the needs of the Firm. But I think it's fairly rare, as in I did not see too many off cycle hires. Also, I see you said "stellar credentials". What does that really mean? If it means you went to a great school and are (from what I can see) a banker, consider how that profile is any better than someone else McK has already hired on-cycle.

Jan 15, 2016

Thanks for the AMAs. I'm a recent grad now in a finance rotational program at a F50 company. Wanting to take my career towards the consulting path for the challenge/problem solving work/diverse learning experience.

Would I have a shot at a MBB with 1-2 years of corp finance (2-4 rotations) experience or should I plan for a post MBA transition?

Jan 16, 2016
JamesCon:

Thanks for the AMAs. I'm a recent grad now in a finance rotational program at a F50 company. Wanting to take my career towards the consulting path for the challenge/problem solving work/diverse learning experience.

Would I have a shot at a MBB with 1-2 years of corp finance (2-4 rotations) experience or should I plan for a post MBA transition?

anything can happen, but I think your chances are vastly better going through the MBA route. What you can do now though is kick ass at your current job. Drive impact. Be a leader. Stand out.

Jan 16, 2016

Yeah Im curious about how you dealt with office politics...Can you tell us 2 situations you really despised being in and how you wrangled your way out ? This is just to prepare me for whats ahead with all the TypeA colleagues Ill need to deal with !

Jan 16, 2016
prodigypringle:

Yeah Im curious about how you dealt with office politics...Can you tell us 2 situations you really despised being in and how you wrangled your way out ? This is just to prepare me for whats ahead with all the TypeA colleagues Ill need to deal with !

Some things I didn't like:
- People constantly trumpeting their contributions to the office....if you organized a sunday brunch with colleagues you would take a picture of the group then email it to the entire office and talk about how wonderful your event was at bringing your class together for some fun. That's slightly exaggerated but it happens a lot
- Being expected to spend a lot of non-study time helping "supporters" with "client development", which I basically saw as bitch work on proposals for Partners who may or may not help you out later down the line. And when I needed some help later down the line, those folks didn't pick up the phone
- Being pressured to take a bad study with horrible travel to the middle of buttfuck nowhere for 4 months because it would "generate stronger support" and "show some sparkle" in a functional area that I was supposedly known for. This is a lot of why I left - the work and industries people wanted me to double down on were not something I was interested in at all

In short, the politics is all about making the Partners in your office want to "support", ie staff you and fight for you to be moved up to the next level. You can get there a lot of different ways, and doing the best work isn't necessarily the only way, nor is it foolproof.

Let's be VERY CLEAR - this sort of politics is not exclusive to McK. At McK it is sometimes better and sometimes worse than in other places. I deal with politics in my current role. But in order to want to play the game and position yourself for success, you have to want the end goal. At McK, I did not want the end goal. So playing the game for something I did not want was clearly not an option. And I did very well there so it was quite easy to leave for a great job.

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Jan 18, 2016

Thanks karl_pilkington that was really helpful...I also bought the HBR Office politics just in case :) I dealt with similar situations in my previous consulting firm too...nothing new here... "work that is unacknowledged" is the common theme. I learnt to make the most of the inevitable - find opportunity to learn something in the drudgery.

Jan 16, 2016

Since you were an MBA hire, how many of your fellow bschool students or McK associates did you see do non-MBB consulting pre-MBA then went to bschool and then successfully transition to MBB?

Jan 16, 2016
Manks:

Since you were an MBA hire, how many of your fellow bschool students or McK associates did you see do non-MBB consulting pre-MBA then went to bschool and then successfully transition to MBB?

There were a small handful of people that were Deloitte/Monitor or ATK, but very few of anything else. That's not scientific, it's just from what I can remember. I don't think non-MBB consulting pre-MBA really helped or hurt people's chances.

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Jan 16, 2016

Hi, I am originally from one of those countries that nobody can find on the map. While I am just about to finish my undergraduate degree in my country, I'll be doing a one year Master's at one of the better target schools in US (starting this September). I frankly think that I shouldn't have too many problems getting interviews (I have a very decent CV), but I guess it will be an upward battle trying to do just as well in interviews as other US students who have been preparing for years. My question is what I can do to prepare myself as much as possible to be a competitive candidate? Thanks a lot.

Jan 17, 2016
Jack334:

Hi, I am originally from one of those countries that nobody can find on the map. While I am just about to finish my undergraduate degree in my country, I'll be doing a one year Master's at one of the better target schools in US (starting this September). I frankly think that I shouldn't have too many problems getting interviews (I have a very decent CV), but I guess it will be an upward battle trying to do just as well in interviews as other US students who have been preparing for years. My question is what I can do to prepare myself as much as possible to be a competitive candidate? Thanks a lot.

Be confident. I don't see any reason why you are at a disadvantage. I think it should take no more than 4-6 months of smart and consistent practice to adequately prepare for case interviews. Put in the effort and you can kick some ass.

