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VAULT EMPLOYER PROFILE:
MCKINSEY & COMPANY
BY THE STAFF OF VAULT
© 2004 Vault Inc.
Copyright © 2004 by Vault Inc. All rights reserved. All information in this book is subject to change without notice. Vault makes no claims as to the accuracy and reliability of the information contained within and disclaims all warranties. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, for any purpose, without the express written permission of Vault Inc. Vault, the Vault logo, and “the most trusted name in career informationTM ” are trademarks of Vault Inc. For information about permission to reproduce selections from this book, contact Vault Inc., 150 W 22nd Street, New York, New York 10011, (212) 366–4212. Library of Congress CIP Data is available. ISBN 1–58131–335–7 Printed in the United States of America.
McKinsey & Company
Table of Contents
Overview . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1 McKinsey & Company at a Glance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2
Managing Director: Ian Davis . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .15 Practice Areas . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .16 Locations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .16 Structure . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .19 Key Competitors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .19
OUR SURVEY SAYS
Interviewing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .31 Questions to Expect . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .37 Questions to Ask . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .39 Compensation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .40
Visit the Vault Consulting Career Channel at www.vault.com/Consulting — with insider firm profiles, message boards, the Finance Job Board and more.
ON THE JOB
A Day in the Life . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .41 Job Descriptions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .44 Career Path . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .46
© 2003 Vault Inc.
McKinsey & Company
In the industry and among its employees, McKinsey & Company is known simply as "The Firm" – need we say more? With 82 offices and around 7,000 consultants worldwide, McKinsey serves more than two thirds of the Fortune 1000, or 85 of the world's top 100 companies. McKinsey's founder, James O. McKinsey, pioneered the idea of management consulting when he launched the firm in 1926. But it's Marvin Bower, with McKinsey since 1933, who is credited with shaping the firm's values, including a relentless drive for excellence, a mandate of putting the clients' needs before the firm's, and an insistence on discretion in financial matters. Indeed, the notoriously tight–lipped company rarely publishes the names of its clients, which include huge global companies, innovative startups, wealthy commercial banks, leading venture capital firms and vast technology companies. McKinsey also provides pro bono assistance to educational, social, environmental and cultural organizations. McKinsey emerged from the Internet gold rush days relatively unscathed compared to competitors, though it suffered its own PR challenges as it found its name linked with scandal–plagued companies like Enron and Global Crossing. In recent years, the firm has turned its attention toward the IT sector and outsourcing, in an attempt to respond to the shifting trend in the consulting market toward more "tangible" services, such as systems integration. On the pure strategy side, McKinsey also has faced a competitive threat from rivals like Bain and Boston Consulting Group.
Visit the Vault Consulting Career Channel at www.vault.com/Consulting — with insider firm profiles, message boards, the Finance Job Board and more.
com UPPERS • Extensive alumni network • Global reach • Research–driven projects DOWNERS THE STATS Employer Type: Private Company Managing Director: Ian Davis 2003 Employees: 11.000 2001 Employees: 13.000 • Strict "up or out" system • Ongoing. NY 10022 Phone: (212) 446–7000 Fax: (212) 446–8575 www. frequent review process • Limited mobility without advanced degree PRACTICE AREAS • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • Automotive & Assembly Banking & Securities Business Technology Office Chemicals Consumer/Packaged Goods Corporate Finance & Strategy Electric Power/Natural Gas High Tech Insurance Marketing Media & Entertainment Metals and Mining Nonprofit Organization and Leadership Operations Strategy & Effectiveness Payor/Provider Petroleum Pharmaceuticals and Medical Products Private Equity Pulp and Paper Retail Strategy Telecommunications Travel and Logistics 2 © 2004 Vault Inc.McKinsey & Company at a Glance 55 East 52nd Street New York. .mckinsey.000 2002 Employees: 11.
A. Another tradition set by Bower was a reticence to discuss financial matters openly. Kearney. and sought to give both management and financial advice to high–ranking personnel at accounting and other corporations. adhere to high ethical standards. in honor of his mentor. McKinsey accepted a temporary offer to run and restructure the Chicago department store Marshall Field's.. Bower ran the consulting partnership until McKinsey's death in 1937. Bower directed McKinsey employees to put client interests ahead of firm interests. preserve the confidence of clients. his name is now associated with another strategy consulting firm. His five partners included A. McKinsey was fascinated by the emerging science of management. and Bower naming the New York branch McKinsey & Company. serve the client in a superior manner. Kearney and protege Marvin Bower. 3 . McKinsey envisioned bringing "management engineers" to not only rescue faltering companies. and be ready to differ with client managers and tell them the truth. CPA and University of Chicago management professor James Oscar "Mac" McKinsey founded the firm that still bears his name. the Finance Job Board and more.McKinsey & Company The Scoop Shaping management theory In 1926. Over time. Bower never charged clients performance–based or results–based fees. In those early days of consulting.T. Learning the rules "The Firm" derives much of its mysterious prestige from its powerful five–part code of conduct. however painful. Bower declined Visit the Vault Consulting Career Channel at www. McKinsey & Company thus became the first consulting firm to hire directly from business schools. still numbered among McKinsey's competitors. but also to help thriving companies do even better.vault. A few years after setting up shop. Maintaining that the firm would make more money if it didn't concern itself with profits. As for the other partner. instituted by Bower and still followed today. who would go on to shape the McKinsey firm we know today.T. and the two went their separate ways in 1939. lawyer. Kearney. message boards. instead of experts who had built up years of experience in a single industry. Ensuring that this decorum regarding all things financial would stick for the long haul. which persists to this day.com/Consulting — with insider firm profiles. Bower also began directing his recruiting efforts toward graduate students the firm could mold into broad–based consultants. A quarrel over leadership between Bower and Kearney led to a split. with Kearney retaining the Chicago office and naming it after himself.
the firm went international with an office in London. it began an MBA summer internship program in response to the extravagant signing bonuses competitors like Bain and BCG were using to woo top candidates like Harvard's Baker Scholars. and Rio de Janeiro. and the 1990s were a success story. such as the Boston Consulting Group's "growth–share matrix. a time of corporate buzzwords. Bower shaped McKinsey culture in other. But the firm created another tradition of its own when. McKinsey lost business to BCG and other upstarts. Amsterdam. in 1986. and opened offices in Melbourne. many McKinseyites still prefer long socks. In 1999 alone.McKinsey & Company The Scoop to take the company public (at what would have been an enormous profit) when he retired in 1963. Athens. Manila. United Arab Emirates. the firm opened offices in Antwerp. 4 © 2004 Vault Inc. the revenue has more than doubled since 1993. as well as among others like investment banks. Paris. when companies turned their attention to expanding profits. All executives were required to wear hats and long socks (to avoid displaying "raw flesh") – though there may be more bare heads and bare skin on display these days. These less–stodgy firms soon began luring away top b–school grads. instead selling his shares back to the firm for book value. Like many of its peers. The 1950s saw McKinsey adding an expanding number of bluechip companies to its clientele. Düsseldorf. the engine driving much of McKinsey's success. Belgium. defense contractors. The program was soon to become a norm across the industry. Dubai. In 1959. and the firm doubled its professional staff and opened a total of 20 offices in the 1990s." Rejecting trendy marketing theories on principle. The lure of the new The firm started to face fiercer competition – and lose market share – in the 1970s. In 1989. To date. as well as adding engagements with major government and military organizations. . McKinsey really took off during the postwar period. the firm's acquisition of the Information Consulting Group proved somewhat awkward when a culture clash between the companies caused many former ICG employees to jump ship. Philippines. The firm righted itself later in the 1980s as the global economy began booming again. Zurich and Milan shortly thereafter. Future partners have continued this practice. more subtle ways.
McKinsey enhanced its presence in India with the launch of India Venture 2000. "We have 40 different nationalities working in the London office. offshoring doesn't mean anything for us. Offshore from were to where?" He added. So offshoring to India wouldn't mean anything because you could argue we are as much Indian as anything else. McKinsey has approximately 130 consultants on the subcontinent Visit the Vault Consulting Career Channel at www. McKinsey maintains one office in Delhi staffed 24/7 with 300 workers who provide the firm with support for visual presentations and graphics. consulted with engineering and construction firm Larsen & Toubro on strategy matters. In March 2000. the firm established its Asia–Pacific regional headquarters in Shanghai." Its consultants are citizens of 95 countries. which was created to help Indian entrepreneurs establish and grow new IT or e–commerce businesses. conducting more than 500 engagements in China over the last decade. especially as the trend toward offshoring (a term Davis argues is misleading) continues. as "a truly global firm. startups and government entities such as the Ministry of Communications and the Postal Authority. 5 . and the office has worked with some of that nation's most prominent clients. or whatever else you might call it. with further growth expected from new markets in Russia. The firm's office in New Delhi is one of its fastest growing sites.McKinsey & Company The Scoop Consultants without borders In fact. advised liquor company Shaw Wallace on opening new breweries in September 2003. McKinsey's governing shareholder committee is controlled by a non–American majority. But. the firm helped the State Bank of India reengineer its business processes in May 2003. message boards. opened in early 2003.com/Consulting — with insider firm profiles. In February 2000. The newest office on McKinsey's list is in Zagreb. in a June 2004 interview with the Financial Times of London. and in India. McKinsey opened a new office in Tel Aviv. from which it has offered assistance to Israeli corporations.vault." And it isn't all about outsourcing. and advised Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee on foreign investment issues. Croatia. and another near Delhi employing 12 highly–educated staffers who perform statistical research for McKinsey consultants. The firm has solidified its Asian presence in recent years. In October 2003. Eastern Europe and China. the Finance Job Board and more. and about 60 percent of revenues come from overseas. McKinsey has been described by managing partner Ian Davis. It's in India India is also big on the firm's radar. "From McKinsey's point of view. In fact. as Davis argued to the Financial Times. offshoring. including Singapore Airlines and the chewing–gum–averse national government.
