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How to be the best BA at McKinsey

Bain BCG MBB Mck
New answer on Aug 06, 2020
4 Answers
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Anonymous A asked on Aug 04, 2020

Hi community! Hope you're all doing well and keeping safe. I recently accepted an offer to join McK Middle East as a BA and I'm very excited!

My question is rather simple: how do I become the best? I want to be among the top performing consultants at the Firm - I want to get that MBA sponsorship and those quick promotions.

What are the practices of the best performing consultants? I would greatly appreciate if the community could draw on its experiences and share advice/tips on how to be one of the best at MBB.



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Content Creator
replied on Aug 04, 2020
#1 BCG coach | MBB | Tier 2 | Digital, Tech, Platinion | 100% personal success rate (8/8) | 95% candidate success rate

Hi there,

First congratulations on the offer! Great news!

Second, you've come to the right place :)

Now, there's a few ways to break this down.

First: Read the 25 tips in my consulting handbook here:


Second: In terms of things you can learn/do to prepare beforehand:

1) Daily Reading

  • The Economist, The Financial Times, BCG/Mskinsey Insights

2) Industry deep-dives

  • Learn, in-depth, how the industries/companies your office advises, work. (PM me for an industry overview template)

3) Analytics tools

  • Alteryx, Tableau, etc.

4) Excel

  • Pivottables
  • Working with data
  • Key fuctions (vlookup, Index match, count and sum if/ifs, sumproduct, concat, etc.)
  • Hotkeys (i.e. use keyboard more than your mouse)
  • Financial modeling

5) Powerpoint

  • Wireframing
  • Lead-in titles
  • Best practices/standards
  • Different layouts
  • Quickly editing/updating slides
  • Thinking in PowerPoint

6) Presentation skills / sharp communication

  • There are some online/virtual classes for this


Third: In terms of doing well in your role when you're there:

1) Understand the context/prompt (what role are you in, what company, who's watching, etc.)

2) Understand the objective (what, specifically, is expected from you...both day to day, and in your overall career progression)

3) Quickly process information, and focus on what's important - Take a lot of information and the unknown, find the most logical path, and focus on that.

4) Be comfortable with the unknown, and learn to brainstorm - think/speak like an expert without being one

In summary, there will always be a flood of information, expectations, competition etc. and not enough time. Find out which ones matter when. (i.e. be visibile and focus efforts on the things that people care about)

Some Excellent Q&As

What to expect in the first 90 days (and how to thrive) -

What to prepare/learn beforehand -

How to improve your ability to remember details -

How to be confident -

Notetaking effectively -

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Anonymous A on Aug 06, 2020

This is such invaluable advice Ian! I really appreciate you taking time out and being so thorough - this will be a great help! Thanks a million :)

Ian on Aug 06, 2020

My pleasure! Good luck!

Anonymous B replied on Aug 04, 2020

There is no magic recipe. It will come down to hard work, luck and some of your own intrinsic talent. That said - never underestimate the importance of treating others with kindness and respect. Beyond that:

1) Ensure you master PPT and excel in your first 3 months. On PPT - practice speed along-side efficient management of VG. On excel - again speed, strong grasp of financial modelling and some basic VBA/Macro knowledge

2) Learn how to challenge/communicate with your seniors respectfully

3) Know your shit. Work hard to understand your clients - both through reading and conversations. Come up with fresh ideas and insights

Try and have fun. Do you really want to succeed in a career you don't enjoy?

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Anonymous replied on Aug 06, 2020

Dear A,

This is a very good question. I used to be one of the top performers on my own during my time in cosulting and was promoted for the 3 positions within 3 years, which is considered to be a fast track, because my peers took 5-6 years to do the same progression.

I have designed a special program which is called "Get ready fir th first 100 days and long-term career success", which is exactly pointing out and giving you tips and hints on how to becoma a top performer. I think, it's just not enoughspace here to share all thiese necessary insight.

If you are interested to figure out more about it, drop me a line, and I'm happy to share all me experience, help you reach all your goals and become a star consultant.


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Content Creator
replied on Aug 06, 2020
McKinsey offers w/o final round interviews - 100% risk-free - 10+ years MBB coaching experience - Multiple book author

Hi Anonymous,

The answers given so far highlight many topics to consider focussing mainly on hard skills, but miss out on 2 extremely important topics which I'd like to add here:

  • Managing expectations, internally and externally. Same quality of work can be perceived completely differently.
  • Communicate constantly - nothing worse for the time to be misaligned and having last-minute surprises.

Bonus idea: Give a helping hand to others whenever required, independent of your workload. People will remember that and it goes a long way in future if you need it.

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


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Anonymous A on Aug 06, 2020

Thank you so much Robert such awesome advice! I'm confident that by incorporating the suggestions made I will be extremely successful :) thanks a million

Ian gave the best answer


Content Creator
#1 BCG coach | MBB | Tier 2 | Digital, Tech, Platinion | 100% personal success rate (8/8) | 95% candidate success rate
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