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Position Levels in Mckinsey

Anonymous A asked on Dec 24, 2017


I am looking at the heraichy of positions in mckinsey london specifically, and to my knowledge (correct me if i am wrong), from bottom to top, the positions are analyst, associate, engagement manager, partners?

Is there any i am missing?

When i am looking at the career website, there are positions such as junior/senior consultant? Does this refer to associate? Where does it fit in the heraichy?

But then again, there are also specific positions on associate? Are these the same roles as the junior/senior consultant?

Thanks and regards,

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updated his answer on Dec 25, 2017
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That is correct, the traditional track at McKinsey from bottom to top is Analyst>Associate>Engagement Manager>Associate Partner>Partner. Each one of the previous role develops from Junior to Senior (e.g. from Junior analyst to Senior analyst) .

Apart from McKinsey, the pyramid is the same for almost all consulting firms. However, the biggest difference is in the naming of the different roles. From bottom to top:

  1. Analyst (McK and ATK) / Associate (BCG and Bain): are with the firm for up to 3 years. Their role is similar to associate but they work less autonomously. Associate or managers often help guide their work, spending extra time to discuss what to analyze, how to analyze and how to put it on slide. They usually work on particular parts of a problem and supply their output (usually an analysis and a PowerPoint) to the associate or manager.
  2. Associate (McK and ATK) / Consultant (BCG and Bain): are with the firm for up to 4/5 years. Post-experience or MBA position. They do the major chunk of the analytical work and content production. It is them who actually drive the engagement towards a recommendation and implementation. At this stage, they are highly independent and need to drive their work streams autonomously. The project manager and partner will come to them for their opinion and advice on particular matters. They are in close contact with the client team every day. Depending on their tenure, they are asked to manage parts of the project.
  3. Engagement manager (McK) / Case team leader (BCG) / Manager (Bain)/ Project manager (ATK): they are responsible for the day-to-day management of the project and the team. They work closely with the partners to align on what work that needs to be done and with the consultants to agree on how it should be done. Managers are usually the first point of contact for clients as they are on the ground with the team full-time. In their mediator role, they are responsible for pushing back to leadership as well as to clients to avoid scope creep and safeguard lifestyle. Depending on the scope of the project, project managers are rarely involved in producing actual content or creating analyses. Their schedule is usually filled with managing and helping the team and clients as well as preparing and holding meetings.
  4. Associate partner (McK) / Junior partner (Bain) / Principal (BCG and ATK): this is the transition from a typical consultant role and employee status to an actual owner of the firm. It is usually the most stressful period in a consultant’s career and many fail to actually make partner. Junior Partners have to start building relationships with existing and new clients. Towards their transition to leadership, they are asked to manage multiple projects at once.
  5. Partner: they are more involved in the conceptual discussions and problem solving, and are usually present in the team room at least once a week to give guidance, help structure the project and present to the client. Both senior partners and partners are equity partners of the firm.

I hope this helps,



Would you know the rough % of candidates that "make it" to each round of promotions? — Ziray on Dec 16, 2018

Vlad updated his answer on Dec 25, 2017
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Actually, it's a bit different at McKinsey:

1) Intern - Internship for students after which you are supposed to get a full-time offer

2) Business Analyst (BA) - an entry role, well-defined, with a strict time frame of 2 years

3) Senior Business Analyst (SBA) - Usually lasts 1-1.5 years. You can get this position on the job offer if you have 1.5-2.5 years of experience prior to consulting

4) Fellow Associate - The short role that some of the candidates may get. There are two possible scenarios:

  • After the interview, if you don't have enough relevant experience for an associate role / performed not perfectly in the interview. If you have never worked in consulting this is a good starting point since you can get more experience before starting to manage projects and have more time to improve if you fail at something
  • As a promotion from SBA position if you are not getting MBA and your performance is not good enough to get a DTA (Direct to Associate promotion)

5) Associate. An associate is a very short-term role - 1-2 years

6) Junior Engagement Manager (JEM) - In a year you'll start leading a project as an Associate and after the first successful project, you'll become a JEM - junior Engagement Manager. After leading several successful projects as a JEM you'll get promoted to an Engagement Manager.

7) Engagement Manager (EM) - basically leading the projects for 2-3 years

8) Associate principal - Leading multiple projects, guiding EMs. 2-3 years

9) Partner

10) Director



Hi, this seems very much aligned with my previous answer. Please note that at McKinsey there are minor differences in naming depending on your office e.g., Business Analysts are called Fellows in some European offices; hence I would suggest to stick to the main roles (e.g. analyst, associate,…) to avoid confusion depending on geographies. B.R. — Jacopo on Dec 25, 2017 (edited)

It’s not a fellow = ba in These European countries but rather ba roles don’t exist at all since the salary levels for fellows are close to ASC and more or less aligned everywhere (except Africa, India, etc) — Vlad on Dec 26, 2017

Would you have % of candidates that "make it" to each round of promotion? i.e. what % of business analysts make it to SBA, then to Associate, then to JEM, then to EM... Thanks! — Ziray on Dec 16, 2018

Anonymous replied on Feb 24, 2018

Hey anonymous,

Let me just add to this conversation that McKinsey doesn't have Directors any longer. Since last year, the role was rebranded as Senior Partners (then for the remaining roles/positions, naming conventions may change as referred by Vlad).



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