Get Active in Our Amazing Community of Over 457,000 Peers!

Schedule mock interviews on the Meeting Board, join the latest community discussions in our Consulting Q&A and find like-minded Case Partners to connect and practice with!

International staffing at McK

McKinsey McKinsey & Company
New answer on Jul 31, 2023
6 Answers
620 Views
Anonymous A asked on Mar 30, 2023

How easy it is to get staffed on an international project, e.g. the US at McK? What do you need to do to get one? Do the chances differ across practices/functions?

Overview of answers

Upvotes
  • Upvotes
  • Date ascending
  • Date descending
Best answer
Ian
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Apr 01, 2023
#1 BCG coach | MBB | Tier 2 | Digital, Tech, Platinion | 100% personal success rate (8/8) | 95% candidate success rate

You've given us no context here…

Try to refine your questions in the future - important as a consultant!

Here are some general things to keep in mind:

  1. The region you're coming from matters (e.g. Canada + UK easier than, say, Brazil)
  2. The role you're in matters (the higher, the easier, generally)
  3. The length of time at the firm matters (the more time, the easier)
  4. Your reputation/skill/network matters (the more you are respected/valued)

I've transfered a few times within companies and have the following advice:

1) Build a stellar reputation - do good work, work hard, and be known as "the guy/gal" for xx

2) Build your network - network agressively (yes, networking doesn't end once you've gotten the job offer). Make sure you're known by and have allies in people who make decisions such as staffing managers, Partners (specifically those responsible for recruiting/resources and who are heads of industry/function verticals), etc.

2) b). When I say network "aggressively" please don't be needy/annoying :) There's nothing worse than someone who is obviously working the room or trying to please!

3) Look out for opportunities - as mentioned in this Q&A already, look for office transfers, short-term projects, ambassadorships, etc.)

4) Practice patience and be flexible - how long have you tried for? This might take a year. And you need to be ready to go at the flip of a coin.

Bide your time, keep pushing, be smart, and you'll get there!

Was this answer helpful?
Hagen
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Mar 31, 2023
#1 Bain coach | >95% success rate | interviewer for 8+ years | mentor and coach for 7+ years

Hi there,

I think this is an interesting question that may be relevant for many people. I would be happy to share my thoughts on it:

  • First of all, I would highly advise you to directly reach out to current consulting staff in your home office. Without further context, it is very hard to provide a meaningful answer. Chances are high that some of your colleagues in your office have already been on international projects and can talk about their experiences.
  • Generally speaking, though, your chances of being staffed on an international project increase the more demand there is for your specific profile in the target country, the less demand there is for you in your home country, and the better your relationships are with the team in the target country.
  • Lastly, I would highly advise you to revisit your initial motivation for joining your current office. While it might be tempting to visit different regions and countries while at work, you will unfortunately not have sufficient time to do so when working in strategy consulting. If, however, there are temporary personal reasons for your wish to be staffed in another country, I would advise you to ask for a short-term transfer.

If you would like a more detailed discussion on how to address your specific situation, please don't hesitate to contact me directly.

Best,

Hagen

Was this answer helpful?
Pedro
Expert
replied on Mar 31, 2023
Bain | Roland Berger | EY-Parthenon | Mentoring Approach | 30% off first 10 sessions in May| Market Sizing | DARDEN MBA

This really depends on your home office. If you are coming from a large country (US, China, Brazil) the chances of being internationally staffed are quite smaller vs. being from a small country (most of europe). 

But in any case, analysts tend to be more home based than experienced consultants, as one wants people in international assignments to already have a good domain of the consultants toolkit.

Was this answer helpful?
Moritz
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Mar 30, 2023
ex-McKinsey EM & Interviewer | 7/8 offer rate for 4+ sessions | 90min sessions with FREE exercises & videos

Hi there,

I can speak from experience having worked for McKinsey and having been staffed on international projects across industries and practices. Here's my take on it:

  • How easy is it? This depends partly on the desirability of your profile compared to local candidates for the kinds of projects you're referring to. In the US, most profiles are typically represented but they may not always be available for local projects, in which case you might have a shot. In other locations with a smaller talent pool, your profile may rank higher. However, it also depends on your ability to create pull. Having the right profile isn't worth much if people don't know about it so networking with staffing, Partners, APs, etc., in your target location is key.
  • How recommendable is it? Depends on your context. However, if you're based in location A and want to have a long term career in location A, you shouldn't focus on getting staffed in location B, C, D. That's because you won't be able to build the relationships in your home office that are necessary to advance in the firm. So make sure you balance exposure with making a name for yourself where it matters.

Hope this helps a bit. Best of luck!

Moritz

Was this answer helpful?
Udayan
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Mar 30, 2023
Top rated Case & PEI coach/Multiple real offers/McKinsey EM in New York /12 years recruiting experience

International projects at Mckinsey are certainly possible but not ‘easy’ to get. There are many factors at play

1. It is easier to get staffed internationally if there is a demand for someone with your background for the project

2. It usually requires building a relationship with people in the country you want to be staffed in so that they will support your request to be staffed there

3. There are additional considerations such as your daily rate that can be charged to the client as this can differ significantly by country. Which is why it is more rare to see someone from US staffed in Kenya vs the other way around.

4. Another alternative is to consider a short term transfer (for a year) which has a much more defined process.

 

Do the chances differ across practices and functions? Yes absolutely they do - if you specialize in Oil and Gas for example then you will be most valued for projects that require that expertise which also happen in specific countries.

Best,

Udayan

Was this answer helpful?
Cristian
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Jul 31, 2023
#1 rated MBB & McKinsey Coach
Was this answer helpful?
Ian gave the best answer

Ian

Content Creator
#1 BCG coach | MBB | Tier 2 | Digital, Tech, Platinion | 100% personal success rate (8/8) | 95% candidate success rate
1,105
Meetings
79,294
Q&A Upvotes
241
Awards
5.0
151 Reviews
How likely are you to recommend us to a friend or fellow student?
0 = Not likely
10 = Very likely
You are a true consultant! Thank you for consulting us on how to make PrepLounge even better!
^