include cutbacks on travel. One year later. and "even the Reese's Peanut Butter Cups at the firm's New York reception desk. the New York Times reported.000 web–related engagements during 1999 and 2000. McKinsey expected 2. The post–September 11 recession led to some belt tightening among non–consulting McKinseyites. when 9 percent of all analysts and associates were shown the way out. though. "and we had no professional layoffs other than our traditional up–or–out stuff. and income from many previously high–flying e–commerce clients quickly dried up. reaping record revenues of $3. to name just a couple)." then–managing partner Rajat Gupta told BusinessWeek in July 2002. the firm's San Francisco office saw a third (150 members) of its staff walk out the door. .000 acceptances. the firm announced that it would cut 5 to 7 percent of its 3. Along with its consulting peers. the Times reported. told The Economic Times of India. and the firm's efforts in India have established it as one of that nation's most prestigious employers.700. Out of the 3. The dot–com boom was good to the firm for a while. compared with just 3 percent a year earlier.000 support staff in the United States and Canada.100 MBAs who were extended offers in 2000. and fellow alumnus Pulak Prasad is a leader at Warburg Pincus. McKinsey took a hit from the dot–com bubble and the effects of September 11. Jumping ship The firm's Internet troubles actually started before the bubble burst. a common practice among competitors. McKinsey had more employees than it knew what to do with. in November 2001. but the firm received more than 2. training retreats. an India–based McKinsey principal.4 billion in 2000." 6 © 2004 Vault Inc. and it took on more than 1. In 1999. The firm was somewhat shielded when the bubble burst as it had limited the practice of accepting equity stakes from clients in lieu of start–up fees. as many of McKinsey's best consultants jumped ship to latch on to alluring web–related ventures. "We are a breeding ground for leaders and we start working on people from Day One." Pramath Sinha.McKinsey & Company The Scoop as of 2004. "We honored every offer and didn't push people out." This "stuff" was reportedly on the rise as of 2001. Many Indian consultants have graduated McKinsey to lead major corporations and projects of their own (ex–director Ashok Alexander went on to head the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in India. Other cost–trimming measures. But McKinsey still suffered when it was stuck with some of these worthless shares.
however. the firm touted the Enron model as a success story after Skilling left to head the corporation. minimal asset approach to corporate operations. message boards. though "People know we had nothing to do with any wrongdoing. had advised the cooperative's management to avoid selling any of its businesses. In May 2003. Looking back. in early 2003. Global Crossing and Kmart occasioned some grumbling among outside observers about the value of the high–priced advice it provides. Bankruptcy lawyers charged that the firm's restructuring–advice fees. smaller panel. had anything to do with the shady dealings that led to the Tilting E's ruin. In recent years. The sinking "E" But Enron provided the firm's biggest PR headache in recent years. especially since disgraced CEO Jeff Skilling joined the doomed enterprise from McKinsey. When the model could no longer sustain itself and the word got out. McKinsey consultants working out of Enron's Houston offices had racked up millions in fees – topping out at more than $10 million during one year – for dispensing strategy advice. 7 . the result of exchanges between Enron subsidiaries. taking much of the stock market with it. the Finance Job Board and more. the transactions and services on which Enron grew its numbers were largely illusory. against the wishes of the company's struggling growers. McKinsey's association with bankrupt entities including Enron.McKinsey & Company The Scoop Bankruptcy blues McKinsey rarely publicizes the names of its clients. McKinsey was also caught up in a client's bad luck when it made headlines for failing to predict an $800 million takeover bid of client Ocean Spray by rival Northland Cranberries Inc. McKinsey's services were called into question during bankruptcy hearings for client United Airlines. but its association with some troubled companies has put the firm in the headlines. Swissair. but the pro–sale growers won a vote to replace Ocean Spray's board of governors with a new. None of its work for Enron. Enron collapsed. Ian Davis told the Financial Times.vault. McKinsey had advised Ocean Spray since late 2002 and. "I think our reputation was dented" by the Enron affair. where he'd worked with the fledgling company to develop a transaction– and services–based.com/Consulting — with insider firm profiles." Visit the Vault Consulting Career Channel at www. UAL dismissed the concerns and retained McKinsey. The collective rejected Northland's overture in February 2003. To make matters worse. were unwarranted for a company that couldn't manage to pay its debts. and the company cut 58 of its executives the following month. which included a $1 million–a–month flat fee for McKinsey. As it transpired.
It is what we believe is professional behavior and the appropriate posture given our conviction that we supplement our clients' leadership.. is sometimes characterized as a "secret society. At no point over the last decade has McKinsey ever been anything but the best consulting firm in delivering business knowledge to clients. Moving forward." Where the elite meet There's no doubt that McKinsey's obsession with excellence and client privacy have given the firm a sheen of prestige and even elitism." But McKinsey takes issue with this: "Only after many years have passed and if our clients themselves publicly refer to our involvement.. but never replace it. shows this thorough approach to be a possible weakness. the report calls the work satisfaction and professional development of McKinsey research staff "unsatisfactory . as well. $35." the report states. McKinsey. the firm launched a new initiative to improve researcher training and a major budget increase for McKinsey's "knowledge–management" processes and systems." Shortly thereafter." Of course. leading to poor client performance. "It takes much too long to find the right knowledge. But a senior partner quoted in the WSJ article was quick to point out that there was "no demonstrable link – in fact there's no link whatsoever – between our decision to invest in upgrading our knowledge–management systems and any specific client.McKinsey & Company The Scoop Growing pains Aside from its association with troubled clients in a turbulent economy. "Growth at McKinsey Hindered Use of Data. the best existing knowledge is not identified and brought to the client. which concluded that rapid expansion had hindered the firm's ability to keep track of its own information. The firm's obsession with excellence reflects the company mantra. However. an internal report from 2001." the firm contends. 8 © 2004 Vault Inc. which rarely reveals the names of clients and issues few press releases detailing its activities. do we acknowledge that we have served a company. exchanged primarily through conversations – not through knowledge workers or electronically. . The article. "and in many cases.3 million in 1999. "100 percent to the third power." The firm notes that "most of our most important knowledge is in the heads of our most senior people.8 million in 2002 versus just $8. quoted in a May 2002 Wall Street Journal article. this is not acceptable. McKinsey's struggles in recent years have come from internal growing pains." cites an internal study. "This policy is not the result of some cultivated secrecy or mystique. referred to as Project Coolkat." meaning that the firm seeks to bring 100 percent of firm capabilities to bear on 100 percent of McKinsey clients." Furthermore. 100 percent of the time.
a graduate of the Oxford international relations master’s program. and has reportedly been pulling 80–hour weeks as she works on projects dealing with health care. have often left the firm to take on more visibly prestigious roles – in addition to the infamous Jeff Skilling.000 McKinsey alumni all over the world.McKinsey & Company The Scoop McKinsey consultants often end up heading their clients' firms. and each year they're invited to a party where they can mingle with current consultants. Indeed. the Finance Job Board and more. In addition to business research. most of whom are aligned to specific industry. Operating as a Visit the Vault Consulting Career Channel at www. TennCare. and their current occupation.vault. a 33–year–old McKinsey alum who was appointed to lead Tennessee's health care program. In February 2003. McKinsey is a place from which alumni can check out any time they like. message boards. But Clinton. Recent enhancements include new search technology applied across its vast document collection and a unique expertise location approach that enables consultants to identify colleagues from around the world who might be able to help them with a specific problem. organization and dissemination of McKinsey's vast knowledge base and spearheads the design. as previously noted. The firm publishes a volume listing every living person who has ever worked for the firm." There are approximately 10. Its staff roster of PhDs and Rhodes scholars is also closely guarded. and J. The complex web of current and former McKinseyites forms a unique decentralized structure for such a large corporation. held out for an assignment in New York in order to be closer to her parents. These professionals do research on topics related to specific client engagements.com/Consulting — with insider firm profiles. development and deployment of all knowledge related technologies. 9 . McKinsey alumni. in May 2004. though some personalities are too well–known to keep under wraps. codification. Its cover cautions: "This directory is to be used exclusively by alumni of the firm. Hickey. this group also plays a lead role in the creation. but they can never leave. this group may be tapped at any point during their careers. allowing consultants to focus on the client proprietary dimensions of a study.000–a–year job in March 2003. more successful careers have been forged by alumni such as Bruce Henderson. even after leaving the firm. a former McKinseyite who was named CEO of Imation Corp. McKinsey's intelligence arsenal is bolstered by a global network of more than 900 knowledge professionals.000 consultants from 90 countries. This alumni network is likely to become ever more far reaching–the firm currently employs 6. Like the Hotel California. where they live. She got the $120. after having advised the program with the firm for three years.000 offer to join McKinsey as an analyst in the London office.D. functional or geographic knowledge domains. news was leaked that former First Daughter Chelsea Clinton got a $100.
a holder of undergraduate degrees in policy.600 consultants. meritocratic approach. Now that the economy is on the rebound. In 2003. In fact. McKinsey has hired several hundred summer associates – graduate students who are going into their last year of school. In the 2003–2004 campus recruiting season.) Though the firm guards its staff rolls as closely as its client list. so are invitations to join McKinsey. In July 2004. the company held a special day of workshops to discuss the core values of the firm and commitments to serving clients. who publicly emphasizes McKinsey's "core mission and values. the firm is reluctant to admit it has a global headquarters at all (though it runs much of its backbone administrative work from New York City). the firm significantly expanded its campus recruiting activities on MBA. may usher in a calmer era at the consultancy. who presided over McKinsey during its – and the economy's – period of dizzyingly rapid expansion. became associated with that aggressive growth strategy. In addition. The ownership and management of the firm is vested entirely in about 800 active directors and principals (which roughly correspond to senior and junior partners). McKinsey's managing director is elected every three years by these directors. Davis told the Financial Times of London that the heady years of the dot–com boom "did put severe strain on our basic values. Davis. about a 60 percent increase over the previous year. The North American offices have scheduled a conference for all of thier 10 © 2004 Vault Inc. PhD and undergraduate campuses. the firm hired over 1.McKinsey & Company The Scoop partnership. but my sense is that after this period we need to affirm our basic approach and values. it's clear that the company has taken pains to retain its best and brightest during the weakened post–September 2001 economy. In the kerfuffle. McKinsey is run through a network of offices that runs as a unified firm. The Davis era Davis' election was seen as heralding changes for the firm. philosophy and economics from Oxford University. In March 2003. law. Gupta. In June 2004. who served the company's maximum of three three–year terms. was tapped to replace Rajat Gupta. in a process some compare to the election of a new pope. MD. who headed the firm's British office for eight years. We didn't knowingly move away from them. ." (Another of those values – privacy and lack of personal status–seeking – is illustrated by the fact that Davis didn't give his first interview to the press until more than a year after his election as managing partner. has been with McKinsey since 1979." such as a client–centered. Consultants say that he is putting the recommitment to McKinsey's core values in action. I think some of them got lost. But observers say Davis. Ian Davis.
