What are the dos and don'ts for a rookie in the first months at McKinsey?

Advice McKinsey offer
New answer on May 19, 2020
5 Answers
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Anonymous A asked on Apr 16, 2020

Hi,
I will soon start my job at McKinsey. Do those who previously worked for the company have any recommendations what a rookie like me should consider in the first months to make his stay successful? What are the dos and don'ts?

Advice would be much appreciated.
Cheers!

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Vlad
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Apr 17, 2020
McKinsey / Accenture Alum / Got all BIG3 offers / Harvard Business School

Hi,

The most important thing you need to understand is that consulting is a client business and client is always first. Here is my subjective view of what's needed to succeed at the start levels. Pls take into account that it's the ideal state and getting these skills is a journey.

Analyst / associate level

  • Having a good DGL / career counselor, etc. (Each company has different names). This is a person who guides your development in the company, collects the feedbacks on you, and presents your case to a promotion committee. Make sure to have a person who is organized enough to collect the feedbacks in time, who is a nice person in general and who has enough authority in the company (i.e. Senior partner - the more power he has - the better)
  • Choosing the project you work on smartly (i.e. collect the feedbacks on each and everyone prior to accepting the project)
  • Technical skills (Excel, PPT) should be mastered before starting the job
  • Good feedbacks on you from the client. Thus try to make friends with your clients (Both senior and non-senior role. Even a bad feedback from a blue collar can ruin your career)
  • Being proactive - helping the team with daily routine, scheduling, etc. Participating in the office initiatives
  • Establishing relationships with your managers and partners. Ideally, you should have multiple senior partners to be excited about you and to support you)

Best

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Francesco
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replied on Apr 17, 2020
#1 Expert for Coaching Sessions (3.700+) | 1.300+ Reviews with 100% Recommendation Rate | Ex BCG | 8+ Years of Coaching

Hi there,

congratulations on your offer! I worked at BCG, however there are no particular differences in terms of best practice in major consulting firms in the first months. I would recommend the following:

  1. Take notes when your manager tells you something – this will help you to remember details and will show you care about them to the team.
  2. Always double-check. The first impression is very important in consulting: if you show you are reliable from the beginning, you create a reputation of a reliable person. Double checks should be done on expectations for your job, your Excel analysis, your slides – basically everything.
  3. Define priorities before starting any set of tasks. The majority of the results usually come from a subset of activities – this is true also for your tasks in consulting. You have to identify which they are and prioritize them – the application of the so-called 80-20 rule or Pareto Principle. Alignment on priorities and expectations is particularly important with your manager at the beginning of the project.
  4. Socialize with your colleagues and start to build a network. Consulting is a people business and you should build a good network both within and outside the company. A good start is key to develop good relationships long-term
  5. Organize your private life activities. You want to organize your calendar to leave some space for personal activities (sport/ friends/ family). This is not easy but can be managed if you organize well, and long-term will be critical to keep a balance between work and private life. Also, it is better to align with your manager/teammates from the beginning on your core needs, so that there are no surprises later on.
  6. Ask for feedback every two-three weeks – this will show you are proactive and willing to learn.
  7. Ask for help when you don't know what to do – better to let know you are in trouble with meeting a deadline then missing the deadline.
  8. Be social and respectful with the support staff – these people are great and influential as well in the company.

Best,

Francesco

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Emily
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replied on Apr 30, 2020
BCG Project Leader | 3+ years interview experience for BCG SEA recruiting | Kellogg MBA, NTU, Peking University

Hi,

This is a question could be applicable across companies. A few points to add on:

- Do raise your hand and ask for help early when you get stuck; don't wait til last minute and drop a bomb to your manager

- Do sanity-check all the numbers before sharing to the team; don't have simple mistakes in your output as it would make it hard to build your credibility

- Do ask clarity on delivery timeline

- Do go to your manager with your own thinking/proposal of how you want to solve a problem; don't only ask "what to do"

- Don't ask others simple questions that can be googled

Hope it helps,

Emily

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Anonymous replied on May 19, 2020

Dear A,

For candidates like you, who have already secured the offer with a leading consulting firm, I have designed my program "Get ready for the first 100 days " as well as long-term career planning. This program touches all the important aspects: the mindset, the skills, knowledge, networking and ,managing yourself as well, your bosses and clients - everything that is important in your successful career.

In fact, I'm sharing my knowledge of 6 years career experience in consulting, where I was able to land on the fast track promotion and to be promoted from consultant to a project manager just within 3 years, which is extremely fast.

Happy to share these insights with you, feel free to reach out directly to me.

Good luck,

André

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Clara
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Content Creator
replied on Apr 17, 2020
McKinsey | Awarded professor at Master in Management @ IE | MBA at MIT |+180 students coached | Integrated FIT Guide aut

Hello!

The lovely thing about McKinsey is that they invest a lot in feedback.

Hence, by following the advises you will be provided in this sessions you will be fine.

Hope it helps!

Cheers,

Clara

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Vlad gave the best answer

Vlad

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McKinsey / Accenture Alum / Got all BIG3 offers / Harvard Business School
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