Ethan’s Strategy Consulting Experience – McKinsey’s “Solve It” Winner

Posted in: Gold Community, Networking, Skills Development, Volunteering and Approved Roles, Work Experience

Ethan’s Strategy Consulting Experience – McKinsey’s “Solve It” Winner 


Every year McKinsey and Company (one of the big 4 consulting firms worldwide) select 100 of the UK’s brightest prospective strategy McKinsey and Company Logo consultants to compete in a problem-solving competition. In this competition, I, along with 8 other students applied strategy consulting frameworks to help the UK’s refugee council address their challenges.

 Ethan’s Background

Since my first year of university, I’ve been interested in strategy consulting as a career. Coming from an engineering background, the problem-solving aspect appealed to me. Acting on my interest, I applied to McKinsey’s “solve it” competition after seeing the opportunity on LinkedIn.



The Build Up – Team Athens

I found out I was selected two weeks before the competition, and I was put in a team of 8 other UOB (University of Bath) students, most of whom were economics/management students. Our team’s name was team Athens. At first, this made me nervous; despite having a base of systematic problem solving from engineering, I was still worried my lack of experience in business and organisation transformation would be a problem.

However, once I met my team and got to know them, it made me feel a lot better because we all had unique backgrounds and experiences which made each and every one of our insights valuable. The nature of the problem we would be asked to solve on the day was unknown to us, so we built multiple issue trees to prepare for any possible questions they would ask on the day.


 The Day of The Competition

The competition was held at McKinsey’s London office, it is worth mentioning that the view was immaculate. We started the day off with some networkingA picture of Team Athens presenting our solution in front of a large screen. I am holding the microphone and speaking. with the other teams; I was able to meet some remarkable individuals who were doing amazing things. Thanks to the networking events held by the Bath Gold Scholarship, events such as these were second nature to me.

Then, the real competition started. Every team was presented with the problem statement; we were tasked with presenting a digital solution to the issues faced by the UK Refugee Council. We took 2-3 hours to build a viable solution and make a deliverable presentation. Time was extremely tight for every team, but we eventually submitted on time, and it was time to present in front of a panel of representatives from the refugee council, and some of the company’s consultants.



A picture of the winner's certificate with the city of London in the backgroundOur team presented our findings in a well-structured and engaging way. We were satisfied with our work and were happy to have experienced the competition. After watching the other teams’ presentations and a short rest period, it was time for the judges to announce the winners. My team and I were ecstatic when Team Athens was announced as the winners of the competition.

This experience taught me that my experiences make me a worthy candidate for even the most exclusive career opportunities, and that self-doubt often causes people to limit themselves. I have to thank the Gold Scholarship for helping me build my career confidence and introducing me to Jim Wells through the gold mentor programme. Jim Invested his time to finding online resources that would help me prepare for the competition, so special thanks to him!



Posted in: Gold Community, Networking, Skills Development, Volunteering and Approved Roles, Work Experience


  • (we won't publish this)

Write a response