What It's Like to Be an Intern at McKinsey

by McKinsey & Co. | February 06, 2018

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Eliza is an associate in McKinsey’s Shanghai office and was previously a summer associate while completing her MBA program at Northwestern’s Kellogg Graduate School of Business.From her internship interviews to joining for the summer and experiencing consulting for the first time, Eliza shares her McKinsey experiences, including what made her decision to return an easy one.

McKinsey_Eliza

During the recruiting process, I was amazed at how much support I received in preparing for interviews. Both formal and informal mentors all dedicated at least an hour each to help me with case preparation and answer all of my questions.

The internship training program was a great experience. Those two-days provided me with the basic toolkit to be a successful summer associate, including an in-depth review of McKinsey’s problem-solving approaches. The part I enjoyed most was the client interview role plays we did in teams – everything felt very much like real life situations.

As an intern, I was very surprised how much my team trusted a newbie like me. I was entrusted with leading an important workstream which included co-hosting a 20+ person client workshop with another team member and presenting my part to the client board during the final report. I never would have imagined an intern would have been given so much autonomy.

I also learned that Make Your Own McKinsey is not just a slogan. I met many interesting colleagues during the summer, all of whom have been well-supported in creating their own path within McKinsey. 

When people ask me why I decided to return as a full-time associate, I answer people, people, people. It was absolutely the inspiring, caring, supportive, smart and fun people I met during the summer who made the decision easy.

 

Tatiana is a lawyer by training and has a background in finance. During her MBA program at Chicago Booth, she spent her summer with McKinsey in Sao Paulo and returned as a full time associate in Rio de Janeiro after graduation. Tatiana shares her perspective on considering career options and her internship experience.

McKinsey_Tatiana

As a lawyer, it was clear to me I should spend my summer internship at a firm where I would be able to learn a lot, and where I could contribute something special given my experiences. McKinsey had everything that I needed: a place where I would be able to get more business knowledge and that would welcome me and my background.

During the recruiting process, the interviewers I met created a very positive environment – even when I was nervous after making some math errors in my final round meetings. They noticed I was nervous and took the time to help me calm down and focus. It was a great opportunity to connect with them on a more personal level and they are still great supporters of mine now that I’m at McKinsey full time.

As I was deciding between summer opportunities at McKinsey, BCG and AB Inbev, the primary factor I kept in mind was the people. I found it extremely easy to connect with people from McKinsey, and the diverse range of people I met assured me I’d never be bored. I knew I was going to learn a lot about business if I joined McKinsey, and I also found that there wasn’t anywhere else where I’d learn as much about people.

Now that I’m back as an associate, my learning curve is still intense but I know I have a lot of people to support me along the way… and know the people are why chose this place over all the others.

Filed Under: Consulting | Education | Employer Posts | Internships | Interviewing | Job Search

Tags: internships | McKinsey

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