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A glimpse into McKinsey’s Middle East edad program


McKinsey has been in the Middle East since 1957. We focus on unlocking growth and development in the region despite turbulent times, and helping organizations address their most critical issues.

The region’s growth for the last 50 years has been fueled by a flow of international talent; today, one of its critical challenges is identifying, attracting, and retaining locals and grooming them to become future leaders.

We are rising to this challenge and are committed to our people, therefore we are innovating the way we identify and develop Middle Eastern talent. For example, we launched our edad program in 2010. Held in various cities across the United States, Europe, and the Middle East, edad is a multi-day program for high potential Middle Eastern students. Participants discover the universe of consulting, take part in professional learning programs to develop critical skills needed for the workplace, gain insights into McKinsey and our work in the Middle East, and take the first steps toward building a career through interview coaching and preparation.

edad program

The program was established to nurture and develop a diverse pool of talented Middle Eastern students from a wide variety of universities and academic backgrounds. Historically, edad participants have come from universities in the United States (Yale, MIT, Harvard), Europe (Oxford, IE), and the Middle East (KFUPM, KAUST, NYU Abu Dhabi) and from all academic backgrounds, from physics, math, and engineering to the arts, social sciences, and economics. Over the past eight years, more than 300 people have participated in edad, one-third of whom have been women.

Tarek Elmasry, the head of McKinsey’s Middle East office explains “this region has a tremendous need for leadership and for people who can help improve public and private organizations. Through edad, we meet incredible individuals who want to be part of this region’s future… some join McKinsey, others join different organizations, and some start their own businesses, but all of them contribute and inspire.”

The edad program provides numerous career opportunities for participants. Approximately 50% of edad alumni apply to McKinsey; in fact, getting accepted to edad guarantees an interview spot for a full-time role at the firm. The rest of the participants opt for leading roles in other enterprises, with 5% starting their own businesses.

edad program

Waleed, a business analyst in McKinsey’s Dubai office, says his participation in edad was the spark that ignited his interest in consulting. “I knew I wanted to move back to the Middle East after finishing my degree. I saw edad as a great opportunity to connect with like-minded people my age and hear from current McKinsey colleagues about what it is like to be a consultant. I left feeling I had genuinely gotten to know these people and was given an insider’s perspective into McKinsey. I learned what I could expect to gain from the job and how I could play a meaningful role in changing my country.”

What resonated most with Abdullah, an engagement manager in Dubai, and an edad alum and current faculty member, was “spending a few days talking with young GCC talent about their interests, sharing similar experiences, and helping each other think about career decisions.”

For more information on our edad program, visit the edad event site.