Jan 18, 2016

Can you comment on exit options from the EM or even AP level from McKinsey? What types of companies/roles did you see peers (who were not gunning for Partner) go in to? Why did you pursue the startup route vs. other options? What were the implications of your choice, in terms of work/life balance and compensation?

Personally, I have gone Deloitte S&O -> F500 Corp Strategy and am about to start my MBA. I am trying to weigh various post-MBA career options and think that your route sounds very interesting/appealing.

Jan 19, 2016
wanna b <span class=keyword_link><a href=//www.wallstreetoasis.com/guide/consulting-case-inte... rel=nofollow>MBB</a></span>:

Can you comment on exit options from the EM or even AP level from McKinsey? What types of companies/roles did you see peers (who were not gunning for Partner) go in to? Why did you pursue the startup route vs. other options? What were the implications of your choice, in terms of work/life balance and compensation?

Personally, I have gone Deloitte S&O -> F500 Corp Strategy and am about to start my MBA. I am trying to weigh various post-MBA career options and think that your route sounds very interesting/appealing.

Exit options at the EM level were excellent. The main benefit is that I knew a lot of folks who had connections to interesting roles and companies. So I focused mostly on these warmer leads where I knew people already or knew the company well already. I wouldn't know about AP exit options, though there is a common hypothesis that AP exits aren't much better than EM exits. My peers exited to a pretty wide variety of things - strategy roles in larger companies, generalist business roles in startups, operating roles in industries they served while at McK. As for me, I wanted something faster paced and growing and I was willing to take on a little more risk (eg equity comp vs cash) to have some fun doing something new. Work life balance is relative. I'm working less hours than at McK but not by a ton, but I'm having fun and feel appreciated and enriched in the work I'm doing.

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Jan 20, 2016

KP, great insight and much appreciated. I'm a new Sr. Mang (probably equivalent to an EM) at a big 4 on the advisory/MC side for financial services firms (bulge brackets, PEs, HFs). I'm a career sell-side M&A and debt capital markets banker and wanted to move to something more strategy/operations/qualitative to get a more holistic view of the industry. Never been a consultant so I'm somewhat concerned that there may be a gap in necessary skills. Anything you can share from your EM days that are required skills, nice to have skills, and waste of your time skills? Also, how much rope did you get in delegating tasks to junior employees you managed? Thank you!

Jan 20, 2016
ZetaMale:

KP, great insight and much appreciated. I'm a new Sr. Mang (probably equivalent to an EM) at a big 4 on the advisory/MC side for financial services firms (bulge brackets, PEs, HFs). I'm a career sell-side M&A and debt capital markets banker and wanted to move to something more strategy/operations/qualitative to get a more holistic view of the industry. Never been a consultant so I'm somewhat concerned that there may be a gap in necessary skills. Anything you can share from your EM days that are required skills, nice to have skills, and waste of your time skills? Also, how much rope did you get in delegating tasks to junior employees you managed? Thank you!

As far as delegating tasks, I pretty much had free reign. I loved the autonomy and trust given to me as an EM. Partners trusted me to deliver good work, supported me, and I got the latitude to run the team. If my team was happy and we were collectively delivering good work, it was happy times.

Your situation is a bit tricky in that you are too senior to be brought in as an Associate whilst you are not junior enough to be brought in as a Partner. I've seen direct to Partner hires of people from other firms but have rarely observed someone coming in directly as an EM or AP. So I don't think so much that it is a gap in skills, it's just where is your entry point?

Jan 22, 2016

If you didn't get a summer undergrad internship, but were put in the "keep in touch" program are you a serious candidate for full time? How many people are put in that program percentage wise?

Jan 22, 2016
Rummy:

If you didn't get a summer undergrad internship, but were put in the "keep in touch" program are you a serious candidate for full time? How many people are put in that program percentage wise?

You should be focused on how to get the job next time around vs gauging how many people were put into an ambiguous "keep in touch" bucket. You have work to do. That's all you need to know.

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Jan 22, 2016
karl_pilkington:

Rummy:If you didn't get a summer undergrad internship, but were put in the "keep in touch" program are you a serious candidate for full time? How many people are put in that program percentage wise?

You should be focused on how to get the job next time around vs gauging how many people were put into an ambiguous "keep in touch" bucket. You have work to do. That's all you need to know.

This isn't a fraternity pledge process. I think it is a fair question, and if you don't know the answer, then say so!

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Jan 22, 2016

Is there a GMAT cuttoff for MBA hires? Can you talk more about that?

Jan 22, 2016

Given that I was rejected at McK, what types of internships would best position me for full-time recruiting? I understand you can frame your summer experience in a bunch of ways, but I was wondering if there was an common profile that fit successful candidates in full-time recruiting. Thanks for doing this.

Jan 28, 2016
funnyhow:

Given that I was rejected at McK, what types of internships would best position me for full-time recruiting? I understand you can frame your summer experience in a bunch of ways, but I was wondering if there was an common profile that fit successful candidates in full-time recruiting. Thanks for doing this.

