Never lose sight of your true passion

We caught up with one of our former Dubai business analysts, Amine, who went on from McKinsey to start Edbridg, a company that financially supports top university students.

Amine from Edbridg
Amine from Edbridg

Tell us more about Edbridg.

We finance talented students admitted to top schools in exchange of a percentage of their future revenues for a fixed time once they are employed. We don’t require collateral or a co-signer because we believe talent is the only collateral that matters.

What was the inspiration for it?

Walid Behar, my co-founder and friend (and the handsome guy in the picture), struggled to pay back his student loans during the economic crisis. He pitched the idea to me, and I immediately had a flashback to when I was an international student desperately looking for financing to attend my dream school, only to face rejection by every bank. I was lucky to receive a Fulbright scholarship, but I know many talented people don’t get that chance. So, I decided to leave the firm and join Walid in building Edbridg.

What was one of your most memorable moments at McKinsey?

Actually, two moments come to mind that really show how caring and supportive McKinsey is:

As an international student from Algeria, interviewing with McKinsey was intimidating. Gemma d’Auria, one of the partners who interviewed me, sensed my stress and went above and beyond to make me feel comfortable. She welcomed and coached me even after the interview was over. She gave me the confidence I needed to ace my interviews and get the job offer.

Later, on the first week of one of my first engagements, the lead partner, Stefano Martinotti, dedicated an entire morning to coaching me and setting me up for success. It showed how deeply he cares about people and developing talent.

Both Gemma and Stefano have become my life-long mentors, and their support helped me found Edbridg.

What would you say to someone who is considering a career at McKinsey?

McKinsey was the best first career move I could have made. The problem-solving skills I acquired, the incredible people I met, and the network it opened have made a tremendous impact on my life. I continue to reap the benefits as an entrepreneur: many McKinsey leaders and alums have invested or advised me with Edbridg. My advice for anyone considering a career with McKinsey is to go for it. It is an incredible place to work.

What advice would you give a new hire?

Be bold, take risks; reach out to that partner doing work you’re passionate about even if she sits across the globe. Contribute to your office, invest in relationships and take the time to thank everyone who makes your life easier. Most importantly, never lose sight of your true passion because leveraging McKinsey to follow it makes the firm an extraordinary place for you.

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