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Henning

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Are MBB offices in developing countries perceived to be inferior?

Hi, I've heard from a former McKinsey consultant that MBB offices in developing countries (eg. Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand) are considered inferior by those in more developed, established offices in western countries.

He came from the SF office and mentioned how it was widely perceived that the McKinsey offices in those mentioned countries do not have real consultants but are offices known to simply be a data hub.

(1) How true is this for people both within and outside the firm?

(2) Do people from offices of developing countries get the same exit opportunities as those from western countries? Let's say I exit from McKinsey, build a startup, and look for funding, will investors consider my background to be lesser? or if I apply to Harvard or Stanford for MBA, will my chances be lower?

Hi, I've heard from a former McKinsey consultant that MBB offices in developing countries (eg. Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand) are considered inferior by those in more developed, established offices in western countries.

He came from the SF office and mentioned how it was widely perceived that the McKinsey offices in those mentioned countries do not have real consultants but are offices known to simply be a data hub.

(1) How true is this for people both within and outside the firm?

(2) Do people from offices of developing countries get the same exit opportunities as those from western countries? Let's say I exit from McKinsey, build a startup, and look for funding, will investors consider my background to be lesser? or if I apply to Harvard or Stanford for MBA, will my chances be lower?

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Book a coaching with Henning

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I can unequivocally say this is not the case for Bain. If you're in the consultant workforce, all offices are equal in all aspects and I find it hard to imagine that this would be different for any of the other firms.

I don't believe that working in a client-facing role in a developing country would have any effect on exit opportunities or MBA admission.

Having said that, all firms have built support systems in countries with lower salary costs to productize research, data management, etc. This is a different career track and mobility between these support offices and the client-facing consulting work force exists, but is limited.

I can unequivocally say this is not the case for Bain. If you're in the consultant workforce, all offices are equal in all aspects and I find it hard to imagine that this would be different for any of the other firms.

I don't believe that working in a client-facing role in a developing country would have any effect on exit opportunities or MBA admission.

Having said that, all firms have built support systems in countries with lower salary costs to productize research, data management, etc. This is a different career track and mobility between these support offices and the client-facing consulting work force exists, but is limited.

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Hi Anonymous!

well, this person from the SF office has a VERY poor understanding of his own firm! All MBBs, and McKinsey with particular importance, have global standards regarding their client service teams. A consultant from ANY office in the world can be combined with and staffed on ANY other team. This is a fundamental part of the McKinsey DNA, and the Firm could not work otherwise. This is why recruiting in developing markets is especially demanding, since sourcing the required calibre comes at higher effort and costs.

Cheers, Sidi

Hi Anonymous!

well, this person from the SF office has a VERY poor understanding of his own firm! All MBBs, and McKinsey with particular importance, have global standards regarding their client service teams. A consultant from ANY office in the world can be combined with and staffed on ANY other team. This is a fundamental part of the McKinsey DNA, and the Firm could not work otherwise. This is why recruiting in developing markets is especially demanding, since sourcing the required calibre comes at higher effort and costs.

Cheers, Sidi

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Hi,

I guess all McKinsey alums already confirmed here that it's not true. Investors will look at McKinsey brand, not your country. However, to be honest, McKinsey brand is far less valuable in Silicon Valley among the investors than to any big tech co.

Best

Hi,

I guess all McKinsey alums already confirmed here that it's not true. Investors will look at McKinsey brand, not your country. However, to be honest, McKinsey brand is far less valuable in Silicon Valley among the investors than to any big tech co.

Best

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Hi there,

As a former McKinsey consultant, I would say this person was likely expressing his/her own opinion and nothing more. The best part of McKinsey is the mutual respect between employees ("Firm members") and it's not part of the culture to look down on those from developing countries.

Yes, naturally there is a difference between roles (consultants, research, IT) but this has nothing to do with location.

