expert
Expert with best answer

Emily

100% Recommendation Rate

22 Meetings

1,981 Q&A Upvotes

USD 179 / Coaching

9

Mckinsey associate post MBA. 4 years mandatory?

Hi there. I read on MBB's websites that for an associate(Mck system), MBA/ PhD degrees are preferred coupled with 4 years experience (sometimes 5 years depending on office). Just want to know whether 4/5 years exp is a mandatory with a decent MBA?

Asking as I'm currently in an inhouse consulting team within FS. Lucky enough to get promoted to an equiv. senior associate position but I only have less than 3 years exp. at the moment. I'm considering whether I should take MBA now (by intake I'd still have less than 4 years exp), or should I wait till I have ~5 yrs exp to start MBA?

Of course I'm assuming that I can get a great offer from target schools (INSEAD, Kellogg etc.). My consideration is that if I finish an MBA from one of these schools and the expectation is still to be considered as not experienced enough for an associate role, I better just stay where I am for another year and commence MBA application later.

PS. Location doesn't matter much for me. I don't have visa issue in the US and wouldn't mind working in SG/HK. And I reached out to some current MBBers the common feeling is that it's difficult to break in as a Junior Associate now with my level of experience (content is largely similar though).

Thanks in advance. Any suggestion would be much appreciated.

Hi there. I read on MBB's websites that for an associate(Mck system), MBA/ PhD degrees are preferred coupled with 4 years experience (sometimes 5 years depending on office). Just want to know whether 4/5 years exp is a mandatory with a decent MBA?

Asking as I'm currently in an inhouse consulting team within FS. Lucky enough to get promoted to an equiv. senior associate position but I only have less than 3 years exp. at the moment. I'm considering whether I should take MBA now (by intake I'd still have less than 4 years exp), or should I wait till I have ~5 yrs exp to start MBA?

Of course I'm assuming that I can get a great offer from target schools (INSEAD, Kellogg etc.). My consideration is that if I finish an MBA from one of these schools and the expectation is still to be considered as not experienced enough for an associate role, I better just stay where I am for another year and commence MBA application later.

PS. Location doesn't matter much for me. I don't have visa issue in the US and wouldn't mind working in SG/HK. And I reached out to some current MBBers the common feeling is that it's difficult to break in as a Junior Associate now with my level of experience (content is largely similar though).

Thanks in advance. Any suggestion would be much appreciated.

(edited)

9 answers

  • Upvotes
  • Date ascending
  • Date descending
Best Answer
Book a coaching with Emily

100% Recommendation Rate

22 Meetings

1,981 Q&A Upvotes

USD 179 / Coaching

Hey,

As long as you get a top MBA, you should just go ahead in my opinion. No need to wait for 1 more year before doing your MBA.

I knew someone with a short working experience but a top MBA, who joined BCG as Senior Associate. Usually after MBA you join as consultant in BCG, but because her prior working experiene is shorter than usual, she starts as Senior Associate (1 year junior than consultant). In this case, instead of spending the 1 year waiting before MBA, she spend the 1 year post MBA in BCG. I'd say this is probably better since she managed to get her foot in earlier.

Best,

Emily

Hey,

As long as you get a top MBA, you should just go ahead in my opinion. No need to wait for 1 more year before doing your MBA.

I knew someone with a short working experience but a top MBA, who joined BCG as Senior Associate. Usually after MBA you join as consultant in BCG, but because her prior working experiene is shorter than usual, she starts as Senior Associate (1 year junior than consultant). In this case, instead of spending the 1 year waiting before MBA, she spend the 1 year post MBA in BCG. I'd say this is probably better since she managed to get her foot in earlier.

Best,

Emily

Book a coaching with Andre

100% Recommendation Rate

59 Meetings

1,893 Q&A Upvotes

USD 269 / Coaching

Dear Howard,

If I were you, I start considering an MBA program from the top school. And with this you will be able to trump the handicap in working experience which you have.

If you need any help, reach out.
Good luck,
André

Dear Howard,

If I were you, I start considering an MBA program from the top school. And with this you will be able to trump the handicap in working experience which you have.

If you need any help, reach out.
Good luck,
André

Book a coaching with Clara

100% Recommendation Rate

32 Meetings

3,560 Q&A Upvotes

USD 189 / Coaching

Hello!

Don´t worry about that. Once you have your MBA, particularly from a target school, the previous experience does not matter. I know plenty of examples to show.

