McKinsey PEI - In the leadership question, is it strong enough to talk about captaining a sports team at university?

MBB McKinsey PEI
New answer on May 31, 2020
7 Answers
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Anonymous A asked on Nov 25, 2019

Is it better to go with this or something more work-related?

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Antonello
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replied on Nov 25, 2019
McKinsey | MBA professor for consulting interviews

Hi,

sport activities are much appreciated by consulting firms, especially if at high level and with a captain role. Therefore I would deep dive it, by clarifying how it's been important to make you more emphatic in motivate different type of people and more effective in handle pressure and challenges as a leader.

I would even recommend to build another impactful leadership story based on a professional/school environment.

Best,

Antonello

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Francesco
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replied on Nov 25, 2019
#1 Expert for Coaching Sessions (3.600+) | 1.300+ Reviews with 100% Recommendation Rate | Ex BCG | 8+ Years of Coaching

Hi Anonymous,

theoretically the sport team example could be fine, however it is critical that you show the critical elements for a STARR or PARADE structure and in particular:

  • A clear negative consequence if you would have failed
  • Specific actions you took related to a leadership position
  • Significant results

To decide between different examples, I would consider the following:

  • Which shows the strongest skills in managing people
  • Which shows the biggest possible results as a leader
  • Which is more unique and memorable

Hope this helps,
Francesco

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Robert
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replied on Nov 25, 2019
McKinsey offers w/o final round interviews - 100% risk-free - 10+ years MBB coaching experience - Multiple book author

Hi Anonymous,

Generally speaking, the closer a situation is related to a "typical" consulting/work-related situation, the easier it is for an interviewer to transfer your abilities into his "consulting reality".

However, the context from which you take your PEI example is much less of a concern and hardly influences your PEI evaluation. It’s much, much more about your personal contribution to that specific situation (bonus: does that ring a bell with the “Anticipated consequence” of the PARADE framework?). So how did you (positively) influence this situation? What was your real-life value in that situation?

(The original full blog post from which I took the excerpt is located here and might be helpful in addition: https://pei.consulting-case-interviews.com/blog/right-mckinsey-pei-examples/)

Hope that helps!

Robert

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Udayan
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replied on Nov 30, 2019
Top rated MBB coach with many offers /Ex McKinsey EM in New York /6 years McKinsey recruiting experience/Real cases

I think sports captaining is a fantastic example for many scenarios. There's many real world applications, it is typically high stress, very strategic, requires leadership and people skills and are usually very interesting scenarios. So in short absolutely!

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Vlad
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replied on Nov 25, 2019
McKinsey / Accenture Alum / Got all BIG3 offers / Harvard Business School

Hi,

It depends on the role you are applying to:

  • Providing an example from university is OK for an undergrad recruiting
  • It's not OK to use university examples if you have at least a couple of years of work experience

Make sure your story has a clearly defined:

  • Context (How you decided to step up and take a leadership)
  • Problem
  • Tools that you've used to solve it

Best

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Anonymous replied on May 31, 2020

Dear A,

This is definitely a good example. You can use this story in case you don't have any similar experience of leadership in your career or you are really passion about it, your achievements and results are really impressing.

Good luck,

Andre

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Clara
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replied on May 27, 2020
McKinsey | Awarded professor at Master in Management @ IE | MBA at MIT |+180 students coached | Integrated FIT Guide aut

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Best,

Clara

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Antonello gave the best answer

Antonello

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