How has McKinsey’s Consulting Fellowship Program provided you with continuous learning opportunities?
The fellowship program was a great experience. The two-day program is geared toward preparing final-year students, fresh graduates, and early working professionals for a career in consulting. It was the perfect choice for me because I learned McKinsey’s approach to problem-solving. This workshop and others on things like structured communications, really helped solidify my interest in the firm. Through the program, I witnessed McKinsey’s commitment to training and mentorship, and was excited to be part of a community that will actively support my growth.
At the start of the consulting fellowship, each consultant is assigned a McKinsey Mentor—a senior consultant who supports and guides us – and a professional development (PD) manager who helps navigate staffing. The PD team takes time to get to know each of us and considers our personal interests and development goals when recommending projects. When I first joined, I wanted to broaden my perspective and gain exposure across industries and sectors. In my first two years, I did projects in retail, digital, banking, enterprise technology, and the public sector. I believe this variety can only happen at McKinsey.
Additionally, the support and coaching given to new joiners during a project is exceptional. Joining the firm straight from university, I did not have a strong grasp of business skills like financial modelling and top-down communications. I was relieved by the support I got from my teammates. For example, on a tourism project, I was tasked with a customer segmentation. I was nervous because I didn’t have a lot of experience. My engagement manager connected me to the best resources and immediately referred me to our global tourism experts in Dubai and Germany. A research colleague helped refine my customer interview guide. The partner on our team shared his perspectives on the topic and set time aside to review my work. With this support, I had the confidence to bring my whole self and make a meaningful contribution to our discussions with our clients. I feel tremendously blessed knowing an entire firm is rooting for my success.
What is your favorite part about working at McKinsey?
I love the ease with which colleagues give and receive feedback. Coming from university where I was praised as a top student, I needed to adjust to a culture where I was made aware of small things like typos and English grammar and bigger developmental areas like problem-solving and client management. So far my experience with feedback has been very positive, and it is my favorite part of working at McKinsey because I know my colleagues care and are helping me grow and deliver my best to clients.
What do you like to do outside of work?
My favorite weekend activity is spending time with my two nephews, who are six and three years old. Family time for me is a priority and I enjoy taking them to entertainment venues, especially those with trampolines and cars, and watching them light up with excitement.
Additionally, education is a lifelong value of mine. I was a freelance International English Language Testing System (IELTS) teacher for four years, supporting myself through university. In my spare time, I mentor university students on improving soft skills and problem-solving to prepare for case competitions and interviews—several of my mentees have secured offers with competitive management training programs.
What advice would you give to those considering CFP this year?
Reflect on a skill or quality like analytical ability, values, or drive that differentiates you and show this when answering interview questions. Secondly, be mindful of your presence. It is important to show maturity and authenticity. The firm looks for people who can work well in teams. Lastly, the interview process is fun, so relax and enjoy it.
More about Kien
Kien holds a bachelor’s degree from Hanoi Foreign Trade University in international business economics. Prior to McKinsey, he interned with Procter & Gamble and Unilever.