TRY EVERYTHING YOU WANT…IN ONE COMPANY
Bottom line: McKinsey’s mission involves furnishing support to drive success. That mission doesn’t just cover client services, Teichner emphasizes. Instead, it applies to developing people, creating a virtuous cycle that enhances the client experience. One way this is realized is through McKinsey’s flexible approach to career management, with consultants encouraged to try new practice areas and locations.
“Flexibility can mean lots of things like focus on managing the day-to-day, formal and informal support, and leave and part-time programs,” Teichner adds. “It also means where you can take your career in terms of mobility and international opportunities and in exploring different industries and never closing the door on trying new things. Overall, it means having the tools and support to be at your best, at work, at home, in your life.”
This philosophy, coupled with McKinsey’s scale, enable MBAs to enjoy meaningful impact early in their careers. Whether it is working on groundbreaking projects or rubbing elbows with c-suite leaders, McKinsey consultants enjoy the freedom and resources to pursue their passions, act as force multipliers, and bring out their very best in themselves and those around them.
“I knew McKinsey works with some of the biggest companies and organizations on their most complex problems,” says Dushyant Sharma, an IESE grad in the Melbourne office. “And successfully solving these problems with the some of the smartest people creates an environment of learning and a sense of satisfaction. This is what I came for and I have not been disappointed one bit.”
ADAPTING TO THE TIMES
In an environment where consultants are constantly learning, it goes without saying that McKinsey is evolving. Warren Teichner has observed that clients are increasingly seeking integrated offerings. That includes bundling various practices and broadening the scope from producing a strategy to executing it.
“Clients are looking for partners in value creation,” he points out. “To meet their needs, we have deepened our capabilities in areas like analytics, digital, design, operations, and implementation. As part of building these capabilities, we have expanded the educational and experiential backgrounds we look for in candidates. Not only has this enabled McKinsey to meet clients’ evolving needs but it has enriched our colleagues’ experiences at the firm. I am constantly hearing from people about how interesting and fun it is to work with such a varied range of people, and how they appreciate having teams made up of groups like two generalist consultants with MBAs plus an engineer, a designer, and a scientist.”
McKinsey’s mandate has also expanded due to higher expectations from clients, particularly in areas like technology, digital, and design. “Our clients still need traditional strategy consulting, but they need other aspects such as implementation, design and technical advice,” Teichner notes. “To quickly deepen our capabilities we have made acquisitions, hired external talent, and invested heavily in capability building.”
Such disruptions, Teichner adds, have actually made McKinsey a better partner and a more competitive operation. “Being here for a long time, I see considerable changes in the way we operate in order to innovate at a faster pace than ever,” he adds. “Who thought McKinsey would be one of the largest design firms around, but here we are. Who could have predicted that my week wouldn’t be complete without working with one of our amazing data scientists? All the change and innovation has made McKinsey an even more vibrant, growing and interesting place to be.”
INTERVIEW ADVICE: DON’T TAKE THE FOOT OFF THE GAS
Other changes have been no less profound. For example, McKinsey was recently certified as carbon neutral, using 100% renewable electricity and investing in quality carbon reduction projects according to Teichner. The firm also launched an Emerging Scholars program at 17 full-time MBA programs (Deadline: May 9th), a mix of scholarship support, networking, and coaching. By the same token, there are some areas where McKinsey has changed little, such as the firm’s commitment to diversity and inclusion.
“Some of our affinity groups like GLAM (McKinsey’s LGBTQ+ network) and McKinsey Black Network are more than 20 years old,” Teichner adds. “Our commitment to hiring and advancing more women is a top firm priority. I’m glad to say we are making good progress on and one in which we will not take our foot off the gas.”
This gas pedal analogy also applies to MBA interview preparation, says Tom Wichman. Too often, Wichman noticed that candidates would slow down during holiday breaks or after the first round. He suggests that potential hires develop a training timeline – and focus on more than just cases.
“I’ve found many forego personal time to reflect on feedback, practice individual skills, and really think of their stories of leadership for the personal experience interview for the sake of doing more cases. I encourage taking time for all of it, not just more case prep.
LEARNING SOMETHING NEW EVERY DAY
Zhina Siadat, a Wharton grad in the Vancouver office, offers similar advice. “There is no magical number of cases that will prepare you for the interview. For some, it may be ten, for others, it may be more. Prepare to the extent you feel comfortable and confident in presenting your thinking in a non-generic way. Second, pay as much attention to the personal experience component of the interview and practice elaborating your stories, considering the “why” as well as the “how.”
Such stories – and how McKinsey enriches and emboldens – is the big reason “why” Warren Teichner is still thrilled excited to come to work every day. “I can’t stress enough how much I appreciate and value working with the most talented and committed people in the world. And, I’m always grateful that after being here for more than 16 years I absolutely am still learning new things. Those moments when I marvel at a colleague’s knowledge and caring…those are my favorite moments and I’m lucky they happen frequently.”
For Tabitha Strobel, the appeal is being able to be herself – and be part of something truly monumental. “I get to bring full self to work…every day. Not only do I work with incredibly intelligent people with extremely diverse backgrounds, but we’re coming up with truly innovative solutions that drive lasting impact.”
To read the profiles of newly-hired MBAs at McKinsey, including their advice on how to get into the firm, click on the links below.
|Consultant||McKinsey Office||Hometown||MBA Program|
|Yuja Chang||Taipei||Taipei, Taiwan||Wharton School|
|Jane Chun||London||San Francisco, CA||INSEAD|
|Paul Gabriel||Dubai||Beirut, Lebanon||INSEAD|
|Lorelei Gertz||Paris||Strasbourg, France||INSEAD|
|Daphne Hemily||Toronto||Toronto, Canada||University of Toronto (Rotman)|
|Matilda Narulita||Jakarta||Yogyakarta, Indonesia||University of Michigan (Ross)|
|Sehrish Saud||Houston||Lahore, Pakistan||INSEAD|
|Dushyant Sharma||Melbourne||Kota, India||IESE Business School|
|Yu Shimada||Tokyo||Tokyo, Japan||Columbia Business School|
|Zhina Siadat||Vancouver||Vancouver, Canada||Wharton School|
|Tabitha Strobel||New York City||Bowie, MD||Harvard Business School|
|Andrew Tingley||Pittsburgh||Rockville, MD||Harvard Business School|
|Kevin Vichyastit||Yangon||Dallas, TX||Wharton School|
|Tom Wichman||Minneapolis||Neenah, WI||University of Chicago (Booth)|
DON’T MISS: Meet McKinsey’s MBA Class Of 2017