There really isn't a common profile, though as an undergrad, I would say to focus on balancing two things 1) relevant skills and 2) impact. I am not a big prestige whore, so I hesitate to tell you to go for brand name internships, but to some degree it's a smart idea because recruiters will look at your resume and basically know what they are getting. I would cast a wide net here, but just be able to tell a good story in terms of what you learned and what skills you developed. 2) is more important. Were you one of 50 people in some intern program and you are basically the same as them all? Or did you do something special to distinguish yourself? Did you step up and do a project that's been especially important for the company? Focus on opportunities where you have some runway and room to grow

Jan 28, 2016

Do you have any thoughts on introversion vs extroversion and their affects on a career in consultancy?

Is learning to network difficult or doable?

Thanks for doing this!

Jan 28, 2016
deloittemonkey1:

Do you have any thoughts on introversion vs extroversion and their affects on a career in consultancy?

Is learning to network difficult or doable?

Thanks for doing this!

I have seen more extroverts become career consultants vs introverts. The "typical" (most common) partner myers briggs profile at McKinsey is ENTP (I think). There are fewer introverts but it's not impossible. The nature of the job and how you distinguish yourself lends itself a bit more to extroverts. But as a borderline introvert I can say I really did grow quite a bit as a result of my experience and that it stretched to be better than I would have been anywhere else.

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Jan 28, 2016

Wow, really good to know - coming from an INFJ haha

Jun 11, 2016

Sorry to hear that.

Jan 29, 2016

Thanks for doing this. Have you seen Senior Associates or EMs leave for an MBA, either on a sponsored or non-sponsored basis?

Jan 30, 2016
Alex_305:

Thanks for doing this. Have you seen Senior Associates or EMs leave for an MBA, either on a sponsored or non-sponsored basis?

Not many. The only people at that level without a graduate degree are BAs who get promoted "direct to associate". There are quite a few BAs who leave after 2-3 years for b school though.

Apr 17, 2016
karl_pilkington:

Alex_305:Thanks for doing this. Have you seen Senior Associates or EMs leave for an MBA, either on a sponsored or non-sponsored basis?

Not many. The only people at that level without a graduate degree are BAs who get promoted "direct to associate". There are quite a few BAs who leave after 2-3 years for b school though.

Have you seen a notable difference in b school chances for analysts that apply with 2 years experience at matriculation vs. 3?

Feb 1, 2016

One reason that people chose consulting over banking is the exit opportunities along the road. People cite that a big pay cut from IBD to another role (i.e. corporate finance / development) is a reason to stick to their current IBD job.

To what extent does this hold true in consulting? It seems that most people exitting into an industry seem quite content with their choice? Is this mainly because you do not take a big pay cut in consulting (i.e. does industry pay equally good as consulting)?

Feb 1, 2016
LiamNeeson:

One reason that people chose consulting over banking is the exit opportunities along the road. People cite that a big pay cut from IBD to another role (i.e. corporate finance / development) is a reason to stick to their current IBD job.

To what extent does this hold true in consulting? It seems that most people exitting into an industry seem quite content with their choice? Is this mainly because you do not take a big pay cut in consulting (i.e. does industry pay equally good as consulting)?

Directionally, this is true, with a caveat. From what I've observed, most people at McK up through EM didn't have many complaints about comp. Either they were able to maintain comp, get a raise, or were making a trade-off they were willing to do (eg, less cash for equity). I'm not as informed about AP or Partner exits, as I obviously wasn't one.

You may also want to see the thread that @John-Doe8 posted on the compensation charles aris did.

Feb 1, 2016
karl_pilkington:

LiamNeeson:One reason that people chose consulting over banking is the exit opportunities along the road. People cite that a big pay cut from IBD to another role (i.e. corporate finance / development) is a reason to stick to their current IBD job.To what extent does this hold true in consulting? It seems that most people exitting into an industry seem quite content with their choice? Is this mainly because you do not take a big pay cut in consulting (i.e. does industry pay equally good as consulting)?

Directionally, this is true, with a caveat. From what I've observed, most people at McK up through EM didn't have many complaints about comp. Either they were able to maintain comp, get a raise, or were making a trade-off they were willing to do (eg, less cash for equity). I'm not as informed about AP or Partner exits, as I obviously wasn't one.

You may also want to see the thread that @John-Doe8 posted on the compensation charles aris did.

Thanks. One more question if you do not mind - this also might be location specific, but what percentage of McK employees (post MBA) leave voluntarily vs 'counselled out' of the firm?

Feb 1, 2016

Generally speaking, industry does not pay as well as consulting. Can't speak to exit options at the more senior levels, but for people with ~2-3 years of consulting experience (either at the post-undergrad or the post-MBA level), industry roles will generally pay you roughly what you're currently making, but won't offer the steep trajectory in comp that you would get by staying in consulting.

