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McKinsey Q&A: Andrea

– Andrea, a platform manager in our North American Knowledge Center in Waltham, never thought she’d join a consultancy. The offer from McKinsey to work in analytics, build a broad set of business skills, and help shape this growing team was impossible to turn down.

Interviewer: Why did you apply to McKinsey?

Andrea: To be honest, I never envisioned myself at large management consulting firm. After finishing my master’s in financial computing at Fordham University, I joined Booz Allen Hamilton as a technologist and was eager to grow into a lead software engineer. When the opportunity with McKinsey came along, I was attracted by the client impact and best in class problem solving. I knew I would be able to build my strategic skills alongside my technical abilities, which was a win-win for me.

Interviewer: What is the best thing about being part of the Analytics practice at McKinsey?

Andrea: By far, the sponsorship and support I receive from leadership to challenge the status quo. McKinsey Analytics understands that the future of management consulting will look and feel very different than it did 10 years ago and we want to be ahead of the curve. Every idea and proposal is evaluated seriously, regardless of who presents it. We are very much a startup within the broader firm; we believe there are no wrong answers, only creative solutions.

Interviewer: Tell us about your most memorable engagement at the firm so far.

Andrea: I was recently the lead architect on a project in which we helped a client migrate to the cloud. We shared the results of our analyses and our recommendations regarding how to build an analytics center of excellence using a web interface instead of PowerPoint slides. It was really fascinating for us and our clients.

Interviewer: What advice would you give to others interviewing with McKinsey?

Andrea: McKinsey really values different problem solving approaches. The firm is interested in the process of how you arrive at a solution, not just the answer you develop. As you prepare for your interviews, practice your problem solving out loud to a colleague or friend.

Interviewer: What are you passionate about outside of work?

Andrea: Running and technology. I live in Boston and love to race in our annual marathon. Running is my meditation and keeps me sane. I’m a true geek at heart and I love tinkering with new technology. I’m testing out the latest raspberry pi this week. Outside of McKinsey, I’ve hosted data science meetups in NY, volunteered my python skills for Girls Who Code, spoken at a sports analytics conference, and participated in an Amazon Web Services Reinvent conference for the global cloud community.

If you happen to be in the Boston area and would like to learn more about Andrea and her team, please join us May 14 – 15 for our inaugural hackathon. RSVP here.