United Nation vs McKinsey

BCG McKinsey and Bain Case Interview coach consulting exit dubai Job offer Middle East New York united nations United States
New answer on Dec 23, 2021
6 Answers
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Anonymous A asked on Dec 08, 2021

Hi, community,

I have 2 opportunities:

1- Join Mckinsey as a Junior Associate, Dubai office

2- Join UN as a Consultant in one of its departments, New York

 

I want to join the UN then do an MBA then go back to join the private sector or McKinsey.

 

I feel joining the UN would be a unique experience and will enable me to enhance my communication skills, my English language. Also, living in NYC would give me the time to look for Opportunites with MBB in New York.

I also think that getting accepted for an MBA at HBS or MIT would be much easier coming from a UN job, which is different than most applicants' pool.

I have 2 years of experience in consulting and a bachelor's degree in Finance, Arab national.

 

Thanks

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Ian
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updated an answer on Dec 08, 2021
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Hi there,

You have a list of things here that you like/want about each - that's not the way to make a decision!

  1. Figure out what are the 1 or 2 main things you care about
  2. Look at both offers to see which one meets those key needs
  3. Ignore the other noise

Ultimately, you need to look deep and figure out what is right for YOU. Unfortunately, we can't help here.

That said, if you really want to do MBA and McKinsey, I'm not sure why you wouldn't take the direct route there?

McKinsey ====> MBA ====> UN is much easier/straightforward than  UN =====> MBA =====> McKinsey

That said, follow your heart/dreams. What do you ultimately want to do? Then work backwards from there.

P.S. You can always do UN-based work during your MBA summer or as a gap between jobs. Additionally MBB allow sabaticals after a few years at the firm.

(edited)

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Clara
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replied on Dec 08, 2021
McKinsey | Awarded professor at Master in Management @ IE | MBA at MIT |+180 students coached | Integrated FIT Guide aut

Hello!

Congratulations for those two amazing opportunities! The good thing is that, now you cannot really make a mistake. 

However, the key thing to make the right decision is what you want to do next. And if you want to do an MBA in the two Boston schools that you mention, which I know well, is true that MBB gives you a much better positioning. 

This said, this does not mean, what so ever, that the UN closes the doors, but it implies a risk for sure. However, it´s true that is a unique opportunity that most likely won´t come back. 

Something that you can negotiate (I have friends who have done this successfully with MBB) is negotiate a deferral. Signing with McK one year after, so you can be in the UN for a bit. 

Hope it helps!

Cheers, 

Clara

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Florian
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replied on Dec 09, 2021
#1 rated McKinsey Case and PEI Coach | 5 years at McKinsey | Mentorship Approach | 530+ McK interviews in 2021

Hey there,

Definitely go with McKinsey on this one. 

  1. That will open many more doors than vice versa (in terms of future job opportunities, educational opportunities, etc.).
  2. Knowing people who have worked at the UN and transitioned into consulting, any consulting job is 10x more stimulating and has a much steeper learning curve, etc.

Cheers,

Florian

 

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Francesco
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replied on Dec 09, 2021
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Hi there,

Congratulations on the offers! Given your goals, I would go for McKinsey for the following reasons:

  1. If your ultimate goal is to do private sector/McKinsey, joining McKinsey now makes more sense than doing UN with the hope to join McKinsey in the future
  2. If you join as Junior Associate, you may not even need an MBA to progress internally
  3. Even if you need/want to do an MBA, it will be definitely easier to do McK →MBA → McK compared to UN → MBA → McK

Best,

Francesco

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Udayan
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updated an answer on Dec 08, 2021
Top rated MBB coach with many offers /Ex McKinsey EM in New York /6 years McKinsey recruiting experience/Real cases

Honestly, if you want to go to a top MBA program in the US and work here your chances will be MUCH higher from MBB vs UN. UN profile might be unique but they are not typically looked at as strong candidates for MBA programs especially compared to McKinsey given their work experience and type of roles they do. If you want to do an MPH and work in the public sector then the UN is a great bet but for MBA it is McKinsey hands down.

Yes you will get to live in NYC if you choose the UN and as someone that lives here I can see the appeal in doing so but I think if you do 2 years of McK you will just have a lot better opportunities in the long run.

Best,

Udayan

(edited)

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Pedro
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replied on Dec 23, 2021
# Bain | EY-Parthenon | Roland Berger | FIT | Market Sizing | Former Head Recruiter

If you have the chance try to accept Mckinsey and defer your start date by 1 year (being transparent with the reason - you want to have the UN experience). That way you get into mckinsey and you have a more diverse experience for your MBA.

Because this is what you want: to have a short term experience in the UN, and then move to Mckinsey.

The other option - rejecting Mckinsey and going to UN right away - has the risk of you failing to get into Mckinsey later on. Recruiting after the MBA is not easier than as an undergrad, quite the opposite.

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Ian gave the best answer

Ian

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