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Ken

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8

Need a bit of a suggestion about Masters vs Mckinsey

Hi. I am in a unique and privileged position. I have an offer from Imperial Business School (Masters not MBA) and Mckinsey (Inisghts and Capability Analyst). However, I am not sure which one to choose, so some suggestions would be nice.

Background: UG in electrical engineering. 27 years old, 3 years of work exp (1.5 in a startup,1.5 at FAANG).

Why Mckinsey: Wanted to work at Mckinsey but sincr I am from a non-target school, I was rejected twice for the BA role. I have heard if you do well at work, they let you switch to the BA track.

Why Imperial; Top 5 business masters. However, as a non-EU non-native English speaker, finding a role at MBB might be tough since the competition will be LSE, Oxbridge and LBS.

Possible scenarios: Mckinsey--> MBA

Imperial--> MBB experience--> MBA (if it demands)

What are your thoughts?

Hi. I am in a unique and privileged position. I have an offer from Imperial Business School (Masters not MBA) and Mckinsey (Inisghts and Capability Analyst). However, I am not sure which one to choose, so some suggestions would be nice.

Background: UG in electrical engineering. 27 years old, 3 years of work exp (1.5 in a startup,1.5 at FAANG).

Why Mckinsey: Wanted to work at Mckinsey but sincr I am from a non-target school, I was rejected twice for the BA role. I have heard if you do well at work, they let you switch to the BA track.

Why Imperial; Top 5 business masters. However, as a non-EU non-native English speaker, finding a role at MBB might be tough since the competition will be LSE, Oxbridge and LBS.

Possible scenarios: Mckinsey--> MBA

Imperial--> MBB experience--> MBA (if it demands)

What are your thoughts?

(edited)

8 answers

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Book a coaching with Ken

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As mentioned already by others, choosing to work in Insights & Capability with the hopes of switching to the BA track is misguided advice... it's also worth realising that if you were to join McKinsey in a Insights & Capability role, you would be competing against MBB BAs for the same competitive MBA roles which is really not doing you any benefit in terms of differentiation.

It's hard to give specific advice not knowing your full background and which office you have been applying for but being rejected "due to coming from a non-target" is not really getting to the 'root cause' of the problem. There are increasing numbers of BAs, for example in the McKinsey London, who are from non-target schools and I have interviewed many more in both first and final rounds. My sense is that you would benefit from more detailed career advice as well as CV review to get a better understanding of how you can build your profile further.

Good luck!

As mentioned already by others, choosing to work in Insights & Capability with the hopes of switching to the BA track is misguided advice... it's also worth realising that if you were to join McKinsey in a Insights & Capability role, you would be competing against MBB BAs for the same competitive MBA roles which is really not doing you any benefit in terms of differentiation.

It's hard to give specific advice not knowing your full background and which office you have been applying for but being rejected "due to coming from a non-target" is not really getting to the 'root cause' of the problem. There are increasing numbers of BAs, for example in the McKinsey London, who are from non-target schools and I have interviewed many more in both first and final rounds. My sense is that you would benefit from more detailed career advice as well as CV review to get a better understanding of how you can build your profile further.

Good luck!

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Hi there,

If you go for McKinsey Insights, you will most likely have to do an MBA to switch to the pure consulting role.

If you go for the Master, you can apply for the consulting role straight away after it.

So the fastest route to a pure consulting role is the master. It doesn’t mean you should necessarily go for that though. If you find the job position at McK Insights interesting, you can take that, knowing you will need to do an MBA after it to target a pure consulting role.

Hope this helps,

Francesco

Hi there,

If you go for McKinsey Insights, you will most likely have to do an MBA to switch to the pure consulting role.

If you go for the Master, you can apply for the consulting role straight away after it.

So the fastest route to a pure consulting role is the master. It doesn’t mean you should necessarily go for that though. If you find the job position at McK Insights interesting, you can take that, knowing you will need to do an MBA after it to target a pure consulting role.

Hope this helps,

Francesco

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Hey there,

I am in favor of most answers here. If you want to work at McKinsey, go for the Master's to increase your chances.

The switch from support to consulting role rarely happens and only for really exceptional performance. Until that (which is uncertain) it is a very different type of job and more similar to an industry role than consulting (with all the associated benefits such as less stress, work, better lifestyle but also the downsides such as fewer learnings, a different type of work, little travel, worse pay, and exit ops)

If your goal is to become an MBB consultant, to maximize your chances go via the Master's route rather than the support role.

Cheers,
Florian

Hey there,

I am in favor of most answers here. If you want to work at McKinsey, go for the Master's to increase your chances.

