Macros and VBA

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New answer on Sep 26, 2021
5 Answers
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Anonymous A asked on Sep 24, 2021

are macros and vba used in consulting ?

 

as a junior consultant, should we have those skills ?

 

thanks

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Sofia
Expert
replied on Sep 25, 2021
McKinsey San Francisco | Harvard graduate | 5+ years of coaching | >90% candidate success rate | Personalized approach

Hello,

In my experience at McKinsey, macros were used infrequently and VBA was not used at all. The McKinsey work laptops came pre-programmed with a set of excel macros that we were all given instructions on using during onboarding. Occasionally consultants working on finance or tech projects coded or used macros beyond that suite. But we did not need to use them often, and there was certainly no expectation for incoming junior consultants to have those skills already - you will be taught anything you need to know on the job. I wouldn't worry about macros and VBA.

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Pedro
CoachingPlus Expert
replied on Sep 26, 2021
Bain | EY-Parthenon | Roland Berger | FIT Interview | Principal Former Head Recruiter | Launched EY-P Lisbon Office

You shouldn't worry about this. You are taught what you need to know. 

Answering the questions: Macros yes. VBA no.

Having said this, notice two things:
- There are other analytical tools that right now are seen as much more relevant (e.g. alteryx, tableau, …)
- I still don't know how to build a macro and nevertheless was super-successful as an analyst.

Learnt it if you want to learn it.

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Ian
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Sep 26, 2021
BCG | 100% personal interview success rate (8/8) and 95% candidate success rate | Personalized interview prep

Hi there,

Yes they're used but they're absolutely nice-to-haves.

Your focus should be a LOT more on “standard" excel work and being efficient/smart with that (indexmatch, pivot-tables, etc.)

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Slawomir
Expert
replied on Sep 25, 2021
Former McK interviewer, PhD who successfully transitioned from Academia, received offers from McK/BCG/Bain

These are nice to have skills and they might save you some time during an engagement or help to impress a colleague/client (or not at all - depending on the situation) but based on my personal experience at McK they were not required from a new joiner consultant.

Typically you will have a higher ROI from investing time in other skills initially.

Best,

Slawomir

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Antonello
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Sep 26, 2021
McKinsey | MBA professor for consulting interviews

Hi!

Yes, they're used (especially macros).

However, you shouldn't worry about having those skills before joining. You'll learn by doing while at the firm.

Best,

Anto

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Sofia gave the best answer

Sofia

McKinsey San Francisco | Harvard graduate | 5+ years of coaching | >90% candidate success rate | Personalized approach
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