10/19/10

I'm interviewing with McK in Dubai in two weeks.

Why would you want to work in Dubai? Why wouldn't you?

Do you think there are higher chances for an Arabic-speaking Top 5 Uni grad in Dubai than in domestic offices? I'm applying for the BA position.

Any other thoughts on McK and Dubai in general appreciated.

Comments (36)

10/19/10

I feel like just the exposure to foreign cultures, people, ideas etc. is a pretty good reason. Seeing new things, expanding your business acumen by being exposed to different philosophies and approaches then the ones to which you would be exposed in a US/Europe type environment. Plus you're (presumably) young and single so there's no better time to see the world. Being able to use your arabic and keep it fresh and up to date is another great reason.

If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses - Henry Ford

Management Consulting Interview Course

10/19/10

and no taxes

  • eyelikecheese
  •  10/19/10

Except they are coming down from the hugest property bubble in the world. Real estate prices increased more in Dubai than anywhere in the world. Should be dirt cheap, with low growth prospects. Also, Dubai has to submit to the will of the UAE, which owns it.

  • eyelikecheese
  •  10/19/10

Amy apologies. They are "owned" by Abu dabi

10/19/10

What about the huge state-owned industries and bloated public sectors that are looking to privatize as Dubai tries to diversify? These transitions will need consultants, no?

10/19/10

I think there are three articles in the series, dig thru.
http://tech.mit.edu/V130/N18/dubai.html

  • eyelikecheese
  •  10/19/10

Rinairy. You are totally correct. Good job.

But you answered your own question with your previous comment

10/19/10

So are offices generally expanding or contracting in Dubai?

Do you think McKinsey cares lots about my language skills, or are they a mere afterthought, a bonus almost?

10/20/10

Offices were expanding aggressively in Dubai in 2007. Since then, they have on average cut back on growing those offices but there is still business there and hence the new hires for MBB Dubai offices.

10/21/10

I wouldn't want to work there because it is 2nd tier and they don't sell interesting work in UAE or anywhere else in the ME. Booz pretty much has a monopoly on this region with BCG being a distant 2nd and Mck being who even knows but below both by a good margin.

Management Consulting Interview Course

10/21/10
10/21/10
feenans:

http://tech.mit.edu/V130/N18/dubai.html

Very good read. All the articles were great.

10/23/10

@dow2000 - what I understsand from friends in the region is that while Booz has the largest headcount, it is not necessarily the largest strategy player as many of its projects are large scale, long-term transformation projects where they staff large teams for a long time. Makes sense from a partner's perspective - steady cashflows, for a long time with fewer realtionships to manage, not to mention needless proposals.

McK is clearly the number 2 in terms of headcount, while it is on a par with Booz in terms of brand recognition. While not as entrenched as Booz, it has a significant footprint.

BCG is number 3 in terms of headcount and geographic coverage (e.g. don't seem to be as present in KSA as the other firms are)

Bain is quickly closing the gap with BCG in terms of size; word is the top of the pyramid is still light though growing - once that shapes up...should see them make up more group.

As for Arabic...count it as a nice to have...most senior clients have solid English, all output is in English and with a shortage of "talent" - Arabic is very much a luxury, not a deal breaker. That said, milk it for all you can.

10/24/10

I live and work in Dubai, although not in consulting. So here are my 2 cents:
1. Arabic - like has been said, good to have but not a must have. But always helps and you should (rightly) try to highlight it as well, amongst your many other skills
2. Work - the Middle East is pretty much a backwater compared to USA and Europe. Expect a bit of a culture shock. Also, from my work in finance, the level of sophistication is not that great and the market is quite small. But you will be a big fish in a small pond.
All in, it would be a good experience, but if I were to choose between MBB in US or Europe vs. the Middle East, I would choose Europe over ME (if at all to gain "international" exposure). If I had no other competing offers, McK Dubai would be a no brainer

10/25/10

Good luck ....

Spent three years at McK dubai. This place is a joke. Ranked one of the worst McK offices across the world by employees. Totally random staffing process and very little professional development support. Consultants are arrogant and leadership is very uninspiring. Would recommend you target one of the other McKinsey offices and stay away from the Dubai office

10/27/10
zeus82:

Good luck ....

