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McKinsey Q&A: Sarah M

– Meet Sarah, an engagement manager based in New Jersey who is completing a fellowship with the McKinsey Social Initiative’s Generation team. She will be one of the hosts for the Friday evening reception during the inaugural Poets&Quants’ preMBA Networking Festival in early May.

Interviewer: Tell us about your path to business school.

Sarah M

Sarah: I worked in education as an elementary school teacher and in the central office of the New York City Department of Education. I was curious to see how the private sector addressed organizational and management issues, so I applied to Columbia GSB.

Interviewer: How did you learn about McKinsey?

Sarah: I heard of McKinsey through reports on education the firm published (e.g., our “Most Improved Schools Systems” report). I became more familiar with McKinsey as an employer through my fellow MBA students and our case studies.

Interviewer: How did business school prepare you for consulting?

Sarah: The diversity of experiences in school – from traveling to meeting new people to balancing many different priorities – prepared me most for consulting. In a MBA program, you have opportunities to learn about so many different things; rather than focusing on a specific skillset or topic, I found it most helpful to develop a passion for learning.

Interviewer: How have you been supported at the firm?

Sarah: I’ve had some wonderful mentors who have made me their priority. They helped me to pursue a non-traditional path – a fellowship with the McKinsey Social Initiative, a non-profit founded by McKinsey. Some of my coaches have positioned me as a thought leader in education and connected me to others working in the field, opening up new opportunities and helping me build my global network. I’m excited to share some of those stories and pay some of the mentorship I’ve received forward during the Poets & Quants event in May.