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Start your case study practice with this McKinsey case study.

Case Study Prompt

Our client is the owner of an oil supertanker – a large ship used to transfer crude oil. He has been operating a business delivering crude oil from Russian suppliers to European clients. His clients buy the oil independently and pay him separately to deliver it to a port in Amsterdam, where they pick it up and deliver “the last mile” by themselves.

He has been quite content with his business, but recently he has been approached by a large container shipment company (80+ vessels) who is interested in buying his secondhand ship. They are not interested in his business, clients or workers – just the boat.

Selling the boat will mean the end of the business. He is not opposed to it. He has other business (not relevant to our case) he could spend time on and he is not emotionally attached to the boat, nor is he in a need for money right now. For him it is a question of profit – should he sell the boat? And what should be his asking price?

Case Study Overview

The client is the owner of an oil supertanker. He has been approached by a large company looking to buy his tanker. Your job is to help your client make the decision – should he sell or keep the boat? And if your analysis results in a “sell” recommendation, what should the asking price be?

We recommend using the Profitability Framework to structure your approach to this case, but don’t stop there. For the best case study practice, build a custom structure tailored to the case study.

With a qualitative difficulty of 3/4, this case will prepare you for a final round case interview. In addition, the quant portion of the case is at an advanced level. The case does have several math exhibits needing to be analyzed.

McKinsey Interview Tips

Want to impress a McKinsey interviewer? Recognize what the firm values, and make that a focus in your interview.

McKinsey has a high value for structure in its interview candidates. Make sure that you are highly structured (read: organized) in each section of your interview, beginning-to-end.

Make the most of your time with this case by doing to the following:

  1. Focus on your executive presentation skills and overall polish (think C-suite at Amazon)
  2. Time yourself as you go through the case (recommended times are listed on the Guidance pages)

Looking for an extra boost in your case study practice? Schedule an hour with an ex-MBB coach today.

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