Landing a McKinsey internship is no easy feat. Between stiff competition, a rigorous resume review, and multiple rounds of personal and case interviews, getting an offer is tough. Those fortunate and prepared enough to land an offer, however, can look forward to a summer of engaging work, consistent travel, and the chance to secure a full-time position.
McKinsey – widely regarded as the “gold standard” of business consulting – makes up one third of the “Big 3” consulting firms along with Bain and Company and BCG. In this article, we’ll explore McKinsey’s different internship and introductory programs to give you a better sense of what to expect and where to apply.
What is a McKinsey internship?
McKinsey offers a variety of internship programs and related opportunities to give competitive candidates exposure to work at the Firm. The work varies slightly with program type and length, but all Mckinsey internships are designed to immerse interns in life at McKinsey.
McKinsey Internship Types
McKinsey Summer Business Analyst (SBA) Internship
The Summer Business Analyst (SBA) internship targets students who are enrolled in a three or four year undergraduate degree program and have one full summer left before graduation.
Most interns complete this program during the summer after their junior year of college and recruit at the end of their sophomore summer. The internship offers a phenomenal window into the life of a business analyst – interns work on a case team and are given an equal amount of responsibility as full time analysts. Successful interns receive Business Analyst return offers.
McKinsey Sophomore Summer Business Analyst (SSBA) Internship
The Sophomore Summer Business Analyst (SSBA) internship is similar to the Summer Business Analyst internship, but a year earlier! This McKinsey internship is designed for rising juniors and mirrors the SBA program. Applicants typically recruit during the fall semester of their sophomore year, and students from minority backgrounds are especially encouraged to apply. The SSBA program forms a key piece of McKinsey’s diversity, equity, and inclusion recruiting initiatives.
McKinsey First Year Summer Business Analyst (FYSBA) Internship
The First Year Summer Business Analyst (FYSBA) internship is a McKinsey internship for rising sophomore students. This selective opportunity is open to applicants with minority backgrounds who attend an eligible college. Successful interns receive sophomore summer internship return offers.
McKinsey Summer Associate Internship
The Summer Associate internship is similar to the summer business analyst program but is targeted towards MBA and other advanced degree candidates. Most candidates apply during their first year of business school and intern during the summer before their second year. Successful candidates receive offers to return following graduation as an Associate.
McKinsey Summer Associate Implementation Internship
Similar to the Summer Associate internship, the Summer Association Implementation internship is targeted towards MBA and advanced degree candidates. Interns work within the McKinsey Implementation team.
McKinsey Insight is a key facet of McKinsey’s advanced degree recruiting program. Open to candidates in PhD, post-doctorate, and medical school programs, Insight is a two day virtual workshop which exposes candidates to life at McKinsey and offers networking opportunities. Candidates apply in late winter for a spring program. Those who successfully complete Insight are often invited to interview for full time roles in the summer after the program takes place. See more information on the McKinsey Insight program here.
McKinsey Diversity Connect
McKinsey Diversity Connect is another two day workshop, similar to Insight, which is offered to candidates in PhD, post-doctorate, MD, and JD programs. The program is specifically targeted toward applicants from minority backgrounds.
McKinsey Internship Salary
Are McKinsey internships paid? Absolutely! Summer interns earn a prorated full-time salary as well as a signing bonus.
McKinsey increased its salary packages in 2023 to keep pace with inflation. New undergraduate and masters hires into full time positions earn a base salary of $112,000 and can earn up to $18,000 in performance bonuses. Total compensation can reach over $140,000 with signing and housing bonuses.
New associate hires earn a base salary of $192,000 and a performance bonus of up to $45,000. First year compensation can top $270,000 including signing and housing bonuses.
The standard McKinsey summer internship is 10 weeks in length, so you can do the math to see how much you’ll get paid as a McKinsey intern! If you don’t want to, the full salary breakdown is in our salary report.
McKinsey Internship Application
Although the exact application process varies by internship and location, all McKinsey internship applications require a resume and educational information. Cover letters are not required, but most applicants include one. Deadlines for the McKinsey internship application are coming up – check out our complete list of deadlines here.
The interview process is program-dependent but includes multiple rounds of personal and case interviews for summer analyst and associate internships. It is insanely competitive – less than 1% of applicants land an offer. Our advice? Tailor your resume with a personalized resume edit then work 1:1 with a McKinsey coach to hone your interview skills!
McKinsey Internship Acceptance Rate
How hard is it to get an internship at McKinsey? Very! All McKinsey positions are highly competitive, and internship programs are typically more competitive than their full-time counterparts. The McKinsey internship acceptance rate is ~1% – 4 times lower than that of top Ivy League schools! Traditionally, between 5-10% of applicants receive interview invitations.
A sharp resume and carefully crafted cover letter are musts, but skillful networking can be the difference between receiving an offer and not even having the chance to interview. Worried about your networking? We build a personalized networking plan for you inside of our Resume & Cover Letter Editing Package.
McKinsey Internship FAQs
Do I need prior consulting experience to apply?
Not at all. Since sophomore summer internship programs across consulting are quite small, the majority of undergraduate internship applicants will not have formal consulting experience. University consulting organizations can be a great way to gain experience, build your resume, and gather connections at top firms.
Many business school students use their MBA as a way to pivot in their careers. As a result, many summer associate candidates will not have any formal consulting experience either! While a strong work background is a must, many candidates come from outside consulting.
If I’m not selected for a summer internship, can I still apply to full-time positions?
Absolutely! Undergraduate interns typically make up only about a third of a full time classes. In fact, applying for an internship – even if you don’t receive an offer –shows a sustained interest in the firm and is viewed positively. Still, landing a summer internship is the most surefire way to lock up a full time position. Applying for a McKinsey summer internship? Work with our team to put yourself in position to land an offer.
Which offices should I apply to?
Full time return offers come from your internship location, so you should pick somewhere you want to live after graduation. With that said, offices in major cities such as New York, San Francisco, and Boston can be more competitive.
What do I do as an intern?
While specific responsibilities vary with the internship, Summer Business Analysts and Summer Associates do comparable work to their full-time counterparts. Interns are assigned to a case team of 3 to 5 consultants and work full-time on a business problem. Social events, networking opportunities, and firm-sponsored travel are other internship highlights.
Are internships remote/hybrid? Is there travel?
While programs like McKinsey Insight and Diversity Connect are remote, all McKinsey summer internships are in-person for the majority of the week and may include travel to the client site, as well as training and off-site travel opportunities.
Interested in a McKinsey internship? While the low acceptance rate and stiff competition can seem daunting, a well-crafted resume, tailored cover letter, and skillful networking will substantially increase your odds.
If you are fortunate enough to land an offer, you can look forward to invigorating work, exciting travel, great social and networking opportunities, and substantial compensation, as well as a chance to lock up a full time slot. Sound attractive? Work with us to put yourself in the best position to succeed.