the firm offers the Mini MBA. and Creative Destruction.com/Consulting — with insider firm profiles. the Finance Job Board and more. so they leave. 2003 saw the publication of Banking in Asia: Acquiring a Visit the Vault Consulting Career Channel at www. gives consultants greater influence over the engagements they work on. Roberto Newell and Gregory Wilson. In addition. message boards. McKinsey also provides an array of workshops and learning opportunities in a range of topics. In addition. with advancement and compensation based on a fair review system.vault. Helen Handfield–Jones and Beth Axelrod. functional skills.McKinsey & Company The Scoop summer associates in ski paradise (though probably not during the summer) Vail. On average." says an insider. coaching and team leadership. "It's a pretty competitive process. McKinsey partners also often write books independently of the firm. including communications. McKinsey is also eager to get even more out of the best and brightest that it hires. one– to two–week role–change courses are provided at each career milestone. McKinsey considers its promotion policies to be based on the natural progression of consultants at the firm. Tim Koller and Jack Murrin. In addition to Tom Peters and Bob Waterman's best–selling In Search of Excellence. Colorado. all associates and business analysts attend Basic Consulting Readiness. Publish or perish McKinsey has built a solid reputation as a publisher of management–related booklets." VOX (visibility. including the well–regarded McKinsey Quarterly. a curriculum that prepares them for client engagements. For incoming associate hires without a financial or business background. documents. "though lots of people don't want to make partner. and 2001's The War for Talent by Ed Michaels. a three–week program that provides an opportunity to learn core business skills. 20/20 Foresight: Crafting Strategy in an Uncertain World. 11 . by Richard Foster and Sarah Kaplan (which unfortunately highlights Enron as a shining corporate example in passages written before the company's collapse). a system implemented in early 2000. papers and magazines. by Dominic Barton. The big book in 2002 was Dangerous Markets: Managing in Financial Crises. Natural selection Despite its reputation as an "up or out" firm when it comes to advancement. only one in four or five consultants who starts at McKinsey finishes the vaunted journey to principal. expression of preference). options. by Hugh Courtney. books penned by McKinsey alums include 2000's Measuring and Managing the Value of Companies by Tom Copeland. and negotiating skills.
. the Institute been estimated to spend more than $100 million a year on its information gathering and internal research. Reports released in 2003 include a study of multinational company investment in developing economies.000 subscribers and runs articles on e–commerce. but now applies the principles of strategic thinking. Thanks in part to the vast amounts of research produced by the firm. got a jumpstart in 2001 when the firm launched the McKinsey Institute on the Nonprofit Sector. Through its research. organizational performance and corporate strategy. an analysis of the benefits and impact of offshoring worldwide. McKinsey also analyzes its own business approach. multinational NGOs and development agencies.McKinsey & Company The Scoop Profit Mindset. zoos and more. and more than half of its North American partners are on the boards of at least one nonprofit organization. . schools. the nonprofit world. The McKinsey Quarterly. McKinsey is known as a preeminent information source on globalization. Going nonprofit Another of McKinsey's specialty areas. now available in an online version. The firm served more than 200 nonprofit and/or public sector clients in 2003. conducting research and developing positions on issues affecting businesses and governments worldwide. has more than 300.C. These clients include museums. Greg Gibb and Jeffrey Wong. four continents and more than 28 sectors. For example. The Institute's approach "combines the rigor of academia with the real–world experience of business. philanthropic organizations. and analytical rigor to today's environment. governance. the firm acknowledged that McKinsey itself had put client service ahead of wealth creation for clients during the recent Internet euphoria. Following the events of September 11. telecommunications. the New York office devoted itself to nine 12 © 2004 Vault Inc. strategy and other fields. operates as an independent economics think tank within McKinsey. established in 1990. D. land trusts. Each office devotes 5 to 10 percent of its consultants' time to work for nonprofits. conservation organizations. industry and functional knowledge. Located just steps from the White House in Washington. MGI has amassed a fact base that covers more than 15 countries. theaters operas. appointing Senator Bill Bradley as chairman of its advisory board. The McKinsey Global Institute (MGI). hoping to understand the difference between change that is fundamental and change that is fundamentally faddish." according to the firm. representing an in–kind contribution of well over $100 million. and reports on improving productivity and competitiveness in Europe. by Tab Bowers. festivals. The practice coordinates the firm's community and pro bono activities.
com/Consulting — with insider firm profiles. strengthen the value of their customer relationships and craft innovative approaches to IT architecture and IT management in areas such as post–merger integration. the Finance Job Board and more. the only McKinsey office not tied to one specific geographic location. Private equity is another new area for McKinsey. deal assessment and due diligence. and the balance between risk and control in managing corporations. in addition to advising the Colombian Coffee Federation on a new retail strategy. as in previous years. McKinsey began conducting a comprehensive analysis of the global coffee industry on a pro bono basis. message boards. The Big Apple office has also done work for the United Way. Also in 2003. such as IBM's Global Business Services unit. opportunities for growth.vault. overseeing the development of a victim database for New York State Attorney General Elliot Spitzer and studying how New York Police Department and Fire Department members reacted during the World Trade Center attacks. addressing topics such as the benefits and challenges of offshoring. the firm formed the Business Technology Office (BTO). In July 2003. In May 2003. McKinsey's efforts at going high–tech in response to more IT–centric rivals like Accenture has gotten off to a rocky start. the firm took on the role of investment advisor for the privatization of the oil group Unipetrol in the Czech Republic. improve their operations.N. "could not achieve sufficient scale to ensure long–term success. prioritization of IT investments and strengthening of the IT organization. the firm was tapped by the Confederation of Indian Industry to study and suggest changes to the laws governing mining operations in India. On the tech track In a hyper–competitive consulting arena. Visit the Vault Consulting Career Channel at www. Still. In May 2004.McKinsey & Company The Scoop separate pro bono projects. in 1997. The firm admits that previous attempts to build a major IT consulting capability. along with many of its high–powered peers. the World Economic Forum and the New York City Opera. a group of McKinsey delegates joined the World Economic Forum in Davos. The strategy seemed to pay off – the number of consultants in the BTO grew by 30 percent in 2003. At U. Switzerland." As a result. business opportunities and trends in China. The firm's recent projects have been global in scale: In 2004. through acquisition and then through the creation of an IT practice. 13 . especially those spun off from high–tech companies themselves. may be facing competition in the high–tech arena from newer consultancies with IT–centered backgrounds. and it offers advice in strategy/organization. The office helps companies implement IT strategies. These included serving the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation. word on the street indicates that McKinsey. and cross–portfolio support. the firm issued a report on the use of the English language in South Korea.
Tennessee's largest insurer. the report concluded). .8 million two–month contract renewal signed in June 2004. labor. 14 © 2004 Vault Inc. with a $1. McKinsey issued a report on the Global Compact with the business community. Closer to home.McKinsey & Company The Scoop headquarters in June 2004. aimed at summoning corporate responsibility for issues such as human rights. and the environment in developing nations. which U.N. McKinsey also has been under contract to produce a report suggesting ways to improve the city government in Dallas. is working. TennCare – now run by a former McKinseyite – has paid the firm more than $4 million as it works to reform the troubled health care system. Secretary–General Koffi Annan had proposed five years earlier (the compact.
15 . Davis. His work for the consultancy has been wide–ranging. He's also veddy British – again.K. Based in London. philosophy and economics from Oxford. The Financial Times of London. had already spent 23 years at the firm. and joined McKinsey in 1979 after a seven–year stint at paper manufacturer Bowater. Davis got good practice in leadership heading the firm's U. Though Davis had some big shoes to fill – Gupta presided over a period of unprecedented growth at the firm – his first year at the firm was met with favorable reviews. And fittingly. Before that. Davis' grandfather was a professor at Oxford.McKinsey & Company Organization Managing Director: Ian Davis Appointed managing director in March 2003.vault. but mostly has fallen within the consumer and retail industries. in the first interview with Davis (published a year after his appointment. charming and highly visible. Oddly.com/Consulting — with insider firm profiles. He holds a degree in politics. Davis is said to be outgoing. especially in his native Britain." fond of cricket. unlived–in London office is a testament to his hands–on management style. in July 2004). one's a judge and the other. According to the article. where each managing director before Davis' predecessor. Visit the Vault Consulting Career Channel at www. Davis is a "keen sportsman. a departure for McKinsey. the Finance Job Board and more. Davis' spare. Rajit Gupta. he is McKinsey's tenth managing director. Unlike many of McKinsey's directors. he doesn't have a graduate degree. he ran the firm's consumer industries practice in Europe. for a McKinsey man." as a BusinessWeek article described them – one's the CEO of publisher Reed Elsevier. among the firm's larger offices. message boards. operations. for eight years. a lawyer. rugby and tennis." "happier talking about the future than the past. his daughter is a fifth–generation Oxford student and his three brothers are all "highly distinguished. who are known as a little bit dull. describes him as "fluent" and "approachable. too. which involves traveling the globe and visiting 25 countries during his first 12 months. was American." but not averse to analyzing the mistakes the firm made during the Internet boom. 52.
TX 16 © 2004 Vault Inc. . NC • Chicago. GA • Boston. MA • Charlotte.McKinsey & Company Organization Practice areas Industry Practices • Automotive & Assembly • Banking & Securities • Chemicals • Consumer/Packaged Goods • Corporate Finance & Strategy • Electric Power & Natural Gas • High Tech • Insurance • Marketing • Media & Entertainment • Metals & Mining • Nonprofit • Operations Strategy & Effectiveness • Organization & Leadership • Payor/Provider • Petroleum • Pharmaceuticals & Medical Products • Private Equity • Pulp & Paper • Retail • Telecommunications • Travel & Logistics Locations U.S. IL • Cleveland. OH • Dallas. locations: • Atlanta.
Belgium • Budapest.com/Consulting — with insider firm profiles. Colombia • Brussels. Argentina • Caracas. WA • Stamford. TX • Los Angeles. United Arab Emirates • Dublin. Greece • Auckland. Germany • Bogota. India • Dubai. MN • New York. CT • Washington. Germany • Copenhagen. the Finance Job Board and more. NJ • Houston. PA • San Francisco. NY • Palo Alto. Thailand • Barcelona. CA • Miami. Venezuela • Cologne. FL • Minneapolis. Spain • Beijing. Denmark • Delhi.vault. China • Berlin. MI • Florham Park. Germany • Frankfurt. CA • Pittsburgh. DC International locations: • Amsterdam. New Zealand • Bangkok. message boards. CA • Seattle.McKinsey & Company Organization • Detroit. Switzerland Visit the Vault Consulting Career Channel at www. Germany • Geneva. Hungary • Buenos Aires. Ireland • Dusseldorf. The Netherlands • Antwerp. Belgium • Athens. 17 .
