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A day in the McK life: Jolene

– Jolene is interning in our Philadelphia office this summer. She started her career as a registered nurse, and is now earning her MBA at Wharton. Learn more about her typical day working on developing a learning curriculum for her client.


6:00am: I’ve been trying to get up early to work out (I make it once or twice a week). Today, I’m meeting my team for flywheel (you’ve not really lived until you’ve dry heaved on a bike next to your colleague).

7:45am: Grab breakfast and coffee so I’m not a hungry, cranky person when I get to the client site.

8:10am: Hop into an Uber. Although it’s not everyone’s style, I try to get some work done on the way to my client. I look over my schedule for the day and go through my email so I feel ready to hit the ground running once I arrive.

8:30am: Check in with my engagement manager and client. We do a quick team huddle and share our plans for the day, and then everybody breaks off to meetings or computers. Assuming I don’t have client meetings, I take the few hours to work on analyses, slides, and email.

12:00pm: Grab lunch. Once or twice a week, I eat with my team or clients; other times I head back to my computer and have a working lunch.

1:00pm: Research. On my current project, I am planning training sessions for employees, so I spend the afternoon researching how McKinsey runs its training programs, exploring the resources we have, and finding McKinsey experts to walk me through the content of our training modules. I have met a lot of incredible McKinsey leaders this way.

3:00pm: Meet with my clients to review ideas for training programs and develop a plan for our initial sessions with the broader organization.

4:00pm: Back at my desk, I spend a few hours capturing our discussion on paper so we can circulate our plans and draft training materials with our leadership. I usually work with my headphones, jamming while working.

6:30pm: We leave the client site and head back to the hotel. Sometimes we have dinner together as a team, and other times we get food individually.

7:30pm: I take an hour or so to do something important to me – run if I didn’t work out in the morning, talk with my family or friends, etc.

11:30pm: Off to sleep. I try to get at least six hours a night because I know it makes me think more clearly during the day.

Parting advice: Prior to McKinsey, I was a registered nurse, so the best piece of advice I can give is this: no one is dying, so take a deep breath and relax. We all feel stressed at times, but remember McKinsey picked you for a reason and we (your colleagues) believe in you and are here to support you. Stay positive and laugh. I came to McKinsey with virtually no Excel or PowerPoint skills, but I brought a good sense of humor, which has carried me a long way.