I spent my childhood abroad and always felt the difference between the experience of being Japanese and that of other foreigners. In such an environment, I resolved to become a global professional and contribute to the globalization of Japan in the future. For me, a job in consulting would allow me to create value beyond borders.
First global project experience
After I had been at McKinsey for about 10 months, I was having a hard time deciding between two projects. One was helping with the globalization of a Japanese consumer company, the other was supporting the acquisition of an Asian company by an European company in Southeast Asia. Both were going to be led by the same person, so I arranged a meeting with him to get more details about the projects and talk about my interests. I was advised to go abroad—to go into the field—because the acquisition experience in Southeast Asia will definitely help in serving Japanese clients in the future.
The project was a totally foreign world in more ways than one. When the McKinsey team showed up, the client’s business system was still undeveloped and very similar to what you would expect in an emerging market, yet it also achieved fast growth each year. The McKinsey team members were from all over the place: Thailand, Singapore, China, Taiwan, France, Switzerland, the US, Belgium, and Germany. I was the only one from Japan. We formed an international team and were able to maximize synergies from the acquisition due to our different cultures.
Helping a Japanese company globalize
Immediately after finishing the project in Southeast Asia, I was asked if I could help a Japanese company that was considering an acquisition in an emerging market. I saw this as a way of applying my new skills and accepted the offer because helping with the globalization of a Japanese company was my original intension.
At this moment when the Japanese economy is in transformation, it is more and more interesting to work at McKinsey. Japanese companies seek the support that “only McKinsey can do” not only to develop domestic business strategy but also to pursue global growth opportunities. In such an environment, I am proud to be contributing to Japan’s globalization. I would look forward to welcoming others who aspire to help create Japan’s future.