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Sports scholarship recipient joins McKinsey

Did you enjoy the program? If yes, how?

The coaching program is well designed, clear expectations and milestones were set and Michael was very accommodating to work around my schedule. Michael was very open-minded in accepting me even though I came from a non-target US program but was very thorough in laying out the obstacles I needed to overcome.

Did the program meet your expectations? If yes, how?

Yes the program exceeded my expectations. I only pursued McKinsey [Redacted] and had worked with a head hunting firm to set up the interview. I found their preparation to be weak and had signed up to FC for case training.

The program is very simple to follow and Michael is a clear speaker so it is easy to follow him. The use of a white-screen to see him solve cases was very useful and probably the best part of the program. I was pleased with Michael’s knowledge of the [Redacted] office and his very useful advice in helping me improve my fit answers.

This made a big difference to the overall interview since I could provide very good reasons why I had not selected the Ivy Leagues for my studies.

What was the most important learning’s from the program?

School names and school brands are overrated – according to Michael and my own experience.

I am completing this survey 13 months after joining McKinsey as a business analyst so I am commenting on the program and my own experience. Michael was right in the need to focus on communication, analytic skills and the ability to design/complete analyses.

Partners looked for those who could do this and cared little about the school I had attended. This is a good lesson from the program that I have only fully understood after leaving the program.

Do you feel the program provided an advantage for you versus your own/other preparation? If so, in what way?

Yes, the program is very good at teaching estimation cases, brainstorming and longer cases. I had always assumed I needed to know the frameworks before starting case preparation and Michael never taught me any frameworks.

In my last session we did a set of drills where I had to arrive at 3 sets of frameworks for each case. This proved to me there is no perfect answer since there is more than one answer to the case. After my first round McKinsey commented on the maturity and completeness of my structures and I feel the brainstorming approach taught by Michael is unique in this regard.

It gave me a good advantage at McKinsey since this was the way consultants had to brainstorm in cases.

The other advantage was simply listening to Michael confirm the strength of my profile. My school was ranked outside the top 40 in the last ranking and this worried me a lot. Michael convinced me that with a weak school it was fine provided I had outstanding grades.

McKinsey confirmed this for me and at no time in my interviews did I feel like I was less important than any other candidates.

Can you recall any memorable moments?

There was no memorable moment but a memorable theme. Michael always has a better way to solve a case and a good explanation of how to improve things. I always felt I was learning because Michael would offer better ways of doing things. He once told me to “never let good enough be the enemy of great.”

I liked this and it showed that he really wanted me to excel.

What would you like changed in the program?

The program delivered what was promised so I would not changes things in the one-on-one coaching. I think there could be more videos, more variety etc but I don’t think they make the program better. They are just a personal preference. My advice would be to not change the program at all:

– It is fairly tough to get selected and while I did not enjoy having 2 screening calls it showed me that FC was serious about only selecting people who had potential.

– Using partners must be expensive and is definitely unusual. The quality is very easy to see and I think they would know best how to train people. How could we know more than them?

– I was referred to FC by a friend who worked with them and I like this referral based system since it means it is a vote of confidence in FC.

– I felt Michael was polite and professional, but he definitely pushed me to go further. I cannot say I liked this style but on the other hand I am sure I would not have received the offer without it.

– I liked being able to speak to Michael when I needed to. This was not what I expected and helped me when I was practising and needed quick feedback on my performance.

Do you believe your coach was effective?

Yes, Michael is very effective, and I also worked with another coach who was also very nice and able to work with me. Michael told me he wanted me to succeed because “people who chose not to go to the Ivy Leagues get judged before they even get a foot out of the door.” That was my case since I pursued a special program at my school and really wanted to be there for the sports program.

I felt Michael looked beyond my grades, resume and school to see who I was as a person, respected my choices and was not going to allow anyone to punish me for those choices.

I was very open with Michael that I had never even considered schools like Yale and Princeton. These were outside my circle. He was very supportive of my background and choices.

Do you personally believe the sessions were tailored for your own development?

I cannot say since I never discussed my sessions with my friend. The NDA forbade me from doing this. I was happy with the outcome and I think there are times when tailored sessions are not necessarily better. If I had not been successful my views may be different.

What are your thoughts on using former McKinsey/BCG worldwide practice leaders to coach clients?

Kevin Coyne is one of the most famous McKinsey directors and we still use his work, research and articles. He even advises McKinsey on some projects. This is great for FC. Kudo’s to the team for using such partners.

I do not know the other Bain and BCG senior partners but assume they must be of the same calibre.

Is there anything else you would like to add?

Thanks Michael and FC – I enjoyed the experience and effort.

We have published the most useful client feedback. Our commitment to confidentiality prevents us from disclosing the identity of our clients and other confidential information, and we may alter details to prevent such disclosure. Some client feedback may be lightly edited for grammar, spelling or prose, though we never alter or remove any information. Clients in our consultants coaching program are forbidden from sharing sensitive client data with us.

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