We Are McKinsey

During the widespread COVID-19 global lockdowns—and the work-from-home days that turned into weeks and then months—a regular destination for McKinsey’s colleagues throughout the world has been Managing Partner Kevin Sneader’s weekly, virtual “fireside” chat. It was perhaps the first time that so many colleagues across more than 130 offices in over 65 countries have gained insight into each other’s work, families, lives, and homes (including creative faux digital fireplaces). As McKinsey continues to define, live, and embrace its own next normal, we share here some highlights from those chats, which also includes several authors who contribute to McKinsey Publishing’s knowledge and insights.

On our diverse range of backgrounds

Deputy General Counsel & Head of Legal for the Americas | New York office

Lucy Lopez

Growing up in a large immigrant family in New York, Lucy recalls how she wanted to make her parents proud through her study in law.
Chief Financial Officer | Silicon Valley office

Eric Kutcher

Eric explains how playing multiple competitive sports since a young age taught him how to be a team player.
Internal Communications Manager | New York office

Gary Cirlin

Gary gives viewers a backstage tour of how he executes firm-wide broadcasts using 17 screens from his home office.
Partner | New York office

Amuche Okeke-Agba

From Nigeria to Arizona, Amuche describes her experience transiting to the United States and how she found ways to reframe the perception of Africa through volunteering, and more.
Senior Business Presentation Designer | Costa Rica office

Pamela Mendoza

Pamela talks about the benefit of timely feedback, and how it affirms her love for storytelling through design and creating materials for firm members.
Expert | London office

Thabo Mphuthi

Having grown up in a township, Thabo experienced poverty and inequity at a very young age. It inspired him to always try and learn new things.
Business Analyst | London office

Erin McDermott

“Always go for it, even if the odds aren’t great!” said Erin when she reflects on her life, from growing up in Glasgow to pursuing a higher education in the U.S. through the Sutton Trust Scholarship.
Senior Partner, Leader of McKinsey’s Retail and Consumer Packaged Goods Practices | Chicago office

Sajal Kohli

Sajal explains how growing up in an education-focused household while being exposed to different cultures through his father’s international work inspired his appreciation for diverse experiences and perspectives at a young age.
Specialist, Client Services and Experience | Philadelphia office

Sophie Hilaire

A former Army captain and experienced mountain climber, Sophie describes the experience of scaling Mount Everest.
Senior Partner | Singapore office

Anand Swaminathan

Anand developed a love of technology as a teenager, and reflects on the freedom and creativity it brought him.
Recruiter | Nur-Sultan (Astana) office

Assemzhan Kispayeva

Early in her career, Assemzhan worked for two years as a criminal investigator in Kazakhstan, a fascinating time, due to the incredible variety of people she met and helped.
Senior IT Event Project Analyst | Zurich office

Taglo Gessesse

Taglo, who speaks 5 languages, reflects on the importance of communication and learning the local language and culture in his journey from Ethiopia to New Jersey to Switzerland.
Associate | London office

Charlotte Bull

As a cadet, Charlotte learned to fly a plane before she could drive a car. She explains why she ultimately chose the Army for her Reservist career.
Partner | New York office

Naina Dhingra

Inequity in distributing AIDS drugs worldwide, particularly in Africa where the need was so great, inspired Naina’s activism and an early career in public health.
Senior Partner | New Jersey office

Aamir Malik

Aamir shares what it was like to grow up in a small town called Moshi in Tanzania next to Mount Kilimanjaro.
Recruiter | Boston office

Jacqueline Carey

Jacqueline’s single mother spent time in prison, so Jacqueline grew up in and out of foster homes. When her biological uncle adopted her, she went from living with an all-Black family to an all-white one. After graduating from parochial schools, she attended Mount Holyoke College, where she met her wife.
Business Analyst | Lisbon office

Iko Congo

During the time Iko volunteered in Israel after graduating high school, he felt for the first time that difference was celebrated—not just tolerated.
Executive Editor, Digital | Atlanta office

Feifei Sun

Feifei describes how the Asians at McKinsey (AAM) affinity group and her time in the firm’s Shanghai office helped her embrace the duality of her identity as an Asian-American.
Manager of Administrative Services | Montreal office

Doris Ferron

Doris shares how her passion for education led her to becoming a teacher in Japan and finding her life partner along the way.
Engagement Manager | Silicon Valley office

Brian Rikuda

Using music as a means of inspiring and connecting young people, Brian started his own hip-hop record label prior to joining McKinsey.

