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A day in the McK life: Anna

– Meet Anna, an engagement manager of the Singapore office. She participates in our Global Energy & Materials (GEM) practice program, which supports consultants as they deepen their industry knowledge and build their global network. Here she describes her typical day helping clients and managing her team.

Anna

06:00: I like to wake up early and do a little yoga to focus and enjoy the quiet before another crazy day starts. Asia is full of energy and there is never a dull day. Morning reflection helps me put things in perspective.

07:30: Our team tends to use the same car service and driver to get from the hotel to the client site. He picks me up and I check emails that have come in overnight from colleagues in the U.S. and Europe. These are replies to research requests that I sent out before I went to bed last night. I’ve received some interesting figures on average returns on assets in the power industry and I’m keen to share them with my team.

08:00: I meet with the junior partner on our team. He was in another country for the last two days, so we catch up on the team’s progress in different areas and brainstorm solutions to some challenges. He’s very knowledgeable about the power sector and has worked with our client for a long time; I pick his brain on some regulatory issues I don’t quite understand yet.

09:00: My team members have all arrived now and we do our daily morning check-in. As a manager, I find it important to know how my teammates are feeling and what’s on their minds. Our work is demanding. Only when everyone is happy and well can we deliver as expected. I see it as my responsibility to take care of my team. Then, we run through the day – outlining scheduled meetings, goals and deliverables and areas where we need each other’s help. We discuss our priorities together to balance our work load.

09:30: I like to spend as much time as possible with my team members to help each person shape his or her thinking on their portions of the work at hand. I also oversee the overall process, ensuring we have the right meetings at the right time and that we engage our leadership on the right topics. Thank goodness we have a team assistant to help with the logistics. I talk to her most mornings to check our senior leaders’ schedules to ensure they can join upcoming client meetings, team problem solving sessions, etc.

10:30: We have our weekly review meeting with the core clients to discuss our overall progress for each work stream and discuss selected topics in detail. This week we prepare for a workshop that we’ll hold next week, outlining the agenda and developing a plan for how we’ll run the various sessions.

12:00: Our team heads out for lunch. Today is busy, so the junior partner, analyst and I talk about work while we eat (this doesn’t always happen!).

13:00: We meet one of the senior clients to learn how she develops a business case for a new power plant and how the organization makes decision about capital allocation. Together we brainstorm ways to improve this process. I note steps our team needs to take to advise her more on this matter.

15:00: We have a call with one of McKinsey’s corporate finance experts in Amsterdam. He is the co-author of the book Valuation. He is a genius in this field and I’m grabbing this opportunity to ask questions I have from my earlier client meeting and discuss the strategy for our client to differentiate the WACC.

16:30: Our senior partner and I join the CFO to interview one of our client’s board members. I share the findings from our diagnostic work, our plan to incorporate them into the redesign of existing processes, and the implications for the organization’s design. I'm nervous because the board member is a really important person in the country. He turns out to be very friendly and agrees with a lot of our insights.

18:00: Our team driver brings me to the airport. In the car, I answer a few emails and call my team. We revisit our priorities for the remainder of the day and tomorrow (we’ll be in our home offices on Friday).

19:30: As I’m waiting for my flight home, I call my boyfriend to catch up on the day. During the flight I work through some remaining emails and close my computer.