Taiwan • Tel Aviv. Spain • Manila. Australia • Mexico City. Mexico • Milan. China • Istanbul. France • Prague. China • Singapore • Stockholm. Japan 18 © 2004 Vault Inc. Brazil • Seoul. Philippines • Melbourne. . South Africa • Kuala Lumpur. Quebec • Moscow. Sweden • Stuttgart. Russia • Mumbai. Germany • Oslo. Mexico • Montreal. India • Munich. Portugal • London. Chile • São Paulo. Germany • Helsinki. Korea • Shanghai. Czech Republic • Rio de Janeiro.McKinsey & Company Organization • Gothenburg. Indonesia • Johannesburg. Sweden • Hamburg. England • Madrid. Australia • Taipei. Finland • Hong Kong. Malaysia • Lisbon. Italy • Santiago. Norway • Paris. Germany • Sydney. Turkey • Jakarta. Israel • Tokyo. Italy • Monterrey. Brazil • Rome.
vault. BCG has been the driving force behind a number of major management consulting innovations and concepts in its 39 years." Visit the Vault Consulting Career Channel at www. and McKinsey reluctantly agrees. boasts a consulting staff of more than 2.McKinsey & Company Organization • Toronto. Poland • Zagreb. Booz Allen garners 80 percent of its revenue from previous clients. consumer products and technology. Ontario • Verona. Booz Allen Hamilton: Booz Allen racked up $2. Switzerland Structure McKinsey is privately held. Henderson as the management and consulting division of the Boston Safe Deposit and Trust Company. its clients have historically outperformed the stock market by three to one. Italy • Vienna. According to the company. e–commerce. including "time–based competition. health care. Founded in 1963 by Bruce D.: Among the world's leaders in international strategy consulting. Not a pure strategy firm. BCG. such as financial services. The firm's client base consists primarily of diversified. Booz's industry practices compete with McKinsey. retail. and is a powerhouse in government–side consulting. The firm reports spending one–third to one–half of its time helping clients implement its recommendations. 19 .600 consultants in 60 offices in 37 countries. it puts an emphasis on transforming businesses rather than merely prescribing change.100. Croatia • Zurich. message boards.com/Consulting — with insider firm profiles. Boston Consulting Group: BCG insists it's McKinsey's main competition. a global powerhouse employing more than 2." "deconstruction." and "capability–driven competitive strategies. Austria • Warsaw. Managing Director: Ian Davis Key Competitors Bain & Co. which split off from the Boston Consulting Group in 1973. international corporations in all sectors of business and industry. the Finance Job Board and more. Bain. NASA and other agencies.7 billion in sales in 2004. landing major contracts with the Department of Health and Human Services.
Though it was initially considered a brazen startup in a field dominated by giant. opening offices in Europe. and acquiring a number of boutique consultancies. It has developed special industry expertise in communications.400 consultants and support personnel in 22 offices worldwide. The firm has developed a number of practices and expanded its client list to include everything from Fortune 500 companies and international firms to government agencies and major nonprofit organizations. this heavily strategy–oriented consultancy sees itself as a strong competitor. Today. Mercer Management Consulting has approximately 1. including Michael Porter (a consulting guru and creator of popular case interview framework Porter's Five Forces). established firms such as McKinsey. the Pacific Rim and Latin America. 20 © 2004 Vault Inc. energy. it offers advisory services in areas including private equity and venture capital. Barker & Sloane and Strategic Planning Associates. . financial services and manufacturing. Monitor tries to bridge the gap between academic ideas and business realities. and mergers and acquisition–related transactions. Monitor Group: Though much smaller than McKinsey. Founded in 1983 by a group of professors and consultants. and owned by professional services giant Marsh & McLennan. Mercer has grown rapidly. e–commerce incubation.McKinsey & Company Organization Mercer Management Consulting: Formed in 1990 by the merger of Temple. Mercer has expanded its practice quickly by aggressively pursuing clients and rooting its work in a series of well–publicized books. Through its 28 offices in 23 countries.
McKinsey & Company Vault Newswire July 2004 Managing director Ian Davis gives his first interview to the media. August 2003 The governor of Tennessee announces McKinsey will review the state's healthcare program. 21 . July 2004 McKinsey alumnus J. for London's Financial Times. August 2003 The Czech government approves McKinsey's role in advising the privatization sale of Unipetrol. message boards.D.vault. June 2004 Tennessee health insurer TennCare signs a contract extension with the firm for an additional $1.8 million. May 2004 The Confederation of Indian Industry hires McKinsey to review the nation's mining laws. Hickey. is appointed by Tennessee's governor to lead the state's health care system as director. May 2003 A newspaper reports McKinsey is advising the State Bank of India on restructuring. who advised the TennCare program while with the firm. June 2004 McKinsey issues a report to the United Nations on Kofi Annan's Global Compact with the world's business community. the Finance Job Board and more.com/Consulting — with insider firm profiles. Visit the Vault Consulting Career Channel at www.
lawyers argue that the $1 million–per–month flat fee for consulting services that bankrupt carrier United Airlines pays McKinsey is unwarranted for a company that couldn't pay its debts. Rejecting the argument. October 2002 McKinsey begins to perform an assessment of the New York City school system for chancellor Joel Klein. according to a Universum study.McKinsey & Company Vault Newswire May 2003 In bankruptcy court. . United continues to retain McKinsey during its restructuring. September 2002 McKinsey releases a controversial report detailing what New York's fire and police departments did right – and wrong – in response to the September 11. 2001. attacks. April 2003 For the seventh year in a row. McKinsey tops the list of where MBA students would most like to work. 22 © 2004 Vault Inc. September 2002 It's revealed that McKinsey is helping the West Bengal government to encourage investment in local industries. 2001 McKinsey clients Enron. March 2003 It is announced Ian Davis will succeed Rajat Gupta as managing partner of the firm. Swissair and Kmart file for bankruptcy. February 2003 The press reports that former First Daughter Chelsea Clinton will join the firm.
Visit the Vault Consulting Career Channel at www. Not anymore.000 range. March 2000 McKinsey says it will raise associates' pay.McKinsey & Company Vault Newswire August 2001 Branding strategy has. McKinsey purchases Chicago–based branding consultancy Envision. the Finance Job Board and more. February 2000 In a hotly contested battle.com/Consulting — with insider firm profiles. 5 percent below the "equilibrium level" of 17 percent. historically. A report the following month in The Economist maintains that Gupta withstood internal challenges to the throne from Ian Davis. In a move that may be the beginning of a turf war between the advertising and consulting industries. turnover rose to 21 percent at the firm. 23 . Crain's New York Business reports that the total compensation package for incoming MBAs will be in the $150. March 2001 In an interview with the Financial Times. manager of McKinsey's London office. May 2000 McKinsey signs on as the strategic advisor to Apollis AG. been a closely guarded facet of the advertising business. Clay Deutsch. the New Jersey office manager. McKinsey managing director Gupta frets that the attrition rate at McKinsey has fallen to 12 percent per year.vault. throughout Europe. former head of the Cleveland/Pittsburgh office. and Michael Patsalos–Fox. among others. Gupta also notes that during the height of dot–com fever. managing partner Rajat Gupta is reelected for his third three–year term. message boards. This alliance signals McKinsey's increasing efforts to expand into the trendy wireless space. a new company founded by General Atlantic Partners that will create and support wireless applications in Germany and soon.
based at the McKinsey Global Institute in Washington. .2 million new jobs. 24 © 2004 Vault Inc. Baily is a principal at McKinsey. Junior consultants can also. the venerable agency known for its work with IBM. August 1999 President Clinton announces his intention this month to name Dr. for the first time. McKinsey says that the IT industry has the potential to provide India with 2. November 1999 In an effort to recruit and retain the best b–school grads and ward off growing competition from dot–com companies. Martin Baily to chair the Council of Economic Advisers (CEA). In addition. American Express and Ford. in charge of its first–ever advertising campaign.McKinsey & Company Vault Newswire January 2000 A McKinsey study of the Indian technology industry concludes that the industry could grow to $87 billion by 2008 if the government can improve its telecommunications infrastructure. buy stakes in investment funds that would not normally be open to them. attract foreign investment totaling $5 billion and account for more than 7.5 percent of India's GDP by 2008. September 1999 McKinsey puts Ogilvy & Mather. D.C. McKinsey decides to offer its associates the opportunity to invest in Internet startups.
Another insider says. The resources at our disposal can be impressive.com/Consulting — with insider firm profiles. We're told we should never feel comfortable doing what we're doing. partly because "the job market has changed. "You expect this place to be an Eden." says one McKinsey recruiter. for you have the opportunity to tackle complex issues for blue chips. Consultants say the firm's "values–driven culture rewards people for doing the right thing. "it is the most or among the most selective. you do indeed feel that you have reached some sort of career pinnacle. But the people who come here thrive on challenge. There are stains on the carpet. that we should always be reaching to do more. "To outsiders." Indeed. Others describe life at McKinsey more simply as "a roller coaster. but it's not. insiders note: "Given two people with the same analytical skills." and "the bar is set much higher now. Sometimes a client changes his mind on a project plan and the result sucks.vault. The work is stimulating. we always want someone who is fun." says a source. that you are the best and the brightest." even an "orchestra director. "It is a place where you meet tons of people who are extremely smart. Sometimes you work on a project and it winds up being fairly uninteresting." And as you might expect. message boards." says a colleague." says an insider." remarks one consultant. "All that glitters is not gold. "You are always encouraged to improve yourself. the Finance Job Board and more. not the profitable thing. Visit the Vault Consulting Career Channel at www." "Relative to other consulting firms." sources say. Having survived the grueling interview process.McKinsey & Company Our Survey Says The chosen few A life with The Firm is "crazy and exhilarating." McKinsey gets kudos for its professional culture as well. Insiders say it's "not easy" to get an offer from McKinsey. 25 . Your colleagues might include a quantum physicist." This means that "when people get offers from us and from others. it's competitive. "whenever you stick overachievers together. despite all the prestige and glamour. we must look extremely competitive. "There is an overpowering feeling at McKinsey & Company that you are among the chosen few. Still. but unique in a very diverse fashion. "top lawyers." Another insider agrees." "You work with the best people and the projects provide you with opportunities to learn." McKinsey's rigorous selectivity is wellknown. the vast majority end up coming here. present to executives and build a strong network." But it isn't enough just to be an Ivy–league MBA with a gleaming transcript." boasts one insider." people who hold "PhDs twice over in information science. But there's no backstabbing. and you're only competing with yourself." a consultant relates.
