The most important piece of feedback for a McKinsey, BCG et al networking event is to do nothing. You actually want to draw as little attention to yourself as possible. Networking events are really formats where consulting firms market themselves. There are obviously exceptions, but rarely is this going to be a moment for you to market yourself. For one, there is too much happening around you and you will almost never get an opportunity to dazzle anyone.

Your strategy should be one of reconnaissance, collective information, not embarrassing yourself and observing your competition in action.

A strategy of trying to prepare for every conceivable situation in the hope of impressing the attendees will never work and is not worth trying.

There will be a time to do this and it is not now. Better to collect some contact details and then aim to impress in a follow-up one-on-one discussion.

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4 responses to Anatomy of a McKinsey Networking Event

  1. You are welcome Nauruz.

  2. You would be laughing, but waking up was exactly the point about late night messages. I was made to believe that since consultants might receive important calls/messages from partners (sometimes, maybe clients) during the night and they have to react to them, waking up due to a thank you note won’t make them like you. Your response, however, made it clear that this is not the case.

    I’ll follow the advice both for networking events and office hours.

    Thank you Michael,

    Nauruz

  3. Hi Nauruz,

    Here is a little secret. When sending thank you notes do it immediately but do it on behalf of everyone so you standout out.

    In others say something like.

    “On behalf of the school and my colleagues, I would like to thank for making time to discuss McKinsey’s recruiting…”

    These unselfish notes get attention since everyone is usually going to send notes about themselves.

    Why should you not send a late night note? It is not like the person’s email is going to wake them up?

    Michael

  4. Hi Michael,

    Are there unofficial rules as to how soon should a person follow-up with a thank you note? I was warned against sending notes within few hours after the interview, or during the late hours. But in your story, a person followed-up within an hour during the night. If it’s situation based, are there some principles that could help decide when better to send an email?

    Thank you,

    Nauruz

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