A day in the McK life: Amy

Amy joined our New York office as an associate a little over a year ago. She was introduced to McKinsey through our 2013 Insight Engineering & Science program while she was completing her Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering at Stanford University. Insight let her experience consulting first-hand to understand how her background could be a strength in client service. Below, she shares one of her typical days helping clients and hopes it will encourage other Ph.D. students to consider McKinsey and apply for Insight Engineering (applications are due April 10).


7:00am: Wake up in the hotel and get ready. I meet my teammate in the lobby and we catch an Uber to the client site. We usually avoid talking about work-related topics which makes this a fun time to get to know my teammates better.

8:00am: We stop at a coffee shop in the lobby of the clients’ building to grab some breakfast and tea, then head to our office. I start my day by checking email and making my to-do list. Then our team convenes to talk through our priorities for the day and redistribute our workload as needed. We also review our meeting schedule to make sure we have the right people and content lined up for each one. We end our check-in by putting our hands in the middle of our circle and cheering a random word for the day like ‘Lara Bars’ (our favorite team snack).

9:00am: I meet with the client leading workstream A (one of the business scenarios) to review comments the CFO recently provided on our work. We decide to divide and conquer editing our pages based on his feedback.

10:00am: We head to broader meeting where we review our working document, identify the information we need to fill in the data gaps, and assign to-dos. This is the team’s forum for raising questions and shaping the strategy presentation.

11:00am: I return to the McKinsey team room to prepare for an internal problem solving session with our McKinsey leadership about workstream B. I review my notes from earlier conversations with the clients and synthesize the main points in my head.

12:00pm: My teammates and I go to a nearby food court for lunch.

1:30pm: We meet as a McKinsey team to discuss workstream B. It’s a great discussion; I’m always impressed by the teammates’ ability to quickly process information and ask the right questions to help us further our thinking or develop our plans.

3:00pm: Our full McKinsey team meets with the client leading workstream B to review some of the new analyses in preparation for upcoming stakeholder meetings.

4:00pm: Interview a client sales rep to test some of our hypotheses for workstream B.

5:00pm: I spend time thinking through our work for scenario A. I try to make the messages clearer and the pages conveying those messages simpler and easier to follow. I also receive an impromptu call from my workstream A client with questions about how to structure his materials. We talk through them, and I get some good ideas for my piece in the process.

6:00pm: I wrap up my work and we check out as a team. We align on what if anything needs to happen before our next round of meetings in the morning. We also share stories about our days and end with another team cheer. It’s really fun to be part of a team that works well together. We’re all working towards the same goal and we support each other.

7:30pm: I arrive back in my hotel room and order room service. While waiting for my food, I go to the gym and bike or run on the treadmill.

9:00pm: I eat dinner and continue reworking some of the key pages for workstream A. Then I Facetime with my boyfriend, who is also a consultant at McKinsey. We met at Stanford and went through the Insight Engineering program together.

11:30pm: I review my schedule for tomorrow, check a few things off of my to-do list and add a few new items. Then, I head off to bed.

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