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Building lasting friendships

– Meet Nigel, a business analyst in our Dublin office, who joined McKinsey a couple of years ago after graduating from Trinity College with a degree in European Studies and spending three years in the public sector:

Nigel inline

Interviewer: How has McKinsey enabled you to achieve your potential?

Nigel: At McKinsey, I’ve been encouraged from the outset to push myself to excel in my areas of strength. I don’t aspire to build the world’s most advanced financial model, but I am naturally good at helping clients open up. Hence, I’m given coaching I need to be able to model to a good standard, and I’m given the responsibility to build meaningful client relationships, which is where I really shine.

On top of the focus placed on coaching, I spent five weeks in full-time learning courses, and attended half-day booster sessions every six to eight weeks that have covered everything from communication skills and problem-solving to advanced PowerPoint and Tableau. I have been amazed at the level of investment the firm has made in helping me build my skills.

Interviewer: What has been your favorite challenge?

Nigel: Last year, we helped a hospital facing long delays in their accident and emergency (A&E) department. When we first arrived, patients were queuing out the door, and the workforce was frustrated they could not deliver the level of service they knew the patients deserved. We helped to dramatically improve their performance, and it was gratifying to see the data prove it. However, our impact was really brought to life when the CEO shared a letter he received from a patient thanking him in glowing terms for her much shorter-than-usual wait.

Interviewer: What has been your best McKinsey team experience?

Nigel: If we can call the cohort of business analysts with whom I joined the firm a team, then my best experiences have definitely been the times I’ve shared with them. We have danced until the sun came up at McKinsey’s hotel in Austria after an all-day training session and hung out chatting about what the next few years will bring. We have a fantastic sense of friendship and solidarity.