On joining McKinsey

Deputy General Counsel & Head of Legal for the Americas | New York office

Lucy Lopez

"I did not want to pass on the opportunity to work with such a great team," said Lucy when reflecting on her decision to leave her job at a law firm for McKinsey.
Manager of Giving Back | London office

Eissra Eltom

Eissra shared that she joined McKinsey as a business analyst to explore a broad set of industry and functional topics and build a set of solid skills.
Leader of Marketing and Sales Practice | Dusseldorf office

Jesko Perrey

Jesko shares the one experience that made him switch his career from becoming a marketing professor to working as a marketing and sales consultant.
Global Manager of McKinsey Black Network (MBN) | Washington, D.C. office

Lance Matthiesen

Lance shares what it was like to join McKinsey as the Global Manager of MBN and lead McKinsey's 10 Actions towards racial equity in the middle of a pandemic and racial injustice in the U.S. 
Senior Partner | Washington, DC office

Nora Gardner

Nora takes us back to 2005 where she describes working in team rooms called “the huts” in the department store-turned-Washington DC office.
Business Analyst | Toronto office

Victor Lal

Victor recalls his early months at the firm and explains how his impression of McKinsey was validated once he saw the opportunities for learning and development first hand.
Practice Manager | Hamburg office

Klaas Ole Kurtz

A computer scientist by training, Klaas first joined McKinsey as an associate, serving various clients in technology-related projects. This allowed him to discover what he truly wanted to do in his work.
VG&M Director of Design and Media Services | Costa Rica office

Patricia Barrantes Sliesarieva

“I will probably only be here for six months,” was what Patricia told herself when she joined McKinsey; ten years later, she could not imagine working anywhere else.
Senior Partner | Detroit office

Shubham Singhal

Born and raised in India, Shubham shares his experience joining the Detroit office before it even existed.
Conference Manager | Istanbul office

Aysegul Eker

Having joined the firm more than 20 years ago, Aysegul was one of the first of a small group of employees who started the Istanbul office.
Senior Partner | New York office

Daniel Pacthod

First a client, and then a partner of the firm, Daniel joined McKinsey's Paris office, and then the Chicago location as an experienced hire.
Expert | London office

Thabo Mphuthi

Thabo joined the firm as a tech entrepreneur hoping to gain more knowledge in business operations and management.
Executive Assistant | Atlanta office

Karen Wells Smith

Karen, who has been at the firm for 31 years, recounts how she was first introduced to the firm as a candidate for a part-time proofreader role.
Risk Manager for external workers | London office

Antonia Kingsland

Antonia joined the firm in 1997 through a last-minute interview with Ian Davis, who later became McKinsey’s Global Managing Partner.
Senior Partner | New York office

Asheet Mehta

After a 6-month research project in college failed, Asheet realized his passion was not in engineering or academia. He decided to pursue a career that would produce more tangible results and positive benefits. 
Director of Operations, McKinsey Global Services | India office

Dorte Landwehr

Dorte was asked to lead the setup of McKinsey’s Visual Graphics in Chennai, India for six months when she first joined McKinsey. She fell in love with the country and still lives there 20 years later.
Business Analyst | London office

Erin McDermott

Erin shared how she was able to join McKinsey in the U.K., her home country, through the “McKinsey Go Global Program” while she was studying in the U.S. as an international student.
Engagement Manager | New York office

Ariel Hsing

A three-time US Table Tennis Champion and Olympian, Ariel says that McKinsey gave her the opportunity to work on a variety of industries and topics, allowing her to discover her next “table tennis” or true passion.
Recruiter | Nur-Sultan (Astana) office

