So I'm a bit stuck having exhausted my chances at Bain and BCG, and could use some advice about how/ when to break into McKinsey and when to re-apply to BCG where I made it to the final round.
For McKinsey especially, I'm worried that applying for a January start would be a mistake given feedback about my background story.
I graduated near the top of my MBA class in May (from a target in my country), and was subsequently forced to close down my startup (small fintech that helped large corporates discover, partner with and invest in startups around the globe) due to unexpected circumstances and started the job search off-cycle in June.
In September, I joined the strategy team at a $2B+ growth equity fund manager on a contract basis to develop investment and value creation strategies around select industry verticals due to my previous consulting background in those verticals; it also included deal-level due diligence.
Since then, I've interviewed at Bain, BCG and several internal strategy roles; interviews I had organized via my network at my MBA and developed over time. I was initially struggling with the cases at the internal roles and Bain, but then made it to final rounds at BCG after a step change in my attitude towards casing.
The feedback from BCG's final round interviews was two-fold:
They said my recommendations for the first case could have been more solid and practical (that was fair as I wasn't happy with them in comparison with the first round cases)
They were concerned that joining the growth equity fund was a sign that I didn't want to be a consultant; which was devastating to me as I thought it would only improve my profile
Complication + question:
Given the above advice, I was wondering if applying to McKinsey now would also be a problem from a background story perspective? If so how can I address/ mitigate it?
My honest reason for joining the growth equity firm is that it offered me the same balance of strategy and investments that I loved in my startup in a more mature environment, and would enable me to find which of those verticals I would like going forward. I quickly figured out it's strategy and that's the reason why I carried forward with the other interviews in the first place.
Now I have 3 months left on the contract at the growth equity firm and am wondering whether I should wait a year or so in another role before applying to McKinsey.