Hi everyone, thanks for all your hard work to make this community great.
I am an advanced degree candidate who has been prepping for generalist consultant roles at MBB. A few days ago, McKinsey posted a specialist fellowship role in my exact field of study. My interest is to eventually specialize in the practice area where the fellowship is located. However, I know I can't apply to two roles at McKinsey at once and I was already gearing up to apply to the associate role that's due in two days.
My question is, which role of the generalist associate or specialist fellowship do you think I should apply for?
Here's some relevant background info, organized in the form of pros and cons for the associate role:
Pros for Associate
- I have a referral from a Senior Partner and was invited to a selective McKinsey info session for the associate position, thus I feel there's a good chance I will get an interview
- I've been practicing cases and fit questions extensively and have received feedback from people who have already got offers. Some current McKinsey associates have also offered to help me prep, so I'll at least be well prepared for the associate interview (but could still fail that stage, of course)
- the fellowship will be open for a few more weeks, so I may still be able to apply for the fellowship if I don't make it past round one of associate interviews. This is a risky decision, but I could also drop out of consideration for the associate role if I really wanted to switch my application later on - this seems like a bad look
- the associate role has a faster promotion path, likely much higher pay, and is more valued by the firm. I've never been focused on prestige, but I feel that turning down a financially 'better' opportunity wouldn't be good for my goals to support my extended family
- I would be applying for the full-time associate position in 2021, whereas this fellowship is a one-year, part-time role to start now with the intention of converting to a full-time position
Cons for Associate
- multiple people on the specialist team have recommended the fellow role to me and said it is easier to get than the associate role. I might be making things harder for myself for no reason, but I wouldn't want to think I could only succeed on 'easy mode'
- the people I've met on the fellowship team are amazing and I would really look forward to working with them
- there's still a path to client work on the fellowship side
- the role may have a better work-life balance and less travel
- there's less of an up-or-out structure with the fellowship, and people currently working there like the culture of this team more than other teams at mckinsey
- I would start working at the firm earlier in this role
- the limited exit opportunities I've seen from this team interest me, so there's still a chance to move to interesting work if I wanted to leave
I know it's ultimately my decision, but the community here knows more about the inner workings of these companies than I do. I'd love to hear some different perspectives. Thanks for your input!