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Selena’s (temporary) farewell

– Selena, an associate in our London office, recently started a secondment with Rocky Mountain Institute, a renewable energy NGO in Colorado. Even though it’s temporary, she sent her good-bye email to the office, in accordance with tradition:

Selena inline

“I’m heading off to work on sustainable electrification in developing countries, especially Africa. I’ll be at RMI for about a year, then apply for graduate school. I’m really excited to spend some time delving into a topic I’m really passionate about within an awesome organization, and I will look forward to returning to McKinsey in the future. Here are the top three things made my three years at McKinsey awesome:

  1. The people. Almost three years ago, I went to Cambridge to meet my business analyst cohort and learn some of the basics at our introductory course (now called Embark). I worried that, although it was a great job, McKinsey people would be competitive and very business-y. Instead, I found the opposite – people who are smart, talented, kind, cool, supportive, fun, and endlessly interesting. You are true friends and I feel so lucky to have had you as incredible colleagues.
  2. The learning. On my first study, I had to Google ‘how to multiply in Excel,’ and when the senior partner on my team asked me, ‘what have you learned this week?’ I replied with zero irony, that dotted lines always have to be 1.5 weight and dark grey. I’ve come a long way. McKinsey is always stretching me, even if I can’t always tell what I’m learning until after the fact. I’ve not only built my trusty problem-solving toolkit, I’ve also learned a lot about the softer stuff thanks to our incredible training programmes and the friends, teammates, leaders, and other good Samaritans who have taken the time to share their wisdom.
  3. The good times and meaningful work. I can’t imagine another job that would have let me hang out on a destroyer, crash an aircraft carrier (in a simulator – rest assured no vessels were harmed), drive around the pit of a coal mine, or organise an idyllic professional development weekend in a 13th century English manor. It was pretty cool to help save more than a billion dollars, size markets that barely exist today but could help save the world, and help a wonderful charity redefine its strategy and operating model. I will equally remember the fire-side whisky chats, team push-ups, teddy bears in the team room, and random catch-ups on the 7th floor.

So thank you to all of you and keep in touch.

All the best,

Selena”