Most people who leave consulting for industry do it for one of three reasons:

1) The weren't promoted to the next level
2) They're fed up with the lifestyle
3) They're particularly passionate about the industry they're heading into

It can also obviously be a combination of those things.

Note that when I say "industry". I'm referring to roles at large F500-type companies, as opposed to roles at earlier-stage startupy companies or buyside finance roles, each of which are their own distinct categories of jobs.

Feb 1, 2016
humblebot:

Generally speaking, industry does not pay as well as consulting. Can't speak to exit options at the more senior levels, but for people with ~2-3 years of consulting experience (either at the post-undergrad or the post-MBA level), industry roles will generally pay you roughly what you're currently making, but won't offer the steep trajectory in comp that you would get by staying in consulting.

Most people who leave consulting for industry do it for one of three reasons:

1) The weren't promoted to the next level2) They're fed up with the lifestyle3) They're particularly passionate about the industry they're heading into

It can also obviously be a combination of those things.

Note that when I say "industry". I'm referring to roles at large F500-type companies, as opposed to roles at earlier-stage startupy companies or buyside finance roles, each of which are their own distinct categories of jobs.

Thanks for distinguishing between "industry" a la F500 big companies vs the other stuff. I've observed more data points on PE exits, startups, tech, emerging business models, etc. so that colors my perspective of course.

Feb 2, 2016

Thanks for doing this.

If comfortable, could you discuss in round numbers the variance in pay for regional, developing offices at the post-mba level and higher up at EM or AP?

Thanks!

Feb 3, 2016
LBJ23:

Thanks for doing this.

If comfortable, could you discuss in round numbers the variance in pay for regional, developing offices at the post-mba level and higher up at EM or AP?

Thanks!

not inclined to share what i know, which is not really that much anyway.

Jun 8, 2016

How many people, in your experience, leave consulting roles either pre or post mba, for buy side finance roles (PE, HFS, etc)? Also, assuming my goal is to get a PE, HF job further down the road in my carreer ( I am currently an undergraduate), to your experience, would I be better off aiming to start a career at a top consulting (MBB or big 4) firm or at a BB bank? Thanks for your time and input.

Jun 8, 2016
jehr94:

How many people, in your experience, leave consulting roles either pre or post mba, for buy side finance roles (PE, HFS, etc)? Also, assuming my goal is to get a PE, HF job further down the road in my carreer ( I am currently an undergraduate), to your experience, would I be better off aiming to start a career at a top consulting (MBB or big 4) firm or at a BB bank? Thanks for your time and input.

If your goal is PE on the investing side, I would recommend going BB IB. Certainly a much larger funnel and well-worn path to PE than MBB, but I will say that at the pre-MBA level (from what I've observed) McK and Bain do pretty well at placing their stronger undergrad hires.

I don't remember too many hedge fund hires to be honest - Bridgewater called me when I was an EM and I know one person from my office who went there, but I don't know many others.

Jun 8, 2016

Thanks for the thread OP! Very helpful.

I sadly did a no-name MBA out of undergrad (was naive, stupid, and had less lofty career goals at the time). However I will be starting a MS in Health Informatics from a T10 med school and have ~2yrs industry exp at a top hospital as financial analyst.

Would my non-feeder MBA automatically send my CV into the trash for MBB? I'm aiming more for Big4/ACN/etc. firms after graduation, but can aim higher and aggressively network if it means I have a realistic chance.

Jun 9, 2016
Dexter04:

Thanks for the thread OP! Very helpful.

I sadly did a no-name MBA out of undergrad (was naive, stupid, and had less lofty career goals at the time). However I will be starting a MS in Health Informatics from a T10 med school and have ~2yrs industry exp at a top hospital as financial analyst.

Would my non-feeder MBA automatically send my CV into the trash for MBB? I'm aiming more for Big4/ACN/etc. firms after graduation, but can aim higher and aggressively network if it means I have a realistic chance.

You have to look at this as on paper (because resume screen is the first step) why would they choose me over someone else? What is your case or argument for why you deserve an interview slot versus someone who did go to a name brand MBA? Build your case, then make sure you can tell that story on your resume and in person.

Jun 9, 2016

Karl,

How would McKinsey's full time process view someone who is doing a MBA internship in Europe(non-English speaking country) for full time recruiting? Most likely I won't have a local return offer due to tightening Visa requirements in Europe.

Jun 9, 2016
Attack_Chihuaha:

Karl,

How would McKinsey's full time process view someone who is doing a MBA internship in Europe(non-English speaking country) for full time recruiting? Most likely I won't have a local return offer due to tightening Visa requirements in Europe.

It's a holistic look at your experience and ability. Won't overindex on one thing.

Jun 9, 2016
karl_pilkington:

Attack_Chihuaha:Karl,How would McKinsey's full time process view someone who is doing a MBA internship in Europe(non-English speaking country) for full time recruiting? Most likely I won't have a local return offer due to tightening Visa requirements in Europe.

