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Finding McKinsey through series of great coincidences

For the 10th consecutive year, McKinsey is the #1 Consulting firm in Europe according to Vault. We sat down with Enrico, a senior partner in Milan and head of the Europe Recruiting Leadership team to get his thoughts on why now, more than ever, is a great time to join the firm.

What brought you to the firm?

I joined McKinsey through series of what I like to call, “great coincidences”. After working in civil engineering for five years, I wanted to pursue an MBA. The Università Commerciale Luigi Bocconi was offering one scholarship, sponsored by McKinsey. To be awarded the scholarship, you had to go through the full McKinsey recruiting process, including solving a few cases.

Given my background and work experience in engineering, I had not heard about McKinsey, though after doing some due diligence with friends, the type of work the firm did and the clients they served sounded interesting so I applied for the scholarship and a role as a summer intern in Milan. I was successful in the process and the rest is history.

Why are you involved in recruiting?

When my friends and family ask about my work, I often say that at McKinsey, we don’t own any traditional assets and don’t produce tangible products, however we have two unique intangible assets - our people and our values. Being involved in recruiting allows me to help our firm grow and flourish and stay preeminent in the business and social environment.

Why is now a good time to join McKinsey?

Now, more than ever, is a great time to join the firm. The growing complexity and uncertainty of the socio-economic world requires a set of skills - both analytical, and managerial - that very few organizations can help people develop.

The variety of issues, clients and colleagues you will come across during your time with McKinsey is absolutely unsurpassed and will accelerate your personal and professional development. After 20 years, I really believe there is no better place to learn and develop yourself, both as a professional and as an individual.

Why is McKinsey a great place to start or continue your career?

McKinsey is like a school that gives you the opportunity to flourish. Colleagues can make the most of their strengths and develop their weaknesses. The firm is also truly global, so if you are interested in working with people from all over there is no better place to join.

A couple of personal reflections:

  • I am not an extrovert by nature. At McKinsey I learned to be effective when presenting and how to quickly connect and build trust with people I’ve never met before.
  • McKinsey gives you the opportunity to pursue your passions and change things. In 2003 my daughter was born. In that exact moment I realized how relevant the gender gap can be. First in my office and then at European level, I had the opportunity to lead our gender parity effort. Now, I see the difference those efforts have made, how different McKinsey is and how we sustain being a place where equality really exists.

What does achieving the #1 Vault ranking for Europe mean to you and say about McKinsey?

The ranking and chance to be recognized as a leader is great and it feels good. Even more important to me is that McKinsey Europe has earned this recognition for 10 consecutive years. That consistency matters and says to me we can maintain high standards for our people over time. I also appreciate the aspects this ranking recognizes, including the broad range of sectors in which we work and the way we support our people.

What is your outlook for the firm’s recruiting?

We take a through cycle approach meaning that we keep recruiting and hiring. In 2020, we were one of the consulting companies that continued to grow. We made a conscious effort to create opportunities for our colleagues and our candidates. In fact, we honored all our offers, including our summer internships.

We continue to hire robustly across the globe in generalist and specialist, junior and senior roles and expect that 2021 could be our largest incoming class yet.

What is your advice to someone thinking of applying to McKinsey?

There are a couple things I want candidates to know, no matter when they apply.

First is my “anytime tip”: do not be intimidated by what you think the interview process may look like. Our interviewers are encouraged to actively help our candidates, find the most talented people, help them succeed, and be coaches as much as interviewers.

Second: do not be discouraged by virtual rather than in-person recruiting processes. We’ve already welcomed many people who have gone through virtual recruiting, followed by virtual onboarding, and they are now starting to work on teams with both internal colleagues and external clients.

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