Assemzhan Kispayeva

On her third try, Assemzhan applied to McKinsey—and joined the firm’s office in Nur-Sultan (Astana), Kazakhstan.
Senior Partner | Singapore office

Anand Swaminathan

After thirty-three interviews, Anand explains, he joined McKinsey mid-career because of the firm’s unshakeable commitment to creating value for clients.
Associate | London office

Charlotte Bull

At a McKinsey diversity event, Charlotte attended a workshop about finding your passion, which inspired her to apply to and join the Firm.
Senior Partner | Munich office

Cornelius Baur

“Every day was earth-moving news,” says Cornelius, as he reminisces about joining McKinsey at a time of historic change—the unification of Germany in 1990.
Executive Assistant | New York office

Jodi Elkins

Jodi, an executive assistant for more than 32 years, tells how she showed up for her interview on the wrong day but got the job after a caffeine-fueled typing test.
Senior Partner | Johannesburg office

Acha Leke

Acha explains how, after some trial and error, he was able to become the first non-MBA program hire to the firm’s Johannesburg office.
Senior Manager of Global Partner Recruiting | London office

Roselyn Cason-Marcus

Roselyn explains why joining McKinsey mid-career felt like becoming part of a large family.

On how life experience shapes personal impact

Senior Business Analyst | Nairobi office

Yi Li

Yi, a Nantong, China native, explains how having gone to high school in a city away from home and then college in the U.S. has prepared her parents for the world-traveling consultant she has now become.
Senior Partner, Managing Partner of Asia | Singapore office

Oliver Tonby

Oliver reflects on his time in Kuala Lumpur and how its richness and diversity shaped his approach to client work.
Senior Partner | San Francisco office

Gary Pinkus

“More than a job, less than a life.” Gary talks about how he creates and sustains a positive work life balance.
Head of recruiting, Africa | Johannesburg office

Charmaine Dhlamini

Charmaine shares how her daughter's battle with mental health issues inspired her to be a mentor and role model for other young adults in Africa.
Expert | London office

Thabo Mphuthi

Thabo shares how fixing an abandoned computer with his dad and using it to help his community and create music inspired him to begin a career in digital.
Director of Operations, McKinsey Global Services | India office

Dorte Landwehr

After witnessing the tragedy of September 11th during her time in the New Jersey office, Dorte realized her true calling was back in India where she had spent a few years setting up the McKinsey Visual Graphics team. She decided to move back to Chennai to take on more responsibilities.
Partner | Singapore office

Doan Hansen

Doan talks about how working on economic development in Vietnam was a special moment for her as a Vietnamese Canadian.
Senior Partner | New Jersey office

Aamir Malik

Aamir shares the best advice he has received at the firm and how mentors at McKinsey have made the firm special.
Partner | New Jersey office

Shelley Stewart

Throughout his career, Shelley has been committed to strengthening diversity through recruiting and building an inclusive culture.
Business Analyst | Lisbon office

Iko Congo

Oppression, poverty, and environmental challenges all result from a lack of long-term thinking, says Iko. He is grateful to have a sense of purpose and the practical tools to connect with other people who are walking in the same direction.
Partner | Atlanta office

Sara Prince

Early in Sara’s career, she was the only analyst who was her age, gender, and ethnicity at a major investment firm that employed people like the characters in the book Liar’s Poker. That experience helped her become comfortable with her own voice.
Senior Partner | London office

Vivian Hunt

Kids need a broad, inclusive education, says Vivian. A bright kid in a bad system doesn’t have as many choices in life. She knows because she’s seen both sides.
Senior Partner | Munich office

Cornelius Baur

Cornelius explains how an apprenticeship made him realize he wasn’t interested in the typical corporate career.
Engagement Manager | New York office

David Baboolall

"Do what makes me feel super comfortable" became David’s mantra as he came out as a gay man in his first week at McKinsey. The support he experienced in the community has since inspired him to push on initiatives that help others feel accepted and heard.
Managing Partner of McKinsey Middle East | Riyadh office

Gassan Al-Kibsi

Gassan talks about some important moments of truth in the early days of the Middle East Office 20 years ago. These include challenging cultural biases about where ‘’top talent’’ comes from, and exercising our obligation to dissent in moments of difficulty.
Partner | Atlanta office

Sara Prince

Sara finds great joy in having a platform at McKinsey to engage in a dialog on race and diversity in the midst of all that’s going on in the world right now.

