As a PhD student, I always waffled between interests in academia and industry. An academic career was one possibility, but I also considered management consulting a viable option. I had heard a lot about management consultants through the media and career fairs and had some interesting discussions with management consultants I know. Due to the fact that alongside my studies I always worked on IT-related topics in projects or internships, I had a special interest in the combination of IT and management consulting, just as it is practiced within the BTO.
With some open questions about management consulting and the wish to form my own opinion, I applied for Horizon 2015. The questions I had regarding development opportunities, working in international teams and on international projects, and the differences between the BTO and the general McKinsey track were all answered – during presentations and in various discussions at restaurants and bars.
There was a friendly and relaxed atmosphere during the four days in Palma de Mallorca. A variety of activities, such as a catamaran tour, were great to connect with other participants and McKinsey faculty members and made it easier to ask (more provocative) questions. The case study I worked on together with other participants from various backgrounds had a short timeline and helped me understand what the work of management consultants would look like. Presenting the results in front of faculty members and seeing the results of the others was a great experience.
Horizon was a great opportunity to learn more about McKinsey and the BTO and I would recommend it to everyone who is in a similar situation. Moreover, it was great fun meeting new people, from South Africa to Moscow, from undergraduates to PhD students, with whom I am still in touch.
After Horizon 2015, I joined McKinsey in January 2016.