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Clara

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10

Which industry/practice is the best to specialize for accelerating your development in McKinsey (Or other Firm)?

Hi!

I been in mckinsey for a year now and I am struggling to make an strategic choice for in which practice/industry to focus and develop in. I am interested in RTS (Transformation) but unsure if it´s a good platform to succed at the firm.

Hi!

I been in mckinsey for a year now and I am struggling to make an strategic choice for in which practice/industry to focus and develop in. I am interested in RTS (Transformation) but unsure if it´s a good platform to succed at the firm.

10 answers

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Book a coaching with Clara

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Hello!

Congrats for surviving your first year, it´s usually the most difficult one ;)

The answer to your question is: whichever you see you like most!

It´s true that one needs to be strategic (e.g., if you are passionate about pharma and there has not been a single pharma engagement in your office for the last year, you should either change office or pick another topic). However, withing the normal ranges, passion for what you do is key to success.

Another thing that was fundamental for me was liking the CST -client service team- for that particular industry. The people you work with truly shape your day-to-day.

Regarding RTS, I tried it too during my time in McK. It´s facinating, but one of the hardest ones in terms of traveling and long hours.

Hope it helps!

Cheers,

Clara

Hello!

Congrats for surviving your first year, it´s usually the most difficult one ;)

The answer to your question is: whichever you see you like most!

It´s true that one needs to be strategic (e.g., if you are passionate about pharma and there has not been a single pharma engagement in your office for the last year, you should either change office or pick another topic). However, withing the normal ranges, passion for what you do is key to success.

Another thing that was fundamental for me was liking the CST -client service team- for that particular industry. The people you work with truly shape your day-to-day.

Regarding RTS, I tried it too during my time in McK. It´s facinating, but one of the hardest ones in terms of traveling and long hours.

Hope it helps!

Cheers,

Clara

Book a coaching with Ken

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It completely depends on what you're solving for as "accelerating your development". Beyond choosing what you enjoy and are good at, here are a few dimensions based on my experience of thinking through the same question:

+ Promotion(s): selecting a practice/CST/partners where there is sustainable growth makes a huge difference as you progress at McKinsey.

+ Coaching: choosing people who inspire you, you are able to learn from and take time to really coach and mentor you makes a tremendous difference. I heard many colleagues choose studies not because they find the client work interesting (e.g., PMO in insurance) but because they really like the people they are working with

+ Post-McKinsey: some exit opportunities such as PE are very specific on what you did at McKinsey. It's worth starting to think about whether you see yourself being more of say, a strategy vs. implementation (e.g., RTS) type of person in terms of what you enjoy and are good at. I know many partners at McKinsey who are super sharp at problem solving but would be terrible at driving the clients to execute the strategy, and vice-versa. There is enough room for both profiles and so I wouldn't hedge too much

+ Personal passion: "make your own McKinsey" may not always be the fastest path to promotion but you learn a tremendous amount by being more entreprenurial. RTS is a great example of a small handful of partners creating something new at McKinsey that now has grown into a great platform for many who have followed. As a 25+ senior partner used to say to me all the time: "entrepreneurship is not about trying to achieve the impossible alone but more about doing something new together with a committed group of people"

Having been faculty on FLITE/LEAD I for several years, this is a topic I have coached many second year consultants with. Feel free to reach out if meaningful for your decision making.

Good luck!

It completely depends on what you're solving for as "accelerating your development". Beyond choosing what you enjoy and are good at, here are a few dimensions based on my experience of thinking through the same question:

+ Promotion(s): selecting a practice/CST/partners where there is sustainable growth makes a huge difference as you progress at McKinsey.

+ Coaching: choosing people who inspire you, you are able to learn from and take time to really coach and mentor you makes a tremendous difference. I heard many colleagues choose studies not because they find the client work interesting (e.g., PMO in insurance) but because they really like the people they are working with

+ Post-McKinsey: some exit opportunities such as PE are very specific on what you did at McKinsey. It's worth starting to think about whether you see yourself being more of say, a strategy vs. implementation (e.g., RTS) type of person in terms of what you enjoy and are good at. I know many partners at McKinsey who are super sharp at problem solving but would be terrible at driving the clients to execute the strategy, and vice-versa. There is enough room for both profiles and so I wouldn't hedge too much

+ Personal passion: "make your own McKinsey" may not always be the fastest path to promotion but you learn a tremendous amount by being more entreprenurial. RTS is a great example of a small handful of partners creating something new at McKinsey that now has grown into a great platform for many who have followed. As a 25+ senior partner used to say to me all the time: "entrepreneurship is not about trying to achieve the impossible alone but more about doing something new together with a committed group of people"

Having been faculty on FLITE/LEAD I for several years, this is a topic I have coached many second year consultants with. Feel free to reach out if meaningful for your decision making.

Good luck!

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Hi there,

I agree with the other coaches that it doesn’t make much sense to try to “game” the system and specialize in something that is growing but you don’t enjoy or haven’t tried yet.