as one associate puts it. and you might get out at 8 p. While the firm is described as "nonhierarchical from a problem–solving standpoint (i. the source adds. "Working hours are hard to control." says a source. with late night conference calls with the partners. however. putting together presentations.McKinsey & Company Our Survey Says The Firm's formalities The McKinsey mystique comes in part from its unique culture. regularly." For their troubles." As the pinnacle of consulting (to many.g.. Of course. everyone participates fairly equally). and I think I manage that about 70 percent of the time. who frequently show up late. My goal is to work between 55 hours and 60 hours per week. Another says that while there's a "pretty good balance in terms of hours and keeping weekends free … being out of town is always tough. and the late nights are the usual. 26 © 2004 Vault Inc. "McKinsey employees are taught to refer to McKinsey as the 'Firm. attending client meetings. "If balance is important to you." As for travel. "I believe there are few places where you are more dared to take a challenge: it is the rule rather than the exception to be tasked with a chunk of work which is bigger than you have previously handled. . you realize it just isn't sustainable. reflected in the ways in which staffers interact with each other and their company. "we try to do 'sanity checks' on the workload." "which does not add to the happiness." But a colleague suggests this may depend on who's managing your projects: "Your time is almost entirely controlled by the EM. McKinsey also puts its consultants to the test with late nights and plenty of hotel time." says an insider. Get lucky enough to have an EM who cares about lifestyle (they're rare). When you work 70 to 75 hours per week for a while.m. says a source. We were always guided by firm policy and procedures. insiders report that there's "a lot.." it's still "very hierarchical when it comes to tactical issues (e." But don't get the impression McKinsey limits its consultants – in fact." Another senior consultant says that while increased work–life balance is now "part of the conversation" at McKinsey. consulting is not the place you want to be." But. and definitely not McKinsey. Get the more typical EM in a busy office that's overscoping and understaffing projects. a "sustainable life" is still a challenge. anyway). consultants can expect plenty of "creature comforts during travel" like nice hotels and first class seats on long flights." Another insider notes that those sanity checks "are a matter of common sense. because all these overachievers will kill themselves with the pace.e. controlling your hours).' never as merely a company.
"The firm will continue to pay your salary until you find a job you like. the firm has a reputation for being. "The firm tosses a substantial amount into your 401(k) every year.000 and goes up beyond $25. two of which offer fully paid premiums. life. "McKinsey is all about the performance review. creative art gatherings) and lots of opportunities to pick up free tickets to various sporting events. and an interest–free loan for "settling in.vault. There's also a regular performance bonus that starts at $10. flexible spending plans and opportunities for group discounts with car insurance and mortgages.com/Consulting — with insider firm profiles. very specific list of things to work on and 'upping' the bar each time you succeed. In addition. so you basically have to push for a large first–year package to make the biggest bucks later on. I think McKinsey has the most focus on constantly Visit the Vault Consulting Career Channel at www." No such thing as "good enough" For those who remain." an insider reports. one insider says. with previous experience at other consulting firms. "If incessant evaluation will make you crazy as a loon. McKinsey's senior partners receive salaries in excess of $1 million a year." Adoption assistance and "generous " maternity leave are also provided. McKinseyites receive a personal assistant. sources suggest. in the words of one consultant. and office perks include free beverages. consultants at McKinsey get the "royal treatment" as a reward for their travails." Pay at the firm is based on individual performance." says a source. free lunches and dinners when work is pressing. along with "fully–paid dental. "Among all my colleagues at other firms. 27 . Not just until you find a job. The company is also generous to those who decide that McKinsey just isn't for them (estimates of turnover range from 20 to 25 percent annually)." The company provides a choice of health plans. Salaries at the firms are reportedly among the highest in the industry. but one you like. notes. Your pay each year gets decided. who adds. baby!" – but it also helps ambitious consultants move vertically. The firm also offers "monthly social events (bowling nights.000 in year one. If you love to constantly be challenged to the next level. "up–or–out. message boards. a low–rate home loan. One McKinsey insider notes." One McKinseyite warns: "You cannot negotiate with McKinsey. "Future increases in pay are based on the previous year's pay. Others report receiving signing bonuses.McKinsey & Company Our Survey Says The royal treatment Indeed. based on performance of the firm and your own performance. and free cab rides to and from work during early and late hours. STD and LTD." After reaching the rank of engagement manager. you'll love it here." One source. try somewhere else. the Finance Job Board and more. constantly giving every consultant the next. When the time has come to part.
and another two years to partner." "African–Americans are the most under represented of all minorities at McKinsey. the firm invests in intense mentoring and on–the–job learning. maybe say. . says a consultant. You want to be recognized a little." Minority report McKinsey insiders say that the firm's "diversity is pretty broad from the perspective of background. 'That's good enough." says a colleague. they'll fling you into the next. "Sometimes you'll wish they didn't advance you so fast. As for gays and lesbians.' Management is so used to overachievers that they don't remember the 'I care about you' human factor." Another describes the corporate ladder at McKinsey as "fairly self–weeding. but dwindle quickly as you move up the ranks – probably due to lifestyle issues as much as anything else. "The expectations are so high. MBA–level consultants are able to take a training program called ILW after two years on the job. but not nearly enough from a gender or racial perspective. as interaction with firm and client higher–ups is the norm: "You can easily meet the partners. though another source observes that "newly–minted MBA consultants tend to be white and male." McKinseyites learn from the masters. you never feel that your work is good enough. take a short breather. many others find greener pastures. Another says that "I've interacted with around a dozen CEOs in my five years with McKinsey.McKinsey & Company Our Survey Says evaluating you. the praise you need for a job well done. the firm "offered domestic partner benefits early on. we had people from 13 different countries." To help its consultants become ever more promotable." a source reports. too." A colleague adds." A consultant notes that "women are fairly numerous (30 percent) in the associate class. 'Meets expectations' is a failing grade around here – you're always supposed to do more." The company reportedly has launched initiatives to encourage workplace diversity. to add value that you weren't asked for. He continues. Just when you begin to get confident at one position." says a source. In my group." That leads to a lot of performance pressure. Another consultant has "worked with gays at all levels in the firm (associate to 28 © 2004 Vault Inc." noting that "fewer than 10 percent starting at McKinsey at entry–level move up to partner. which isn't always good. "It is some of the best training in the world – you lean about problem solving and communication." A typical path for McKinsey promotions is described as "about two years to manager. It's done all over the world in groups of about 20. Some people thrive on the hard work and competitiveness. another two years to junior partner (associate principal).
" The firm is known for performing "a lot of community work.com/Consulting — with insider firm profiles. message boards. the Finance Job Board and more.vault. 29 ." This includes "pro bono consulting." Visit the Vault Consulting Career Channel at www.McKinsey & Company Our Survey Says director) who were very successful. open about their sexual orientation and open to bringing their significant others to firm events. voluntary support of United Way [and] various initiatives driven by individuals.
We’ll match job listings with your interests and criteria and e–mail them directly to your inbox. Vault Consulting Job Board The most comprehensive and convenient job board for consulting professionals. No surfing required. function and experience level. experience and more. . Target your search by area of consulting. VaultMatch Resume Database Vault takes match–making to the next level: post your resume and customize your search by area of consulting.) Use the Internet’s most targeted job search tools for consulting professionals. and find the job openings that you want.How many consulting job boards have you visited lately? (Thought so.
of course. but more than one insider describes these as "extremely rare. The career section of McKinsey's web site includes helpful information for job candidates from undergraduate. If so. "Now there's a much bigger structure – cases. "You'll take some Visit the Vault Consulting Career Channel at www. insiders note." Interviewing During the interview process. Both MBA and undergrad scholars should check with their school campus career centers as early in the year as possible to find out whether McKinsey recruits on their campuses. Undergrads who join the firm as analysts are "retained for 18–24 months. offers MBA–level internships. "If they like you and want you back.vault. influencing others. Insiders tell us there is "no internship program for analysts. After the boom period of the late 1990s. after that. as well as from working professionals and non–MBA advanced degree holders." We are told "there are no promotions when times are bad.com/Consulting — with insider firm profiles. there have been instances of analysts being promoted straight into the associate ranks. MBA and advanced degree programs. the entire class is cut loose to go back to school or seek employment at another firm. A return trip to the mother ship is quite possible. as well as experienced professionals." according to sources. McKinsey accepts applications online from students who don't attend the firm's target schools. sign up quickly for an interview – the slots are likely to go fast! Those who aren't lucky enough to be graced by an on–campus visit shouldn't fret. McKinsey looks for people with strengths in problem solving." though the firm." He notes.McKinsey & Company Getting Hired Early birds only Students wishing to join McKinsey's hallowed ranks should start gathering resources for the highly competitive process early. the site says. It also walks applicants through a sample case study. 31 . group interviews and presentations." a source reports. Prospective candidates can find interviewing tips and a practice case study online. and achieving goals." A third calls the screening "fair and objective. the interview process has changed. Another says it's "very rigorous. McKinsey encourages candidates to use its online application system. the Finance Job Board and more. they pay for grad school." says one source. leading others and building relationships." In the past. message boards. One insider thinks the company could improve by "adjusting the promotion system to promote high–performing analysts without an MBA.
while I was at another company. BTO is considered an "office. In technology. They also helped with interview preparation. including one–on–one and one–on–six interview workshops. The key was getting to know the members of the office.McKinsey & Company Getting Hired tests that are like part of the GMAT – in fact." just like a geographic location. but if your heart is set on working at McKinsey.K.K. and finding a fit with their culture. By taking them up on nearly every offer for dinner or event. as one might intuit.. engagement managers and partners – is required to seal the deal." Another describes a full two years of bravely trying to get a foot in the door In the first year. Not to add any pressure." Applicants can expect at least two rounds of interviews. workshops and dinners. McKinsey screens resumes/CVs and invites people who make that cut to take a 70–minute test. with five to six interviews in the final round. we try to interview them. Consensus among all participating parties –which may include senior associates. reports his interview experience: "In the U. [Out of hundreds of applicants 32 © 2004 Vault Inc." a source relates. "After you get past the first round. An insider let us know about an informal hiring policy: "If you apply to one region." Continues the BTO consultant. this time I was successful." One BTOer says that candidates specifically interested in working for the technology practice should have techie backgrounds. "The case interview process was important. I interviewed with the same office. "McKinsey held several formal and informal information sessions on campus. you interview with an office." Patience is a virtue Those who have their hearts set on McKinsey should come equipped with patience to burn. but it became clear to me that it wasn't the most important. Again. "McKinsey took me out to dinner over the summer. we used to use old GMAT exams as our tests. you can't apply to another for one year. Handling consulting cases isn't that hard." One applicant's case study An applicant for a business analyst position in the U. "The hiring process began one year prior – with my first year in business school. If there are people who would be a good match for us. and it doesn't have to be done perfectly." This source continues. Second year included more information sessions. I got to know them well enough to get an offer. there are some things that you just can't learn on the fly. you should ace the interview and know where you want to be stationed. .
