Tips for Starting in McK in January

New answer on Oct 03, 2020
3 Answers
Anonymous A asked on Oct 02, 2020

I'm wrapping up my last semester and am about to start my full-time analyst position at McKinsey after I graduate this December (if I pass the background check - hopefully there won't be a problem with the background check).

I'm a bit nervous regarding how to do well in the position of an analyst. Any tips/advice?

Also, after I signed the contract, a partner that I did interview with emailed me to congratulate and tell me to not hesitate to reach out to her and stay in touch. But she is a senior partner at the firm, although we had a really good conversation during the interview process, I'm not sure how should I best navigate the stay-in-touch process?

Thanks so much and any tips/advice would be deeply appreciated!


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Content Creator
replied on Oct 03, 2020
McKinsey | Awarded professor at Master in Management @ IE | MBA at MIT |+180 students coached | Integrated FIT Guide aut


Congrats of that offer!

If there is one thing I wish I had done before joining McKinsey, that would have been Excel. It can really be a game changer, so I would really focus on that (more than pptx, industry knowledge, etc., that are nice-to-have, but not deal breakers).

Excel skills are part of the core skill-set of consultants, and it´s great that you want to practice them. PFB a list of the most popular commands:

  • Basic operations: SUM, SUMPRODUCT
  • Text transformations: CONCATENATE, LEFT, RIGHT, & operator,
  • Connecting different datasets: VLOOKUP, HLOOKUP, INDEX(MATCH(),MATCH())
  • Conditional-based operations: SUMIF, COUNTIF, SUMIFS, COUNTIFS, COUNTA
  • Learn how to analyze data using Pivot Tables

There are plenty of online materials:

Hope it helps!



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Content Creator
replied on Oct 02, 2020
McKinsey offers w/o final round interviews - 100% risk-free - 10+ years MBB coaching experience - Multiple book author

Hi Anonymous,

For the first part of your question, there are plenty of threads in this forum how to prepare for a new role in consulting, so I won't duplicate content for that here.

For the second part of your question - doesn't matter if it's a senior partner or even director - you can reach out whenever required and he gave you the explicit right to do so. But it also doesn't mean that he personally will finally take care of the request ;-)

However you are absolutely right that he lives a busy life - so don't 'waste' his time with questions you could easily clarify with HR or by simple internet research. However, if there is a real question or point of discussion you have for which you would appreciate his answer or feedback, don't hesitate to approach him. Also just a human made of flesh and bones, so don't overcomplicate contacting him!

Hope that helps - if so, please be so kind to give it a thumbs-up with the green upvote button below!


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Content Creator
replied on Oct 03, 2020
MBB | 100% personal interview success rate (8/8) and 95% candidate success rate | Personalized interview prep

First congratulations on the offer! Great news!

Second, you've come to the right place :)

Now, there's a few ways to break this down.

First: Read the 25 tips in my consulting handbook here:


Second: In terms of things you can learn/do to prepare beforehand:

1) Daily Reading

  • The Economist, The Financial Times, BCG/Mskinsey Insights

2) Industry deep-dives

  • Learn, in-depth, how the industries/companies your office advises, work. (PM me for an industry overview template)

3) Analytics tools

  • Alteryx, Tableau, etc.

4) Excel

  • Pivottables
  • Working with data
  • Key fuctions (vlookup, Index match, count and sum if/ifs, sumproduct, concat, etc.)
  • Hotkeys (i.e. use keyboard more than your mouse)
  • Financial modeling

5) Powerpoint

  • Wireframing
  • Lead-in titles
  • Best practices/standards
  • Different layouts
  • Quickly editing/updating slides
  • Thinking in PowerPoint

6) Presentation skills / sharp communication

  • There are some online/virtual classes for this


Third: In terms of doing well in your role when you're there:

1) Understand the context/prompt (what role are you in, what company, who's watching, etc.)

2) Understand the objective (what, specifically, is expected from you...both day to day, and in your overall career progression)

3) Quickly process information, and focus on what's important - Take a lot of information and the unknown, find the most logical path, and focus on that.

4) Be comfortable with the unknown, and learn to brainstorm - think/speak like an expert without being one

In summary, there will always be a flood of information, expectations, competition etc. and not enough time. Find out which ones matter when. (i.e. be visibile and focus efforts on the things that people care about)

Some Excellent Q&As

What to expect in the first 90 days (and how to thrive) -

What to prepare/learn beforehand -

How to improve your ability to remember details -

How to be confident -

Notetaking effectively -

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Clara gave the best answer


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