Coming out of business school, I wanted two things. First, I wanted to work across Africa. I was excited about the prospect of working in multiple countries, across multiple sectors, with multiple enterprises...and of making a difference to each of them. Secondly, I wanted to work in an organisation where I would grow and learn fast. I had tried some consulting case interviews with a classmate and I loved what they did for my thinking. The ability to structure and attack an unfamiliar problem in a way that led to good solutions was incredibly exciting and empowering! Joining McKinsey in sub-Saharan Africa gave me an opportunity to do both of those things.
There have been many rewarding and meaningful experiences over my six years at McKinsey. One of them has been co-authoring McKinsey's 2010 report on school system improvement, “How the world's most improved school systems keep getting better.” I have been amazed to see the tremendous reach of our work, and how we have been able inform conversations all across the world on how to improve schooling—in Ministries, donor and development agency offices, and schools. I have also been humbled by how open colleagues in the education sector have been to engaging us—for example, I think of a remarkable South African educator who has pushed my thinking further and deeper through our conversations about the report.
Deep collaboration with clients
A second memorable and meaningful experience was working with a team of clients in Abuja, Nigeria, when I was an Engagement Manager. What was special for me about that experience was the dedication and energy with which that team committed to the work we were doing together. It is a real professional privilege to work alongside and be able to contribute something to the success of clients who put so much of themselves into your collaboration.
Helping talented people grow and succeed
A third meaningful experience is of witnessing a business analyst with whom I worked closely, and whom I saw work hard to build new skills, be successful at McKinsey and receive an offer to attend one of the world's most selective business schools. She demonstrated to me the best of what we can be as professionals who are determined to learn, grow and succeed. To have been a part of her success, as a colleague and coach, has been one of the joys of my time at McKinsey so far.
Make your own McKinsey
When I joined McKinsey I thought of it as a 2-year exceptional springboard to go off elsewhere and pursue my dreams. What I didn't anticipate—and what I have come to appreciate—is how great a platform McKinsey can be for making the difference to which I aspire. The calibre of my colleagues, the rigour of our approach, the global reach, the knowledge resources of the firm, and the lived values that underlie it all, combine to offer an unparalleled vehicle for having impact in the world. That is what “make your own McKinsey” means—a phrase I first heard in my very first week at the firm, but which took me 3 or 4 years to understand.
||MA in education
||BA in psychology