I wanted the best of both worlds—working for a reputable global corporation and being able to work across the African continent on important topics such as healthcare and education. And because McKinsey has a very strong “one firm” culture, there are exciting opportunities to work in other regions too. But what really convinced me to join McKinsey was the people I met before I joined. Everyone—the recruiting team, the consultants, even the receptionist—was energised and excited about what they were doing. I wanted to be part of this!
Rewarding and meaningful work
At McKinsey, I’m doing work that matters to me. I have been involved in pharmaceutical projects—my first love and my field of study—helping global and local business think about and create growth opportunities. But I have also helped African governments and social sector organisations strengthen essential services in healthcare and education. It’s incredibly rewarding to know that the work you do positively impacts people’s lives.
Professional and personal growth
I come from a strong academic background and I really enjoyed my pharma degree. But although I knew a lot about pharmaceutics, I knew little of the world. From the moment I joined McKinsey I’ve received tremendous support, both formal training and on-the-job coaching. The level of commitment to helping me succeed has been mind-boggling! As a result, my breadth of knowledge has increased dramatically—I have learnt more here than I imagine I would have learnt in any other role at any other firm.
I didn't imagine how impressive my colleagues would be. I have met the most amazing people at McKinsey—people who have done phenomenal things in the classroom and socially in the world. There was the woman with two Ph.D.s that she completed concurrently; the guy who raised over $1 million for flood victims in Pakistan; and the woman who volunteered in Cambodia for a year. I have made amazing friends here; this is truly a place where one can feel at home.
Advice for the interview process
For people coming out of a non-business academic postgraduate degree, it’s important to acknowledge that applying to join McKinsey will take you out of your comfort zone. Doing focused preparation for the interview is key. A lot of it is good business intuition and problem solving—but don't be afraid to reach out and speak to someone about the kind of support you may need.