Spent three years at McK dubai. This place is a joke. Ranked one of the worst McK offices across the world by employees. Totally random staffing process and very little professional development support. Consultants are arrogant and leadership is very uninspiring. Would recommend you target one of the other McKinsey offices and stay away from the Dubai office

From the recruiting process, I agree with zeus about the arrogance. I'm just surprised you spent three years there if you felt this way.

There were a lot of chill people I met but one of my interviewers was a total douchebag who was full of himself. From talking to the other interviewees, they also had similar experiences with some other interviewers.

10/27/10

you all mentioned MBB and booz but didn't mention atkearney, monitor group and ad little in the middle east.

for instance, atkearney keeps saying we are growing in the region like crazy, is that true?

Do you know if those guys are recruiting heavily? I know many of them have expended lately their ME presence by getting new offices in different cities in the middle east.

moreover where do they stand as headcount compared to the other firms?

11/19/13

McK will be in the box seat in the Middle East with the PwC acquisition of Booz.

Be prepared to be flogged though....80-90 hrs a week will be pretty standard and travel will be extensive. The work will be quite interesting though. There's a lot happening in the Middle East.

11/19/13

bump

11/19/13

I practiced with a guy who ended up with a McK Dubai offer. As I remember, the interviews were in standard MBB format (that's what he wanted to practice anyway) and 3 rounds (not including the PST of course). They flew him in, but I can't remember if it was for two rounds or just the final. It was for a pre-MBA position though.

11/19/13

bump

11/19/13

JAs usually have 2-4 years experience. At least in some offices they have to do 1 year to become Associates. Timeline to EM is dependent on performance. Overall your speed to EM might be more similar to someone who was a former BA than to someone who joined straight out of an MBA, but again that will depend more on your performance, relationships with partners (JEM is not an official promotion. You need to have partners wanting to staff you as one) etc.

11/19/13

Copy on what was said above. Its a "Break-In" period because you don't usually have an MBA. Takes 2-3 review cycles (mostly 3) to make associate and the time counts toward your time to hit EM (So similar timeline to if you came in as an associate).

Pay is brutal but you are saving 2 years of b-school as well.

11/19/13

Don't do it! Stay away from consulting in that region, you will work in Saudi Arabia and hate life. Try to find that position elsewhere.

Abort! Abort! Abort!

11/19/13

Often times, if you are not selected for an interview, they will not let you know (ie. they will simply not contact you for an extended period of time). That being said, its not terribly common, but you can be contacted 6 months or more down the line when they are looking to fill a spot. Your best bet is to apply, send a follow up if you don't hear anything for a month, and then just move on.

My advice to you is to cast a wider net, because luck and timing often play a huge part in the hiring process, particularly in the area that you are applying for. BCG was hiring people for their Dubai/Abu Dhabi practice back in 2009 and 2010. McKinsey was hiring late last year for Dubai.

Please privately message me if you would like more information/help.

11/19/13

Congrats, great premba office

11/19/13

Durban, I'm not sure if you are trying to be funny or just pathetically stupid, but please do not post if you are not going to add any value.

11/19/13
phantombanker:

Durban, I'm not sure if you are trying to be funny or just pathetically stupid, but please do not post if you are not going to add any value.

Or how about you don't worry about it and I ignore wtf you are saying and do what I want?

thx

OP - Not trying to be funny. It is a good pre-mba mck office, with plenty of exit opps into top MBA programs. Again, congrats.

11/19/13
DurbanDiMangus:
phantombanker:

Durban, I'm not sure if you are trying to be funny or just pathetically stupid, but please do not post if you are not going to add any value.

Or how about you don't worry about it and I ignore wtf you are saying and do what I want?

thx

OP - Not trying to be funny. It is a good pre-mba mck office, with plenty of exit opps into top MBA programs. Again, congrats.

I don't think you get it, there's nothing to congratulate him on.

11/19/13
Newflyer:
DurbanDiMangus:
phantombanker:

Durban, I'm not sure if you are trying to be funny or just pathetically stupid, but please do not post if you are not going to add any value.

Or how about you don't worry about it and I ignore wtf you are saying and do what I want?

thx

OP - Not trying to be funny. It is a good pre-mba mck office, with plenty of exit opps into top MBA programs. Again, congrats.

meh just a little roadblock

I don't think you get it, there's nothing to congratulate him on.

11/19/13
11/19/13
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