Informal Chat with a Former York Student and McKinsey Consultant

This was the first of our events that had been initiated through the York Alumni Linkedin account. The speaker was Arif Kadir, graduating in 2001, he now works for one of the most prestigious firms in the global consulting industry: McKinsey & Company. Normally based in Houston, luckily for us Arif was on a case in the UK for three weeks and made the trip up to York on Saturday the 11th. An event on the weekend, and in a new informal, intimate format never before trialled, we didn’t know what to expect.

After a last minute change of location to V Bar, and seven on-the-ball attendees, we got the event underway. We started with introductions, after which Arif gave his. Something we found out through discussion was that Arif had started the UN Society while at York and, it was a nice coincidence, that two students attending were current members of that very same society.

We talked about the benefits of being employed in the consulting industry in general, such as the fact that you’re constantly exposed to leading edge thought at several levels, both internally and externally. In addition to this Arif added that the travel is fantastic and that through his job he has been to many parts of the World.

After talking about what it was actually like to work for McKinsey, we discussed the application process and quite how you go about getting a job from a top employer such as McKinsey. Arif’s main advice for consulting interviews was that he could not overstress the importance of excelling at the case study section (He also recommended using a study guide, such as Crack the Case).

The conversation moved, after some hot drinks, to the MBA admissions process, as well as Arif’s time working in the oil and gas industry. The questions kept flooding in (we actually overran!) as everyone was really engaging with what Arif, and other members of the group had to say.

After many handshakes, Arif’s main piece of advice was that, if you wanted to work for a company such as McKinsey, you should not live your life to get into business school. You need to do what you like and, most importantly, you need to do it well. If you can demonstrate that you have succeeded in your endeavours then you have a good shot.

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