As for exit opportunities, also should be no difference between location. In fact, you'll have a lot more exciting stories to tell about serving the government of developing country X than working on a London or NYC banking engagement!

And, really, if you think that the office you worked for at McKinsey is going to influence your funding success, then I suggest you put some more effort into your product beforehand...

Hi there,

As a former McKinsey consultant, I would say this person was likely expressing his/her own opinion and nothing more. The best part of McKinsey is the mutual respect between employees ("Firm members") and it's not part of the culture to look down on those from developing countries.

Yes, naturally there is a difference between roles (consultants, research, IT) but this has nothing to do with location.

As for exit opportunities, also should be no difference between location. In fact, you'll have a lot more exciting stories to tell about serving the government of developing country X than working on a London or NYC banking engagement!

And, really, if you think that the office you worked for at McKinsey is going to influence your funding success, then I suggest you put some more effort into your product beforehand...

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Hi there,

Not at all!

To support Henning's statement, I can unequivocally say this is not the case for BCG either. The calibre of hiring and training is just as high in these places!

Moreso, outside the firm the name is the name! So if you have McKinsey, Bain, BCG, in of itself, that's all it takes! They don't look at location.

All the being said, if this concerns you, you can always look to get transfered or have a temporary project assignment in a developed country while at MBB.

Hi there,

Not at all!

To support Henning's statement, I can unequivocally say this is not the case for BCG either. The calibre of hiring and training is just as high in these places!

Moreso, outside the firm the name is the name! So if you have McKinsey, Bain, BCG, in of itself, that's all it takes! They don't look at location.

All the being said, if this concerns you, you can always look to get transfered or have a temporary project assignment in a developed country while at MBB.

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Hi Anonymous,

I am afraid you are mixing geographical location and job function.

Definitely McKinsey consultants in the same role are perceived as good in any geographical location (leaving away ethical questions in terms of judging people by geographical location).

Of course McKinsey runs many support functions in developing countries - working in a back-office support function obviously won't give you the same McKinsey credentials like working as consultant.

Hope that helps - if so, please be so kind to give it a thumbs-up with the green upvote button below!

Robert

Hi Anonymous,

I am afraid you are mixing geographical location and job function.

Definitely McKinsey consultants in the same role are perceived as good in any geographical location (leaving away ethical questions in terms of judging people by geographical location).

Of course McKinsey runs many support functions in developing countries - working in a back-office support function obviously won't give you the same McKinsey credentials like working as consultant.

Hope that helps - if so, please be so kind to give it a thumbs-up with the green upvote button below!

Robert

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Particularly on your 2nd question:

You should consider your relevant competition in the region/country. E.g. If you exit from MCK Indonesia or other local SEA country to build a startup locally, your profile would be highly valued in those countries, as there are very few people who have such high credential and at the same time have local knowledge. Someone from MCK SF office would not be able to compete with someone from MCK Jakarta office, if the startup is in Indonesia (local knowledge is crucial).

As for MBA, also note that you'd be competing with a much smaller pool of candidates if you are from Indonesia, Philippines or Thailand. And your chance of getting in might actually be higher.

So play to your advantage. :)

Particularly on your 2nd question:

You should consider your relevant competition in the region/country. E.g. If you exit from MCK Indonesia or other local SEA country to build a startup locally, your profile would be highly valued in those countries, as there are very few people who have such high credential and at the same time have local knowledge. Someone from MCK SF office would not be able to compete with someone from MCK Jakarta office, if the startup is in Indonesia (local knowledge is crucial).

As for MBA, also note that you'd be competing with a much smaller pool of candidates if you are from Indonesia, Philippines or Thailand. And your chance of getting in might actually be higher.

So play to your advantage. :)

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Dear A,

It's a very limited perception of a real situation I would say. McKinsey is a brand name, so it's already a lucky ticket.

Best,
André

Dear A,

It's a very limited perception of a real situation I would say. McKinsey is a brand name, so it's already a lucky ticket.

Best,
André

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