After only a year at McKinsey, I found myself in a room with high-ranking government officials, making recommendations with far-reaching implications.

Coming home—and finding a world of opportunity

Coming from a military background, I felt McKinsey would be a great way to gain broad exposure to the business world. Pittsburgh is my home town, and after spending 4 years overseas in the military, I was excited about returning to work here. McKinsey’s staffing model allows me to live in this amazing city and still chase interesting opportunities wherever they take me.

Renewing excitement in an organization

In the military, although I had the desire and capacity to effect change, my sphere of influence was kept small. Now I have opportunities to make impact with far-reaching implications, and this is rewarding for me personally. One of my favorite experiences at the firm, where we had positive impact, was working with frontline employees on a lean-manufacturing transformation. My team and I were able simultaneously to increase output while alleviating the frustrations of the front line. The work we did will definitely affect the bottom line, but the most rewarding part was observing a shift in the culture each week and seeing renewed excitement in the organization.

Finding a mentor

I was lucky enough to get a chance to work with the guy who helped coach me when I was applying to the firm. During our project, he made time on a weekly basis to point out strengths and offer concrete suggestions for improvement. I can confidently say that my communication skills have improved as a direct result of our interactions. I continue to use him as a sounding board for my ideas and for guidance on navigating my own path through the firm.

No training wheels

Even as a summer intern, there was never a time at the firm when I felt I had training wheels attached. In problem-solving sessions, my opinions and ideas carried the same weight as the partners and senior team members. I’d heard about this, but seeing it in action has been a constant source of motivation.

Education

Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania
MBA

United States Naval Academy
BS, mechanical engineering