Articles by people profiled here

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COVID-19 in the United Kingdom: Assessing jobs at risk and the impact on people and places

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How the CFO enables the board’s success—during COVID-19 and beyond

– Two board experts explain how in times of crisis or transformation, the CFO can serve as a rock in the boardroom, a critical arbiter... of difficult decisions, and a scout for the future.

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On advice for my younger self

Practice Manager | Hamburg office

Klaas Ole Kurtz

Looking back at the various roles he worked in at McKinsey, Klaas encouraged colleagues to take advantage of the flexibility to try different career paths within the firm.
Head of recruiting, Africa | Johannesburg office

Charmaine Dhlamini

"Continue to be kind" is the one thing Charmaine would tell her younger self. 
Senior Partner | New York office

Asheet Mehta

“Have a good positive attitude” is the advice Asheet would give to his younger self as a new firm Associate.
Expert | London office

Thabo Mphuthi

“Persistence will open all the doors,” Thabo said in reflecting on the innumerable opportunities he has had since coming from an underprivileged background.
Managing Partner of McKinsey UK and Ireland | London office

Virginia Simmons

“More than a job, less than a life,” says Virginia as she reflects on the three tenets that have guided her career at McKinsey and helped her maintain a good work-life balance.
Senior Partner | Paris office

Mary Meaney

“Don’t be a victim, be an actor” is the advice Mary would give to anyone who has ever been “the only” in a room, a position in which she frequently found herself.

On service

Global Manager of McKinsey Black Network (MBN) | Washington, D.C. office

Lance Matthiesen

Lance shares that one of the biggest reasons he has stayed involved in nonprofit work is to provide mentoring and coaching for those who need it.
VG&M Director of Design and Media Services | Costa Rica office

Patricia Barrantes Sliesarieva

A painter by training, Patricia combined her passion for art and community through organizing community art programs when she worked as an art professor at the university.
Senior Partner | New York office

Asheet Mehta

Giving back to the New York education community that shaped him is where Asheet spends the majority of his time outside of work. His McKinsey skillset helped him solve complex problems for the nonprofit organizations.
Senior Partner | Cleveland office

John Warner

John’s passion as an Ohio enthusiast has led to his volunteer work for over 20 years with the Make a Wish Foundation, the Cleveland Orchestra, sports medicine and healthcare organizations.
Senior Partner | Cleveland office

Matt Watters

Matt reflects on the meaning of service, inspired by his grandfathers, and how it's integral to his life in the military.
Partner | New York office

Naina Dhingra

Naina traces her passion for “changing the world for the better” to her childhood, starting at seven with saving endangered species and moving on to sustainability and AIDS activism.
Director of Research and Economics | London office

Tera Allas

Tera, who had been a senior civil servant in the United Kingdom for ten years, talks about the honor of being awarded the designation of Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire.
Managing Partner | London office

Vivian Hunt

“There’s now a cohort of 30-year-olds who are all named Vivian,” says Vivian, as she reflects on working as a midwife in Senegal for the Peace Corps.
Senior Manager of Global Partner Recruiting | London office

Roselyn Cason-Marcus

Roselyn reflects on how her Christian values inspire her work with organizations that support marginalized women and enhance educational access for minorities.
Partner | Atlanta office

Tiffany Burns

Passionate about sports and giving back, Tiffany and her husband started a foundation in Atlanta, Georgia dedicated to helping 100 student athletes attend college every year.

On purpose

Senior Partner | Detroit office

Shubham Singhal

As the global co-leader of the Social, Healthcare and Public Entities (SHaPE) Practice, Shubham finds that the opportunity to save lives and make healthcare more affordable gives purpose to his job.
Associate Partner | New Jersey office

Matt Watters

Matt recalls an experience in Haiti, the death of an infant, that inspired him and fellow students to start a non-profit for building local clinics and eventually pursue a career in public service.
Partner | New York office

Naina Dhingra

For Naina, purpose means helping companies be the best of who they are including contributing meaningfully to society.
Senior Partner | New Jersey office

Katy George

Katy reflects on how important working with people on the front line is to her because of the impact she could have on individuals' lives.
Senior Partner | New Jersey office

Aamir Malik

Aamir talks about how the feeling of community and the long-standing relationships within the Healthcare Practice have deepened the sense of shared purpose.

