Meet McKinsey’s MBA Class of 2022: Jubinder Singh

Jubinder Singh

McKinsey Office: Chicago

Hometown: New Delhi, India

MBA Program and Concentration: Johnson Graduate School of Management, Cornell University (Management Science)

Undergraduate School, Major: Punjab Technical University, B.Tech in Mechanical Engineering

Why did you choose McKinsey? After getting exposure in sales and marketing both in billion-dollar enterprises and start-ups, I wanted to work in consulting to have the opportunity to work on complex problems and deliver a bigger impact. During the recruitment process, I got to interact with hundreds of practitioners across different firms, and it did not take much effort to figure out that there is no match for McKinsey when it comes to scale of impact, level of clients, and talent within the firm. I wanted a place that could help me grow not only as a professional but also as a person and I was sure McKinsey was a great fit due to its extreme focus on training and learning.

What did you love about the business school you attended? My time at the Johnson School was the best time of my life. There are countless things that I love of my alma mater, but some of them that stood out for me are:

Community-Led Culture: Cornell takes pride in promoting a community-led culture and students collaborate at every stage, be it for academics or recruitment. Needless to say, the grade non-disclosure policy at Johnson ensures that students focus on overall development above and beyond academics.

PE (Physical Education) Courses: Once I was done recruiting in fall, I had a full spring term to explore and try new experiences. Cornell offers every experience you can think of. I enrolled in no-credit courses in sailing, ice hockey, swimming, hiking, and golf. I enjoyed every class and still relish that time.

Trips with friends: I did many trips with my MBA friends, but the one I loved the most was a multi-city trip to Atlanta, Miami, New Orleans, and Charlotte. It was an awesome experience that will always remain close to my heart.

What is your most meaningful accomplishment/professional accomplishment prior to your current role? Leaving a set career in my home country, going back to school after so many years, getting admitted into an Ivy League, and eventually landing at the world’s best consulting firm have been my most meaningful accomplishments.

When you think back to the different elements of the McKinsey assessment: the digital test (i.e., Solve), the Personal Experience Interview (PEI), and the Problem-Solving Interview, what stands out? What do you think made you successful and what advice would you give to other MBAs going through McKinsey or another organizations’ process? I personally enjoyed the case interview style of McKinsey, which is Interviewer-led and ensures focused problem-solving. I also believe the Personal Experience Interview (PEI) that touches on the topics such as personal impact, entrepreneurial drive, and inclusive leadership in detail is a great way to know the candidate in-and-out. The interview process also takes care that different PEI topics are covered in different rounds. Working on digging into your past and finding impact stories encompassing these topics is in itself a great opportunity for self-introspection.

What was an assumption you held—either specifically about McKinsey or the management consulting profession as a whole—that was proven wrong once you began working in your role? Why did you hold the misconception and how was it refuted? When I started my business school journey, I had an assumption that consulting as a career option is more suited to those coming with a background in the consulting industry. Moreover, the recruitment process is very indulgent and captive, which in itself is a great learning experience. You would reach out to practitioners across different firms across different offices and try to find the right fit both personally and professionally. I approached consulting recruitment hesitantly because of my non-consulting background; however, my assumptions were proven wrong early in the process. Every practitioner was so welcoming, and they made it a point that recruitment decisions in consulting don’t require pre-firm experience and looks at many other important aspects of a candidate’s profile.

McKinsey talks a lot about partnering with its clients to “accelerate sustainable, inclusive growth.” What does that mean to you and how have you seen it in action? At McKinsey, we not only talk about “accelerate sustainable, inclusive growth” but also practice it to the core. I think McKinsey’s purpose statement, “To help create positive, enduring change in the world” summarizes it so well and every person who is part of McKinsey follows this is as a guiding principle. In my first study, with a client in Advanced Industry, we delivered the impact as per plan. To my surprise, the engagement did not end there, and we spent significant effort and time ensuring the client is able to sustain the impact on its own even when McKinsey leaves.

Who has had the biggest impact on you at McKinsey and how have they helped you? My Engagement Director on the first study has had the biggest impact on me at McKinsey. I was amazed to see his unique approach to solving problems and managing client expectations. He is a true team leader, who looks out for the well-being of every team member.

Describe an “only at McKinsey” moment. I got my moment of “only at McKinsey” a few months back. Due to personal reasons, I had to change my home office location to Chicago. With only one year at the firm, I hesitantly reached out to the mobility team with my transfer request. To my surprise, they were so considerate of my personal reasons and approved my request in no time. This is when I realized the true essence of a “global firm” and something that can happen “only at McKinsey.”

What’s next? It could be within McKinsey or beyond. How/In what ways do you think your time at McKinsey will prepare you for your next step? It’s too early to fixate on what I will be doing next. But at present, I am exploring practices within the firm, working with different leaders, and trying to gauge my interest. Each day spent at McKinsey is a learning experience that inculcates in you the basics of structural thinking and effective problem solving.

A fun fact about me is… During my spring term at Cornell, I enrolled in an ice hockey class despite the fact I had never skated before. I did not tell this to my coach. It was so embarrassing and fun at the same time.


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