I am applying to a McKinsey office in Switzerland as an analyst (entry level). I have a Bachelor’s degree in Life Sciences and will obtain my Master’s in Life Sciences in a few months from the same university. The university is not a target school per se (I don’t know what really qualifies as target schools in Europe) but it’s the only state university in the city where the McKinsey office I am applying to is.
I don’t have exactly outstanding grades although I have an interesting story: I cofounded a family business in my home country a few years ago and I still run it. I learnt a lot about business from my experience and I have been very intensively self-teaching every single aspect of business administration these last years through college textbooks and online platforms like edX. I basically did my own MBA (minus the group case studies) using all the resources I could find. I have no proof that I have this kind of knowledge other than a MicroMasters I earned recently on edX.
I have been told by many people that although my story could be interesting, my profile is not that solid given my average grades and that without a referral I would never get past the CV screen. McKinsey has no relationship with my university, no networking events and we don’t even have our own consulting club. I don’t personally know anyone in McKinsey, so I’ve been trying for the last 3 weeks to get in touch with McKinsey people on LinkedIn using cold messages asking them for a very brief phone call to ask them a few questions, but I haven’t had any good results (I have messaged 150 + people, they mostly read without answering or they tell me to contact someone else).
I really need some advice, especially on how to get a referral and Ireally need one. Also, if anyone here works at McKinsey and is willing to give me 10 minutes of their time for a quick phone call it would be lifesaving. I can provide my CV/CL in PMs or any other clarifications or details.
Sorry for the long post and thanks a lot.