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My McKinsey time; Allie

Allie is now living a slideless life. Read how she likes it.

What are you doing now?

Last summer I launched a start-up, Athena Club, with a fellow McKinsey BA. Similar to the Dollar Shave Club model, we provide high quality women’s body care products to customers’ doors, without a high price tag. I lead operations, finance, and partnerships for Athena Club. I now understand what our clients go through on the executional side of operations. Spoiler alert: it’s a whole lot of chaos out there on the manufacturing side. I’ve found it very interesting to dive into the nuanced parts of the business like finance, legal, and operations and see how it all comes together from scratch.

What do you miss most about your BA days?

I miss the many layers of community at McKinsey: my engagement teams, the Philadelphia office, my fellow BAs, etc. I always had many groups around me to cheer me on during the good times, pick me up during the tougher times, and give sage advice all the time. I miss Fridays singing karaoke in the BA Bullpen, writing PHL-Inspy (the Philly office comedy newsletter) on my plane rides home on Thursday nights, and all the BA trainings.

What do you miss least?

Though I do sometimes miss making slides (bizarre, I know), I don’t miss it that much. I love the push that started at the Firm as I was leaving to focus more on the client experience and great discussions rather than hulky presentations in PowerPoint. Now that I operate in a fairly slideless life, I see how rich and productive conversations can be without pages.

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What skills did you learn as a BA that still help you today?

I don’t even know where to start; there are so many. One of the first skills I learned was to group things into lists of threes (and haven’t stopped since) so the three skills I use most frequently are: (1) structuring my thinking into buckets; (2) using a targeted line of open-ended questions to engage others; and, (3) applying the 80/20 rule.

What has your BA class done to stay in touch?

A group of BA friends and I go on a trip every year, which is great for catching up, but not great for my dwindling reserve of Bonvoy points. Last year we did Tuscany; this year, Greece. In addition, my roommate and one of my closest friends, Cassidy, was in my BA starting class. I still remember the elevator ride at celebration weekend during which I blurted out a roommate proposal. Thankfully, she was thinking the same thing and three apartments, two cities, and four years later, I couldn’t be more grateful to McKinsey for bringing us together.

What experience from your BA time still makes you smile?

How nervous we all were when we started. In 2014, during my summer internship, another Philly BA and I took a trip up the NJ Turnpike for our first training. We stopped off at a restaurant for dinner and spent five minutes discussing whether we could expense desserts. I’ve grown and changed so much since then; I’m lucky to have grown up at McKinsey.