– Meet Jordan, a summer associate in Boston, who spent the last few months helping an industrial client improve its shipping operations. Jordan is an electrical engineer by training, and started his career with National Instruments. Now, he’s earning his MBA at Harvard Business School, where he participates in the InSITE fellowship program. Here’s one of his days at McKinsey:
7:00am: I wake up and let the dogs out. After a little while, I persuade them in with breakfast and get my own meal, too. Then it’s time to get ready.
8:00am: I leave for the client site. Part of me still lives in the 1990s, so I pass the 45-minute commute with Third Eye Blind’s latest album. Sometimes I take calls in the car, as long as I’m mostly listening and can focus on the road.
9:00am: I arrive in our team room and get set up for the day. I go through emails and grab a second cup of coffee. My team mates and I catch up on how we spent our evenings.
10:00am: My team meets to plan for the week. It’s Monday and last week we traveled to Texas to see one of our client’s facilities, so we have a lot to discuss. We debrief about the site visit, describing our key takeaways and their implications on our strategy for how the client will grow its revenue and reduce costs.
Then, I ask for feedback on a few pieces of my work. I’ve been leading the logistics portion of our work, which is really exciting because transportation costs play a huge part in how and where the organization sells its products. In Texas, I met with the leaders who decide what type of transportation to use (rail, truck, etc.), learned how they route their products, and visited the shipping wings of their manufacturing facility. I share ideas about how to reduce shipping costs with the rest of my team; I need their perspectives on how these suggestions will impact other parts of the client’s organization like sales and IT.
11:00am: After our team huddle, I return to my desk to schedule a few client meetings and capture our discussion on PowerPoint pages so I can easily share it with our McKinsey leaders and clients. It will go through a few revisions before I share it with the client leadership team in our workshop later this week.
12:30pm: I meet with one of the McKinsey partners on the team for lunch to learn more about a proprietary transportation software package McKinsey could provide to the client. We stay in the client’s cafeteria this time – I’m a big fan of the chicken pita. The cafeteria staff recognizes me and starts preparing my usual order before I even ask for it.
2:00pm: Time for a team problem solving session to size the market for a new opportunity we identified. Together we estimate sales and costs, baking in everything we’ve learned about manufacturing, transportation, IT, sales, etc.
4:00pm: I call one of my clients in Texas to verify a few assumptions and test the feasibility of some new ideas. He gives me some new things to consider.
5:00pm: I start to wrap up. I make a research request for additional information to refine our market sizing based on my client’s recommendations. McKinsey’s team of specialists in transportation & logistics have helped me understand best practices in the industry and supplied benchmarks and industry data I’ve already used with my clients. I send a few of my PowerPoint pages to our graphics specialists for their expert assistance in making them more readable and aesthetically appealing.
6:30pm: Supper time. Sometimes we eat on our own – often in the hotel after a quick work out; other times we eat with our clients. Later this week, we’ve been invited to our partner’s cabin on the beach for a barbeque and bon fire. Tonight, however, we head out as a McKinsey team to a small bistro near the client site. We talk about our project, how we feel we’re developing and supporting each other, and our hobbies and families. I feel like I’ve been friends with these people for a long time and I look forward to staying in touch after my internship ends.