It's a holistic look at your experience and ability. Won't overindex on one thing.

Sorry, was asking how that particular aspect of it would be looked at.

Jun 9, 2016

Thanks for doing this - really informative.

What are your opinions on the weight and ability to sell the CFA charter? Obviously an MBA is the preferred route as it is a more diverse learning curriculum and offers a more extensive network.

My thought process goes back to the hallmark characteristics of success being problem solving and leadership: CFA charterholders clearly have the determination and ability to learn and resolve complex problems, albeit those problems being of a different sort and perhaps those abilities may not be as readily apparent or directly observable - is there a way to spin this and is it viewed as an advantage at all?

Ultimately - is there a place for CFA charterholders within this space? And will the charter alone be equivalent to a top-tier MBA if working in a finance or investment related role?

Jun 9, 2016
GoldenEagle2009:

Thanks for doing this - really informative.

What are your opinions on the weight and ability to sell the CFA charter? Obviously an MBA is the preferred route as it is a more diverse learning curriculum and offers a more extensive network.

My thought process goes back to the hallmark characteristics of success being problem solving and leadership: CFA charterholders clearly have the determination and ability to learn and resolve complex problems, albeit those problems being of a different sort and perhaps those abilities may not be as readily apparent or directly observable - is there a way to spin this and is it viewed as an advantage at all?

Ultimately - is there a place for CFA charterholders within this space? And will the charter alone be equivalent to a top-tier MBA if working in a finance or investment related role?

Tricky one. I know what it takes to get a CFA charter, and it's a big accomplishment. That said, you invested all that time and effort into the process to get some kind of return in your career. That return is obviously going to be lower in a consulting environment than in finance. How much lower? Well, if you're somehow able to find a specialty or finance-focused role within consulting, it could actually pay off pretty well. There are plenty of firms with specialities in or strong financial services practices.

Where it gets tougher for you is if you're trying to stand up the CFA charter as a generalist consultant and competing in that larger pool. The key thing for you is to figure out what story you want to tell in the recruiting process and how to describe the CFA charter as something that adds to your story.

Jun 10, 2016
idontknowthename:

Hi Karl,

I will do my summer internship in one of MBBs. So could you please give me some advice on how to get the return offer? Thanks!

It's very simple. 1) Do good work 2) Don't be an asshole

Also, have an opinion. Be proactive.

For example: instead of "So could you please give me some advice on how to get the return offer?", offer something to the conversation instead of expecting me to provide you a golden list of do's and don'ts. Do some thinking on your own first, then ask for thoughts or additional information.

Jun 10, 2016

Message from Karl

All - I am happy to continue to answer questions here and for several of you, on PM. I believe it to be important to provide balanced, honest, and hopefully useful advice to you all.

If you have benefitted from this information or would like to say "thanks" in a way that would mean a lot to me, please consider the following:

Last week, Professor Bill Klug was senselessly killed in his office at UCLA (http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-ucla-k...). He leaves behind a wife and two children, and by all accounts was a loving, kind mentor to his students and friends.

UCLA has established a fund to support his family (http://giveto.ucla.edu/fund/klug-family-support-fund/ )

I will be making a donation. NO OBLIGATION, but if you feel compelled to do so also, I would personally be grateful.

Back to regularly scheduled programming.

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Jun 11, 2016

Karl,

I'm sorry for your loss. As someone who's from Irvine, the incident was very shocking to me, and I can't imagine how hard it would be for family and friends. I've made a small contribution, and I sincerely hope the family finds all the support that they need during this time of sorrow.

I've certainly found your comments extremely helpful, and I have one specific question.

How would you rate the chance of getting interviews from MBB for someone at Sloan/Booth/Tuck with a buy-side equity research background (fin tech and bio tech coverage, CFA w/ 4 yrs WE at matriculation) with a 750 GMAT? I'm curious to know because when measured against other top MBA students who either had actual industry exposures from F100 companies or who previously worked at solid non-MBB consulting firms like Deloitte S&O, I just have no idea how I'd stack up in the resume screening process. Roughly speaking, would the odds be below, around, or above 50% for each firm?

To give you some context, I graduated from a small private business school with Magna in 2013. I was dinged after an interview earlier this year from one of those schools with a 720 GMAT and without the primary sector coverage responsibility. My work experience up until that point was 2.5 years of equity modeling and credit research, and I think I laid out a good case in my app for a path to consulting (think that's how I got the interview). But when interviewing, I mentioned I wanted to develop educational apps on the side and indicated a possibility of staying in ER/AM as I was pursuing the CFA designation. I heard sounding like I don't know what to do in the short-term is a big no-no, so my guess is that it was the lack of focus in my short-term career goal that hurt me more than anything else (or maybe it was the lowish GMAT from a crowded space, I'm not sure). Assuming I get in this year (a big if, but given the better score and more marketable skills, think it can happen), a quick evaluation from someone in the know would be very helpful in thinking about the next step. Thank you,

Jun 12, 2016
SpencerLou:

Karl,

I'm sorry for your loss. As someone who's from Irvine, the incident was very shocking to me, and I can't imagine how hard it would be for family and friends. I've made a small contribution, and I sincerely hope the family finds all the support that they need during this time of sorrow.

