McKinsey & Company Reviews

These reviews contributed towards 2009's Best Places to Work recognition. See ratings and reviews for all time.
37 Reviews
4.0
37 Reviews
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McKinsey & Company Managing Director Dominic Barton
Dominic Barton
33 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Very smart people to bounce thought off and get new angles that you haven't thought of (in 65 reviews)

  • Great people to work with, get to learn a lot from colleagues as well as senior leadership (in 24 reviews)


Cons
  • You have to have a lot of self discipline to keep work life balance reasonable (in 160 reviews)

  • Very long hours and continual expectation of over-performance (in 158 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

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  1.  

    Great place to start

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Associate  in  San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Associate in San Francisco, CA

    I worked at McKinsey & Company

    Pros

    Steep learning curve, smart coworkers

    Cons

    Some obnoxious partners and hardly any free time

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keep it human

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
  2.  

    Don't even hesitate. Working here will the best move you ever make

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Engagement Manager  in  New York, NY
    Current Employee - Engagement Manager in New York, NY

    I have been working at McKinsey & Company

    Pros

    Personal development
    Surrounded by exceptional people
    Ability to pursue what you are passionate about
    Extreme openness and frankness about feedback
    Incredible training courses
    Genuine abilities to travel within the company
    Vast variety of client work - sometimes like a new job every three months
    It is never dull - as you start to master a role, you are promoted

    Cons

    Long hours
    Occasional lack of walking the talk, but less than at the clients
    Lower salary than we could earn elsewhere, but then we're not here for the money
    It is a high pressure environment - you have to be prepared to set your own boundaries and stick to them, but you can do it.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Be all we can be. We set the highest aspirations, come so close to reaching them, which makes the odd failing even more conspicuous.

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
  3.  

    A great place to start your career.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Business Analyst  in  Palo Alto, CA
    Current Employee - Business Analyst in Palo Alto, CA

    I have been working at McKinsey & Company

    Pros

    Development, exposure to several industries and job functions, feedback

    Cons

    Often work long hours and have to put in a lot of effort to have good work-life balance. The plus side is that it is possible.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    I would give the feedback that they are doing a great job. Keep inspiring and motivating your teams.

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
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  5. 4 people found this helpful  

    A great place if you thrive on challenges, problem-solving, and working with incredibly bright people.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Summer Associate  in  Seattle, WA
    Former Employee - Summer Associate in Seattle, WA

    I worked at McKinsey & Company

    Pros

    You will be surrounded by an incredible amount of talent. Because the job requires strong analytics as well as the ability to relate with clients, the firm is full of incredibly bright and interesting people balanced with strong social and communication skills. There's also lots of diversity, not just in terms of gender/race/ethnicity, but in terms of professional background and education. Rather than just working with lots of MBAs, you'll have a chance to team up with PhDs, MDs, and JDs with all sorts of professional experiences. There is an incredible breadth of studies available to work on and you'll be tackling some of the toughest and most intriguing problems of the top companies in the world. The challenging work keeps things interesting, especially if you enjoy problem-solving. The fact that studies last 2-4 months means you'll constantly be facing new challenges and opportunities to work with different clients and teams. I think the "up-or-out" policy is misleading - most people seem to leave the firm because they receive incredibly attractive offers, not because they can't cut it at McKinsey. It doesn't seem nearly as ruthless or unforgiving as I've heard it made out to be. Regardless of the reason you leave, having McKinsey on your resume never hurts.

    Cons

    Lifestyle. Work/life balance can be challenging, especially when travel is involved. Weekends are usually your own, but sometimes Sunday night travel is required to get to the client site if things are scheduled for Monday morning. Lots of time is required at the client site, much of which seems unnecessary and gratuitous. However, the close client contact often pays off in terms of depth of understanding and insight into their problems. That said, it seems like the bulk of the work could be done back at the home office, but the McKinsey cultural norm is to be at the client site. Also, your experience will depend greatly on how much you like your team and how easy/difficult your client is to work with. If you're on a great study, the downside is that it will end in 2-4 months. But if you're on a terrible study, the upside is that it will end in 2-4 months. It's also hard to stand out - it's a big firm with lots of talent so if you like feeling like a rock star at your place of work you might be disappointed.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    It would be a significant change in norms and culture, but consider allowing teams to do more of the analysis from their home offices. Increase opportunities for consultants to be closer to home more often. This seems like an increasingly feasible and defensible idea in light of rising fuel and transportation costs as well as the environmental impact of so many flights. Increase opportunities for consultants to network - meeting and learning from each other would be a great way to keep the experience fresh and interesting.

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
  6. 7 people found this helpful  

    Very heady place.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Research Analyst  in  Waltham, MA
    Current Employee - Research Analyst in Waltham, MA

    I have been working at McKinsey & Company

    Pros

    You tell the people running the world how to run the world. There are tremendous training opportunities and you find yourself very quickly having an impact with really big clients. There is some opportunity for travel, although not within the R&I community, which is a shame. You get to work with incredibly smart people every day, which makes for an interesting workplace and builds your own confidence.

    Cons

    Hours, no appreciation, comparatively low pay. The R&I network is undervalued and treated as second class citizens. Because the Firm attracts top-notch talent, everyone thinks they are God's gift to the world so you have to deal with a lot of obnoxious people who graduated from every Ivy League school under the sun.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Feedback is key.

