Is McKinsey worth it?

Jun 23, 2019 67 Comments

Sundar Pichai, Sheryl Sandberg, and a bunch of other top executives in tech are McKinsey alumni, and I’ve been lately thinking if working in management consulting for a year or two is worth it from a career standpoint after college?

Did they go to McKinsey to learn as much of business as possible in the least amount of time, or because it made their egos feel good for a second?

Specifically; did they succeed because of their management consulting background, or despite it?

TC: intern, so same as the other ones.

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TOP 67 Comments
  • Facebook enginer
    This might be more correlation than causation. Most of the best business-y people wanted to work for MBB 25 years ago. Those people are now CEOs.

    The ground level analysts learn to be excel / power point grunts, with some exposure to good frameworks. You spend a lot of time with other smart people which is good.

    Coming out from 2-4 years at McKinsey, you'd probably be behind in tech career (skills, experience, and role) vs starting as a PM/eng.
    Jun 23, 2019 8
    • Spotify smcduck
      OP
      @callofwild I’m sure that the actual job is clorified, I was just looking for acceleration to personal development. There are some other Googlers in this thread, who seemed to appreciate their time there.

      Let’s say that I don’t get the much competed APM internship at Google. How do you guys look at PM internship experience from other companies, when hiring new grads?
      Jun 23, 2019
    • Spotify smcduck
      OP
      @enginer even though you’re only talking about 2 people, that seems really sad. I guess Google’s size in early 2000 played a role when Pichai made the jump. Also, he probably was a baller.
      Jun 23, 2019
  • Apple xUEdsjT
    CS degree from top school with top internships, MBA from top school, top consulting firm, top PM role on track to exec level.

    At least that's what cc, cscq, or r/pm would think. In reality we know it's not that cut and dry. Whatever helps you get management experience is good. Luck plays a huge role, going from manager to CEO doesn't have anything to do with McKinsey or your school name.
    Jun 23, 2019 12
    • Spotify smcduck
      OP
      @ BoredCSGuy I know that junior level PMs usually don’t have people reporting to them, or that they are more like ICs, but it’s really hard to talk about PM roles this way, as it differs so much between companies.
      Jun 24, 2019
    • Spotify smcduck
      OP
      @leg00g Fair points. Based on your experience in product track, would you say that it’s hard to get this type of experience, or that it’s more rare, leading to it to take more time to accumulate? Any tips on how to get this experience as quickly as possible in product roles?
      Jun 24, 2019
  • BYTON bjJp81
    It definitely is worth it
    Jun 23, 2019 10
    • Spotify smcduck
      OP
      @BoredCSGuy Actually, I can’t find people without some magical boost, or age >40 at VP positions in top companies.

      According to every public article and source, he joined as VP of Product Management. Do you realize that Google wasn’t what it is today back in 2004? But yes, I’m sure that you can become a PM without consulting background.
      Jun 24, 2019
    • Google blah🤯
      Sundar started as PM for Chrome, after Chrome's success he went to Android and scaled it up. Then became Android Chief, then Google CEO after Alphabet was formed. Probably became VP after Chrome's success
      Jun 25, 2019
  • Google uzaname
    I definitely learned more at McKinsey than Google. It gives you a great platform to speed up your career. It will help you to develop executive perspective, problem solve, and effectively communicate. McKinsey is as much people development place as it is a consulting company. Training and development curriculum is top notch.
    Jun 23, 2019 5
    • Google uzaname
      It's a retirement place from consulting perspective with good money and good life. Many are disappointed by that and push to move to product or P&L owning roles if ambition is still there. Usually you will have a good network inside already as stratops folks frequently work with people 2-3 levels above.
      Jun 23, 2019
    • Spotify smcduck
      OP
      @uzaname How many move to the “top level” (C-suite or a bit below) from strategy, as it seems to be quite important, and since you guys interact with people multiple levels above you?

      Can you also tell me examples of what product track looks like after MBB?
      Jun 23, 2019
  • Capital One
    sloppy2nds

    Capital One

    PRE
    OSIsoft
    sloppy2ndsmore
    The best way to rise is to not start at the bottom. MBA, management consulting, and the like help you with that. Access to people already in those roles is critical.
    Jun 23, 2019 12
    • Spotify smcduck
      OP
      @g4ever The amount of MBAs in PM roles was something new to me, I thought that all of them had a STEM background, so I need to take a closer look into the current situation.

