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Got Rejected from McKinsey Leadership Workshop, do I not have a chance for full time?

college event MBB McKinsey networking
New answer on Nov 23, 2020
5 Answers
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Anonymous A asked on Apr 24, 2019


I applied for a McKinsey Leadership Workshop that was happening at my school and was rejected from it. Does this mean I wouldn't be a good canidate for applyting to full time positions?

I don't really know what I could've done better and I'd really appreciate some advice for what I should do to have a better chance when I apply for full-time positions.

Thanks in advance!

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replied on Apr 25, 2019
BCG | Kellogg MBA |82% Success rate| 450+ case interview| 5+ year consulting | 30+ projects in ~10 countries

Hi there,

It definitely does not mean that you are not a good candidate. It may potentially mean that you may have a slightly lower chance to get an interview invitation for your application if you do not do your networking or find a referral.

So I would suggest you to do your networking by contacting consultants/recruiters from the company and try to find a referral. Of course, applying with a well designed CV/CL is must.


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replied on Apr 25, 2019
I will get you an offer|McKinsey Senior EM|Offers from MBB|100+ interviews at McKinsey|Recruiting Lead|Experienced hire


These workshops are a forum for consultants to identify high potential candidates who they definitely want to interview. BUT it does not mean that if you're rejected from it, you won't be a good candidate. I was not invited to these workshops from any of MBB but got an offer from all three

There will be many more events on your campus that will allow you to make that impression. All it takes it to have a meaningful coversation with one member from the consultants/recruiters who have come on campus. These can even be at a campus wide presentation, although it is difficult to get enough time with 400 people in the same room. Some campuses have coffee chats with a small group. Those are very effective. Reach out to the recruiter with a concise email to show your interest. All these things help. Needless to say, a referral is always helpful, but even if you don't have it, nothing to worry. You can still make an impression :)

PS - the key from above is the word meaningful. Many students mistake having a conversation to do small talk for a min, get their business cards and follow up with a generic thank you note. Those never work!

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replied on Apr 25, 2019
McKinsey / Accenture Alum / Got all BIG3 offers / Harvard Business School


Not necessarily! Maybe it was already oversubscribed.

The best way to apply is getting a referral!

There are certain criteria for the referral:

  1. The consultant makes you a reference in the system and uploads your resume. Usually, he has to indicate why he thinks you are a good candidate
  2. You skip some steps in the recruiting process (CV screening at McK, Test at Bain)
  3. The consultant gets referral bonus ($) if you get a job offer

As you can see simply mentioning a person in your CL does not change the process at all.

The conversion to reference will be higher among consultant / manager level people who are still interested in the referral bonus. The basic idea is to ask these people for a mock interview.

Here are some tips on how you can do that:

1) Leverage your own network - find friends or friends of friends who can practice cases with you or make you a reference.

2) Attend company events. Consulting companies do a lot of events both for graduates and experienced hires. Find the social network groups related to consulting or websites, subscribe to newsletters and stay tuned. Also, check if they have events in your University since you are a PHD.

While some of the events will be open to everyone, others will require a resume and a cover letter, so make sure to prep.

3) Talk to people on the events and send Thank You notes. After each event, there is a Q&A session where you can talk to consultants 1 on 1 or in a group. Ask for contact info or send a thank you note after the event ("I just wanted to thank you for visiting our University... It was especially interesting to hear about... Would be happy to keep in touch and apply in the nearest future.). Alternatively, you may use linkedin for that. If you are an experienced hire I strongly suggest to ask for a 1 on 1 meeting in a thank you note.

4) 1 on 1 meetings. All people like giving an advice. So don't hesitate to ask consultants for a career advice. Tell your story and ask how consulting fits into it

5) Mock interview Depending on where you are in your prep process you may ask a consultant for a mock interview. Consultants are very much opened to help even if it is a cold call e-mail. The main problem is a lack of time on their side. So don't be afraid to remind about yourself if the consultant has already committed but finds it hard to find the time

6) Talking to partners If you are an experienced hire I suggest to talk directly to the partners in your industry or the partner responsible for experienced hires (in consulting partners also have additional roles). Get an intro from the HR or from your friends working there. Partners care a lot about experienced hires with relevant industry expertise. Chances to get referral are much lower though. They also will not be interested in giving mock interviews.

7) If you are an MBA graduate Just talk to your section mates and ask for a reference or a mock interview - they will be happy to help. Make sure you attend all the consulting events.

Good luck!

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Content Creator
replied on Apr 25, 2019
#1 Coach for Sessions (4.500+) | 1.500+ 5-Star Reviews | Proven Success (➡ | Ex BCG | 10Y+ Coaching

Hi Anonymous,

you may still receive invitations for interviews and thus have a chance to land an offer even if they rejected your workshop application. The easier way to increase the chances to be invited is to apply with a referral.

In order to obtain a referral, I would suggest going through the following three-step approach:

1. Identify who are the people that can more easily help you

2. Write them a customized email

3. Have a call with the consultant, and indirectly ask for a referral

As general tips:

  • Don’t use LinkedIn for your communication – emails work a lot better. There are several tools nowadays that allow to find very quickly the email of basically anyone. You should target at least 30% conversion for your messages – if you are not achieving that there is space for improvement in your message.
  • When you write to your target connections, your goal should not be to ask questions, rather to organize a call. Then in the call you should ask the right questions to create a link with them.
  • Whatever questions you ask during the call, you should have a closing question to ask (indirectly) for the referral. Don’t leave that to chances.

You should prepare three main things before the call:

  • Your own pitch, highlighting who you are in 3-4 key sentences. Previous experience with relevant brands/companies would be great to show you are qualified
  • 3-4 questions, focused on the personal experiences of the person (and not on the company only). Ideally you should try to learn as much as possible about the contact before. You can also discover relevant information with the first questions. Your goal here is to have a conversation and not a Q&A session.
  • Closing question for referral. You should ask (in an indirect way to avoid to be too pushy) a referral at the end of the call. If you correctly introduce yourself, do a good job with the questions before and have something in common (eg former alumni, common connections…), you can increase by a relevant amount the likelihood of a referral. If you don’t ask, they may not volunteer to offer one.

Before the call, it would be useful to review your CV and Cover, to be sure they are updated and structured properly for your MBB application, so that you can forward them without delays if needed.

If you are interested to know more about the exact steps to maximize conversion for referrals, please feel free to PM me.



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Content Creator
replied on Nov 23, 2020
#1 Career Coach for Aspiring, Practicing & Ex-Consultants|The Only 360° Coach - Ex-Mckinsey, Certified Coach & Recruiter

Hi there,

It definitely doesn't mean that you are not a good candidate.

I suggest you to find a refferal and a have a good application, great CV and CL.

Do you need any further help?

All the best,


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