The culture at McKinsey is truly supportive. I’ve been able to find mentors, both formal and informal, and I benefit from the huge amount of time and resources which McKinsey invests in training.
I heard about McKinsey during a college recruiting event and felt strongly drawn to the wide range of projects the firm handles across the Middle East and South Asia. I liked the idea of working in so many different sectors—and having the ability to learn so much—in a short span of time. I applied to the Dubai office because I had grown up in Saudi Arabia and wanted to move back to the region.
One of the greatest things about McKinsey is, believe it or not, the steep learning curve. This means that you're always learning and there's always another challenge, another interesting problem to solve.
One of my most worthwhile experiences so far has been working in a team designing a strategy to improve the reproductive health of six million people in Pakistan. The project was a challenging one, with a huge number of stakeholders, which dealt with a topic that is still relatively taboo in the country. I believe the work we did will make a difference to the lives of many low-income men and women in the country. It was also exciting to be working in Pakistan—even though the country is going through a turbulent time, achievements in the industrial and service sectors make for extremely interesting work.
The value of a liberal arts background
My strongest advice to someone with a humanities or liberal arts background is to apply! Many people think that consulting is only for business or engineering majors, but that's definitely not the case. In fact, thanks to your background, you'll probably bring in a unique perspective that can add value to your engagements and the firm.
BA, international relations and history