Big Three consulting firm, McKinsey & Company, is set to hire its largest ever summer internship class this year as the firm grows rapidly across geographies and business areas.
McKinsey will recruit a class of about 800 interns with current first year MBA students being a large portion of that class, according to Kristin Altenburg, associate director of recruiting at McKinsey who also leads campus recruiting.
McKinsey’s summer internship program is a typical way for standout business school graduates to secure permanent MBA jobs at McKinsey.
The firm regularly recruits from top business schools around the world, with a large number of MBAs from schools like INSEAD, Harvard, Stanford, and Wharton joining the company each year.
In 2021, McKinsey was also the top recruiter of London Business School MBAs, recruiting a total of 56 students.
Why McKinsey values MBA hires
Alongside the perk of working at the forefront of modern business on challenges for clients across all industries, MBAs who join McKinsey earn generous salaries.
This year, starting salaries at the Big Three consulting firms have also increased by $10,000, with the salary for a McKinsey MBA consultant starting at around $175,000.
So how can you get a job at McKinsey? Kristin says she is looking for students who can make a personal impact, have an entrepreneurial drive, focus on inclusive leadership, and have strong problem-solving skills.
Business school students are well placed to succeed at McKinsey, which is one of the reasons the firm remains committed to hiring MBAs year-in-year-out.
“MBA programs typically recruit candidates from many backgrounds and geographies who are interested in advancing or shifting their careers,” explains Kristin.
“The MBA curriculum prepares students as problem solvers, teaching them how to develop and test hypotheses, draw conclusions, and make clear and actionable recommendations; consultants need these skills.
“MBA candidates are often curious, unafraid to ask questions others don’t, and creative in developing and testing solutions others haven't thought of trying. Their business knowledge, entrepreneurial drive, and development mindset can be invaluable in solving client problems.”
McKinsey updates its recruitment process
During the past year, McKinsey has evolved the leadership dimension of its assessment to focus more on inclusive leadership—a particular focus when hiring talent.
Kristin adds that the company is continuously evolving its interview process, and this year some offices are experimenting with new features designed to improve the candidate experience.
“A few years ago, Solve, our problem solving game, was one major such innovation,” she says. “All incoming summer associates will be asked to complete this digital challenge, which many candidates have told us they enjoy because it’s fun and it gives a good idea of the type of work McKinsey consultants do.”
Alongside challenges like this, the case study interview is an integral part of the consulting recruitment process. The case study interview requires candidates to solve a simulated problem for a client.
Interviewers at McKinsey are typically looking for candidates to understand the information provided, ask questions, collect themselves before diving into an answer, and to challenge themselves with a few more out of the box ideas that they’d want to test with a client team.
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