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A day in the McK life: Sinem

– Sinem, an engagement manager in our Chicago office, describes the cadence of her team and client meetings on a typical day.

8:00am: Grab and go. I meet my team in the hotel lobby so we can carpool to the client site. We grab breakfast on the way from our favorite coffee shop or the client cafeteria.


8:30am: McK team check in. Each team member discusses his or her priorities for the day, schedule, and needed support.

9:00am: Client check in. I meet with my main client to make sure we stay aligned on our strategy, progress towards tactical deliverables, and tackle any concerns that arise.

10:00am: Work. I spend an hour on my own to review my team’s work, respond to emails, incorporate feedback from the McKinsey partners’ into a presentation for the clients, etc.

11:00am: Support. I join one of my teammate’s meetings with her client. They review her recent analysis on how to design the new commission structure for sales reps, incorporating financial and other levers, and discuss next steps.

Noon: Eat. We set the norm at the start of our engagement to eat away from our desks. Sometimes we head out for lunch; sometimes we go to the client cafeteria, but we always take a break to eat together and catch up.

12:30pm: Solve problems. Sometimes with our clients, sometimes without them – we discuss key components of the project, talk through what the analysis and interviews we’ve done indicate, think through obstacles, celebrate successes, and align on next steps.

2:30 pm: Mentor. I grab a coffee with one of the associates on my team. We share feedback with each other and talk about our development goals. Meeting weekly with each member of my team is important to me to make sure I provide timely and useful advice. These conversations can also turn into forward-looking staffing and career path discussions.

3:30pm: Advise. Time for another meeting with our senior clients (a few times each month). We walk them through our progress, focusing on key recommendations. We discuss the impact of each suggestion and align on our path forward.

4:30pm: Debrief. Our McKinsey team huddles after the conversation with our clients to further develop our strategy going forward.

7:00pm: Work out. We head back to the hotel for a gym break before dinner. Again, as part of our team norms, we agreed to work out twice each week, so we encourage each other to keep that commitment. We have a team dinner about once each week; otherwise we are relatively flexible with our dinner plans. We sometime grab dinner together, sometimes order room service. My favorite is picking up Whole Foods on the way to the hotel.

10:30pm: Close out. I review any outstanding materials, build my to-do list for tomorrow and call it a night.