Learning about McKinsey
After finishing my degree in physics, I was considering whether I should apply to complete my PhD. Not knowing anything about McKinsey—or even about what consulting was—I attended a recruiting presentation for people with a background in science. I loved what I heard about McKinsey’s dynamic work environment, and I saw this as an opportunity to use my skills in the “real world” before deciding whether or not to pursue an academic career.
When I first considered my post-academic life, I was most concerned about two things: that I would spend my first few months getting coffee for my future bosses, and that those bosses would be clueless. My experience at McKinsey has been absolutely nothing like what I’d feared! From my very first day, I’ve been a part of finding solutions to the problems facing clients. I’ve also been really motivated by watching more experienced colleagues work. And, I’ve enjoyed the great sense of community in the Mexico office and across McKinsey.
By the way, I do sometimes get coffee—but at other times it’s the boss’s turn, so it all evens out!
The importance of asking questions
My time with McKinsey has been filled with people who have helped me make the transition from science and academia to learn about the world and the language of consulting. One of the greatest things about McKinsey is its diversity—there is always someone who has been through what you have, or something very similar, and there is always someone willing to help. All you need to do is ask.
For example, I found myself struggling a bit on a finance project, so I reached out to a partner who had studied nuclear engineering and now specializes in finance. He was more than happy to give me advice on how to approach the problem, to develop some business-savvy, and to learn how to ask the right questions.
Advice to applicants: prepare, prepare, prepare
Preparation is everything in working toward applying to McKinsey. There are terms that will come up in the interviews and exams that you may not be familiar with, and even if some of them seem intuitive, it is always easier if you have a basic understanding of them. The other key thing is to have fun!
|Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM)