Here's a recent Ivy League grad describing why she applied to work at McKinsey despite being committed to a career in public health:

It is increasingly difficult to get into Gates or Clinton foundation without experience in management consulting. I saw a number of jobs advertised at these places that required at least 2 years of consulting experience. That’s what made me apply to McKinsey. During the application process, I discovered a number of my friends from med school, who also do international health, were already part of McKinsey. One of them described it as a “career accelerator” in which 1 year at McK was equivalent to about 4 years working in government or an NGO. People come, do their 2 years at McK and leave to take management positions at NGOs or foundations, leap-frogging the whole toil-for-10-years process that you would have to do to rise through the ranks.

The account got Conor wondering whether this leap-frogging process - so common in professional fields - is making meritocratic elites inadequately familiar with the organizations that they wind up running.

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