Careers at McKinsey

Learn about careers at McKinsey by reading profiles, launching a job search, or exploring the firm.

On parenting

Global Manager of McKinsey Black Network (MBN) | Washington, D.C. office

Lance Matthiesen

Lance shares why he encourages his two young black sons to have courageous conversations, especially when the world is going through change.
Practice Manager | Hamburg office

Klaas Ole Kurtz

Klaas reflected on how he was able to take three years of parental leave and switch to an internal role when he became the father of two children.
Senior Partner | New York office

Vik Malhotra

Flying home from Houston to see a school play? Yes, Vik says, as he explains how he balances work and family.
Senior Partner | Paris office

Mary Meaney

Mary reflects on the unique challenges and joys of raising six very different children combined with a career as a Senior Partner at McKinsey.
Senior Partner | New Jersey office

Aamir Malik

Aamir talks about spending more time with his two daughters during the pandemic and the joy of seeing them find their passions.
Partner | New Jersey office

Shelley Stewart

Shelley reflects on welcoming a new black son to the family in a time social unrest.
Senior Partner | Amsterdam office

Peter de Wit

Peter talks about the importance of family on his McKinsey journey—and why being a father has been the single greatest experience of his life.
Engagement Manager | London office

Treina Fabre

What’s it like becoming a new parent at McKinsey? Treina talks about her career path—including nine months working on one of our Diversity Matters reports—after returning from maternity leave with a child who never slept.
Director of Research and Economics | London office

Tera Allas

Self-described data geek Tera put together a muticriteria spreadsheet to help her daughter choose a university and a major she didn’t expect.

Recent talks by our people

Webinar

Four priorities for supporting Black Americans during and after COVID-19

– COVID-19’s disproportionate impact on Black Americans has underscored persistent structural and systemic issues. Solutions during the recovery should target four areas.
Webinar

The path to the next normal

– On April 8, McKinsey global managing partner Kevin Sneader shared what it will take to navigate from the crisis of today to the post-virus period: the “next normal.”

On leadership and mentorship

Senior Partner | Washington, DC office

Nora Gardner

Nora talks about her dual role as a Senior Partner and Location Leader for the DC office, and how both are about strong connections.
Senior Partner | New York office

Michael Silber

McKinsey’s CFO talks about the ultimate client, the firm, and how his life experiences, love for culinary arts, and fascination with architecture has influenced his career and relationships.
Senior Partner | Dubai office

Ozgur Tanrikulu

Ozgur talks about his experience in various offices around the firm and how he went from taking over 100 flights a year to sheltering in place and making meaningful connections in the virtual setting.
Senior Partner | New York office

Asheet Mehta

Asheet reflects on how servant leadership shapes his role as the co-leader of McKinsey's Financial Services Practice.
Senior Partner, Leader of McKinsey’s Retail and Consumer Packaged Goods Practices | Chicago office

Sajal Kohli

Sajal reflects on how much he was able to learn from his colleagues as well as the clients he served over the past 23 years and how he grew with them.
Managing Partner of McKinsey in Europe | Stockholm office

Magnus Tyreman

Magnus reflects on his 30+ years at the firm. While many things have changed, the special form of leadership that McKinsey celebrates has stayed the same.

On the next new normal

Senior Partner | Detroit office

Shubham Singhal

Shubham explains how the Social, Healthcare, and Public Entities Practices have come together to imagine what the Next Normal will look like.
Senior Partner | New York office

Asheet Mehta

As a champion of McKinsey's learning programs, Asheet believes that the pandemic has sparked innovations in remote learning that might become the new normal.
Business Analyst | London office

Erin McDermott

Erin, who joined the firm full-time as a Business Analyst in the middle of the pandemic, appreciated how the Firm was able to welcome new joiners virtually.

