I came to McKinsey in large part because of the potential to work on a multitude of challenging problems with diverse clients and different teams.
Before completing my MBA, I worked in the New York film industry for 5 years. Although few McKinsey colleagues share my background, they have all taken their own unique and interesting paths. That diversity drives the creative problem solving and great team dynamics that epitomize working here. It also makes for an incredible group of people, some of whom have become close friends.
Throughout my career, I have been impatient and consistently sought out new challenges. I came to McKinsey in large part because of the potential to work on a multitude of challenging problems with diverse clients and different teams. That expectation has been met, but my experience has also demonstrated that predictability isn’t always a bad thing. The incredible consistency of culture, values, and capabilities I have encountered across McKinsey teams is unparalleled.
Non-hierarchical problem solving
On my first day as a summer associate, I was part of a team problem-solving session that included a director. I was eager to offer my perspective, but I stayed quiet. After a fellow associate openly challenged someone on the team, I felt comfortable chiming in and was relieved when the director not only listened but also respected my point of view. It is hard to overstate how rare and rewarding an opportunity this is: if you have an informed opinion that differs from that of the team, you are obliged to speak up.
Opportunities to get involved
Projects are fulfilling, but some of the most rewarding experiences I have had at McKinsey involved extracurricular initiatives. I was co-leader of our Youth Leadership Forum, a 2-day annual event that brings together about 50 high-performing students in grades 11 and 12 who are committed to making a difference in their communities. I also created and ran social-media-strategy workshops for two Toronto hospitals. I chose to pursue these two opportunities, but they could never have happened without my incredible support network and committed colleagues at McKinsey.