MBB also rely on the selection criteria from the MBAs schools, and once you pass that... you are fine.

Hope it helps!

Cheers,

Clara

Hello!

Don´t worry about that. Once you have your MBA, particularly from a target school, the previous experience does not matter. I know plenty of examples to show.

MBB also rely on the selection criteria from the MBAs schools, and once you pass that... you are fine.

Hope it helps!

Cheers,

Clara

Book a coaching with Udayan

100% Recommendation Rate

45 Meetings

517 Q&A Upvotes

USD 179 / Coaching

Not sure where you read that but that's absolutely not true. Many folks came in as associates in the new york office after an MBA with 2 to 3 years work ex.

Focus on getting into a target school for MBA and you'll be fine. All the best!

Udayan

Not sure where you read that but that's absolutely not true. Many folks came in as associates in the new york office after an MBA with 2 to 3 years work ex.

Focus on getting into a target school for MBA and you'll be fine. All the best!

Udayan

Book a coaching with Nathaniel

3 Meetings

428 Q&A Upvotes

USD 189 / Coaching

Hi Howards,

Prior experience of 2 years at minimum should suffice to be qualified for MBA, and then post-MBA, you'll automatically be qualified for Associate position in McKinsey, irrespective of your previous experiences.

Hope it helps.

Kind regards,
Nathan

Hi Howards,

Prior experience of 2 years at minimum should suffice to be qualified for MBA, and then post-MBA, you'll automatically be qualified for Associate position in McKinsey, irrespective of your previous experiences.

Hope it helps.

Kind regards,
Nathan

Book a coaching with Luca

100% Recommendation Rate

22 Meetings

1,594 Q&A Upvotes

USD 179 / Coaching

Hello Howard,

Don't worry too much about the job description, the years of experience is only a way to give an idea of the level that they expect from new hires. To give you an example, a BCG associate should be something equivalent to 2 years exp. but there are a lot of (smart) fresh graduates.

Of course it depends on the MBA, but if you are in a good school you won't be asked for 4 years of working experience.

Best,
Luca

Hello Howard,

Don't worry too much about the job description, the years of experience is only a way to give an idea of the level that they expect from new hires. To give you an example, a BCG associate should be something equivalent to 2 years exp. but there are a lot of (smart) fresh graduates.

Of course it depends on the MBA, but if you are in a good school you won't be asked for 4 years of working experience.

Best,
Luca

Thanks Luca this is inspiring:) — Howard on Mar 09, 2020

Book a coaching with Robert

96% Recommendation Rate

294 Meetings

514 Q&A Upvotes

USD 219 / Coaching

Hi Howard,

Once you have your MBA in your pockets, it will automatically take you to associate level (unless you have big holes to cover in your application, which I don't assume for now).

So you can definitely speed up your career progress and gain 1 year of time when starting your MBA sooner. The +1 year work experience won't make a difference for McK.

Hope that helps - if so, please give it a thumbs-up witht the green upvote button below!

Robert

Hi Howard,

Once you have your MBA in your pockets, it will automatically take you to associate level (unless you have big holes to cover in your application, which I don't assume for now).

So you can definitely speed up your career progress and gain 1 year of time when starting your MBA sooner. The +1 year work experience won't make a difference for McK.

Hope that helps - if so, please give it a thumbs-up witht the green upvote button below!

Robert

Thanks Robert! My 'non traditional' consulting experience would potentially be looked unfavorably. But I think you're right one additional year at my current role won't help much anyway. I'm expecting a uphill ahead:) — Howard on Mar 09, 2020

Book a coaching with Giulia

100% Recommendation Rate

24 Meetings

129 Q&A Upvotes

USD 159 / Coaching

Hi,

if you have an MBA (even better from a target school), the years of experience don't matter (because the school already screen candidates on that) for the MBB, thus you can get an offer as Associate from them.

Hi,

if you have an MBA (even better from a target school), the years of experience don't matter (because the school already screen candidates on that) for the MBB, thus you can get an offer as Associate from them.

Thanks Giulia! Great to hear this:) — Howard on Mar 08, 2020

Book a coaching with Francesco

100% Recommendation Rate

2,844 Meetings

5,075 Q&A Upvotes

USD 349 / Coaching

Hi Howard,

with 3+ years of experience before the MBA you would be fine, I cannot think about issues in joining a top consulting company with such background.