"I had two one–on–one. though. Then she told me what had been compelling about my cover letter so that I would know what not to change. some involved making a judgment based on almost enough information and some were basically math problems. the Finance Job Board and more. 33 .] The test counts as the first–round interview. Though I was Visit the Vault Consulting Career Channel at www.e. 45–minute interviews. or something else to discern what I had thought I was doing at the time. but still appreciated." "In each interview the 15–minute–ish 'walk me through what you did and how' question was followed by a challenging case study of about 25 minutes. which was certainly to be expected. I did not make it to the third (final) round. or why I had decided to speak to someone whom I had said I had contacted. Plus.000 times 500) and a tiny dose of algebra (i. message boards. The test supposedly measures basic skills that McKinsey deems necessary for success in consulting. with a 10–minute break in between with two different associates. real–life interview at McKinsey's fantastically cool London offices.. and it was all multiplechoice. but each case study had a market–sizing problem. which would have been a day of group and individual exercises. The recruitment staff was unfailingly kind and extremely helpful. back–to–back. It had no questions harder than anything on the GRE.e. only 90 applicants from Oxford and 90 from Cambridge were invited to take the test. My travel expenses to London were reimbursed." A week later. Both interviews started with about five minutes of chat about my background and my current academic interests. the 'hows' and 'whys' were surely relevant. a couple of simple math problems (i.com/Consulting — with insider firm profiles. solving for x or figuring a percentage).. The only personal question in the first one was to describe something I'd worked on in the past six to 12 months that had turned out well.McKinsey & Company Getting Hired from each. he continues. the only personal question was to describe something that had turned out well in the past six to 12 months on which I had worked with more than one other person.vault. My overall experience with McKinsey was great. Though it was unnerving to be interrupted so frequently. When I asked if it might be worth my while to work on a couple of not–hot things and reapply next year. In the second interview. In each interview. what was marginal and where things had gone wrong was a real comfort. People who pass are invited to a second–round. I had the chance to show off my ability to finish a thought when someone has cut me off in the middle. When I got the call to say I had not made it to the last round. 50. the interviewer stopped me after every couple of sentences to ask how I had settled on the action I had just mentioned. the lady replied with an enthusiastic yes. the super–nice recruitment lady gave me the interviewers' feedback. Hearing so quickly what was really good. Some questions were just reading comprehension. There were no brainteasers.
is a must! It is also vital is to ask the right sort of questions – questions that will give you the information you need to make a recommendation – and not to rush into your answer." You and your interviewer will discuss your experience. Failing to ask the most obvious questions before jumping to conclusions won't get you to the second round.1 one piece of advice for interviewees is. (Incidentally. A candidate might be asked to determine the profitability of a computer manufacturer or the revenue opportunities of a pen manufacturer in Cleveland. The first half–hour interview is intended to "get to know you. How you present yourself 34 © 2004 Vault Inc. practice. At McKinsey." Round and round This applicant's process sounds more or less typical. whether you would be a good fit with the firm and what you want out of a career. You should feel free (and are expected) to ask any questions if you need additional information. although the format varies from campus to campus. Insiders say interview rules aren't static.) The second interview of round one is typically a case interview and immediately follows the first interview. "My No. I also gained a better understanding of McKinsey's recruiting philosophy and processes. each lasting about half an hour. the interview will almost always involve an industry the interviewer has worked in recently. I got the distinct impression that that I did well to get as far as I did and that I was being taken seriously. The consultant starts off by explaining the ground rules: she'll give you a case interview that presents a business scenario for you to discuss. The first round of reviews at McKinsey typically consists of two on–campus sessions. A notepad and pen in this round. to take notes and make basic calculations. can encounter consultants from Los Angeles and Caracas. expect more case studies and personal interviews. but recent case studies have focused on theoretical client situations. though McKinsey is reportedly tinkering with its interview format. it's all about problem solving – practice. the interviewer will throw out new information and inquire how this additional data affects your conclusions. . interviewees in New York. which should serve me well if I decide to try again. personality. As you go along. Moving on In the second and third rounds. The case interview is with one consultant. and lasts half an hour to 45 minutes. for example.McKinsey & Company Getting Hired disappointed not to make it all the way. practice your cases!" exhorts a BTO insider. the consultants that interview on–campus come from McKinsey offices all over the country and the world.
those lucky enough to pass McKinsey's mafia–like initiation Visit the Vault Consulting Career Channel at www. a campus team meets at the end of the final round. the third round is most always at the McKinsey office where the candidate is hoping to work. approximately six candidates solve a case jointly over a period of an hour. In successive interviews. Use the group exercise to demonstrate "how you work with others. the Finance Job Board and more. it is an opportunity to "be open. of course. At all hiring levels." proclaims one zealous McKinseyite." but "don't be competitive against each other. Traveling expenses are. too – it's "not only how brilliantly you formulate a solution. you may go through three or four interviews that day. even after the third interview. These days. how you behave in a group". These cases are now held on–campus at some universities." Those enrolled in business school classes with McKinsey alums should take note." "intelligence" and "which events" the person attended. message boards. 35 . two people may interview you simultaneously in the first round. As in the first round. After the final round of interviews. "[At the final round] we presume that candidates are innocent until proven guilty. but how well you can communicate that solution. "Candidates really will get a fair hearing. on the company's tab. be forthright and show your personality. this report will do little to quell raw nerves." For those who worry that McKinsey analyzes their every word and gesture. Fortunately. "It's like a town hall meeting. McKinsey recruitment teams do look at the smallest details of each applicant. even employing "high–tech screens" to examine "resume." Inside info If McKinsey can't decide upon an applicant." insiders advise.com/Consulting — with insider firm profiles.McKinsey & Company Getting Hired during these case interviews is significant. While the first two rounds of interviewing are usually held on campus or at an established recruiting site." declares one insider. In these group cases. To make the hiring decision." an insider says.vault. you may be interviewed by up to five McKinseyites at the same time. This emphasis on case interviews reflects McKinsey's newfound understanding that an answer to an absurd and farfetched guesstimate isn't necessarily reflective of a candidate's full analytical capacity. it takes other avenues of opportunity: "[We] find out more about this person from the people we have on campus [former business analysts]. candidates are encouraged to ask questions in order to ascertain specific information on the cases. the candidate typically goes home and is notified by phone the following day. McKinsey reportedly is also experimenting with group exercises. McKinsey has reportedly increased its use of case interviews and decreased its reliance on guesstimates. "We talk very openly.
" Also." This is because "everyone has to be a great problem solver. The firm is under the impression that anyone who turns down an offer does so because of an "entrepreneurial situation." Sources recommend that candidates "prepare for and be comfortable with the case process." Solving the cases Throughout the interview process. like starting a business. Everyone. About 75 to 80 percent of McKinsey job offers are accepted." Although the firm is veering more and more toward industry–specific expertise. "Is this person going to make a difference in the world?" General or particular McKinsey newbies generally take one of two paths: People who wish to incorporate their knowledge of a range of industries (or no industries at all) can join as "generalist consultants!" while those who have expertise in a specific area come onboard as 'specialized consultants. Other people join large and small consulting firms or investment banking companies. McKinsey says that an employee must "earn the right to stay a third year" and is "encouraged to be in another office. "We consider them part of the McKinsey family. so be ready to demonstrate that through the case interview process. curiosity or a fondness for radar surveillance prompts McKinsey to keep track of any candidate who turns down a job offer. insiders advise candidates to have "an open dialogue where we can see how people think. as well as rapid advancement for successful performers." The worst method is "force fitting something that doesn't make any sense because they think we're looking for it. candidates will encounter a mixture of case questions and resume with "no brainteasers or market sizings." reveals another insider. "be personally comfortable." During the case sections. it emphasizes that both career paths offer "continuous learning and a high degree of intellectual stimulation. personal impact/presence." Don't search only for "a right answer or right framework. leadership. a handful stay for three." A BTO insider describes the firm's "hourglass model" of specialization: "You start out as a broad generalist. Disbelief." McKinsey is looking for four key qualities during the interview process: "problem–solving ability. .McKinsey & Company Getting Hired processes will find themselves welcomed with open arms. usually another 36 © 2004 Vault Inc." Although many analysts stay the industry standard of two years. then start to pull in and specialize. and drive and aspiration. even the most highly specialized expert." This apparently means asking. and then after you've made partner you're expected to broaden out again. is expected to excel in basic consulting skills.
law and medicine. relevant shipping costs. Of course. tax laws. proximity to raw materials for the plant. some come from successful careers in such specialized areas as brand management. Your company must build a new paper plant. Some do pro bono work. Some will do a non–consulting job – like in McKinsey corporate communications. MBA candidates currently attending business school should follow the recruiting procedures of their placement office. access to local capital markets. you must speak the language. information technology. corporate finance. Here are some others you can use for practice: 1. etc. "Some offices are experimenting with having a third–year [employee] work at a company. price of raw materials." Although the majority of new consultants come to McKinsey directly from campuses or post–doctoral research programs. You must decide which country to build the plant in. skill and availability of local labor force. government treatment of foreign investments. 37 . the Finance Job Board and more. What factors would you consider? The point of the case interview is to evaluate your analytic capabilities and your eloquence. message boards. Case: You are the head of a large corporation. Some questions to ask for this case would be: "What does the corporation I head do? What does the company plan to do with the paper produced by the plant? Use the paper in its own manufacturing process? Sell it to other companies? Do we even need to build the plant? Can we satisfy this need in another way?" Factors to consider in answering this case: each country's labor costs.vault. a self–testing program which walks you through a real case interview and its component questions.com/Consulting — with insider firm profiles. All other candidates can submit applications via McKinsey's web site. Visit the Vault Consulting Career Channel at www. the interviewer will typically add information or constraints to the case (for example. You are expected to ask the interviewer questions to obtain additional information before answering the case (as any good consultant would do). he could tell you that you must decide only between Brazil and China as a paper plant location). on the careers section of the web site.McKinsey & Company Getting Hired country if possible. As the interview goes on. Questions to expect Take advantage of McKinsey's thorough online case study. political stability.
