What happens to BA's at McKinsey who don't make EM in 3 years?

BCG McKinsey and Bain
New answer on May 18, 2020
7 Answers
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Anonymous A asked on May 16, 2020

Are they asked to leave through the up or out system (is this a thing?) or do they get to move on to Associate or Senior Associate (with or without an MBA sponsored)?

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Anonymous B replied on May 16, 2020

What are you talking about?! Probably could have done a quick Google search before asking the question here

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replied on May 16, 2020
McKinsey Senior EM & BCG Consultant | Interviewer at McK & BCG for 7 years | Coached 350+ candidates secure MBB offers


BAs don't get promoted to EMs. There is the Associate role in between that usually lasts about 3 years. So from starting as a BA to making EM it takes 5-6 years. Sometimes even longer, depending on educational leave.

Cheers, Sidi

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Anonymous replied on May 18, 2020

Dear A,

There is standard outplacement procedure, so you will be either asked to do an MBA and then get back, or you will be out placed and you can go to competitor or in the industry.

Hope it helps,

Good luck,


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Content Creator
replied on May 16, 2020
#1 Coach for Sessions (4.000+) | 1.400+ 5-Star Reviews | Proven Success (➡ InterviewOffers.com) | Ex BCG | 9Y+ Coaching

Hi there,

as mentioned in the other comments you have an intermediary step between BA and EM at McKinsey which is the Associate role.

Normally the minimum time to go from BA to Associate is 2 years+MBA or 3 years (if you opt to become a Senior Associate instead and stay in the company). After that it takes a minimum of 2 years to move to EM.

So overall you can expect a minimum of 5 years from BA to EM. There may be exceptions in some countries, in particular if there are new offices, but they are definitely not the norm.



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replied on May 16, 2020
Ex Kearney Senior Manager | Ex McKinsey Engagement Manager | Interviewer & Case Coach at McKinsey (200+ Real Interviews)

Hi There,

I think you might have a piece of confusing information.

  • You will be a BA for at least 2-3 years
  • BA has 3 options, continuing in McKinsey as SBA or Associate, getting an MBA, or taking Industrial leave
  • BA that chooses to stay, will get promoted to Senior BA or direct to Associate (depending on the office)
  • Senior BA to Associate will take 6 months to 1.5 years, depending on your performance
  • I know some offices specifically in the US, promoted their distinctive SBA directly to EM after 1.5 years, but this is quite rare, and you need to start Jr EM ing after 1 year as SBA
  • But, if you take the normal route, Associate to EM will take 2-3 years

So, in conclusion, even the fastest track won't get you to EM in 3 years from BA. No need to overthink, once you got it, you will have a better understanding of the system, and it is not as ruthless as you think.

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Content Creator
replied on May 18, 2020
McKinsey | Awarded professor at Master in Management @ IE | MBA at MIT |+180 students coached | Integrated FIT Guide aut


From BA you pass to associate in 2-3 years, depending on the office. If not, yes, you are fired. This is quite common knowledge in MBB

Hope it helps!



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Content Creator
replied on May 16, 2020
McKinsey / Accenture Alum / Got all BIG3 offers / Harvard Business School


I think you don't have a clear understanding of the roles.

  • You are BA for 3 years
  • Then you either get an MBA or get promoted directly to Associate
  • After 2-3 years as an Associate, you become an EM

Direct transition to Associate is usually harder than Associate->EM transition because of the overall lack of EMs in the system

In either case - if you can't be promoted, you have to leave the company


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