For me, the key to delivering value is to put yourself in our client’s shoes. You can do great analysis, but it’s only valuable if it helps solve the problem the client is worried about.

Why McKinsey

I was handed an envelope by one of my client teams at the party to celebrate finishing our project. Inside were more than 10 handwritten cards from client team members with whom I spent more than half of a year. Even though I have received thank yous from clients before, it was my first time receiving message cards. I was very touched, and in that moment I knew our “client first” consulting approach was the right one.

The main reason why I joined McKinsey was that I was convinced I could speed my growth as a business professional. When I asked consultants, “What kind of place is McKinsey for you?” while I was interviewing, each had different perspectives but all completely agreed that McKinsey is a place where you can develop experience and skills very quickly.

My personal story is that I joined the firm as a new graduate without any work experience; at first I struggled over how to create value for the clients. The answer I reached was very simple: “Put yourself into the client’s shoes, and think through their problems.” No matter how much analysis I do, if it does not lead to a real solution to their problem, then it’s useless.

Client-centered problem-solving

I continue to engage the client on what their issues are, what hurdles exist to solve such issues, and how we can work together to remove the hurdles. The feeling of unity and solving issues together with the client are genuine, and by the end of a project I even use “we” when talking about clients rather than “you” as we do at the beginning of the project. Through these experiences, I established my own way to provide value.

If someone asks me what McKinsey means to me, I will answer with confidence that it is a place where you can truly enjoy solving management issues with the client and at the same time can grow as a professional at unbelievable speed.


Columbia University

University of Tokyo