Associate blog: Jali on Discover McKinsey and how upReach helped him secure this opportunity

Jali is in his second year of being an upReach Associate, and is currently completing the Consultancy Springboard. Last year he gained places on the Spring programmes at both McKinsey and Deloitte.

As the Discover McKinsey programme opened for applications this week, Jali shares his experiences with Associates who are considering applying to the scheme.

“Discover made me dream big and raise my expectations of what I want to achieve.”


What did you get involved with during Discover McKinsey?

At Discover we had the chance to meet current McKinsey employees, learn more about the application process and also develop our presentation skills and ability to present to clients. Over the course of the programme, we worked in teams to tackle a business challenge which was how to return a university to financial health. We presented our resolutions to McKinsey employees on the last day. It was a really useful two days!

This scheme was your first experience within a consultancy firm. Was there anything that surprised you about the working environment at McKinsey?

I think the main thing which did surprise me was how friendly and relaxed employees from McKinsey were. Clearly it is a job which can be high pressure and the clients you work with are highly valued, but it certainly seemed that this was a very effective working environment and one in which you are well supported.

What attracted you to apply to the Discover McKinsey scheme?

When I became an upReach Associate in September 2016, I had the opportunity to attend an Insight Day with McKinsey. This was my first ever experience of a leading firm and I learnt a lot about what a top graduate employer is like. I heard about Discover whilst at this Insight Day and after really enjoying the day, I decided to apply.

Did you receive any support from upReach with your application?

Of course! upReach were very helpful throughout the process and I certainly feel that without the Insight Day and the support from upReach, I wouldn’t have got a place at Discover. My application was just a CV, so this process was relatively simple, but I had a huge amount of support from Eugene, my Programme Coordinator, in drafting my CV and sending a good application.

What would you recommend to upReach Associates who are trying to decide whether the Discover McKinsey programme would be a good fit for them?

Take the time to research McKinsey and understand what it is that they do. If you get the chance to go to Insight Days with upReach, even if it is not with McKinsey, then definitely take these opportunities as they’ll prepare you well for Discover. I can’t think of many people who wouldn’t enjoy it, but you will get a lot more from it if you have already researched McKinsey.

What did you take away from your Discover McKinsey experience?

Discover was decisive for me in making future career decisions. Not only did it make me realise that I want to pursue a career in consulting, but it also helped me decide which companies I would like to work for. This year I’m applying for summer internships at a number of different companies and needless to say I’m applying to McKinsey!

For more information on our partners and partnering with us, contact partnerships@upreach.org.uk or see here.

With thanks to Jali Packer for sharing his experiences.

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