It may also not be in your full control (you may have preferences but in MBB normally you start to specialize when you are close to manager level).

To me, when I joined a VC fund I instantly understood I loved digital and technology and decided that’s what I wanted to work on in the next years.

If you still don’t have that feeling for a sector, try to do more projects different from the ones you have done so far. If you have that feeling (eg for RTS), go deeper there.

Having said that, assuming you have 2 industries you both love, you may consider the following elements:

  • Expected growth of that industry in your country and worldwide
  • Number of people currently working on that practice in your firm (lack of people signals growth opportunities)
  • Exit options for that particular practice

Hope this helps,

Francesco

Hi there,

I agree with the other coaches that it doesn’t make much sense to try to “game” the system and specialize in something that is growing but you don’t enjoy or haven’t tried yet.

It may also not be in your full control (you may have preferences but in MBB normally you start to specialize when you are close to manager level).

To me, when I joined a VC fund I instantly understood I loved digital and technology and decided that’s what I wanted to work on in the next years.

If you still don’t have that feeling for a sector, try to do more projects different from the ones you have done so far. If you have that feeling (eg for RTS), go deeper there.

Having said that, assuming you have 2 industries you both love, you may consider the following elements:

  • Expected growth of that industry in your country and worldwide
  • Number of people currently working on that practice in your firm (lack of people signals growth opportunities)
  • Exit options for that particular practice

Hope this helps,

Francesco

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Hey there,

Simple. The best practice is the one where you feel most at home, either because you enjoy the topic or you click with the people or both. If you are happy and content with what you are doing your performance will be better and your career will benefit from it.

In that case, it truly is 'follow your passions' :-)

Cheers,

Florian

Hey there,

Simple. The best practice is the one where you feel most at home, either because you enjoy the topic or you click with the people or both. If you are happy and content with what you are doing your performance will be better and your career will benefit from it.

In that case, it truly is 'follow your passions' :-)

Cheers,

Florian

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Simple answer: The one in which you are genuinely the most interested.

If you're in a growing market/industry but don't enjoy it, you'll never get anywhere. If you love what you do, you'll rise to the top.

Go with the one where you get along with the leadership, enjoy and understand the content, and tend to perform well in. That's where you'll rise up.

Simple answer: The one in which you are genuinely the most interested.

If you're in a growing market/industry but don't enjoy it, you'll never get anywhere. If you love what you do, you'll rise to the top.

Go with the one where you get along with the leadership, enjoy and understand the content, and tend to perform well in. That's where you'll rise up.

Book a coaching with Udayan

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What Ian said

You cannot game the system beyond a point. Suppose I tell you it is healthcare - you don't like it but you choose to specialize in it. You may manage 2 or 3 years after that you will get frustrated and compared to people who genuinely like healthcare and invest time and effort getting to understand it you will be left behind as well.

Go with what you enjoy and there will always be work for you. For example, companies still sell coal in 2021 and it is the biggest source of power despite everyone saying coal is dead

Udayan

What Ian said

You cannot game the system beyond a point. Suppose I tell you it is healthcare - you don't like it but you choose to specialize in it. You may manage 2 or 3 years after that you will get frustrated and compared to people who genuinely like healthcare and invest time and effort getting to understand it you will be left behind as well.

Go with what you enjoy and there will always be work for you. For example, companies still sell coal in 2021 and it is the biggest source of power despite everyone saying coal is dead

Udayan

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Hi, it depends on the office but especially on the people. Happy to chat if can help

Best,
Anto

Hi, it depends on the office but especially on the people. Happy to chat if can help

Best,
Anto

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Hi there,

your chances to become a good expert are significantly higher in the industry that you are curious about.

Cheers, GB

Hi there,

your chances to become a good expert are significantly higher in the industry that you are curious about.

Cheers, GB

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This may require trying a few more projects and waiting it out till you come to a natural answer. Dont force it unless you are being expected/pressured internally to choose an industry.

You need to go for that industry which sparks your genuine interest and you expect to be happier + give your best. There isnt a one option appeal all industry and the key thing is to find your mutual fit.

This may require trying a few more projects and waiting it out till you come to a natural answer. Dont force it unless you are being expected/pressured internally to choose an industry.

You need to go for that industry which sparks your genuine interest and you expect to be happier + give your best. There isnt a one option appeal all industry and the key thing is to find your mutual fit.

Book a coaching with Henning

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You can succeed in any industry practice. There is no fast-track industry that would propell your internal career. I would chose your path using two questions:

  • What industry do you enjoy working in?
  • Is there any industry that you have in mind for a post-consulting career that you want to build credibility in?

You can succeed in any industry practice. There is no fast-track industry that would propell your internal career. I would chose your path using two questions:

  • What industry do you enjoy working in?
  • Is there any industry that you have in mind for a post-consulting career that you want to build credibility in?

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