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Emerging Scholars – Nadou, Stanford Graduate School of Business

– Though I had long nurtured an interest in management consulting, it always felt a bit mysterious and out of reach. Once I was admitted to Stanford Graduate School of Business, I determined it was time to more seriously explore career opportunities in the field. Shortly after, I serendipitously came across McKinsey’s Emerging Scholars program through a friend’s Facebook post.

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The program offered me the opportunity to connect with a mentor, engage with real consultants, gain a deep understanding of the firm’s culture, and practice interviewing. It seemed the perfect way to answer my questions about the industry, so I applied.

As an Emerging Scholar, I got an accurate sense of what day-to-day life as a consultant looks like. During the summer event, we did a case study in small groups. We applied McKinsey’s problem solving approach, conducted mock client interviews, and gave senior leader-level presentations. The network I built was invaluable as I prepared for interviews and eventually joined the firm, first as a summer associate in Lagos and now as a full-time associate in New York.

My experience as a full time associate has been great – I love the work and my colleagues. So far, I have worked with financial services and aerospace clients on talent management, general strategy, and corporate finance topics. Like in any new job, the first few months required going up the learning curve. I have been fortunate to work with colleagues who are truly invested in my development and who support me as I hone the skills that will make me successful long-term. I am learning exactly what I hoped, i.e., how to think strategically, communicate clearly, and approach issues from multiple perspectives. I’ve also found strong communities and a sense of comradery in the McKinsey Black Network and my associate class. They make me feel like an important part of the New York office and the firm. I look forward to building my career at McKinsey.

I spend most of my personal time hanging out with my family and friends, exploring NYC, and organizing events/programs for a couple of professional organizations in which I am involved. I love cooking for others, so hosting dinner parties is a fun way to channel my creative side and surround myself with people I love. Still being relatively new to New York City, I constantly find cool things to do; whether it is Latin dancing, new restaurants, or art museums, NYC has it all. I am also helping plan my business school class’ first reunion – I am really excited to see everyone in early May!