I've certainly found your comments extremely helpful, and I have one specific question.

How would you rate the chance of getting interviews from MBB for someone at Sloan/Booth/Tuck with a buy-side equity research background (fin tech and bio tech coverage, CFA w/ 4 yrs WE at matriculation) with a 750 GMAT? I'm curious to know because when measured against other top MBA students who either had actual industry exposures from F100 companies or who previously worked at solid non-MBB consulting firms like Deloitte S&O, I just have no idea how I'd stack up in the resume screening process. Roughly speaking, would the odds be below, around, or above 50% for each firm?

To give you some context, I graduated from a small private business school with Magna in 2013. I was dinged after an interview earlier this year from one of those schools with a 720 GMAT and without the primary sector coverage responsibility. My work experience up until that point was 2.5 years of equity modeling and credit research, and I think I laid out a good case in my app for a path to consulting (think that's how I got the interview). But when interviewing, I mentioned I wanted to develop educational apps on the side and indicated a possibility of staying in ER/AM as I was pursuing the CFA designation. I heard sounding like I don't know what to do in the short-term is a big no-no, so my guess is that it was the lack of focus in my short-term career goal that hurt me more than anything else (or maybe it was the lowish GMAT from a crowded space, I'm not sure). Assuming I get in this year (a big if, but given the better score and more marketable skills, think it can happen), a quick evaluation from someone in the know would be very helpful in thinking about the next step. Thank you,

Thanks for making the donation.

I think the firms typically give a lot of latitude in terms of people not knowing what they really want to do. Most consultants don't. But the key thing is how you tell that story, and why consulting is attractive to you. With a 750 from one of those schools, you'll be well-positioned. But they'll look at your finance background and ask "What does he really want to do?". This is where networking and telling that story come into play. There are plenty of people with any number of backgrounds who show up at those events and start to tell the story. Where they came from, what they learned, what they want to do next, and why consulting helps them get there. Quite frankly, if I met someone who said "I want to be a career consultant" I'd probably laugh. No one says that.

I think where you may have gone a bit astray the first time is not staying consistent with your message and story. If consulting was part of your application essays but you talked about ER/AM in the interview, you come off as indecisive. The same will apply for consulting. Have your 1 minute elevator pitch for why consulting nailed.

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Jun 12, 2016

That's very helpful, thanks for your insights!

Jun 12, 2016

Karl, do you have any experience with or insight into the Infrastructure group, including which offices it is run out of?

Jun 12, 2016
CRE:

Karl, do you have any experience with or insight into the Infrastructure group, including which offices it is run out of?

I don't, but from what I can see is a blend of people with sector (energy mostly) experience and people with functional (capital investments, real estate, etc.) expertise. Hard to tell if it's branding or if it's a "real thing" they have a lot of experience with. Are you looking at joining or looking at hiring them?

Jun 13, 2016
karl_pilkington:

Are you looking at joining or looking at hiring them?

Most likely not, both because of my professional interests and my lack of school pedigree, but the articles the group puts out on infrastructure projects and investment are fantastic so it caught my eye.

Jun 12, 2016

Thanks for giving us the opportunity to ask questions about your career.

As you oversaw projects, what percentage experts interviews did represent in the global workflow? What I mean by that is time spent during face-to-face or phone interviews, gathering the information, analyzing it and presenting it

Jun 12, 2016
tonixity:

Thanks for giving us the opportunity to ask questions about your career.

As you oversaw projects, what percentage experts interviews did represent in the global workflow? What I mean by that is time spent during face-to-face or phone interviews, gathering the information, analyzing it and presenting it

Quite a bit. These can be internal (to McK) interviews and also interviews within the client. If I was working on a study for a bank, for example, we would interview our internal Firm experts about (non-confidential) insights they may have about the industry in general or the topic we were looking at. We'll also talk to folks at the client, both to gather the history on the topic and to start sharing ideas and analyses. For other things (especially in PE diligence work), we'll often use firms like Gehrson Lehman to talk to other industry experts.

The power of a consulting firm to many clients is to be able to gather together a range of expert insights very quickly and in a synthesized form.

Jun 19, 2016

Thanks very much for the input. It is my understanding that for most projects, you source experts internally and/or through your clients and then ask external networks to provide you with the experts you do not have access to in a timely/cost effective manner.

