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What I learned last summer

– I am a second-year student at Wharton School of Business. I spent last summer interning with McKinsey in the Beijing office and will return full-time this fall after I finish my MBA. For those of you considering applying for an internship this summer – go for it! Here’s why:

Sharon N inline
  1. There isn’t one McKinsey: at the Asia summer conference in Tokyo, we heard from and met consultants from many of McKinsey’s practices. I was surprised how different everyone was. The design team looked like they belonged at a start-up, with their casual clothing and Macs. It was cool to see the diversity of people here.
  2. McKinsey cares about work-life balance: I really enjoyed the presentation from some of our women leaders at the summer conference. They shared how flexible the firm is and gave examples of how their colleagues have helped them fit their personal priorities into their work schedules.
  3. McKinsey folks lead interesting lives outside of work: during the conference, we went to a karaoke bar run by one of the Tokyo office partners. I was amazed that this colleague, who is incredibly busy at work, still had time to run a bar and play in a band.
  4. The hypothesis-driven approach will force you to think differently: Consulting is like journalism in that it is fact-driven. However, in the news business, you try to stay neutral and not have an opinion going into a story. Consulting is different. At McKinsey, you’re encouraged to develop a hypothesis up-front, and then use the facts to support it. Each approach works well in different environments, but learning the hypothesis-driven approach really improved my work.