McKinsey Jobs: New Hire Advice

So you aced the behaviorals and case interviews and are now starting your new gig working at McKinsey – congratulations! You just landed what many consider to be a dream job. Yet, as I’m sure you know, the real work is just getting started. Here are our Top 5 tips and new hire advice as you embark on your consulting journey as a McKinsey new hire.

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#1 – Get Familiar with Excel and PowerPoint

It should come as no surprise that you’ll need strong Excel and PowerPoint skills as a McKinsey new hire. Consultants process vast amounts of data through Excel and need to present their findings via concise PowerPoint decks. Here are some ways you can work on these skills:

  • Case Competitions
    • If you are still in school, case competitions are a great way to build your data analysis and presentation skills within a project-oriented context.
  • Online Classes
    • Companies like Chandoo, Udemy, Khan Academy or Wall Street Prep offer great courses, and of course, we created the world’s only Excel and PowerPoint courses for consulting.
  • Local Universities or Technical Colleges
    • If you prefer the in-class environment, try seeing if any schools around your area offer financial modeling, data-structuring, or presentation-building classes.
  • YouTube
    • Probably one of the most underrated learning platforms out there is YouTube. Pretty much anything you want to learn about Excel or PowerPoint, someone has already created a video for it. Just be aware – it’s sometimes tough to determine who the real experts are from the fake. Also, Excel and PowerPoint are used differently in consulting as opposed to banking and other industries.

#2 – Read a Few Consulting Books

Though you’ll be provided excellent training both before you start and on while working at McKinsey, you’ll quickly realize that there is so much to learn in so little time as a McKinsey new hire. To help you get up to speed as fast as possible, here are a few of our recommended reads:

  • The McKinsey Way
    • A former McKinsey consultant provides insider information on how to succeed in the challenging consulting environment and insight on McKinsey’s hypothesis-driven approach to problem solving.
  • Flawless Consulting
    • Learn about the importance of developing and maintaining authentic relationships in the workplace. The author also encourages consultants to be inquisitive partners who ask good questions to discover the strengths and unique values of their clients.
  • Pyramid Principle
    • Communication is an important skill required to be a successful consultant. Through this principle, you’ll learn how to present your thoughts in a coherent and captivating way that will drive action.

#3 – Start Networking

As a new consultant, you invariably have credibility that you need to build up in order to have a successful McKinsey experience. If you’re lucky you will be staffed on a project right away. This will allow you to start building your skillset and reputation. If you’re not as fortunate, however, you may be “on the bench,” which is when you are waiting to be staffed.

As a new hire, take the time to reach out to experienced and senior consultants at McKinsey to learn about them and their previous projects. Staffing is not as mechanical and fair of process as you might expect. At the end of the day, consultants make decisions on who to work with. If you’ve had a good conversation with a Partner, his or her request to have you on a project will be a key difference maker.

#4 – Find a Mentor

One key differentiator between successful and non-successful consultants, is whether or not they find a good mentor. As you start working at McKinsey, be on the lookout for senior consultants who you vibe well with. Don’t just look for pedigree, instead, look for the ones most interested in a mentorship relationship. If they’re not invested, what’s the point to begin with?

When you’re a new hire at McKinsey, you’ll want to make as many friends on the job as you can and build out your network from the bottom-up. When interacting with these mentors, be sure to always show you sincere appreciation and try to offer your help whenever possible. The best mentor-mentee relationships are a two way street.

#5 – Take Some Time to Relax

We just went over a lot of new hire advice that’s enough to keep you busy and on your toes. But if you haven’t yet started working at McKinsey, be sure to take some time to enjoy the fruits of your labor. You’ve just put in so much time and effort getting into McKinsey, that you shouldn’t forget to savor the moment and take that backpacking adventure you put off to do case interview prep. Even if you’re already on your first project, take a weekend to decompress.

You’ll always have more to do working at McKinsey and more to learn. So coming into the job with a fresh and energized mindset is just as important as anything else when preparing for life at McKinsey.

Summary

Working at McKinsey as a new hire come with some pressure. You’ve landed one of the most coveted jobs in the consulting world, and are among extremely high calibre people. You’ll want to hit the ground running as a McKinsey new hire. Taking heed of the above advice for new hires will set you up for a great career working at McKinsey. Go get it!

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