Back to Careers Blog

A day in the McK life: Bill

– Meet Bill, an associate principal in our Southern Office. He joined McKinsey after working in the commercial power sector and U.S. Navy for more than 15 years and now focuses on operations and risk management for energy clients. Read about his typical day helping clients and apprenticing team members:

5:00am: I’m an early riser. I do a quick work-out, check my email and prepare for several client meetings later in the day.


7:00am: I grab breakfast with a new associate on one of my teams. We talk about how the engagement is going for him and skills he’d like to develop during this project. We also talk more broadly about his interests and passions, brainstorming ways for him to plug in at McKinsey.

9:00am: I meet with the team to align on the approach we’ll take to model several futuristic scenarios for the client. We work through a couple options the team has developed, and select a new approach floated during the problem-solving session. We would never have gotten to that plan without the whole team working it out together.

10:00am: I talk to a European client I have been helping improve a major capital project. We discuss the project’s performance and set-backs, spending the majority of the time planning next steps for areas where we’re not having the impact we’d like.

12:00pm: I take a long walk to get lunch, giving myself some space to think and recharge for the afternoon. On my way, I give my wife a call and learn my son and daughter (ages 7 and 9) have disassembled our backyard playground set to create an obstacle course and are training the neighborhood kids in how to navigate it. I’m not sure whether to be impressed or full of dread.

2:00pm: I participate in a workshop with one of our clients during which we walk through an integrated fact base we’ve assembled with their content experts. The purpose of the workshop is to gain greater insight into the conclusions their team draws from the information to make future choices. After several hours, we are much further along in our thinking.

6:00pm: The team checks out and we head to a nice restaurant nearby. Everyone unwinds by taking jabs at my shoes and general lack of fashion sense. We also spend some time talking about our working norms and lifestyle. Everyone seems pleased so far and having these conversations regularly helps us make adjustments as needed.

8:00pm: I have a quick call with a couple of colleagues to lay out our plan for a client meeting later in the week, then video chat with my family.

9:00pm: I spend the remainder of the evening working through email and head to bed around 11:00pm.