I work at one of those external firms and enjoy working with you guys a lot because of how much information you give us etc. I hope I can leverage this experience to maybe join a consulting firm. Not necessarily MBB or second or third tier but boutique

Jun 12, 2016

Enjoyed reading all the comments and advice on this thread up to this point. Thanks for doing all of this! Quick question. Have you seen people with BB operations background jump ship over to consulting? Presuming that breaking into MBB might be a reach(?), but more possible to lower tier consulting companies (say Big 4?).

Thanks again!

Jun 13, 2016
seville:

Enjoyed reading all the comments and advice on this thread up to this point. Thanks for doing all of this! Quick question. Have you seen people with BB operations background jump ship over to consulting? Presuming that breaking into MBB might be a reach(?), but more possible to lower tier consulting companies (say Big 4?).

Thanks again!

Two things:
1) do you have your MBA? B school tends to be a nice way to reinvent yourself and is where most MBB hire most.
2) I haven't seen many bb ops folks be honestly it's the wrong question to ask. Why? Consulting firms hire from very diverse backgrounds. Sure you have a few common profiles but at McK I met an ex navy seal, airline pilot, pro athlete, many doctors, lawyers, and others. So I'd ask you - regardless of your title, what do you bring to the table that others don't?

Jun 12, 2016

Thanks for doing this.

I'm about to leave my MM IB for a corp dev role. The prospect of corp dev interests me very much, but I honestly have no idea what my long-term career goals are. One thing that I'm floating is going to a top MBA program and then MBB after working in corp dev for two to three years. Obviously this is a pretty vague question, but does this make any sense to you whatsoever?

Thanks again.

Jun 13, 2016
Sil:

Thanks for doing this.

I'm about to leave my MM IB for a corp dev role. The prospect of corp dev interests me very much, but I honestly have no idea what my long-term career goals are. One thing that I'm floating is going to a top MBA program and then MBB after working in corp dev for two to three years. Obviously this is a pretty vague question, but does this make any sense to you whatsoever?

Thanks again.

It does, especially if in Corp dev you can get great exposure to the company's overall strategic direction, etc. I think a compelling move.

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Jun 14, 2016

In banking, there's a lot of complaints about the plateau of the learning curve after a year at any given level. In consulting, I don't hear as much whinging about that aspect. Did you find that mid-tenure you were still learning as much about business as when you started? And how much of that knowledge is broadly-applicable or at least moderately useful outside of consulting?

Obviously you can sell the experience as intensely enriching to a shop or business looking to hire, but I wonder how much of that is sales and how much is reality-based.

Jun 14, 2016
Equitas:

In banking, there's a lot of complaints about the plateau of the learning curve after a year at any given level. In consulting, I don't hear as much whinging about that aspect. Did you find that mid-tenure you were still learning as much about business as when you started? And how much of that knowledge is broadly-applicable or at least moderately useful outside of consulting?

Obviously you can sell the experience as intensely enriching to a shop or business looking to hire, but I wonder how much of that is sales and how much is reality-based.

The learning curve for at least 3 years is awesome. As an associate you lean the "toolkit", and as an EM you get great training in project mgmt, team leadership, etc. I think from m there it shifts, because as a later tenure EM then AP you are forced to focus on building your platform to partner. That platform, regardless of what they say, is based on what makes you a valuable revenue driver for the firm. And it also involves a lot of politicking and gathering "support" from Directors. They'll tell you that you'll still learn and grow but the reality is the skills are less transferable.

Jun 18, 2016

Thanks @karl_pilkington for answer all the questions. I'm an incoming Associate at McK, and I'd like to understand how the staffing model works. Is it more driven by partners + EMs, or is it largely determined by staffing managers?

Jun 19, 2016
lub:

Thanks @karl_pilkington for answer all the questions. I'm an incoming Associate at McK, and I'd like to understand how the staffing model works. Is it more driven by partners + EMs, or is it largely determined by staffing managers?

Which office are you joining? PM me if you prefer.

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Jun 19, 2016

PM'ed. Thank you :)

Jul 23, 2016

In your experience, what kind of projects do MBB get thrown vs. big 4/RB/ATK?

Jul 25, 2016
H. Dubya:

In your experience, what kind of projects do MBB get thrown vs. big 4/RB/ATK?

I can't speak to big 4/atk/rb, but the general assumption is that MBB's get more of the shorter term strategy stuff and "bet the company" questions whereas you have more longer term support efforts at the others, specifically big 4. ATK, RB, etc. have strong reputations and will get a share of the strategy work as well.

A crude analogy:

MBB tells your CEO you really need to be in the cruise ship business and why
MBB tells you what markets, how many ships, and the business case
Your CEO signs off and MBB gives you a plan for how to go do it
MBB or Tier 2 firm comes in and tells you what to sell on your ship, for how much, and how to yield manage and optimize your revenue from the ship
Big 4 comes in and sets up the software implementation, operations, accounting/finance, staffing and labor, etc for your ship and helps you roll it out for the next year
Cruise ship industry crashes
You call MBB again to ask them what to do.

