– 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:
“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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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,