    Recommends
    No opinion of CEO
  7. 1 person found this helpful  

    Why you should consider getting the McKinsey brand on your resume? And, why you will be every i-bankers envy

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Business Analyst  in  Seattle, WA
    Current Employee - Business Analyst in Seattle, WA

    I have been working at McKinsey & Company

    Pros

    If you are looking for a place that can truly catalyze your growth and put you on the super-fast career track then there is absolutely no better place than McKinsey. Before I joined I remember being told that 1 year at McKinsey is equivalent to 5-7 years of experience at an average company. No matter how average an average company could be, this to me seemed completely unbelievable. But today, when I work with people who have been in industry for 10-15 years and I see myself being able to have insightful conversations with them, I begin to believe that indeed I do have more than a few years of experience packed in my time here. Also, there is no brand, absolutely no brand, that goes further than McKinsey.

    Cons

    No real downsides to joining McKinsey as a Business Analyst. You are joining the works elite right after undergrad. Things don't get much better than that. I was at a dinner recently which had 90% investment bankers. Gosh. Those guys have no life, no hobbies, there is not a single thing they can talk about besides work, and they really have little personality. McKinsey is NOT like that. BUT, with all the traveling it can be hard to have a relationship. Also, because you are treated so nicely all the time, it is possible to have a bloated sense of self-worth and seniority.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Please don't be so hard on yourself. McKinsey is a great Firm and you guys are the reason it is great. I understand that we are self critical but there is no need to be harsh.

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
  8. 1 person found this helpful  

    Working at Mckinsey & Company provides a unique, fun and challenging opportunity

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Business Analyst  in  New York, NY
    Current Employee - Business Analyst in New York, NY

    I have been working at McKinsey & Company

    Pros

    Truly a non-hierarchical place to work with colleagues at all levels providing continuous constructive feedback. A place where one can learn a significant amount about a wide variety of industries and business issues. The firm has an incredibly strong global presence and global expertise. Colleagues from all around the world are open to sharing knowledge to benefit clients. Additionally, there's ample opportunity to travel and work in a variety of places and with people from all around the world.

    Cons

    Only downside I have experienced is the late work hours. Many times, personal time is sacrificed and it is difficult to maintain a healthy work-life balance.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Better management of work-life balance would definitely be a great asset as it is truly the only downside I see at the firm.

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
  9. 11 people found this helpful  

    McKinsey - Hell's Refinery

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Engagement Manager  in  San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Engagement Manager in San Francisco, CA

    I have been working at McKinsey & Company

    Pros

    It is an excellent stepping stone to other careers. It provides good exposure to a wide range of different companies with different problems. It allows one to quickly gain the experience one needs to succeed in a variety of different contexts. It connects you to a large number of different people. It provides excellent training. It is one of the few good ways that someone who worked in other professional fields can transition to business and it has a great brand. Be cautious, however, who you sell your soul too! It can be something of a fire for those who are unprepared.

    Cons

    The life-style is unsustainable. Even those who claim to have figured out how to achieve good lifestyle within McKinsey have a lifestyle that most people would not want at any price.

    The place operates on the edge of chaos - it never ceases to amaze me that despite all the advice we give to other companies about how to organise and make systematic we ourselves consistently fail to do so.

    Assessment is quite in-transparent. I have had projects where I felt I added a lot of value but for some reason that was not seen, other studies where I felt I was useless but people loved me.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Make a choice - decide what you want the company to be and then follow through.

    Our mission is to "To help our clients make distinctive lasting and substantial improvements in their performance and to build a great firm that is able to attract, develop and retain exceptional people"

    Decide if you want to maintain our dual people and client mission. If that is imporant to you, then we are clearly failing in the people mission. The truth is we don't retain our people! If you are serious about the importance of lifestyle then you need to change the way in which people are measured and the way in which we operate to make the system coherent. If you decide (as I suspect that you will) that performance is more important then orient our systems around that. Don't pretend one is important and do the other.

    If creating lasting change is important in our clients, lets not take the studies where the change will not sustain or the client doesn't really want us to be there.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Approves of CEO
  10. 3 people found this helpful  

    Mckinsey & Company - great risk, great rewards.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Senior Associate  in  Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - Senior Associate in Chicago, IL

    I worked at McKinsey & Company

    Pros

    I do not know any other firm that emphasizes the importance of personal and career growth as much as McKinsey & Company does. If you want to take a specific training, you name it and the firm will support you. They will send you to the other side of the world if necessary. You get exposure to senior people within and outside the firm almost as soon as you join. The salary level and benefits are really good as an associate. The support of you colleagues, even after you leave the firm is outstanding. Resumewise, having McKinsey in your resume opens so many doors and the network you create is global, even if you only work there for a couple of years.

    Cons

    You will have to work long hours. I think 14 hours/day is expected from everyone. If you have a project out of town you will have to travel Monday to Thursday. Everyone usually works at night when they go back to their hotel. Some times you also have to work on the weekends. I think that associates at BCG and Bain may travel less. But, you can expect as much or even more travel if you join other consulting firms.
    Also, I think that McKinsey is more strict with its 'up or out' policy than other consulting firms. Be ready to take that risk at all stages in your career. The bar is high, so be ready for it.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Make sure to offer feedback during the project and not only at the end. The feedback you offer should be reasonable and you should also offer advice or create opportunities for others to improve their areas of opportunity during the project.

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

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