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Aug 14, 2016

Thank you Karl for opening this topic. I am about to start as a specialist at McK soon. I tried to seek reviews/experience articles online but only found a few. May I ask some specific questions?
1) Specialist is not assigned to a "fixed" team, right? Am I expected to travel across teams/projects (in contrast to stay with one project from beginning to end)?
2) Given 1) is true, how is specialist evaluated for promotion?
3) Do you mind provide some advice for specialists in terms of networking, project seeking or any other relevant skills?
4) It seems (glassdoor) specialist earns less than generalist---does that mean specialists are valued less? and might have narrow exit options?
Thanks in advance for your insight!

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Aug 15, 2016
vivianluluw:

Thank you Karl for opening this topic. I am about to start as a specialist at McK soon. I tried to seek reviews/experience articles online but only found a few. May I ask some specific questions?1) Specialist is not assigned to a "fixed" team, right? Am I expected to travel across teams/projects (in contrast to stay with one project from beginning to end)?2) Given 1) is true, how is specialist evaluated for promotion?3) Do you mind provide some advice for specialists in terms of networking, project seeking or any other relevant skills?4) It seems (glassdoor) specialist earns less than generalist---does that mean specialists are valued less? and might have narrow exit options?Thanks in advance for your insight!

What is your exact title? Specialist? Knowledge specialist? What are you a specialist in?

Aug 15, 2016

It is "junior specialist", focusing on advanced analytics under a certain practice. The job description used to be called data scientist but seems changed after I got the offer. They told me I would be traveling M-Thu, similar to generalists...Thanks!!

Aug 14, 2016

Great analogy using the cruise example. One last question, have you ever seen ppl from the knowledge center transferring to consulting? Would it be a stepping stone for someone trying to break through strategy consulting (MBB or tier 2-3 or boutique)?

Aug 15, 2016
tonixity:

Great analogy using the cruise example. One last question, have you ever seen ppl from the knowledge center transferring to consulting? Would it be a stepping stone for someone trying to break through strategy consulting (MBB or tier 2-3 or boutique)?

Knowledge center to consulting teams is very rare. Have only seen it done with b-school in between.

Aug 15, 2016

Thanks for the info. Just out of curiosity, if you were starting your career and had the choice between a very boutique strategy consulting firm (mostly PE work and smaller company strategy) and a research job at McKinsey ou BCG, which one would you choose?

Aug 15, 2016

Thanks so much Karl for doing this! We all really appreciate it. I guess this doesn't concern McKinsey anymore since I didn't get an invitation for interviews. But anyway I applied for a summer internship (APD here) last year with McKinsey and was invited to do a PST. I made it to the first round but didn't get passed onto the second round. However, this year I flat out didn't even get invited to take the test when I applied for a full-time position. I thought full-time positions are supposed to be easier to come by? Also my application materials this time around were pretty much identical, if not better than last year's. What could be the reasons behind this?

Aug 16, 2016
jzl123:

Thanks so much Karl for doing this! We all really appreciate it. I guess this doesn't concern McKinsey anymore since I didn't get an invitation for interviews. But anyway I applied for a summer internship (APD here) last year with McKinsey and was invited to do a PST. I made it to the first round but didn't get passed onto the second round. However, this year I flat out didn't even get invited to take the test when I applied for a full-time position. I thought full-time positions are supposed to be easier to come by? Also my application materials this time around were pretty much identical, if not better than last year's. What could be the reasons behind this?

You get one shot at the pst.

Aug 16, 2016

Sorry Karl - I wasn't clear. I actually passed the PST last time. Just didn't make it to the final round of interviews. So in that case do you know why I wasn't invited at all this time?

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Aug 16, 2016

Thanks Karl @karl_pilkington

Could you comment on how the big three approaches experienced hires? Especially the ones with PhD degrees?

Aug 16, 2016
barathrao:

Thanks Karl @karl_pilkington

Could you comment on how the big three approaches experienced hires? Especially the ones with PhD degrees?

Experienced hires are rare, period.

Aug 17, 2016

Apologies in advance if you found this question in-appropriate but im just going to shoot.
Do non-whites in USA stand a chance at being partner in Mck , have heard its too difficult with Rajat Gupta of all people being the only exception

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Aug 17, 2016

I think one empirical way to check your hypothesis is to see what linkedin says.
Results would be biased if one group (whites/non-whites) has higher chances to have a linkedin profile with a picture. I would say this is not the case.

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Aug 17, 2016

I can't tell if either one of you are serious or not. What a stupid-ass question and even stupider response.

Focus your time (and words, apparently) on the things which put you in a better position to compete for what you want and less on reasons why effort won't matter.

Aug 17, 2016
RohanShinde:

Apologies in advance if you found this question in-appropriate but im just going to shoot.Do non-whites in USA stand a chance at being partner in Mck , have heard its too difficult with Rajat Gupta of all people being the only exception

I'm honestly speechless.

Aug 18, 2016
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