McKinsey celebrates Women’s History Month – meet Anika

March is Women’s History Month, who is the woman who has impacted your life most throughout the years?

My mother. She’s always been very supportive of me, and she holds the whole family together.

Anita hiking
Anita hiking

What do you like most about working at McKinsey?

The people, the clients, and the problems we get to solve.  I am inspired every day by the crew I surround myself with and the clients we serve together.  Some of my most important lessons I’ve learned from my clients – namely my workshop facilitation mantra – “the wisdom is in the room” - I do not need to have all the answers.

I appreciate our honest feedback. I’m always aware of what I’m doing well and where I can improve. 

What did you want to be while growing up (you can’t say a consultant)?

My first career goal–when I was six–was to be an astronaut. By the time I got to high school, I had no idea what I wanted to study. I applied to many different programs and was accepted into a business program at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. In my courses there, I gravitated toward the math and science side of business and majored in statistics.

What piece of advice would you give to new hires?

A data science role at McKinsey is best for people interested in implementing analytics and data science in business, and a large part of my role is communicating data science to people without technical backgrounds. We build models, and then figure out how to help people use them.

We get creative with our data science. When working with a client, the data infrastructure or kind of data available informs the model we develop. Sometimes Python or Java make the most sense; other times, if it’s important for the user to make manual overrides and some more dynamic calculations, we’ll use excel. With each project, we choose the methodologies that fit our client’s needs.

Anika at South-by-Southwest with friends
Anika at South-by-Southwest with friends

When you are not working, what are you doing?

As a data scientist, most of my work is done on the computer, but I’ve found sometimes the things I’m most proud of are those I’ve produced by hand. Lately, I’ve been doing art projects with my family at home to unplug and work with my hands. It’s fun to do the kinds of silly art projects I used to do as a kid for pure enjoyment.

What is one fun fact about you that most people do not know?

My dream is to become an outdoors person. Many people grow up hiking or camping with their families, but I discovered my interest in the outdoors later in life.

I aim to going on one long hike per year. My first long hike was this past May. I completed a 10-day hike called the Camino de Santiago in northwestern Spain. It’s a great beginner’s hike because it’s flat, and there are many villages along the way where you can stop for fresh cheeses, eggs and other treats.

Anika kayaking in swamp
Anika kayaking in swamp

What was the last good book you read?

I love to read. I’m into sci-fi and fantasy books. I loved The City of Brass by S. A. Chakraborty. It’s a fantasy set in the Middle East and grounded in Islamic tradition. Usually fantasy novels are set in the European Middle Ages, so it was a refreshing change of pace.

Are you more of a coffee or tea person?

Although I love the coffee shop atmosphere, I’m sensitive to caffeine. I enjoy coffee before noon and tea after.

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About Anika

Anika is a data scientist based in Chicago. She earned her bachelor’s in statistics from Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. Prior to joining McKinsey, Anika was a business technology analyst at Deloitte.

For more information on McKinsey's data science career paths, visit

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