How much does McKinsey office matter?

BCG McKinsey and Bain staffing staffing model
New answer on Jan 21, 2020
6 Answers
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Anonymous A asked on Jan 18, 2020

Unlike Bain/BCG, I have read that in the US, McKinsey projects are staffed with consultants from all over the country (and sometimes across the world). If this is true, does it really matter which office a BA picks, other than a city they generally want to live in?

This would mean then that if your family is in Philly, then you could easily choose Philly over SF/NYC/Boston/Chicago despite Philly being less competitive since you would be able to work on the exact same cases. Is this correct?

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Anonymous B replied on Jan 18, 2020

Yes, you are totally right

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Content Creator
replied on Jan 18, 2020
BCG |NASA | SDA Bocconi & Cattolica partner | GMAT expert 780/800 score | 200+ students coached


Even if there is the chance to be sent even to the other side of the World (also in bain and BCG), HR usually tries to staff people of that city on a specific project. That's simply because that would increase the project's margin since you won't travel.

That being said, if they need you for a specific competence on a project in another city or if there aren't projects ready to start in your office, they have to staff you somewhere else.
The first target for the staffing team is to minimize the days that you are not on a project (known as "beach" period :) ).


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Content Creator
replied on Jan 18, 2020
McKinsey / Accenture Alum / Got all BIG3 offers / Harvard Business School


Your exact staffing depends on several things:

  • You first staffings in the area will depend on luck / background and experience and your major office (e.g. in Texas you will most probably do oil&gas, in NY - Finance and real estate. etc)
  • Your consecutive staffings will depend on the relations with the particular partners
  • There is always an element of urgent needs when the staffing manager / practice can just put you somewhere

Thus I can not say that you are fully in control of the city of your staffing. And it will be not easy to get staffed from Philly to SF cases unless you have expertise in tech.

You can also select a secondary office (simplifies the logistics, taxes, etc). But low impact on staffing


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Anonymous A on Jan 18, 2020

Thanks for the answer! What if you're in the digital practice? Would that make it easier to get staffed from Philly to SF cases as a BA?


Vlad on Jan 19, 2020

Hi! Digital practice has nothing in common with SF cases. Digital practice works with any clients who have needs in digital (e.g. agile, etc). SF projects are the projects for tech companies who are already good with digital as you can guess

Content Creator
replied on Jan 21, 2020
McKinsey | Awarded professor at Master in Management @ IE | MBA at MIT |+180 students coached | Integrated FIT Guide aut


A priori you would be right, since it´s true that engagements are staffed with consultants from all across the country -and even internationally-.

However, the smart thing would be to pick an office that is focused on the industries you want to be involved with, since it´s easier to build a strong network and be staffed in those engagements.

Hope it helps!



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Content Creator
replied on Jan 20, 2020
McKinsey / ex-Interviewer at McKinsey / I will coach you to rock those interviews

Yes, correct!

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replied on Jan 20, 2020
McKinsey | BCG | CERN| University of Cambridge

Hello there,

To complement the earlier answers, it is indeed better to focus yourself on getting to specific office / region where your industrial and fuinctional interest lies as it is not as straightforward to be able to switch between different regions without leveraging your prior expertise, which might be region-focused.

With that said, there's an opportunity to specialize - in McKinsey it's called L2 and L3, which will enable you to expand your service coverage to other regions (while leveraging your specific skillset in an industrial and functional cross-section).
Joining the digital team or other new initiatives will also enabled similar coverage.

Hope it helps.

Kind regards,

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