International office transfers at McKinsey

transfer
New answer on Aug 31, 2020
5 Answers
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Anonymous A asked on Feb 02, 2020

If I have accepted an offer at a NA McKinsey office but know that my fiance is likely to move abroad after a year to another country, can I request a transfer after a year or so based on personal (family) reasons?

How hard is it to secure this? What will I need to do/achieve to ensure I can do this? Can I request a transfer after a year or so of working in a NA office? Will I have access to international exposure opportunities?

(edited)

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Clara
Expert
Content Creator
updated an answer on Feb 02, 2020
McKinsey | Awarded professor at Master in Management @ IE | MBA at MIT |+180 students coached | Integrated FIT Guide aut

Hello!

You can perfectly request it, but it´s not guaranteed. Depends on multiple factors:

  • Performance
  • Target office -some are totally impossible, such as Singapore, and others are very demanded, such as NYC or London-.
  • Relationship with the target office, since someone needs to "sponsor" your move
  • VISAs
  • Being an expert on a topic that is highly valued in this office
  • etc

Hope it helps!

Cheers,

Clara

(edited)

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Anonymous A on Feb 02, 2020

Thanks Clara! How do you build a relationship with the target office? In other words how do you get on projects with them? For ex: I am in a NA office and i want to do a project with an Australian office.

Clara on Feb 02, 2020

If you don´t have any built relationship that you can already leverage, once you are hired you can get yourself staffed in projects with partners from that geography. This is what people normally do, and it works very well -but needs big time investments, months-. Cheers!

Anonymous B on Feb 02, 2020

Hi Clara, may you elaborate why it is impossible to transfer to Singapore? As an overseas Singaporean, I was hoping to stay in London for a couple of years after my studies before transferring back home to sg. Thank you

Sidi
Expert
replied on Feb 02, 2020
McKinsey Senior EM & BCG Consultant | Interviewer at McK & BCG for 7 years | Coached 350+ candidates secure MBB offers

Hi!

McKinsey is usually very supportive when it comes to such matters. There is a structured process for transfering into other geographies (I have done it twice during my career at the Firm). Please talk to your DGL once you start and he/she will give you guidence.

Cheers, Sidi

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Anonymous replied on Aug 31, 2020

Hi A,

Different companies offer three types of transfers:

  1. Temporary project assignment abroad (for the duration of the project)
  2. Short-term office exchange programms (usually between 3 and 12 months depending on the company)
  3. Permanent office transfer

All of them are different in terms of difficulty to get. While project assignments abroad are quite common and easy to get, permanent office transfers are very challenging and require hard work from your end and a bit of luck.

In any way you would need the support of your mentor, the staffing manager in your region as well as partner in the targeted office, who will push your transfer.

I had two transfers in my career:

  1. From the Financial Services practice to Automotive within the same region
  2. From Munich to Dubai office

I need to say that transfers are a pretty tricky thing and require a lot of sensitive political skills.

If you need any help, just drop me a PM.

Happy to share my experience.

Best,

André

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Antonello
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Feb 02, 2020
McKinsey | NASA | top 10 FT MBA professor for consulting interviews | 6+ years of coaching

Hi,
yes, you can do it. The proposal will be accepted based on your performance and your relationship with the target office. For this purpose, I recommend spending one project in the target office.

Best,
Antonello

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Anonymous A on Feb 02, 2020

Thanks Antonello. Regarding your answer about spending one project in a target office, how do you find a project in an international office? Let's say I am in NA and want to do a project in Australia.

Vlad
Expert
replied on Feb 02, 2020
McKinsey / Accenture Alum / Got all BIG3 offers / Harvard Business School

Hi,

You can request a transfer basis of family reasons. However, there is 0 guarantee that they'll do that. The ways to increase the chances:

  • Being a Top Performer
  • Being in good relationships with some Tenured Director locally who will support you
  • Having someone in that country's office who will support your transition

Best

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Clara gave the best answer

Clara

Content Creator
McKinsey | Awarded professor at Master in Management @ IE | MBA at MIT |+180 students coached | Integrated FIT Guide aut
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