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Approaching Alumni

#1 Approaching Alumni
21/02/2008 22:11

(Not so) Superman

I'm a recent graduate working in a Big4 full house firm. I'd like to make the move into strategy. I've been hunting roles and will apply once the milkround begins.

I was searching my alumni directory and found that an alum is a director in McKinsey. Now this is shocking as he is the only person I've heard from my particular uni being hired by McK (my uni is a redbrick and miles apart from Oxbridge et al).

What would you suggest as the best method to approach him? I assume my (relatively) poor A'Level grades prohibit me from any shot in hell with McK, but I was thinking more along the lines of any contacts he may have that could lead to (at least) an interview being offered.

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#2 RE: Approaching Alumni
21/02/2008 22:34

The Sage of Omahaaarrrgh to (Not so) Superman (#1)

Think not what your contact can do for you, but rather what you can do for him

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#3 RE: Approaching Alumni
21/02/2008 22:55

(Not so) Superman to The Sage of Omahaaarrrgh (#2)

What would a McK director want from myself?

Sexual favours are out!

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#4 RE: Approaching Alumni
22/02/2008 10:54

Mars A Day to (Not so) Superman (#1)

I think Sage was making a point more relevant to experienced MCs.

2 points Superman:

1. Drop him an email or a call; it is hard to refuse a polite, interested and enthusiastic request for some guidance. Just make sure you are all these things first.

2. Where is the value to you though? Surely if you want to be a strat consultant you can manage some research to identify strat firms in the UK? And it is not exactly a strong selling point for you to be referred by a contact at McKinsey if you are not good enough for them (image the conversation "This one is not good enough for us but maybe for you?"!).

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#5 RE: Approaching Alumni
22/02/2008 18:33

Martian to Mars A Day (#4)

Hard to refuse, true, but out of all the things the guy could be doing with his time this isn't going to be the first choice.

I get calls from newly graduated alumni all the time with questions about my firm or requests for advice. I'm lucky enough to work for a good brand and be the front-man for campus activities at my alma mater, so a lot of people reach out to me around recruiting time. I enjoy helping those who have a clear interest in the industry or my firm, but I am bemused by those who have no fit with the job and somehow expect me to open a magic door for them. My old university graduates thousands of bright young things every year - I'm not going to bend the rules or use up favours for a stranger who's at the bottom of that group.

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#6 RE: Approaching Alumni
22/02/2008 18:41

howzat to (Not so) Superman (#1)

There aren't that many redbrick unis and McKinsey employs graduates of all of them. There are bound to be much more appropriate contact points for you than a Director. Besides which, given how many suitable candidates the red-bricks turn out each year, why would an alumnus use up a favour to promote an unsuitable candidate. Recommending or associating with a substandard candidate will only harm their and the university's reputation in the eyes of anyone they recommend you.

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