Best,

Francesco

Hi Howard,

with 3+ years of experience before the MBA you would be fine, I cannot think about issues in joining a top consulting company with such background.

Best,

Francesco

Related BootCamp article(s)

Interviewer-Led vs Candidate-Led cases

Case Interviews can be led by the candidate or by the interviewer: In Candidate-led cases the main challenge is the structure. In Interviewer-led cases the main challenge is to adapt quickly

Related case(s)

McKinsey Questions

Solved 36.1k times
McKinsey Questions Tell me of a situation where you had an opinion and no one seemed to agree with you. What was your goal when you decided to join university / work / clubs / a sports team? Did you have a goal that you were not able to reach? What did you do? What do you want to be remembered for and how are you achieving it? What is your typical way of dealing with conflict?
4.5 5 844
| Rating: (4.5 / 5.0) |
Difficulty: Intermediate | Style: Fit interview | Topics: Personal fit

Tell me of a situation where you had an opinion and no one seemed to agree with you. What was your goal when you decided to join university / work / clubs / a sports team? Did you have a goal that you were not able to reach? What did you do? What do you want to be remembered for and how are you ... Open whole case

BCG Questions

Solved 24.8k times
BCG Questions What arouses your interest when you are working / studying / doing another activity (from the CV)? Tell me of a time where you had no idea what you were doing. When did you use an uncommon approach to do something? Have you ever had responsibility for other people? Tell me of a situation where you were not the official leader.
4.5 5 203
| Rating: (4.5 / 5.0) |
Difficulty: Intermediate | Style: Fit interview | Topics: Personal fit

What arouses your interest when you are working / studying / doing another activity (from the CV)? Tell me of a time where you had no idea what you were doing. When did you use an uncommon approach to do something? Have you ever had responsibility for other people? Tell me of a situation where ... Open whole case

Espresso, Whatelse?

Solved 1.4k times
Espresso, Whatelse? Espresso Whatelse is an Italian company that produces coffee and espresso machines since 1908. It is the Italian market leader and has a strong presence overall in Europe. In 2019, Espresso Whatelse has increased its revenues but it has seen declining profit margin. Your client wants to understand the root causes of this 2019 trend and how to increase its profit margin again.  
4.7 5 56
| Rating: (4.7 / 5.0)

Espresso Whatelse is an Italian company that produces coffee and espresso machines since 1908. It is the Italian market leader and has a strong presence overall in Europe. In 2019, Espresso Whatelse has increased its revenues but it has seen declining profit margin. Your client wants to understand ... Open whole case

LightFast - Launching high-speed broadband in Indonesia

Solved 300+ times
LightFast - Launching high-speed broadband in Indonesia Your client is the CSO of LightFast, a Middle-Eastern telecoms and media player. They are a national incumbent player who expanded operations into South-East Asia and North Africa in late 2010s. Their operations in Indonesia include pay-TV and fibre-optic broadband. However, the broadband business has flat-lined since launch. LightFast is now looking to reset its Indonesian subsidiary and has asked you to advise them on whether they should re-launch or close operations. They would like you to advice on the size of the opportunity if they were to re-launch in Y1, estimate the expected payback period and then highlight key considerations to make a go/no-go decision.  
4.6 5 18
| Rating: (4.6 / 5.0)

Your client is the CSO of LightFast, a Middle-Eastern telecoms and media player. They are a national incumbent player who expanded operations into South-East Asia and North Africa in late 2010s. Their operations in Indonesia include pay-TV and fibre-optic broadband. However, the broadband business h ... Open whole case

Coronavirus Times - COVID-19 Brainteaser

Solved 300+ times
Coronavirus Times - COVID-19 Brainteaser You and your family are faced with a challenging set of decisions. Due to coronavirus, your partner has taken a 20% paycut and you are worried you may lose your job. In addition, while daycare is still open, you are worried that sending your two children there will increase the risk of them bringing the virus back to your house, where your elderly grandparents are also staying. How would you go about thinking about this problem, and what would you recommend?
4.5 5 19
| Rating: (4.5 / 5.0)
Difficulty: Beginner | Style: Brain Teaser | Topics: Brain teaser

You and your family are faced with a challenging set of decisions. Due to coronavirus, your partner has taken a 20% paycut and you are worried you may lose your job. In addition, while daycare is still open, you are worried that sending your two children there will increase the risk of them bringing ... Open whole case