I’ve worked with colleagues who are medical doctors, rocket scientists, musicians, and even a PhD in Belgian witchcraft!
Exceptional public sector work
I wanted to build a career in public policy and McKinsey was not at the top of my list. It so happened that McKinsey was recruiting on campus and I liked the people and was intrigued by their work. During the interview process, I learned about the public sector work the firm does and was pleasantly surprised—especially at the possibility of working on issues I was passionate about, such as basic education and rural infrastructure. I could not have dreamt of working on such a broad range of topics at such a young age.
Working on topics and projects I only dreamt about
One of my dream projects was to work on improving access to clean drinking water in rural areas and I was lucky enough to have had the opportunity to work on this in my early days at the firm. That was a real dream come true. On another project, I helped our client transform the basic education system in a developing country by improving the quality of teachers, which I believe will have lasting impact.
Flexibility and making motherhood work
Since joining McKinsey, I have leveraged several non-traditional options to balance work and life. As an associate, I was pregnant with my daughter and worried about juggling motherhood and the demanding travel schedule but I was inspired by my mentors who encouraged me to be a role model.
To start with, I worked on an internal project for the Public Sector Practice during my last trimester. For someone who had done only client work before, this was an eye opener about the way McKinsey works in terms of being so flexible with assignments.
Upon returning from maternity leave, I was able to work out a 60% program on my first project, 80% on my second, and I eventually returned to a 100% program when my baby and I were both ready. McKinsey is a great place to balance a challenging career with the equally challenging responsibility of motherhood because of its flexibility, opportunities, and amazing network of mentors and sponsors!
One global firm
McKinsey’s great global network of colleagues, with rich and varied expertise and experience is truly exceptional. It still amazes me how colleagues around the world are always willing to readily share their experiences and lessons and travel halfway across the globe to help serve clients. The sense of collegiality and collaboration is ingrained in the culture of the firm, as is the emphasis on values and impact.
Diversity and fit
I’m constantly excited by how diverse my colleagues are. I’ve worked with colleagues who are medical doctors, rocket scientists, musicians, and even a PhD in Belgian witchcraft! Ultimately, it comes down to your intrinsic fit with the firm and the role you are after. Problem-solving skills, client hands, and inspirational people leadership are the core skills for a good McKinsey consultant—background is immaterial.
University of Oxford
MSc, financial economics (Distinction, was a Commonwealth Scholar)
National University of Singapore
BEng, electrical engineering, minor in technology entrepreneurship (was an SIA-NOL scholar)