Forward: A one-of-a-kind Virtual Learning Program for Young Professionals

  • McKinsey & Company launches Forwardin the Middle East, Africa, and Turkey − a one-of-a-kind virtual learning program for young professionals in the first years of their career

McKinsey & Company announced the launch of its regional flagship virtual platform, “Forward”, a one-of-a-kind learning program for young professionals in the first years of their career.

Forward participants across the Middle East, Africa, and Turkey will have free access to a 6-month learning journey designed and delivered by McKinsey experts. They will join a global network of ambitious young professionals. Fifty percent of the participants who joined last year’s pilot programs were women. Eighty percent worked in small and medium-sized organizations or were entrepreneurs. Of those participants, 99% shared that they would recommend Forward to others.

Rakan, one of the Forward alumni, said, “Forward teaches you simple things, but they’re so effective, and when you learn them, you just think: ‘Why hasn’t anyone taught me this before? Why didn’t I learn them in school or university? They’re such crucial skills.”

Forward distinguishes itself from traditional online learning and leadership development programs by offering one of the only cross-cutting programs focused on practical skills and delivered in a fully digital and virtual model. The program brings to bear what McKinsey is best known for ― leadership, business, and digital skills ― all things young leaders need to succeed, regardless of role or industry. McKinsey experts and industry practitioners have developed the curriculum and content to address real insights from the firm’s research about foundational skills required in the future of work. The curriculum also leverages the firm’s best-in-class thinking on capability building and adult learning. Sessions are delivered by McKinsey leaders. The journey also contains collaborative peer-to-peer learning activities that give participants an opportunity to apply and embed learnings in their current roles. 

Viktor Hediger, Senior Partner at McKinsey, shares, “Forward offers a transformational experience for young leaders at a very critical point in their career, their first or second job, where they need the most guidance. In this fast-changing world of work, these young people have the power to shape the future for themselves and others around them”.  He continued, “We have been intentional in developing a learning journey that we believe is relevant for every young professional, complementing their technical knowledge and inspiring a mindset of life-long learning even beyond the program itself.”

At a practical level, the journey teaches young leaders how to:  

  • turn complex business challenges into opportunities using structured and creative thinking
  • communicate in a clear and impactful way
  • apply agile ways of working and spot opportunities to use data and technology
  • be adaptable, build resilience and emotional awareness to work successfully ― both independently and in teams ― especially in times of change

To participate in Forward, applicants must meet the following criteria:

  • currently residing in Africa, the Middle East, or Turkey
  • have at least one and no more than five years of formal work experience
  • have completed post-secondary education (for example, diploma, associate degree, or undergraduate)
  • have a good command of the English language since the program will be conducted in English

Applications for Forward are open until December 1, 2021. Interested candidates can now apply here:


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