What to buy (prepare) before starting at McKinsey?

Anonymous A asked on Sep 08, 2019 - 3 answers

Hi everyone, I received an offer from McKinsey to start as an Associate in a European office. I would like to know whatshould I buy before starting there.

I know about the dress code, dark blue suits, white shirts, etc. but missing the real-world knowledge, how many suits, what types of luggage, etc...

In other words, what would you do in my place??

Thank you all for the help, just checked the Rimowa suitcases and saw that they are around 4 kg, meaning that I have only cca 6 kg till the limit for hand luggage on most of the airplanes. Should I worry about that or actually no one checks? — Anonymous on Sep 08, 2019 (edited)

Not sure if there are different models with different weights, but anyhow, since you will be flying Business with up to 2 pieces of hand luggage, don't worry about the weight ;-) — Anonymous on Sep 11, 2019

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Anonymous updated his answer on Sep 08, 2019

1. Suits: As a direct reply to your question, I would say that from personal experience 3-6 suits are sufficient. Some colleagues tend to take 2 suits with them per week, some take 1 suit per week, and some take 1 suit and have a pair of extra pants for each suit. Depends on your preference, although it's probably good not to wear the same suit for more than a week.

2. Shirts & Shoes: 15-20 shirts should suffice, depending on project dresscode it might not always be blue suit/white shirt, but could be a bit more alternating. Don't forget some good, leather shoes to fit with your suits - focus on black and dark brown shoes.

3. Luggage: In terms of luggage, you should definitely have a good piece of hand luggage, since you will be using it a lot. Focus on a trolley with 4 rolls that is stable and ideally comes with a guarantee. Classical consultant brand: Rimowa. Alternatively, there are brands like Samsonite or less pricey alternatives like "Hauptstadtkoffer" that you can try. The classical case is Rimowa for sure (also as status symbol).

4. Additional To-Dos before starting: What is at least as important as dressing and luggage: get informed about hotel and airline loyalty programs, enroll before you start working and have all the apps (Miles & More, Lufthansa, MyTaxi/ShareNow, DriveNow, Marriott Bonvoy, Radisson, etc.). Enter these loyalty card numbers during your onboarding on your first days of work. You will collect a lot of points and miles, so be ready to collect from day one and don't waste any valuable time during trainings or projects with this administrative stuff.

Have a great and successful start!


replied on Sep 08, 2019
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Congrats on the offer!

- I would buy 5-10 shirts (if you are staffed in the home office, you won't have the laundry paid, thus I would be ready to have at least 1 shirt per day + a few "just in case")

- At least 2 suits, otherwise the client and the seniors would think you are not a very clean person. Same for the ties

- Luggage: Black or dark blue, "airplane" dimension max (if it fits within RyanAir/EasyJet forms, it is fine). I personally prefer 4 wheels because it's easier to move around, but that's your choice

I would wait to buy other stuff (e.g., business backpack) to see what they give you the first days (e.g., they could give you a backpack for the PC, a bag or nothing). You'll have a phone with cover and privacy screen, so don't buy anything on that side.

replied on Sep 08, 2019
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One small addition to Giulia's comment concerning luggage: High-quality and very common is Rimowa luggage - I personally don't use anything else (mostly the aluminium ones) and very rarely happens that something gets broken, which is roughly every 300 flights in my case (also consider the time and effort to get short-term replacement).

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