Asked to leave from McKinsey for first years?

adu's picture
Rank: Monkey | 55

Hi guys a have a question that came to me while watching Victor Cheng's videos. He mentioned that for first year analysts, many first years are asked to leave McKinsey after first year to gain more experience or some are asked not to come back. I have not heard of this from anyone else, i have actually many times heard that consulting firms don't like to fire people too often. I want to know how common this is, is it more of something that happens at top american branches, do other consulting firms have a similar policy?

Look forward to hearing back from you guys.

Leaving Consulting After 1 year

Would McKinsey ask you to leave after a year? It could be a sign of poor performance. On the other hand, some state that it may be an opportunity to gain outside experience with the opportunity to re-enter.
from certified user @petergibbons

I've seen people be counseled out during their first year. Sometimes you just start off on the wrong foot and don't recover. It's pretty rare though. I wouldn't stress about it.

If you're consistently doing analyses incorrectly and giving them to clients, that's probably the biggest thing that can get you canned early. Ultimately, it comes down to "Am I billable?" and "Can I be put in front of a client without fucking something up or embarrasing myself/the firm?" If the answer to both are yes, then you're probably not at risk.

Here's an extended response from a certified user regarding leaving McKinsey. It details why being dismissed may not be the worst thing.
from certified user @BearMarket

Its a positive, not a negative.

There are two levels you can join McKinsey at.

One is as an Associate (Experienced Hire / MBA / Ph.D / JD / MD)

The other is as a Business Analyst / Fellow (Bachelor, non-MBA master, 3 years or less work experience)

If you start as a BA, your contract is between 21 and 27 months (depending on country / office), after which you are expected to take a leave of 1 or more years. This is not getting kicked out, this is McKinsey saying that they want you to have a more well-rounded understanding of the corporate world, and this can be done in a few ways:

Education Leave (study for an MBA for 1 or 2 years, or in cases with prior approval study for another degree)
Experience Leave / Development Leave (leave McKinsey to work for another company / do pro-bono work for a year or more and then come back with more experience)
Leaves are generally compensated. Education leaves are always compensated, whereas experience leaves are generally only compensated if you are going to work pro-bono for an NGO, otherwise you are on leave but will not receive compensation (say if you decide to do an externship at a Private Equity firm).

After the leave you return to McKinsey as an associate.

90% of BA's are told at the end of 2 years that they can take this leave. 10% are thanked for their service at McKinsey and waved out the door. These %'s are not set and its perfectly possible for 100% to get a return offer if they all do well.

People are never "fired" at McKinsey. The only way you can get fired is if you do something fucked up, like insider trading, fudging numbers, etc. If you commit a "Values violation" you are instantly out the door, but this is extremely rare. I've never seen it happen.

If you are a poor performer, you will be "Counseled to Leave" - meaning that the office does not want to staff you on studies anymore and recommends you try to find a different employer. If you are CTL'd, you generally get a 6-month severance package and McKinsey will help you find a new employer. I also haven't seen this happen, although I've heard a story or two.

To be fired or CTL'd is extremely rare, especially in the junior ranks. The common thing for starting consultants is that they get a return offer after 2 year, unless they weren't able to prove in 21-27 months time tha they have what it takes to grow in the firm, for which you will generally receive ample warning via your bi-annual reviews (as well as receive plenty of help / guidance on how to get back on track).


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