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Switch from McKinsey Research into Consulting

Backoffice MBB McKinsey McKinsey Research Research Research Consulting
Recent activity on Mar 13, 2017
2 Answers
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Anonymous A asked on Mar 12, 2017

Dear community,

Is it realistic to start out at McKinsey in a research role (back-office) in Germany and then switch into the consulting track midterm (let's say after one year or so)? Any experiences?

Best regards

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Anonymous replied on Mar 13, 2017

Hi - I agree with Vlad that it is not that easy and that it takes quite some time, but it's not as rare as you may think. I know dozen cases where it happened - typically:

- From Research Analyst to Business Analyst (or Junior Associate if the title exists within the Office)

- From Senior RA to Associate, and from Knowledge Specialist to practice-affiliated Associate

- From Senior Knowledge Expert to Expert Associate Principal

Now the common thread between those cases is that these all happen after one (or more) promotions *within* the research track. Say you join as a JRA, get designated RA, and nearing SRA designation you decide to choose client service and get designated BA instead. Same for a RA that gets promoted SRA and then decides to go as Associate instead.

If you have a client service skillset but from some reason choose the Research track and perform well it will get noticed by your evaluators - but the 1 year time frame is unrealistic indeed.

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replied on Mar 12, 2017
McKinsey / Accenture Alum / Got all BIG3 offers / Harvard Business School


  1. There are not many cases, I've heard of a couple so far. But I would assume that mainly because if tyou go to reasearch it means you have already made a choice not to work in consulting
  2. Think of it, as a junior researcher you'll have to work with lots of teams, all of which are quite demanding. I don't know your backgroung but I assume it will be quite hard to be a top performer in a 1st year, get all briliant feedbacks and make this transition. Realistically I would think that transition is possible in 2-3 years horizon.

In short - do your best to get to Mck as a consultant if that's what you are dreaming of:)

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