The switch from support to consulting role rarely happens and only for really exceptional performance. Until that (which is uncertain) it is a very different type of job and more similar to an industry role than consulting (with all the associated benefits such as less stress, work, better lifestyle but also the downsides such as fewer learnings, a different type of work, little travel, worse pay, and exit ops)

If your goal is to become an MBB consultant, to maximize your chances go via the Master's route rather than the support role.

Cheers,
Florian

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Do not work in Insights and Capability with the hopes of becoming a BA. It will not happen and you will waste your time there. If you actually want to get into MBB you need to switch to an MBA program from LBS or INSEAD. My personal opinion is to reject both offers, look for a job that is meaningful, apply for an MBA in 3-5 years and then make the switch.

Udayan

Do not work in Insights and Capability with the hopes of becoming a BA. It will not happen and you will waste your time there. If you actually want to get into MBB you need to switch to an MBA program from LBS or INSEAD. My personal opinion is to reject both offers, look for a job that is meaningful, apply for an MBA in 3-5 years and then make the switch.

Udayan

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If I understand correctly, we are talking about a back-office, not client-facing role at McK?

If that is the case - I d much rather take your option 2, Master's, MBB (in a consulting role), MBA (if need be, you ll have a masters then, no need technically for a MBA or PhD, could do fast track to partner).

If I understand correctly, we are talking about a back-office, not client-facing role at McK?

If that is the case - I d much rather take your option 2, Master's, MBB (in a consulting role), MBA (if need be, you ll have a masters then, no need technically for a MBA or PhD, could do fast track to partner).

Hi. Thank you for your prompt reply. Just to understand this a bit better, why is a back-end role not as lucrative as a client facing role? If I am not wrong, this role helps the consulting team too. — Anonymous A on Mar 16, 2021

Consulting firms view client-facing as the actual drivers in the firm and always more valuable. A 2nd tier consulting role will be better for MBB apps than a MBB back-end role. This is one the many weird preferences they have, but it is how it is — Denis on Mar 16, 2021

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Hey,

This really isnt a like for like comparison. So your approach is wrong and sorry for being blunt.

Do you really see the need for more education at this stage or would you rather get into the workforce?

  • If MBA really is the end goal, then a masters now doesn't make sense. Hoping to get into MBB/McK after Masters is not going to be any easier. So if you can, you are better off going straight for a top 5/10 MBA programme now
  • Or if you want to get into McK/MBB Strat consulting eventually then there are other ways to get there in 2-3 years (with or without MBA)

And congrats on the options :)

All the best.

Hey,

This really isnt a like for like comparison. So your approach is wrong and sorry for being blunt.

Do you really see the need for more education at this stage or would you rather get into the workforce?

  • If MBA really is the end goal, then a masters now doesn't make sense. Hoping to get into MBB/McK after Masters is not going to be any easier. So if you can, you are better off going straight for a top 5/10 MBA programme now
  • Or if you want to get into McK/MBB Strat consulting eventually then there are other ways to get there in 2-3 years (with or without MBA)

And congrats on the options :)

All the best.

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Hi there!

It's a really controversial choice, however, I believe it depends on the purpose.

If you are interested in the Insights and Capability Analyst position, it would be a great experience for you, as you will be able to get insights about the specific position you are interested in while already being in the company.

If your focus is specifically on the BA role, the MA at Imperial Business School is a great addition to your CV that can help you with the selection process in McKinsey.

Cheers,

GB

Hi there!

It's a really controversial choice, however, I believe it depends on the purpose.

If you are interested in the Insights and Capability Analyst position, it would be a great experience for you, as you will be able to get insights about the specific position you are interested in while already being in the company.

If your focus is specifically on the BA role, the MA at Imperial Business School is a great addition to your CV that can help you with the selection process in McKinsey.

Cheers,

GB

(edited)

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Hi there,

Completely agree with the rest - this McKinsey role is not going to be what you think it is (sorry). The odds than you can just switch to consulting are very low and thinking otherwise is misguided. If you're taking a role you don't like, just with the hopes of getting another role, you're bound to be disappointed!

I highly recommend going the Imperial route.

Either way, you've done well to have this sort of choice in front of you. Good luck :)

Hi there,

Completely agree with the rest - this McKinsey role is not going to be what you think it is (sorry). The odds than you can just switch to consulting are very low and thinking otherwise is misguided. If you're taking a role you don't like, just with the hopes of getting another role, you're bound to be disappointed!

I highly recommend going the Imperial route.

Either way, you've done well to have this sort of choice in front of you. Good luck :)

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