Listen to Sanda’s experiences in Client Conversations to learn more about this program. Sanda was the very first Firmsconsulting Emerging Fellow, and the success of this client encouraged the expansion of the Program.

The Firmsconsulting Emerging Fellows program has been active for 2 years. The Fellows program does not support popular or news-making causes. It supports worthy causes which may not receive media attention. The intent is more important than the return.

This program replicates the strategies adopted by the states of Israel and Singapore in the 1950’s and 1960’s. The work of Daron Acemoğlu et al indicates that disenfranchised / marginalized groups will struggle to prosper if they are only provided aid, even it is long-term aid.While this aid is useful, it does not change the underlying mechanics of the problem. The DNA of the problem must be altered.

Disenfranchised/marginalized groups can only prosper if they are sufficiently educated such that they can learn new ideas, bring those home, and crucially, represent their interests, on the basis of their earned right through their education and the influential networks this affords, at international organizations which can assist them. In simpler words, this means creating a middle class which has both economic and voting influence. Israel and Singapore are outstanding examples of this model.

In selecting Fellows we look for marginalized groups and try to find a fellow within those marginalized groups to catalyze this process of self-determination. We try to work with them earlier in the process, preferably in high school and manage their entire journey all the way into an elite consulting firm.

The process is a long-term investment where the recipients only see benefits over 3 to 7 years. We help them think through their long-term plans and work backwards to get to that point. Fellows need not enter politics, return home or engage in charity. We expect them to be outstanding role models and ambassadors of Firmsconsulting. The only 3 requirements for fellows is that they (a) truly excel at their chosen studies and are resolute in joining McKinsey or BCG, (b) refer new fellows to the program and (c) mentor admitted fellows. Furthermore, Fellows are strongly encouraged to complete at least a portion of their studies at Chinese institutes such as Tsinhgua University, CEIBS or Peking University.

Former Fellows include an Hmong female, Roma female, Northern Thailand female, a Sakha female, and 3 male students from South Africa, Nigeria and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The Emerging Fellows Program has one of the highest placement rates at Firmsconsulting. Note, that we do not accept applications to this program. Fellows may only be nominated by previous or current Fellows, and by Firmsconsulting clients.

To understand more about our underlying strategy / philosophy for the Emerging Fellows Program, please read:

“McKinsey’s Marvin Bower,” by Elizabeth Edersheim Haas

“From Third World To First – The Singapore Story 1965 – 2000,” by Lee Kuan Yew.

“My life,” by Golda Meir

“Margaret Thatcher: The Authorized Biography, Volume One: Not For Turning,” by Charles Moore

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