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Blog posts tagged in McKinsey

This two-part series is written by David El-Achkar, an ex-McKinsey consultant and part of the MCN's Advisory Board. Haven't read Part 1? Check it out here. David is an engineer by degree, a consultant by experience, and an entrepreneur at heart. He also puts everyone to shame by being the world healthiest man. He writes for his personal blog, which you should absolutely check out here. His full bio is at the end of the article.

How 2 Years in Consulting Both Helped and Hindered My Startup Adventure: Part 2

Now that I’ve mentioned the benefits of moving from consulting to startups, it’s time to talk about the flip side, how consulting made things more difficult.

How Consulting Hindered My Startup Progress

A Large Company Once Said: Just do it!

consulting to startupsA common criticism of consulting is that it’s all strategy and no implementation. Consultants come in, analyze from 10,000 feet above, hand over slides with recommendations, and move on. This isn’t entirely true, but when I compare the work of a consultant to that of an entrepreneur, this exaggeration helps highlight how different the roles of each are.

My experience in consulting has taught me to be very meticulous and thorough when evaluating decisions—sometimes to a fault. On several occasions, I catch myself over-analyzing to the point of paralysis. This can prove to be a dangerous habit in the startup world.

The cost of an error in early stage companies is low. The underlying reason is that small size and nimbleness allows for quick detection of errors and rapid course-correction where needed. Hence, in a startup, I am better off quickly executing on decisions rather than cautiously over analyzing and vetting them. The insights I gain from evaluating actual outcomes are significantly greater than those gained from evaluating hypothetical scenarios. Often times, the best and only way forward is to just get your hands dirty.

b2ap3_thumbnail_David-El-Achkar-JPEG.jpgThis two-part series is written by David El-Achkar, an ex-McKinsey consultant and part of the MCN's Advisory Board. David is an engineer by degree, a consultant by experience, and an entrepreneur at heart. He also puts everyone to shame by being the world healthiest man. He writes for his personal blog, which you should absolutely check out here. His full bio is at the end of the article. 

How 2 Years in Consulting Both Helped and Hindered My Startup Adventure: Part 1

After two years spent as a management consultant at McKinsey, serving mega-companies, on mega-company issues, interacting with conservative executives, and otherwise leading a corporate life, I decided to take a 180 degree turn and join the startup world.

I’ll take this opportunity to share early insights and thoughts on the impact my consulting background has had on my current endeavours, and how it has shaped my thinking. In this first post, I will highlight how consulting prepared me to start a business. In the next post, I’ll look at how it made things more difficult, and I will wrap up with some thoughts on managing the transition.

How Consulting Helped me Start a Company

Three years ago, I accepted an offer to join McKinsey as a Business Analyst. Of course, I was thrilled and grateful for this opportunity. But I would only be saying half the truth if I didn’t mention that a part of me was worried; worried that I would brand myself solely as a business/strategy guy. I knew early on that I ultimately wanted to follow an entrepreneurial path. The engineer in me always wanted to keep tinkering and building stuff. I took the job, worked hard for two years, learned a ton, grew professionally, and came out the other end even more determined.

This is my account of how those years spent in consulting helps me today.

...

b2ap3_thumbnail_Music_Business_Program.jpgToday's success story focuses on Kevin Drennan, a music major from McGill University and MCN member who will be joining McKinsey full-time in 2014. After an initial, unsuccessful attempt at breaking into consulting, he buckled down, focused on the essentials, and secured multiple offers before deciding to join McKinsey. In this guest post, he discusses his path to consulting, and the factors that helped him succeed as a non-traditional applicant.

The following is written by Kevin, is purely a personal viewpoint, and in no way, shape or form represents the official position of any organization on the recruiting process. The image represents what we expect Kevin to look like next year. 

“From Music-Major to McKinsey”

Breaking into Consulting from a Non-Traditional Background

Last year at this time I was reeling after finishing consulting recruitment with no offers. I had a non-traditional background (music major at McGill; 3 minors in math, economics & business), but I thought that my strong GPA, extracurriculars, and ‘uniqueness factor’ would lead to at least one or two good offers.

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Here's the thing: if you work for a firm that recruits at a major school, students have probably been trained from day one to network. At schools like Queen's and Ivey, it's a well-oiled machine. 30 minutes to 6 hours after an information session, you receive a dozen politely-phrased e-mails from students requesting phone calls, coffee chats, case prep, hugs, freshly-baked cookies, inspirational life talks, and more. 

Here's the thing though - and I'll take myself as an example because my instinct is to help a student whenever possible - a consultant doesn't want to spend their time with a student who probably won't get an interview. It sounds cold, and unfair almost, but it's the truth. When you have limited time (and we all do), to a certain extent you HAVE to be selective. 

I recently read an article on The Verge discussing various 'gentleman's agreements' between the major tech companies. Fascinating to see the insider's perspective on this - as well as copies of the actual e-mails sent to and from top execs at Apple, Google, Adobe, etc. 

Steve Jobs, for example, writes an e-mail to Ed Colligan, the President and CEO of Palm at the time, stating that their recruiting techniques were "not satisfactory to Apple". 

It's well worth the read, and gets you thinking; do consulting firms have similar agreements in place? You don't hear much about consultants being poached between one firm and another (at least below the partner level). Is this intentional or due to other factors? 

I suspect there's a couple of factors at play here: 

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Posted by Khaled Kteily on in All About Consulting

Management Consulted has recently published a list of salaries at major consulting firms (one of the most interesting posts they come out with once or twice a year). Without commenting on the accuracy on any of these, I'd like to reproduce some snippets their blog post below:

For undergraduate students, take a look at the following numbers, organized by total base + signing bonus figures (ordered by total in Canada):

  1. Oliver Wyman: $75k base with $10k signing bonus ($85k)
  2. Bain: $70-75k base with $5k-$7k signing bonus ($75k-$82k)
  3. Booz: $72k base with $5k signing bonus ($77k)
  4. BCG: $72.5k base with $5k signing bonus ($77.5k)
  5. Accenture: $67-$68k base with an $8k-$10k signing bonus ($75k-78k)
  6. McKinsey: $70k base with $5-6k signing bonus ($75k-$76k)
  7. A.T. Kearney: $65k ($70k in Toronto) base with $5k signing bonus ($75k)
  8. Deloitte: $72.5k base ($60k in Canada) with $10k ($3k in Canada) signing bonus ($63k)

A few interesting notes:

1. Oliver Wyman has the highest base and signing combined

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b2ap3_thumbnail_leadership.png

I get this question fairly frequently. After all - the leadership essay is optional, right?

WRONG. 

 

Always write one.

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Posted by Khaled Kteily on in Success Stories

At the beginning of the year, I spent almost 2 months helping 5 students prepare intensively for their case interviews. And to illustrate how much feedback and practice can affect your odds of success, take a look at what happened...