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A day in the McK life: Tom

– Tom, an associate in our New York office, joined McKinsey after completing his MD at the State University of New York at Stony Brook. He first experienced McKinsey through the MD Contact program – a one-day seminar for medical students, interns, residents and fellows to experience McKinsey. Learn more and apply by April 14.

Here Tom describes a typical day working on a fast paced R&D strategy engagement in Europe:

6:00am: Wake up and head to the gym. I make it a priority to get to the gym a few times a week, especially since I am based in Europe for this engagement and spend most of my weekend time travelling. I just got back from a great weekend in London with family and friends.

7:30am: Get ready for work. I catch up on overnight emails and grab my standard breakfast from the hotel restaurant – hard boiled eggs and a double espresso.

8:00am: Take a taxi to the client. I usually ride with my McK team and we spend the 30-minute ride catching up. Our team hails from seven different countries. One of the best parts of this job is getting to know them on a personal level.

8:30am: Team check in. We discuss some of the work I did yesterday on unmet clinical needs in several different disease areas and agree on the key to-dos for today.

9:15am: Work time. Today, I touch base with my main clients (two senior R&D managers) to talk through information they will present at a meeting this afternoon. Then, I interview external experts (MDs and PhDs who are leaders in their fields) to gain a deeper understanding of the science surrounding the problems we are trying to solve.

Noon: Lunch. My team eats in the client cafeteria. We keep a tight schedule for lunch, drawing direct correlation between our productivity and blood glucose level.

12:30pm: Senior client meeting. We present our progress to date and align on next steps. We have spent several weeks identifying potential research opportunities to drive revenue growth for our client. Today we discuss whether those projects will meet the 10-year growth aspirations set by the executive management team. This meeting is one of the reasons I came to McKinsey – to be at the intersection of science and business.

2:30pm: Debrief the meeting with my clients. We agree on the next steps coming out of the meeting for their division. I feel privileged to help world-class scientists think strategically about new research areas that could define future treatment options and procedures.

4:00pm: McK team problem solving. We regularly set aside time to review and brainstorm as a group. Today, we focus on how to challenge our clients to expand beyond their comfort zone when considering new R&D opportunities. This is always an energetic and creative part of the day.

5:30pm: Team check out. We discuss what work needs to be done next and divide up responsibilities.

6:00pm: Team dinner. A great chance to explore local restaurants. Tonight we invite several clients to join us at a local place they recommended that is known for great seafood and local ingredients. It does not disappoint.

8:30pm: Back at the hotel. Finish up any work from the day, and take time to unwind before bed – call my wife, catch up on personal emails and plan for tomorrow.