      By other MBAs under Zuck are you referring to the other top executives?

      Lastly, in your opinion, does an MBA close a lot of doors at lower than Director level in tech? I’ve read so much negativity related to MBAs in tech (from Andreessen to Musk), that I’m surprised to find support for them at Blind.
      Jun 24, 2019
    • Facebook / Data g4ever
      @smcduck - stem background ensures you get the language but honestly without doing these things can you be updated with all the latest tech-Jutsu? But you will definitely be able to influence business with business skills. No way I am implying that you have to have MBA for business chops but with MBA you will be exposed to it over and over again! Yeah I am referring to other top executives who manage revenue streams etc. As for lower than Director role- not at all. Checkout how many MBAs are recruited by FAANG from tier 1 uni! The negativity is because of those MBAs who think they know everything and what not. Honestly , they are few in number. My friends from undergrad who chose to do MBA from good schools are same as ever. Tech sales is an area dominated by MBAs - check out sales JD by Microsoft. Honestly I would like to team up with someone who can make those fancy presentations than team up with another geek such as myself. After all first impressions are important
      Jun 24, 2019
  • Twitch giu37&(2
    You join MickeyZ, BCG, or Bain because they are the hardest to get in and tops in their field. You come out with a really good network - both colleagues who usually end up as top dogs at companies when they leave and clients who are already top dogs.
    Jun 23, 2019 4
    • Spotify smcduck
      OP
      @giu37&(2 Can I PM you?
      Jun 23, 2019
    • Twitch giu37&(2
      PM me
      Jun 23, 2019
  • Goldman Sachs fake engineer
    If you want to be in bizdev/ops then yes. PM or engineering manager or business intelligence hell no, the lost time in developing technical skills sets you back.

    You would also be making much less money than an eng, data analyst, or PM and working long hours making ppts.

    The exit opps are not monetarily good for a while, unless you go to PE. I have a lot of ex MBB friends, most of them have pretty low TC at tech companies even after moving a few rungs up the ladder.
    Jun 23, 2019 3
    • Goldman Sachs fake engineer
      I think if you have strong technical skills but want more business related work you should go straight for PM (or try to get in laterally if there's no junior PMs) or business analytics (ladder is a tough climb here IMO, seems to me like PMs usually have more political power in orgs).

      The line of reasoning is that you want to be at a tech company, and in a tech company the more technical people are valued more. Biz ops is important, but it doesn't attract the best technical talent and doesn't work closely with engineering, so the pay and respect are also lower.
      Jun 23, 2019
    • Spotify smcduck
      OP
      Solid reasoning, thanks.
      Jun 23, 2019
  • Google blah🤯
    Hey @smcduck I was thinking the same

    My long term goal is to be CxO. Most of the folks whom I admire have a common pattern- either an MBA from top 3 or MBB experience. I just started my first job at Google 4 months ago.

    I have been talking to various folks here at Google and also a couple of VPs to know their thoughts on having an MBA or MBB experience and their response is a no.

    The advice I have received is to focus on what skills I need to build and find teams/projects at Google to gain those skills.

    Even if I were to quit my job and pursue a startup, VCs would value more of me as a leader and the quality of the product rather than my resume.

    MBB is very tempting to me. I was going to go to a Big 4 before getting the Google offer. I look at MBB as an opportunity to learn about different industries and challenges and also the exposure to higher level executives. But for the same time I invest in MBB, I can level up in Google and work on some cool project.

    So it's kind of like 2 different roads leading to the same end goal.
    Jun 25, 2019 1
    • Spotify smcduck
      OP
      @blah🤯 Agree!
      Jun 25, 2019
  • Oracle OlJs40
    They wont hire you unless you go to an ivy league type college.
    Jun 23, 2019 1
    • Google / Product callofwild
      Not true, Mckinsey has plenty of less prestigious alum, they need a lot of people at junior levels to support it's "growth" goals.
      Jun 23, 2019
  • McKinsey sallie
    You realized those three ppl peaced the fuck out in less than 2
    Years, right? A few google VPs and leadership did 1 year of
    Consulting. So it’s more personality that made them successful
    Sep 20, 2019 0

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