Case: You are a gumball manufacturer in Cleveland. 7. who is the CEO of American Airlines. Decide if this is a feasible and/or lucrative option. Case: You are a manufacturer of laundry detergent and thinking about shifting into the dry cleaning business. also need to be evaluated. revenue and costs. What is it about consulting that interests you? Be honest. McKinsey doesn't necessarily expect you to acknowledge all of them. 4. The two vital elements of profit. Case: You are an automobile manufacturer and you want to move into the luxury sector. McKinsey wants to know if you fathom the many factors that go into making such a momentous business decision. Case: It's 1982. What are some things you can do to improve growth? You need to assess what has halted growth during the past five years. Why would you be a good fit at McKinsey? Talk about your thirst for knowledge. 3. Do you build your own brand or buy an existing one? 38 © 2004 Vault Inc. but try not to let the dollar signs in your eyes shine too brightly. 6. He turns to you and asks you to analyze the merits and faults of the program. . of other factors to take into consideration. there are dozens. The client tells you that American can't seem to keep many repeat customers and wants to institute something called a "frequent flyer" program to reward loyal passengers with "points" they can redeem for free flights. 5. You're a consultant sitting on a plane next to your client. Here are a few crucial questions you need to ask your interviewer: Can the assets be transferred from business to business? What is the determined location – both geographical and on an operational level – of this new dry cleaners? Will it be accessible to substantial number of customers? Is building a new brand in dry cleaning going to be important or can we depend on an existing clientele? Obviously. Business has declined for the last five years. if not hundreds.McKinsey & Company Getting Hired 2. addiction to problem solving and desire to be among the best of the best in your chosen field.
" 3. Remember that McKinsey is looking for employees who are motivated. 39 . However. 6. 2. Please tell me more about the training McKinsey provides. and you can learn more about The Firm's philosophies. ambitious and ripe for work–related conquest. 4. the Finance Job Board and more. Your interviewer will likely reiterate this fact and cite the tasks typically completed by incoming McKinseyites. an incredibly powerful alumni list and tremendous connections. an interviewer won't have any trouble expounding the firm's impressive business school stats. McKinsey's "up–or–out" policy is a point of contention among many. Any question concerning promotion implies that you are interested in learning more about the firm's supposed "cutthroat culture.McKinsey & Company Getting Hired Questions to ask 1. For prospective analysts: What sort of assistance does McKinsey provide in preparing analysts for acceptance into business school? How solid is McKinsey's acceptance rate? Given McKinsey's four–star reputation. by asking these questions." 5. How does McKinsey apply some of the advice it gives clients to its own practice? Keep your interviewer on her toes. What most distinguishes McKinsey from its competitors? Your interviewer will welcome the chance to brag a bit. For prospective associates: Please describe how McKinsey evaluates promotion at the firm. How much responsibility will I be given in my first year? Both analysts and associates are given a considerable amount of independent work their first year at McKinsey. Flaunt the fact that you require constant mental stimulation and a high learning curve.vault. Not every consulting company actually practices what it preaches. message boards. a candidate opens up the floor for the interviewer to discuss related perks: exceptional prestige within the field.com/Consulting — with insider firm profiles. Visit the Vault Consulting Career Channel at www. including McKinsey staff. There is no such thing as "too much responsibility.
and use the opportunity to see how you might fit in. Engagement manager. . How would you describe McKinsey's culture? Employees of McKinsey swear that their corporate culture is unlike any other in the industry. 8.McKinsey & Company Getting Hired 7.000 $75. Find out what makes it so. What effect is McKinsey's increasing industry and IT emphasis having on its commitment to strategy? Compensation The salary information reprinted below was supplied by some of the McKinsey & Company employees who participated in Vault's 2004 Management Consulting Survey.four to five years’ experience: $150.000 signing bonus 40 © 2004 Vault Inc.000 $40-$60.000 signing bonus Associate principal. four to five years’ experience: $125.
41 .: A bit jet–lagged from travel yesterday (Monday).vault. 3:00 p.: All caught up. talking about how you'll apply the McKinsey problem–solving model to this engagement. (This is never any problem – in fact.: You and your colleague head to your "team room" at the client site. visit the firm's web site. which features "Day in the Life" profiles from around the world.m. 9:30 a.: Adjourn the meeting and begin tackling the development of a "hypothesis tree. as well as from firm partners and experts.com/Consulting — with insider firm profiles. You'll want to come to some consensus about this before involving senior partners. Visit the Vault Consulting Career Channel at www. message boards. start to compare notes on your hypothesis–building process. 9:00 a.m. BTO (a client site day) 8:00 a.: After the client reps leave.m. sleepwalk to your desk and start tackling voice mails and e–mails. 11:30 a.m.: Yikes! Was that your stomach growling? Time flies when you're deep in thought! Run up to the client's cafeteria and grab a quick bite.") 1:00 p. To begin.McKinsey & Company On the Job For a (corporate–sanctioned) peek into several McKinseyites' workdays. you need to gather knowledge from McKinsey's online resource.m. "I'm impressed with access to partners here – they'll always call you back and make time for you. where you hold a meeting with the five members of your team plus a few representatives from the client's office. A day in the life Associate.m. 10:30 a.: In another meeting with your team. 2:00 p.m. Knowledge Net." which you'll apply to this client's project. continue the meeting in private with your colleagues.m. the Finance Job Board and more.: Call a junior member of the team to ask about some fact–gathering he's doing for you. check in with colleague about how his recent training session went.
m.m.m.m.: Finish spreadsheets left over from the morning.m. fire up the laptop and prep for tomorrow's meeting with clients. 7:00 p.: Attend meetings with team members (one senior partner.m. 9:00 a.: At the hotel. 42 © 2004 Vault Inc.m. .: Get into the office and eat breakfast (sesame bagels and "darn good" cream cheese provided by McKinsey).: Eat on the run.: Get call about a volunteer activity you do through McKinsey ("There's usually one conversation unrelated to firm work per day").m.: Spend remainder of morning working independently on client–related spreadsheets and phone interviews.m." 6:00 p.m.m. 8:45 p.m.m. "We're always running things by the client so there are no surprises. check voice mail and e–mail. courtesy of The Firm.: Read The New York Times online.: Back at your computer. pull on sweatpants and head to the gym. Analyst (a client site day) 7:00 a. 11:30 p.: Haul your tired body out of bed. look up a little more background info online and respond to e–mails.: Pack up the laptop (you'll need to keep working on this after dinner) and go to meet colleagues at a nice restaurant downtown.McKinsey & Company On the Job 5:00 p. one engagement manager [EM] and one associate) to discuss a current client. 9:45 a.: Eat lunch with a co–worker at a local restaurant.: Leave to grab dinner and drinks with a friend. one regular partner.m. 1:00 p. 6:00 p. shower and down two cups of coffee. Doze off in front of Letterman.: Meet with senior–level staffers at the client site to discuss progress.m. 7:30 p. Analyst (an office day) 6:30 a.: Climb out of bed. 9:15 a.m. 2:00 p. 9:30 p. 8:00 p.
m. 1:15 p. McKinsey encourages camaraderie between its consultants. message boards.: Prep for team presentation.m. 11:30 a.m.m.: Leave with team for a swanky dinner at a swanky restaurant ("On McKinsey.: Arrive in the "team room" of the client site.vault.: Conference call with several partners from a small financial services company.m.m. 3:00 p. 3:30 p. 8:30 a. and will pay for it").: Call president of a division of a large media company to arrange a tour of his facility in order to perform industry research for a client.m.McKinsey & Company On the Job 8:00 a. 9:30 p. greet other McKinsey team members and client affiliates.m. 11:00 a.m. Visit the Vault Consulting Career Channel at www.: Get to work on collecting data and creating a graph for a future presentation Noon: Eat lunch with the team. Flip channels and check out the paucity of late night TV options.m. 7:45 p.: Arrive at the office . 2:00 p. 4:00 p.m.com/Consulting — with insider firm profiles.: Meet with team for a brief project update.m.: Engage in impromptu group problem solving complete with brainstorming.: Alarm goes off. Associate 7:30 a.m.: Open door to hotel room door and crash into bed.: Eat lunch in McKinsey cafeteria.: Attend meeting with mid–level manager at client site to discuss issues related to study. thanks. 9:15 a.: Discuss the agenda for the day 9:45 a. flipchart scrawling and Q&A sessions. 43 . 10:00 a. the Finance Job Board and more. 9:30 a.m. Settle on a pay–per–view movie and fall asleep before the end.m.: Meet with team to go over presentation for the board of directors tomorrow.m.: Sit down with research professionals to figure out what data is needed for the day.
newbies enter McKinsey as business analysts or "fellows. Gathering analysis needed to prepare graphs. Creating financial models using Excel.: Meet with the team to go over presentation materials for tomorrow 10:30 p. and helping to implement change." according to McKinsey. Decide on alternative approach. 44 © 2004 Vault Inc. Presenting information to clients. and discuss issues with. forming hypotheses.: Meet with research professional to review data she compiled. Traveling to client to tour facilities and collect documents.: Work on slides to prepare for board of directors meeting 8:00 p.m. designing and conducting analyses. 6:30 p. Daily activities include: Interviewing with industry experts. government officials and client's customers and competitors. senior management of the client company. Placed on engagement teams of four to five consultants including a partner.: Leave for dinner with friend and then head home Job descriptions Business Analyst (or Fellow) Coming out of undergrad. They may also frequently make presentations to. Become disappointed after hearing that critical international data was difficult to obtain. synthesizing conclusions.McKinsey & Company On the Job 5:30 p.m. Analysts typically stay at McKinsey for two or three years before entering graduate school or pursuing other job opportunities.m. charts and slides needed for client report. Business analyst stay on an engagement fulltime.m." Holders of advanced degrees other than MBAs also may be assigned this position. .: Meet with production staff to make graphs and slides for tomorrow's meeting 8:30 p. Duties may include "identifying issues. Meeting with research staff and gathering data to complete study.m.
