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McKinsey in a nutshell
We help our clients discover the answers that matter most to their organizations. At the same time, we’re always finding ways to help our people. At McKinsey, you will:
We can deliver on our promise because we work on fascinating issues with leading organizations all over the world. This advantage allows our people to learn quickly, try out new things, and get the chance to have real impact.
As a global partnership, we share a common vision and set of values that creates a special bond of trust. This global culture is the reason why people from many different backgrounds from all over the world can work together so well.
The Amsterdam office—one of more than 100 offices around the world—is a medium-sized office with about 185 consultants. So we enjoy all the benefits of a small firm, while our global partnership gives us all the opportunities of a large multinational organization.
Learn more about McKinsey on the global site
What are the people like at McKinsey?
We come from a wide variety of academic and professional backgrounds. Two thirds of consultants start here without any business experience, so you are likely to work on teams together with medical doctors, engineers, artists, mathematicians, and scientists. Some of us joined the firm directly after earning our masters degree; others came here for a career change. Many of us studied at Dutch universities, but a good number also hail from other parts of the world.
Most of our Amsterdam office members are remarkably active in their communities—as sports fans and athletes, musicians, parents, photographers, and volunteers. Some serve on boards of nonprofit organizations; others have founded their own organizations that serve causes important to them. All in all, if there’s something you like to do, chances are you’ll find someone here who does too.
Meet some of our people in the Amsterdam office
Meet some consultants from other McKinsey offices around the world
What types of projects will I work on?
The answer depends on what you want to do and what sort of projects are available. But there is always an enormous range of opportunities. In 2011, McKinsey was involved in almost 11,000 projects in 57 countries. We work in many industries, from banking to energy to consumer products to retail. The topics of the projects vary as well, from strategy and operations to marketing and sales. Consultants from the Amsterdam office were involved in more than 400 projects in 32 countries in 2009.
Learn more about our client serving practices on the main McKinsey site
Follow some sample client studies on the main careers site
Will I be able to work on social initiatives?
McKinsey helps the world’s leading organizations solve chronic and complex societal challenges. You can contribute to our work in more than 57 countries on six continents, carrying out hundreds of engagements a year on issues related to global health, economic development, education, philanthropy, and climate change. For example, we offered the best of McKinsey’s expertise to rebuild Indonesia after the tsunami in 2004 and to help Haiti recover from the earthquake in 2010.
You'll also be able to help with many local social initiatives in the Amsterdam office. We have, for example, developed a growth strategy for the Oranjefonds, a Dutch charity ed by the crown prince and princess with the objective of funding projects promoting social cohesion and integration in the Netherlands. The outcome of the study was a one-year growth program (groeiprogramma) that helps local social projects grow nationally.
Another example in the Netherlands is De Nationale Denktank (the National Think Tank), founded by a group of young scientists in 2005 with the support of the University of Amsterdam, McKinsey, and the Innovatieplatform (Innovation Platform). Every year, a fresh group of students, recent graduates, and Ph.D.s tackles a relevant societal problem and comes up with 10 practical and implementable recommendations. A team of two McKinsey consultants supervises the Denktank during its 2.5-month research project.
Learn more about our work dedicated to social initiatives on the Social Sector Practice site
Why should I consider McKinsey?
- You can see the world
McKinsey is a global firm with more than 100 offices around the world and with clients in almost every country. The many opportunities to travel include client work, office exchanges and transfers, and training programs abroad. Consultants from the Amsterdam office last year worked in 32 different countries on six continents.
See where some of our consultants have worked
- There are incredible opportunities
We are a global partnership engaged in thousands of projects, so there are plenty of opportunities across a wide variety of sectors and disciplines. In 2011 alone, we worked on almost 11,000 projects in 57 countries. Not many organizations can make the same claim.
Learn more about the opportunities you’ll have here
- You have the opportunity to go on a development leave
After about 2 years here, McKinsey gives you as a consultant the opportunity to go on development leave to broaden your skills. You can choose to get your M.B.A., work temporarily for another company, or work as a volunteer.
- Training programs to help you succeed
McKinsey consultants can choose from more than 100 training programs covering everything from basic consulting skills to influencing people. On average, you have 5 weeks of training in the first year. This is part of our commitment to making sure you succeed.
Learn about the kinds of training programs we provide
- You get important responsibility
At McKinsey you will have critical client responsibilities from the very beginning. We work in small teams to ensure your contribution is of value for the client from day one and we offer you coaching and training to guide you on your way.
- We can offer you a 2-year Fellowship
Our 2-year fellowship is an opportunity to broaden your business experience without committing yourself to a definite career path. You can just try it out and see what you think.
Is it possible to do an internship at McKinsey?
Yes, if you will be completing your university or postdoctoral studies within the next 18 months, it is possible to do an "Academy Fellow" internship. As an Academy Fellow, you'll work as a full-time core member of a McKinsey project team. You will take care of, and be responsible for, specific parts of the project. At the same time, we'll make sure you get the support you need. You'll receive day-to-day coaching from senior consultants including your project manager and a designated mentor. Just like the rest of the team, you'll work at the client site, together with the client, but we'll also make sure you have time to meet your colleagues at the Amsterdam office as well.
We hope you will consider trying us out.
Learn more about the application process
Learn more about our internship
How does a McKinsey project work?
We call projects “engagements”. When we work with a client, the first thing we do is bring together those people in the firm with the best skills and experience to help solve the problem. Working in small teams—which often include clients as team members—each person has discrete responsibility for critical pieces of work. We uncover all the relevant facts so that we can provide our clients with objective recommendations and then help them with implementation.
A typical McKinsey team includes a partner, an engagement manager and two or three consultants. During a typical project, teams work from Monday to Thursday at the client’s location so that we get to know them and really understand how to help them. Usually, Fridays you work at the McKinsey office with your team.
Learn how a project really works
Try your hand at the Team Leader game
What is the career path of a McKinsey consultant?
Within McKinsey there are several roles. Most often, people start as a fellow then proceed to partner as they are ready to assume new responsibilities. But this path is flexible. How you advance is up to you.
Role descriptions on main careers site
What’s the office culture like?
The Amsterdam office is home to about 185 consultants. While we usually work at the client’s location from Monday to Thursday, we spend Fridays in the Amsterdam office to reconnect and catch up. Every month, we organize a ‘borrel’: drinks on the terrace and in our bar on the sixth floor.
Consultants have started various events and sport teams to help bring us together and have a little fun. The sport teams range from field hockey to cycling to rowing. Every year, all fellows and associates go on a ski trip, and every 18 months we organize a retreat—a long weekend with spouses. We celebrate our Dutch heritage with an annual Sinterklaas event. Celebrating a successful engagement is often done on the canals of Amsterdam on our office boat—Max—which anyone in the office can use.
Will McKinsey give me the freedom to try something different?
If you have a good idea and can get someone to help you, you can make it work. We see it happen all the time. McKinsey supports good initiatives because it keeps people excited to stay here and opens up new opportunities.
Or you may have an idea for a more personal initiative, such as taking additional time off to spend with family, starting your own foundation or transferring to another McKinsey office.
Or you may have an idea to make our office more fun. Our colleagues, for example, have initiated and organized monthly ‘borrels’ (drinks) at the rooftop terrace, ski trips for fellows and associates, annual Sinterklaas parties and Christmas dinners, and office retreats.