McKinsey is widely considered the world’s most prestigious consulting firm. It regularly works closely with c- suite executives in all industries, as well as governments around the world.
McKinsey usually applies their token “McKinsey Way” of problem solving to provide meaningful results for clients. This is a strategy passed all the way down from Founder, Marvin Bauer, to new graduates. The company is fast paced and focuses on quality, like most consultancies. In addition, McKinsey is particularly effective at using past project results to get a head start on new problems. This only works so well for McKinsey because of their deep history of projects and extremely organized system of creating project reports for the firm’s future use.
McKinsey is the largest of the MBB firms with over 9,000 consultants worldwide. For many years, the firm has boasted the best revenue to personnel statistics.
Consulting has an “up or out” hierarchical system. This means that firms like McKinsey support alumni in getting jobs outside of the firm. Unless, of course, the consultant wasn’t heading towards an upper management role.
Additionally, most individuals who leave McKinsey get their next jobs through the McKinsey job board. This ties into why working for such a prestigious firm provides so much value for exit opportunities: the network. In reality it doesn’t matter whether you’re looking to go into Private Equity, a startup, corporate leadership, or even the public sector – McKinsey will open doors to get you there.
This is much more important at McKinsey than at other firms. McKinsey has cultivated a specific type of “McKinsey person”. Alumni around the world have been immensely successful. From Sundar Pichai, to Pete Buttigieg, to the latest start-up founders, all point to their experience at McKinsey. This aura is emphasised by the fact that almost no graduates turn down a McKinsey offer. In fact, McKinsey regularly attracts the very best of them. Currently, that constitutes 30 Rhodes Scholars and 6 Olympians.
Bottom Line: The mix of experience and quality that people tend to expect from seasoned McKinsey consultants serves as a large filter for your ability to work as a top candidate in any position.
Salaries for the main three firms tend to be fairly level, with McKinsey edging ahead slightly, at a level of around $90k/yr for undergrads and $160k/yr for MBA graduates.
Working at McKinsey presents a unique opportunity to explore and meet people all over the world, solving problems in places you never considered. The ubiquity of McKinsey’s culture follow specifically follows “the McKinsey Way” of problem solving. Things are done the same around the world. Consultants from around the world can instantly know what roles to take and organize themselves quickly to get a head start on coming up with solutions for a client as soon as day one.
Besides their unique system for working, the firm also provides substantial training resources and career guidance so that employees can learn and master valuable skills.
This article is by Juan Salazar, Princeton Undergraduate, aspiring management consultant and Intern with The Cambridge Consultant.