What is the McKinsey Insight Program?

The McKinsey Insight Program is a two-day workshop that enables students with advanced professional degrees to see what’s it like to work in management consulting. It is similar to BCG’s Bridge to Consulting program.

Participants are given the opportunity to learn more about McKinsey and management consulting. In particular, they are introduced to McKinsey’s approach to problem-solving and work through a real-world consulting case exercise.

In addition, they hear from advanced degree holders who already work at McKinsey and attend social events to connect with McKinsey consultants.

Where is the program held?

The McKinsey Insight Program is held in April/May in various cities across the US, including:

  • Chicago, IL
  • San Francisco, CA
  • Philadelphia, PA
  • Atlanta, GA

There are currently no international locations.

Who is eligible for the program?

The McKinsey Insight Program is for advanced professional degree students only, these include:

  • Medical students, interns, residents, and fellows
  • PhDs and post-doctorates in a STEM or healthcare-related field
  • Students who previously obtained an MD and currently studying for their Master’s degree

Unfortunately, an MBA degree is not considered an advanced professional degree. If you have an MBA, you should apply to McKinsey through the typical post-MBA pathway.

In addition, applicants to the McKinsey Insight Program must be residents of the US and currently enrolled at a US-based institution.

What is the application process?

To apply for the McKinsey insight program, you simply submit your application through the McKinsey online portal. You will be asked to submit a resume, no other documentation is required. Ensure that your resume is in PDF format.

If your application is selected, you’ll be called for a brief phone interview (about 30 mins, give or take) with a recruiter. The interview call will include some short questions to see if you are a good fit for the program as well as a simple case interview such as a market sizing question to judge your competence levels.

What do McKinsey Insight Program participants say?

McKinsey shares the story of Ingvar, who attended the program in 2016. He says:

“My experience at Insight did not disappoint. The professional program was informative, interesting and not too tough. I particularly loved the team room simulation, during which we played the parts of consultants and worked toward a deliverable as a team.

The people were undoubtedly the best part – great participants, team members and incredible faculty. Everyone was so nice, open, available and relatable. It was different from what I expected and I felt like I belonged. This might be the biggest cliché, but Insight showed me I could thrive at McKinsey just by being myself.”

Tips for your application

The McKinsey Insight Program is highly competitive, so it’s important to put your best foot forward.

Asked a number of current and former McKinsey employees for their tips on applying to the program. They said:

  • Set yourself apart. The person who goes through your resume will be skimming through hundreds of others. Make sure that your resume catches their eye. Mention the qualities or abilities that are unique to you. Own your uniqueness on your resume to stand out from the rest.
  • Don’t be afraid to sell yourself. List down your academic achievements clearly, but also demonstrate your soft skills too. McKinsey likes candidates who can think out of the box, are great at problem-solving, have leadership qualities, and can communicate well with others. For some inspiration, check out our overview of the McKinsey Personal Experience Interview.
  • Prove that you can make the switch. Clearly articulate why you are considering making the switch to consulting from academia/your current industry. And more importantly, prove that you are able to make the transition.
  • Communicate your interest in the firm. Do your research on McKinsey and explain why you want to work at McKinsey, and not other consulting firms. One great tip is to talk through your perspectives on McKinsey’s projects in your area of expertise (e.g. pharmaceuticals, aged care, etc).

Frequently asked questions

How competitive is the McKinsey Insight program?

McKinsey Insight is more competitive than the full-time recruitment process at McKinsey, as the slots available are very limited. The upside? Even if you don’t get into the Insight Program, you can still get into McKinsey.

If I am not selected for the program, can I apply for a full-time role or an internship in the future?

You sure can. McKinsey encourages applicants who are not selected to apply for other opportunities and programs offered. You can check out other recruiting events and initiatives on the McKinsey website.

Should I apply for the Insight Program If I have interviewed with McKinsey before?

If you have a previous interview experience at McKinsey you are not eligible for the Insight Program. This program is created for applicants who have had no previous exposure to McKinsey & Company.