government officials and client's customers and competitors. Creating financial models using Excel. with an advanced degree and two to four years of industry experience. and write work plans and reports.McKinsey & Company On the Job Associate Associates. These professionals. an IT consulting firm or high–performing corporate IT department. are staffed on teams that normally include a partner. associates may earn the title of engagement manager. taking responsibility for the day–to–day management and performance of the team and coach other team members. message boards.com/Consulting — with insider firm profiles. 45 . Assigning graphs. Specialists/experts Candidates with deep knowledge of an industry or topic may enter the firm as specialists or experts. Meeting with research staff and determining data needed to perform study. Attending presentation of study results to client. leading select sections of presentation. work with client teams as well as Visit the Vault Consulting Career Channel at www. their impact on business strategies." Daily activities include: Meeting with key industry experts. Associates are problem solvers that take responsibility for designing and carrying out the analyses needed to resolve issues that the team has identified. and in IT design or architecture or in managing large IT projects.vault." along with "a broad understanding of current IT trends. a senior associate and one to four other associates. Associates with little or no business experience may take a "mini–MBA" course that covers key finance concepts and consulting frameworks. who typically have earned an MBA or another advanced degree. the Finance Job Board and more. and their implications for senior management in creating and sustaining competitive advantage and transforming business processes. make presentations. Associates often meet with client executives and contacts. BTO associates are expected to have "work experience with a technology company. Traveling to client to meet with client team. plan strategy for study and assign needed tasks among McKinsey and client teams. charts and slides needed for client report to analysts. As they gain experience.
such contact is apparently more difficult at overseas offices than in the United States. others may work more independently on quantitative projects.McKinsey & Company On the Job spending part of their time building on their expertise in the field. Summer associates at McKinsey are reportedly treated "just like regular associates. Summer associates may contribute to reports. The summer is very short. most summer associates report that "the attitudes of the consultants toward us are very receptive. insiders put the percentage of successful summer associates at up to 90 percent. which may include some computer software training. Summer associate McKinsey's summer associate program is designed for students pursuing an MBA or another advanced degree. The typical analyst stays at McKinsey for two years. but hires most of its new analysts from Ivy League. Contact with senior management is generally above average. Summer associates recommend that interns "take initiative immediately" and "get into it from day one. Typically. interview members of client companies and make presentations. Insiders say specialists receive training in basic consulting skills – it's not enough to be a know–it–all. The firm says that summer associates may be extended an offer to join the firm upon successful completion of their duties. which is the designated length of the business analyst program." Career path For undergraduates McKinsey says that over the past two years. Stanford and MIT. socialize outside of work with office mates frequently. successful analysts have joined the firm from nearly 300 schools worldwide. However. . McKinsey recruits at top colleges across the country. As you might expect. depending on the office." The summer begins with a day and a half of orientation." Other former McKinsey summer associates advise: "To increase your chances of a full–time job offer." a source says. summer associates will work on an engagement team for 10 to 12 weeks. you also have to "know how to bring ideas to the clients. as well as from top European schools." Some summer associates spend as much as 60 percent of their time in team meetings and the balance in data gathering. A few analysts may be 46 © 2004 Vault Inc.
Visit the Vault Consulting Career Channel at www. Senior partners may spend "up to a third of their time" serving on committees that examine the work of their co–workers and subordinates. analysts are not promoted directly to associate positions without further schooling.com/Consulting — with insider firm profiles. Most everyone now develops a specialty by approximately her fourth year. in what's known as an "hourglass model. The firm reportedly has recently modified its career path for MBA holders. New McKinsey associates enter as either generalists or specialists." Be advised that promotion at McKinsey is contingent upon an unusually intense and detailed feedback process. In general. then became a senior engagement manager by the fourth or fifth year. though this has become more competitive in the recent economic downturn. be pleasant. the firm recently instituted an accelerated path to partnership based on "personal readiness. an associate moved up to engagement manager in her second or third year at the firm (if she survived that long). exhibit "partnership behavior" and have personal integrity and maturity. a source reports. They receive reviews at the midpoint and end of each study in addition to a formal review process at the end of each year. however.McKinsey & Company On the Job invited to remain for a third year. To ensure these standards are met. and collaboration and assumption of the responsibility of self–assessments by other McKinseyites. For MBAs and others with graduate degrees MBAs and other advanced degree holders are interviewed for associate positions. McKinsey employees are subjected to frequent contribution to the partnership through teamwork. To move up in the ranks. the Finance Job Board and more." With the change. dedicate themselves to clients. After that. high performers can become a partner as early as their fourth year with the firm. 47 . though McKinsey does promote some top–performing analysts directly. even the most specialized experts are expected to "broaden out" again. However. though they have the option of waiting until year 10 or 11. which is spent at a different office of the analyst's choice. inspire others. previously.vault. McKinsey demands "superior quality work and commitment to client service. usually business school. often overseas." Prospective partners must also be willing to care for people and develop their skills. message boards. requiring consultants to leave the firm if they languish at any one level for too long. McKinsey still retains its "up–or–out" policy.
. but you proved me wrong! The critique zeroed in on where I had weaknesses in the resume.Are you trying to get into the consulting job market or trying to move to another firm? The job market is tough – and you need every advantage you can get. Consultant.C.S. and deliver a final draft after feedback and discussion. Junior Consultant. San Diego Named the “Top Choice” by The Wall Street Journal for resume makeovers Consulting Resume Writing and Resume Reviews • Have your resume written from scratch or reviewed by an expert that knows the consulting industry and has seen hundreds if not thousands of consultants’ resumes. Our expert pronounced the resume ‘perfect. “We got the best revamp from Vault.” – H. GA “I was skeptical at first. • For resume reviews. Our experts will write a first draft. get an in–depth critique and rewrite within TWO BUSINESS DAYS. • For resume writing.com/consulting .. Consultant.” – S. Atlanta.. “You made coaching fun! Thank you. Toronto. start with an e–mailed history and 1– to 2–hour phone discussion.vault.com.’” The Wall Street Journal “I have rewritten this resume 12 times and in one review you got to the essence of what I wanted to say!” – S.G. Canada Consulting Career Coaching • Want to know what it takes to get into consulting from school or another career? • Have a deferred acceptance and want to know where to go from here? • Looking to switch from one consulting firm to another? • Is the travel wearing you out and you’re looking to see how else your consulting skills can be put to use? For more information go to www.
Recruiting has remained strong at McKinsey even as the economy has slowed. adding more IT capacity in the BTO segment and working to gain a strong position in global outsourcing. For all of its secret society rep. A successful stint at McKinsey places consultants in a privileged group – alumni are welcomed at the highest ranks of corporations. adhering to a strict. Under the leadership of new managing director Ian Davis. the firm is working on ways to address market needs. seeking specialists and holders of advanced degrees from other areas.vault. the Finance Job Board and more. Visit the Vault Consulting Career Channel at www. insiders–only approach to its practice. 49 . And while at the firm.McKinsey & Company Final Analysis Even in an era of shrinking corporate budgets." So pull up your socks. In pursuing these goals. consultants get the royal treatment – we rarely (if ever) hear grumbling about pay or perks from these insiders. insiders consistently describe McKinsey as a pleasant place to work – one source notes with obvious relief that the firm is "much more down–to–earth and action–oriented than I'd expected. Internally. aspiring consultants: You couldn't do much better than a career with McKinsey.com/Consulting — with insider firm profiles. McKinsey is regarded as the gold standard in management and strategy consulting. the firm has expanded its reach beyond the usual ranks of newly–minted MBAs. and just about anywhere else you can think of. educational organizations. message boards. government agencies. the firm is expected to continue pursuing its traditional values.
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August 23. David. Waterman. "The Incredible Shrinking Consultant." Fortune (Europe). In Search of Excellence. Copeland. 51 . the Finance Job Board and more. 2003. 2003.McKinsey & Company Recommended Reading Articles: Skapinker. "Analysts Are No Longer Going to Be Stars. Where. April 30. Michaels. January 6." Financial Times. June 7. The management bible." Financial Times. Rajat and Paul Coombes. 2003. Oct. August 23. Valuation: Measuring and Managing the Value of Companies.com/Consulting — with insider firm profiles. John A. Articles by McKinsey consultants: Farrell. Nevens. 2002. Toos. "When. May 26. the Winner Is. 2003. July 3. March 7. Daruvala. Selected books by McKinsey consultants: Bower." Global Agenda (magazine of the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting) 2003. and Mark Williams. McKinsey's paterfamilias on management. Ed. Helen Handfield–Jones and Beth Axelrod. Hunt.vault. London. 2004. The Will to Lead." BusinessWeek Online. Jr. "The Aspen Seven" Fortune. Warner. December 10. Tim Koller and Jack Murrin." American Banker. Marvin. Melanie. Dana. and Other Questions on Going Offshore. 2004. "At McKinsey. Michael. Byrne. and Robert H. The handbook for valuation." Financial Times. "Time for a High–Tech Shakeout. "Seasoned Survivor at the Head of the Firm. How. "Buried Treasure. Gupta. Visit the Vault Consulting Career Channel at www. Simon." Financial Times (London). Tom. Peters. "Accentuating the Positive.. "Can Germany Benefit From Offshoring?" The Wall Street Journal. "McKinsey & Company Misplayed in Unicom's CDMA Strategy?" SinoCast China Business Daily News.. The War for Talent. 2003. message boards. 25. 2003. Mike. 2004. Thomas J.
Barton. Roberto Newell and Gregory Wilson. Bryan. Real Change Leaders. 20/20 Foresight: Crafting Strategy in an Uncertain World. The Alchemy of Growth: Practical Insights for Building the Enduring Enterprise. Mehrdad. Jonathan. Creative Destruction: Why Companies That Are Built to Last Underperform the Market – and How to Successfully Transform Them. al. Katzenbach. Jon R. Lowell. Richard. et.McKinsey & Company Recommended Reading Courtney. Capitalist China: Strategies for a Revolutionized Economy. and Sarah Kaplan. Dominic. Baghai. and David White. Dangerous Markets: Managing in Financial Crises. Stephen Coley. al. 52 © 2004 Vault Inc. Race for the World. . Woetzel. Foster. et. Hugh.
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