{ "media_type": "text", "post_content": "Received an offer from McKinsey & Company and am super stoked to join, but I’m getting quite criticized in my personal life for the decision mostly because of the public image of the firm. I get where they’re coming from, but figured most of the consulting industry was like this, not just McKinsey, and strategy work is what really interests me. Any tips on how to deal with it?", "post_id": "61621883ed7ef400356e173f", "reply_count": 144, "vote_count": 17, "bowl_id": "552d1d24dc1c586b09d2d051", "bowl_name": "Consulting" }

Received an offer from McKinsey & Company and am super stoked to join, but I’m getting quite criticized in my personal life for the decision mostly because of the public image of the firm. I get where they’re coming from, but figured most of the consulting industry was like this, not just McKinsey, and strategy work is what really interests me. Any tips on how to deal with it?

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If you are stoked to join, just reflect on why and share those reasons with your friends. Maybe it’s to learn a ton. Maybe it’s the work. Maybe it’s the comp and benefits. Heck, maybe it’s just a cool office to work from. Like others have said, McK has been around a long time and is a large global organization. There’s a lot happening. The public rap sheet is problematic, firm leaders know they need to put in more governance to prevent this. But no one on the outside hears much about the incredible positive impact we have due to our confidentiality and our habit of letting our clients take credit for and celebrate the wins. There are literally thousands of projects happening every *day* for almost that many private, public, and social sector clients. I’m not diminishing the problems that were surfaced. But frankly, I think if you just own up to your story for why, your true friends/family will get it.

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I understand where you and they are coming from. These issues bother me too, as they should. My SO never lets me forget these scandals! One thing I've come to realize is the following. I can only control the actions of the firm I work for, if that firm only has one person in it - me. And I didn't like being self-employed! Everything else will have elements outside of my control. So as long as I can control what I do, and I'm able to make a positive impact doing the kind of work I came here for, then staying is on the table for me. You should stick with your principles. Only work on things aligned to your values. And keep people around you who have a healthy dose of skepticism. We should hold all organizations to a high standard like they do! : )

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Personally, I think McK is on a level by itself in terms of “social harm caused by consulting houses.” I respect the McKinsey folks who own it, and I hope they change the culture and the firm’s impact from inside. But the people in your life have a point, and you know it. Would you congratulate a friend who took a job at Philip Morris in 1998?

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Oh yes. Proudly. I love my job. I think I do very good things for our clients. Impact life in a good way. Have some colleagues done mistakes? Sure. Is McKinsey an amazing place to work? Yes. That’s why I am there.

Yeah, ignore it and realize that a lot of people criticize when they're jealous and/or insecure. It means you're doing well in life so don't sweat it.

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1) most of the consulting industry is not like this. There’s a reason McKinsey has the reputation it has. 2) this is not a work problem, it’s a personal problem. By that I mean, how you deal with this has to do with how much you value or care about the opinions of the people in your personal life. It doesn’t really have anything to do with consulting or with the firm.

likefunny

P1, it's not that black and white. Who you work reflects on you and this choice is bound to impact your personal life.

likefunny

A couple things — 1) the folks saying “but McK does thousands of good project every day” is like an airline saying “we complete thousands of flights safely everyday and the crashes are only 1% of our flights - even if it is 10x vs other airlines. Focus on the 99%”. Pretty sure you’ll struggle getting on a flight from such an airline. 2) Most humans are socially conforming. Meaning they will generally adapt to the norms of the any social group they find themselves in. That is why choosing to surround yourself with questionable norms presents a risk - you can go in hoping to change the norms, more often than not, it is you that’ll be changed / reshaped.

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I disagree. I’m sure there are skeletons in the closet somewhere at BCG too. Thankfully McKinsey is bigger so they take most of the heat. No one is perfect. BCG has institutional controls in place as does McKinsey. The consulting industry as a whole is morally ambiguous. But this is capitalism. The problem is we hire so many confused young kids who join consulting thinking they are doing god’s work. You’re not - you are doing whatever is commercially necessary and ethically/legally acceptable (at the time) to help organizations maximize efficiency and owners generate wealth.

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Stop hanging out with people that work blue collared jobs.

likefunny

D1 - makes sense, I'm ex-D.😉

Congrats OP. Will be a great career decision and a fantastic learning experience, and you’ll have lots of opportunities to do good for society. Those critiquing you have it easy - it’s not hard to sit on a judgmental throne and offer criticism and pass judgment. It’s not their career on the line. It’s much harder to work as hard as you did to get the offer, and it’s your chance now to prove to them that mck is not just what the NYT says it is. Best of luck

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^this.

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I had the same thought coming in, and nearly reneged on my offer without another in hand (I had signed around the time of Khashoggis murder and the info that came out after that). You have to know where your boundaries are, and also why you are coming here. I have clear parameters/goals for my time here, and I’ll leave as soon as I can. It’s very decentralized yes, so there are great projects and there are terrible ones, but also I feel like it’s too easy here to forget the human impacts of your work, and I think there’s a perception that some business decisions are a moral gray area that’s ok to venture into.

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McK2 on your example I think we have an obligation to bring it up if it’s legal. Now the framing is what we get to add our morals in. Either we bring it up without putting it on the slides and tell the steerco that we believe that’s not the right thing to do and let them decide whether to have on the final deliverable or not. Or we add it to the final deliverable and note that it’s a not a favored option for x and y reason. But I think completely ignoring it is not fair either. At that point might as well let the client know that you can’t take that engagement. But the problem now is that by doing that the entire cst will be impacted - here’s were the McKinsey politics would dissuade you from doing something like this.

smart

Willing to bet that if those same people were offered your job, 9/10 would take it lol. Do what’s best for YOU and stay grounded in your principles+morals.

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Who cares, the “culture” of all consulting companies is BS anyway. Each project is essentially operated in silo’s, so company culture could be terrible and you could have an awesome culture on your team and vice versa. If you haven’t noticed… majority of major companies are corrupt whether it’s in the news or not…

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Are you familiar with the concept of concentration risk, McKinsey 4? No company outsources you just one consulting firm

Set it aside and focus on what's important to you. Like them or not, McKinsey is a strong brand name which will open doors for you later on.

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Fck em and take the job

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Not just McKinsey but a lot of companies do such things that have probably not been caught or not in first page news. Think taxes for example. Also would you not work for Google, Apple, FB etc. either? Some of their actions have been obvious anticompetitive and eventually they will be punished over the next several years or so

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I’m not saying any of our firms or worlds are perfect. But to pass it off as “others are imperfect too” is not the right move.

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I learned to ignore them. It’s not like they understand or will understand what we do anyway. So as long as you work on stuff aligned with your values… who cares? We are always in scrutiny, I still think it Is an amazing place and worth it. On the other hand other people will be super impressed you made it.

likefunny

You do you OP. Some of the haters might be jealous while others might have no idea what they’re talking about.

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I love how you tagged everyone from McKinsey about this

likefunny

McKinsey is objectively evil and you’re going to have to live with that, although you’ll be living in a mansion some day lmao

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Lol it’s true (and so are all the other firms)

Get new friends. Or dig deeper why you actually value their opinions that much.

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The ppl giving you advise will be the first ones to join McK if given the chance. So just go for it.

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You’re overthinking it. McKinsey is a great place.

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