BTU #1 – Blake Lindsay: Active Duty to Consulting @ McKinsey & Co.

“The greatest thing that I brought [from my military experience] was a sense of calm in the face of adversity… the ability to stay calm in the face of all the pressure of what’s going on has been a huge benefit to me from a leadership perspective.”

– Blake Lindsay

Blake Lindsay grew up all over the United States, and knew from an early age that he wanted to go to a service academy. At the Naval Academy, he was the Captain of the Men’s Rugby Team while majoring in Ocean Engineering. After graduating from USNA in 2005, Blake joined the Surface Warfare Community and then went through the Nuclear Power pipeline. After Nuclear Power School and Prototype, Blake was stationed in Seattle with the USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74). While on Active Duty, Blake went through Old Dominion University’s graduate school, receiving his Master’s in Engineering Management shortly after separating from the Navy. Blake’s first job out of the military was with McKinsey & Co. in the industry of Management Consulting.

In this conversation, we cover a lot of topics, including:

  • His decision to leave the Navy, and how he thought about the Reserves
  • Advice on pursuing a graduate degree while still on Active Duty
  • Advice on weighing pursuing a degree during Active Duty, or afterwards
  • What is Management Consulting, who are the key players, and what is McKinsey & Co.
  • What does day-to-day and week-to-week life look like as a Consultant
  • How management in consulting differs from management in the military
  • The biggest advantage and disadvantage of coming from the military
  • How to prepare for a Consulting interview
  • Career potentials within a consulting firm, as well as transitioning out of consulting
  • And much, much more…

iTurnes Beyond the Uniform

Stitcher Beyond the Uniform

QUESTION OF THE DAY: How can I make these episodes more valuable to active duty military personnel considering transitioning to the civilian world? Please let me know in the comments.

Scroll below for links and show notes…

Selected Links from the Episode

Show Notes

  • [2:21] – Personal, Naval Academy, and Navy Background
  • [4:48] – Decision to leave the Navy
  • [6:08] – Aspects of the military Blake misses most and least post-separation
  • [8:01] – Choosing whether or not to join the Navy Reserves
  • [9:20] – How McKinsey works with the Reserves
  • [10:20] – Old Dominion University, and pursuing a masters degree while on Active Duty
  • [12:18] – Advice for doing graduate work while on Active Duty
  • [15:16] – Overview on Management Consulting Industry and McKinsey & Co.
  • [18:21] – Day-to-day life at McKinsey & Co. and as a Management Consultant
  • [20:16] – Team structure at McKinsey & Co.
  • [22:11] – What has been most helpful from Blake’s military experience, and where has he most needed to catch up
  • [25:06] – Hours and weekend work
  • [27:11] – Interview process & preparation
  • [29:43] – Career paths inside and outside of consulting
  • [32:26] – Final advice to someone on Active Duty considering consulting