If you are interested in strategy consulting but are not ready to commit, consider an "Academy Fellow" internship at McKinsey. 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.
An internship at McKinsey is a different experience for each Academy Fellow. One thing we can guarantee though: in about 10 weeks you will not only discover how it feels to work as a consultant, but also develop skills you won't get at university.
What it's really like
Please meet Yves who started as an Academy Fellow and now works as a Fellow since January 2011.
What was the interview process to become an Academy Fellow?
My application consisted of two rounds. In the first round I had two interviews with Associates, and one with HR. One week later, I was having my second round interviews with an associate principal and a partner. Two hours later I was celebrating my new role as Academy Fellow at the office's Friday Afternoon drinks.
What was the experience like?
I really liked the fact that the focus in these interviews was not only testing my analytical skills. The interviewers also tried to get to know me as a person, we discussed my ambitions and they also gave me an idea about what working at McKinsey is like. The open attitude of the interviewers made it a very pleasant experience.
After you were selected as an Academy Fellow, what happened?
The week before I was due to start, I received a call from the staffing officer to ask if I was willing to go abroad for a project. I was quite astonished that they offered me this opportunity, and gladly took it. A few days later, I got the confirmation that I was staffed on a project in the UK. After a few days of training, I was on the plane towards a great experience.
What kind of engagement were you on?
We did an engagement for an oil and gas company, whose operating efficiencies had been below industry levels for years. We identified the key processes that could be improved significantly and started working with client team members on making it happen. Changing the way a company conducts its daily operations can be very challenging, but it’s amazing to see how the client becomes more and more enthusiastic about your contributions.
How did your team members and other colleagues from the office treat you?
This was probably the thing I liked most about McKinsey. From the first moment, my colleagues did their utmost best in helping me succeed during my internship. Even if they were not on my engagement and very busy themselves, they would unselfishly take an hour to help me solve a problem. On the social side, they tried to make me feel at home immediately, and even after my internship I kept coming to office events.
What kind of interaction did you have with the client?
In the first few days, the team introduced me to the client and the project itself. My engagement manager wanted me to take ownership immediately, meaning that I should become fully responsible for one part of the project. One week later, I was already conducting interviews with the client myself. I received full support whenever I needed, but my team challenged me to use my own approach towards realizing my part of the project.
How did you experience your internship?
Two months of great fun and immense learning. I found it exciting that even though the team consisted of people from different offices around the world, you could notice in their way of working that everybody had a McKinsey background.
What would you recommend to someone considering an Academy Fellowship?
An internship is a beautiful opportunity to see whether you like working as a strategy consultant. But even if you decide to pursue your career in a different direction afterwards, you will definitely profit from the lessons learned at McKinsey. So don't be afraid to go for it!
What would you recommend to someone doing an Academy Fellowship?
Talk to as many consultants as possible about their experiences; you will find out how diverse the work at McKinsey is.
Read more about Yves