On change

Senior Manager of Professional Development | Washington, DC office

Mark Berenson

Mark explains how he made his own McKinsey by having an open mind and exploring a role that years later still brings him joy and excitement.
Executive Assistant | Atlanta office

Karen Wells Smith

Karen, one of the most tenured Executive Assistants, reminisced about the ‘old days’ when the entire firm ran on paper memos.
Partner | Bogotá office

Angela Samper

Angela shares how her life at McKinsey has constantly changed, from joining as a Business Analyst in Bogota to building a new office from scratch and now serving as our Colombia office manager.
Executive Assistant | New York office

Jodi Elkins

Jodi reflects on how much “busy work” technology has eliminated since she joined McKinsey in June 1988.
Managing Partner | London office

Vivian Hunt

Vivian discusses how the entrepreneurial spirit of McKinsey’s office in the United Kingdom helped incubate some of the firm’s successful practice areas today.

The graduate’s guide to a new world of work

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On talent

Recruiter | Boston office

Jacqueline Carey

Singer-songwriter Jacqueline Carey was pretty psyched when one of her songs ranked higher than Drake’s among Miami radio stations. She also has written jingles for popular reality and talk shows.
Director of Research and Economics | London office

Tera Allas

Tera describes how she developed her love for the magic and science of cooking, and admits that only her best-looking creations make the cut on social media.

On working at McKinsey

Leader, People Function EMEA | Amsterdam office

Ellis Griffith

Ellis sheds light on her diversity and inclusion work and what that looks like across various offices at the Firm.
VG&M Director of Design and Media Services | Costa Rica office

Patricia Barrantes Sliesarieva

Patricia explains how the visual graphics and design colleagues enable our consultants to deliver a stronger impact and experience to our clients.
Head of recruiting, Africa | Johannesburg office

Charmaine Dhlamini

Charmaine explains why a positive, upbeat attitude is the first thing she looks for in candidates who want to join McKinsey.
Senior Partner | New York office

Daniel Pacthod

Working with people to build and achieve new things is what inspires Daniel to work at the firm every single day.
Senior Partner | New York office

Daniel Pacthod

"It's your firm" is what inspired Daniel to grow the firm's Advanced Industries Practice and lead McKinsey Accelerate.
Conference Manager | Istanbul office

Aysegul Eker

Whether it was the 20-person office in 1998 or the 200-person office today, the McKinsey Istanbul office still "feels like a family" to Aysegul.
Risk Manager for external workers | London office

Antonia Kingsland

Antonia traveled all over the world when she worked as the Executive Assistant to Ian Davis, the McKinsey’s former Global Managing Partner. She met some of her closest friends through the experience.
Senior Partner | New York office

Asheet Mehta

Asheet's work with financial institutions helps people gain financial freedom and he learns a lot along the way. These are some of the reasons he enjoys working in Financial Services.
Greater China All-In, Diversity & Inclusion Assistant Manager | Shanghai office

Athena Yan

Athena discovered her passion for empowering women through McKinsey’s Diversity programs. She describes how she helped to form a women's network among ten companies in China to advance diversity.

Blogs about our people

A McKinsey doctor returns to her roots to fight COVID-19

– This emergency-room physician returned to her training hospital to help respond to the pandemic.

Two partners reflect on a historic moment for social justice

– Amid ongoing civil rights protests and Juneteenth and Pride celebrations, Sara Prince and Ana Mendy talk about this moment in... social justice, our work and the promise of progress.

In India, McKinsey teams up with Pratham to help millions of children learn to read and write

– Our partnership with the countrys largest youth-literacy and vocational-skills organization is helping build... a brighter future for children across the country.

How we help drive impact

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McKinsey on Books

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The McKinsey Crossword

Sharpen your problem-solving skills the McKinsey way, with our monthly crossword. Each puzzle is created with the McKinsey audience in mind, and includes a subtle (and sometimes not-so-subtle) business theme for you to find. Answers that are directionally correct may not cut it if you’re looking for a quick win.