Does McKinsey have a structured timeline for hiring in the ME? (Dubai/Qatar/Egypt etc.)

MBB Middle East
New answer on May 23, 2020
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Anonymous A asked on May 21, 2020

I am a final year MSc student pursuing a non-UK business degree in Europe.

I applied for a Junior Associate position with McKinsey Dubai in January 2020 and received a reject (did not even get an interview). I had formal referrals from two EMs based in Dubai and an MBB (non-McK) internship in a large Western European office (think France/Germany/Italy).

Could someone give me any possible reasons for rejection, so that I could work upon them before re-applying to other firms in the region? The ones that come to mind:

1. On-cycle recruiting - Does Mck have a designated cycle for recruiting European Masters students? I tried asking their HR but did not receive any response

2. Should have applied for the Business Analyst position instead of Junior Associate (I was advised by the EM to apply for Junior Associate, but I do not have any full time experience in Europe as of now). Do I qualify as an APD candidate?

3. Hiring is more focussed towards Qatar/Egypt/Bahrain instead of Dubai/Abu Dhabi? (I only put UAE offices as location preferences)

Thanks in advance!


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Content Creator
updated an answer on May 22, 2020
MBB | 100% personal interview success rate (8/8) and 95% candidate success rate | Personalized interview prep

1. Yes they do - have you checked with your university's career office?

2. It's possible, but if you were advised to apply a JA, then you did the right thing (this also fits with your Master's degree)

3. Not sure - always best to check with the HR of each office

You should also note the following:

1) Networking - doesn't seem like you did much. You need to meet some people, possibly even get a referral.

2) Resume/CV/Cover Letter - Yours may not have been up to scratch. Send it through and I can let you know if there's anything you can improve


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Content Creator
replied on May 22, 2020
McKinsey | Awarded professor at Master in Management @ IE | MBA at MIT |+180 students coached | Integrated FIT Guide aut


Here are my toughts:

  1. It depends on the geography. Some offices, such as London, have this policy. Also keep in mind that the COVID crisis has changed the rules of the game a bit.
  2. No problem with this. If they see potential, they would be the ones who tell you that they would interview you for senior BA instead. It´s not a reason to d disqualify ou.
  3. No (to my knowledge)

Hope it helps!



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Content Creator
replied on May 22, 2020
McKinsey / Accenture Alum / Got all BIG3 offers / Harvard Business School


For a Junior Associate role with McKinsey you should have 3-4 years of experience. Dubai will not count your Masters as in some European countries. It's also hard to come up with the reasons without seeing your resume

1) ME region does not have dedicated recruiting for EU masters. These are different regions

2) It depends on the country. In some EU countries you can apply for a junior associate with masters.

3) Hard to say. You should have tried Europe as well.


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Anonymous replied on May 23, 2020

Dear A,

Actually the reason could be very different. It's a very general case. Could you please share your CV with me that I can give you more specific feedback and figure out what are the things that could be improved later on .

Wish you good luck,


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Content Creator
replied on May 22, 2020
#1 Coach for Sessions (4.000+) | 1.400+ 5-Star Reviews | Proven Success (➡ | Ex BCG | 9Y+ Coaching

Hi there,

please find my answers below:

  1. It depends on the school you attended. Your university may have some preferential channel with Dubai (mine in Italy had it with BCG). You should check it on the career opportunities of the uni
  2. I am not sure why they advised to apply for the JA role given you don’t have any work experience, usually you need to have at least a couple of years of experience
  3. I know people who have been invited for interviews in Dubai in September with McKinsey, thus they are still recruiting in Dubai

It is difficult to answer on why you got rejected without looking at your CV, even if you apply for the wrong position they may still offer a different role. Have you checked with the two EMs? They may be able to provide some insights.



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Ian gave the best answer


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