McKinsey Virtual Academy Programme

company event McKinsey
New answer on Jun 15, 2020
8 Answers
1.3 k Views
Anonymous A asked on Jun 01, 2020

I've recently applied to this programme and got rejected. Not the first time I got rejected for a McK event (in fact I have never ever attended a McK event, webinar, you name it) and it started to frustrate me because I do not know why.

I would like to know if someone could give some details regarding this event or shed some advice on similar events in the future.

The way I see it, the likely reason is language, but why you ever require a language requirement for a virtual event if its a bunch of people from all over Europe (like this one which was apparently made for non business students and PhDs all over Europe) is beyond me.

Anyways, to elaborate further - I can't apply to local events because I do not speak the local language so I'm automatically disqualified, this particular time I applied for the virtual academy programme for one of the german offices even though my german level is not fluent yet so maybe that is the reason I got rejected (and to be honest I wasn't even expecting to submit an office preference for a virtual event...)

Do you think I should have applied to Nordics/London instead? anyways I'm sure my CV should be strong enough for an event....regardless of that if I can't attend events I can't network - I've already tried to do it via LinkedIn for instance for BCG/Bain and I get ignored or what happened recently my invitation request was accepted (after attending one of their events but then when I had sent a normal message for a virtual coffee again ignore mode) Don't know what to do anymore as it feels like I am just shooting bullets in the dark and thankfully a rejection from an event does not prevent me from applying but if I get rejected for events then I'll surely get rejected when I apply. Yes I don't have fancy schools on my resume but my academic records and internship are pretty good so I don't see the problem.

many thanks in advance for your kind advice.

Overview of answers

  • Upvotes
  • Date ascending
  • Date descending
Best answer
Content Creator
replied on Jun 02, 2020
BCG | 100% personal interview success rate (8/8) and 95% candidate success rate | Personalized interview prep

Hi there,

I appreciate you laying it all out here, and we are here to support, but you also need to change your attitude! Remember, you're applying to one of the most competitive companies in the world!

  1. Most people applying to most companies get "ignored". Don't take this so personally! The people have busy jobs/lives!
  2. "Pretty good" academic records and internship and a no-name school doesn't make you anything close to a slam-dunk for an interview!
  3. You can't make an assumption like "Language is likely the reason", without evidence, and then insult the virtual event process as being biased against language. You have no evidence this is the's a strawman argument and shows poor logic/critical thinking ability i.e. bad consulting!

Now that we've hopefully shifted your mindset a bit into positivity, can-do attitude, no judgement of others, and not viewing yourself as the centre of the world, let's help you :)

1) You need to network - reach out to people. Talk to them. Don't ask for a referral, but just get to know them, be interested in them, devleop a connection, and show yourself as someone they might want to work with. Leverage a chat to then chat with someone else (in another office, industry, or of a similar background to you). Eventually, you'll be offered a referral and/or be able to reference them in your cover letter.

2) Fix your CV/Resume + Cover Letter - It's already clear it's not good enough. For whatever reason, no matter what you think. Send it through to me and I can tell you if there are some quick fixes (formatting, wording, etc.) OR if you need more experience

3) Be Smarter - Yes, obviously apply to offices where you speak the local language and have some sort of ties (have lived there, worked there, or have a citizenship there)

4) Be more determined - You need to speak to a lot more people and a apply to a lot more places. You will get rejected. A lot. Everyone does (I did). Don't give up. It's a numbers game, so make the numbers big.

Was this answer helpful?
Anonymous replied on Jun 01, 2020

Hi there,

It is unfortunate that you have to keep going through the rejection process however, I would recommend to slightly change your approach:

  • Focus on your region - Try to get into consulting in your own region and after 1-2 years you could apply for international transfers - It is tough to get into consulting (even for an event) for a country that does business in the local language and in which you are so fluent.
  • Life goes beyond MBB - have your tried networking and applying for tier-2? Yes, MBB is the target for most people, but again, RB/OW/Kearny/S&/etc are excellent consulting companies and you might have higher chances of getting invited for their interviews or student programs.

Keep it up! and if you need any CV help, feel free to reach out.



Was this answer helpful?
updated an answer on Jun 01, 2020

Let's break down who are the target audience of this programme. Based on the event page (, if we take a closer look at the footer there is a note stating "The Virtual Academy is just one of our many programs aimed at helping individuals get to know McKinsey better."

The page also contains three key information:

  • further develop your problem-solving and analytical skills
  • learn about digital topics or design thinking
  • leverage your strengths, learn how to experience meaning, improve your resilience and build authentic confidence

Hence from my inference, this program is aimed at applicants who need help to develop themselves in the area of knowledge and skills (going from good to great).

Assuming you already have the relevant skillsets and experiences, the program would not be a right fit for you.


Was this answer helpful?
Content Creator
replied on Jun 02, 2020
McKinsey / Accenture Alum / Got all BIG3 offers / Harvard Business School


It's unclear without seeing your resume. Feel free to send it to me.

I would not overthink the Virtual Academy reject since:

  1. There is a limited number of places
  2. They are trying to prioritize certain groups (female, experienced hires, etc)
  3. It's unclear whether you had a right office / background match


Was this answer helpful?
Content Creator
replied on Jun 02, 2020
McKinsey | Awarded professor at Master in Management @ IE | MBA at MIT |+180 students coached | Integrated FIT Guide aut


Feel free to PM me the CV.

Any idea of the number of attendees invited? This would be a key piece of info we are missing here.

Hope it helps!



Was this answer helpful?
Anonymous B replied on Jun 01, 2020

I also got rejected and I am doing a PhD at Oxbridge... I guess the competition was fierce.. Don´t give up! :D

Was this answer helpful?
Anonymous A on Jun 01, 2020

seriously? Yeah okay, I guess it is more clear now if people with PhDs at Oxbridge are getting rejected, what a joke - seems like another one of those events for which you have to network to even get invited. If I may ask which nationality are you? (i.e you can say which part of europe, not exact country)

Anonymous on Jun 01, 2020

I am Italian, applied for the Italian and British offices :)


Anonymous replied on Jun 08, 2020

Dear A,

Thank you for explaining your situation so broadly. But I would recommend you to send me your CV that I can provide you more substantial feedback.

Feel free to reach out,



Was this answer helpful?
Anonymous C replied on Jun 15, 2020

I was selected to this programme. We are just 158 participants and were told there were thousands of candidates. It seems they chose a few (or even just one) by office because there is a stage in which we get a mentor from the office we chose. My CV isn't that great, but I'm a top 3% student in my college and in my country it is the only engineering college from which McKinsey recruits (and the programme is for non business students).

Was this answer helpful?
Ian gave the best answer


Content Creator
BCG | 100% personal interview success rate (8/8) and 95% candidate success rate | Personalized interview prep
Q&A Upvotes
68 Reviews