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Humans of McKinsey

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

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

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

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 Partner | London

Kate Smaje

Kate Smaje, global co-leader of McKinsey Digital, recalls how she made the switch from finance to join McKinsey when she felt her learning curve had stopped.
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

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.
Business Analyst | Lisbon Office

Iko Congo

Iko says that being the only person of color in certain situations raised his consciousness and helped him develop a thirst for justice.
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 | 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.

Articles by people profiled here


The future is not what it used to be: Thoughts on the shape of the next normal

– The coronavirus crisis is a world-changing event. Here are seven elements for business leaders to consider as they plan for the... next normal.

Diversity wins: How inclusion matters

– The business case for inclusion and diversity (I&D) is stronger than ever. Taking a closer look at diversity winners reveals... what can drive real progress.

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

– Around 7.6 million jobs, or 24 percent of the UK workforce, are at risk because of COVID-19-related lockdowns. People and places... with the lowest incomes are the most vulnerable.

COVID-19 als Startpunkt für Erneuerung in Deutschland

– Wie die deutsche Wirtschaft die COVID-19-Pandemie bewältigen und die Krise als Impuls für Wandel nutzen kann.

Well-being in Europe: Addressing the high cost of COVID-19 on life satisfaction

– Recovery will depend on saving lives, sustaining livelihoods, and supporting quality of life.

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 having strong convictions

Senior Partner | 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, challenging cultural biases about where ‘’top talent’’ comes from and exercising our obligation to dissent in moments of difficulty.
Greater China All-In, Diversity & Inclusion Assistant Manager | Shanghai Office

Athena Yan

Athena discovered her passion for empowering women through McKinsey's All in, Diversity & Inclusion efforts. She describes how she helped to form a network among ten companies in China to encourage and advance diversity.
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

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.
Director of Research and Economics | London Office

Tera Allas

Never before has the world seen such an immediate hit on income inequality as we’re seeing with the COVID-19 crisis, says Tera. She’s concerned about the impact on mental health.
Managing 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.

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.

Careers at McKinsey

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

On change

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.

On leadership

Managing Partner of McKinsey in Europe | Stockholm Office

Magnus Tyreman

“I’ve never had a boss at McKinsey,” observes Magnus reflecting on his 30+ years at the firm. While many things have changed, the special form of leadership that McKinsey celebrates has stayed the same.

Recent talks by our people


Fostering employee productivity and morale through COVID-19

– There are several things leaders can do to help safeguard employees’ mental health in these challenging times.

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.

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 parenting

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 Stuart

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.

On purpose

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.

The graduate’s guide to a new world of work

This new multimedia anthology can help you hit the ground running in your new job or internship.

On service

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.

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

2019 social responsibility report

Our commitment to making a difference in society is embedded in everything we do

Coronavirus: Leading Through the Crisis

Insights on how organizations can respond, and what happens next

COVID Response Center

The Center, which focuses on responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, aspires to help safeguard lives, livelihoods, and communities on the path to the next normal.

Explore more

McKinsey Books

Explore a collection of books by McKinsey authors on the management issues that matter, from leadership and talent to digital transformation, corporate finance, and more.

The McKinsey Download Hub

Download PDFs of McKinsey’s latest research, perspectives, and insights on the management issues that matter most, from leading through the COVID-19 crisis to managing risk, digitizing operations, and more.

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.