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MBB Politics

BCG McKinsey office politics Politics
New answer on Oct 19, 2023
6 Answers
2.7 k Views
Anonymous A asked on Jul 22, 2020

Hello,

I have accepted an offer to start as a BA at McKinsey this September. I am currently preparing my "hard skills" by reading books such as The Pyramid Principle, The McKinsey Way and by improving my excel and powerpoint skills. While I appreciate that the main driver behind how well you do at MBB is how good your work is, I believe that Politics and your visibility to the senior leadership also has an impact on your success at the firm. I believe that politics and visibility is even more important when you are trying to get promoted beyond Engagement Manager level.

Firstly, could you please let me know who the stakeholders are in your career progression through the firm and could you please provide me with some advice on how to also perform well in terms of politics and increasing your visibility to the important stakeholders.

(edited)

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Clara
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Jul 23, 2020
McKinsey | Awarded professor at Master in Management @ IE | MBA at MIT |+180 students coached | Integrated FIT Guide aut

Hello!

This is honestly a GREAT question, and precisely last week I was havin a conversation with one of my old coachees who is joinin McK regarding this.

First, the most important stakeholders are:

  • Your team, particularly your EM, since it´s the person with thehightest exposure to you. IT´s very important to live the feedback culture from day 1, and he/she will be most happy to help you and guide you. We used to joke saying that a new BA needs "unboxing" -basically, at the beggining you don´t know how to do anything and you need to be helped-, and then in 2 weeks you will be a production machine.
  • Your DGL: it´s the person who will present your case in the perfomrnace comitees, that happen every 6 months. For this, many times also becomes a sort of "mentor".
  • Your own mentors: it´s your responsability to find them, looking for people who you believe will impact your career in positive.

Hope it helps!

Cheers,

Clara

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Anonymous replied on Jul 23, 2020

Dear A,

First of all, my congratulations to your McKinsey offer, I wish you best of luck in your career.

For candidates like you, who have already secured the offer with a leading consulting firm, I have designed my program "Get ready for the first 100 days " as well as long-term career planning. This program touches all the important aspects: the mindset, the skills, knowledge, networking and ,managing yourself as well, your bosses and clients - everything that is important in your successful career.

In fact, I'm sharing my knowledge of 6 years career experience in consulting, where I was able to land on the fast track promotion and to be promoted from consultant to a project manager just within 3 years, which is extremely fast.

Happy to share these insights with you, feel free to reach out directly to me.

Good luck,

André

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Axel
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Jul 23, 2020
Bain Consultant | Interviewer for 3 years at Bain |Passionate about coaching |I will make you a case interview Rockstar

Hi,

A few things here I would mention:

- Consulting firms have much less politics than corporations and are much more meritocratic. This is a huge benefit of working there

- Politics only becomes a bigger thing when you reach the manager level or higher

- Early in your career your main focus should be on delivering on your tasks and projects and be likable to your peers, superiors, and support staff. Just do a good job and invest in building positive relationships with your colleagues and you will progress quickly!

- If you go into the firm now and think you are going to play politics and be visible to senior people I think this is just going to be detrimental to your performance and make you less liked by peers and your direct manager. You will have your hands full just working on your projects.

-A

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Benjamin
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Oct 18, 2023
Ex-BCG Principal | 8+ years consulting experience in SEA | BCG top interviewer & top performer

Hi,

In my experience, I never had to worry about ‘politics’ in the typical corporate sense of the word. I never worried about people taking credit for my work, or worried that I wouldn't get promoted even if I did a good job.

'Visibility' however is a slightly different concept and is not the same as ‘politics’ in my mind. It is important to have visibility especially to partners on your project and you can do this in an objective and authentic way

  • Proactively asking for opportunities to present your work during team meetings
  • Speaking up during case / team meetings, even if it's on another persons module / workstream
  • Taking credit for the work you have done (e.g. sending out output if you have done it)

All the best!

 

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Anonymous B replied on Jul 22, 2020

Congrats on the offer! Your success as a BA will come down to your work and having some level of EQ. It is one of the hardest roles in the Firm as the learning curve is steep

Focus on doing well at work and keeping your managers happy. Organizational politics - you will learn with time. Personally - I don't see any value in over-thinking it at your level. Might do more harm than good as the qualities you are assessed for as a BA are pointedly different

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Anonymous C replied on Oct 19, 2023

Congratulations on your offer at McKinsey! Excelling in your career at a prestigious firm like McKinsey involves a blend of delivering exceptional work, building strong relationships, and strategically managing your visibility.

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