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Internship experience: McKinsey & Company
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Internship experience: McKinsey & Company
October 12, 2022

Internship experience: McKinsey & Company

McKinsey & Company

Interns at our Helsinki office join us for a six-to-eight week period to work alongside consultants on a variety of business challenges and client projects.

The internship experience is representative of a full-time role at McKinsey. Interns are responsible for numerous contributions and workstreams, such as gathering and analyzing information, preparing client presentations, helping solve critical issues, preparing proposals and communications, and presenting findings to senior client executives, while receiving guidance, mentorship, and coaching from tenured colleagues.

Depending on client project availability and personal preferences, interns may have the chance to work abroad on an international team. We do our best to personalize each internship to fit the intern’s interests.

Let's next hear from Maaria who is currently completing her internship!

Would you tell us a little bit about yourself and your background?

Hello KY! I am Maaria and I currently work as a Fellow Intern at McKinsey. I have a background of studying ISM at Aalto University and Economics at the University of California, Berkeley. I just turned in my ISM bachelor’s thesis before the internship and will be moving to California after the internship to finish my second bachelor’s degree there. Before joining McKinsey, I have worked in various jobs and most recently, two last summers in the finance team of a company in the construction sector. 

What kind of projects have you worked on at McKinsey?

My first project of the internship was a green business building due diligence project. The goal of the project was to assess and understand the value and growth potential of a start-up as well as to create a broad roadmap for their future growth. While the project was a bit untraditional to consulting, closer to VC, I really enjoyed working with the client and the team, and also learned many essential skills to consulting as well as the various aspects of company evaluation. 

My second project, that I just started, is a transformation project within consumer goods. In this project we aim to both minimize costs and assess potential avenues for growth. I will mainly be focusing on optimizing the procurement process and prices.

How do you keep yourself energized – what are the things that inspire you outside of work?

During the workweek my free time mostly consists of exercise in the mornings and watching Netflix in the evenings. Since our workdays often start around 9 or even 10 o’clock, I have plenty of time to go to the gym in the morning and it also helps me to stay energized throughout the day. 

On the weekends I like to make some fun plans with my friends and family, such as brunch, dinner, attending university events, playing padel or board games. However, I always try keep one day of the week, often Sunday, more relax and schedule free. I have found that keeping that one day free on my calendar, gives me a chance to get some extra rest if needed or make some spontaneous last-minute plans. 

What has been the best thing at McKinsey?

While breakfast at the office is a close second, my favorite part of McKinsey is the people and especially the atmosphere they create. From the first day on I have felt supported and welcomed by my colleagues. Additionally, the amazing atmosphere also shows through colleagues organizing various internal team and office events to get to spend time together also outside of work hours, such as dinners, office after works, gameboard nights, watching sports games, karting, painting, and a cocktail class. 

What has surprised you?

I have been most surprised by the responsibility I have been given as an intern. During my first project, I was given my own workstream already on the second week. While the team had a good idea of the primary market for the start-up, my task was to research other possible markets they could enter. This included researching both internet and McKinsey databases, conducting expert interviews, looking on to the possible consumers and competitors and estimating market sizes. Even though the amount of responsibility surprised me at the beginning, it also pushed me to have an extremely steep learning curve as well as to feel that I am a contributing member of the team. 

Do you have any tips & tricks to share with others interested in applying for an internship at McKinsey?

I have two tips, one that few of my colleagues mentioned and then a more practical tip from me. So, firstly a tip from my colleagues: to be yourself and highlight the things that you’re passionate about. The interviewers want to get to know the real you, and if you join the firm, you might be matched to your mentor or projects based on your interests. 

Secondly, a more practical tip from me: practice cases also with people you do not know very well. From personal experience, practicing the cases with an unfamiliar person mimicked the interview situation well and forced me to get comfortable in the interview situation.

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