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Moving from industry to consulting

Before joining McKinsey, Anna spent eight years managing production processes in major industrial companies. After learning about consulting, Anna was inspired by the opportunity to help businesses cope with constant challenges.

I did not expect consulting would inspire me. However, I am really happy I made the transition as I learn a lot every day.

My experience before joining McKinsey

Moving from industry to consulting
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In just eight years, I worked in three types of manufacturing. First, I went from intern to mechanical and process engineer in an automotive plant. I was responsible for production lines in the paint shop: body preparation, sealant application and water treatment. Second, I supported a furniture factory and the launch of a new plant. I was also responsible for production development: setting up a quality control system and automatic key performance indicators (KPIs) for the production lines. I joined an international leaders program within that company and studied production practices in different countries. Finally, I worked for a power engineering company, where I could apply my international experience in a large-scale plant transformation. I realized that, for any project to be successful, I had to change peoples' mindsets and teach them how to effectively cooperate with each other.

Time for change

After working in different industries, I wanted to find a place where I could quickly develop and solve business problems at different levels. To begin with, I committed time to finding myself. I spent a year reading and talking to people from different backgrounds from lawyers and crisis managers to psychologists. One day, I met a man who applied to McKinsey, and I was inspired by his story. I realized I also wanted to become a consultant to help business leaders cope with their challenges.

Preparing for recruiting with McKinsey

Moving from industry to consulting
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The preparation stage was not easy for me. It took me two years. I sometimes thought I may not succeed but I had promised myself I would pursue my goal and not give up. First, I spent a year-and-a-half studying English to reach the required upper-intermediate level. I participated in various McKinsey events, including Expedition, a three-day event at the firm's Alpine University in Kitzbühel, Austria. The program helped me understand what advanced analytics was and how to apply it in my work. I also improved my negotiation skills thanks to one of the workshops. Learning was structured in such a way that even beginners like me could understand complex topics. I met other candidates from all over the world which was very inspiring and uplifting.

After I applied for a role in Moscow and got invited to interview, I frequently turned to McKinsey firm members for help. I was impressed by their openness and willingness to offer support. The firm gave me a mentor and every time I talked to him, I saw new approaches to solving cases and answering the personal fit questions. Once we even solved a case together with the sound of the sea in the background, because he was on vacation. Other candidates helped me a lot, too. I took the feedback I received to heart, worked on structuring my experiences, and practiced. After such preparation, I received an offer from McKinsey.

Deep-dive into consulting

Moving from industry to consulting
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My first business trip was five days in Costa Rica: two immersion days and three days for EMBARK training. Immersion is a training program for new hires to help them integrate into the firm. I really liked the topics and format of the training — we got to know the history of McKinsey, its mission and values, we handled practical tasks together, and we discussed solutions and found answers to emerging questions. I realized it is normal to be nervous before the first project, and confidence would come with skills and experience. It turned out I was not the only one who was nervous, and that encouraged me to go on.

During the three days of EMBARK, which is the firm’s introductory consultant course, we worked on client cases, mastered our basic consulting skills, and learned how to give and receive feedback. The mindset training had a particularly strong impact on me; we discussed the effectiveness of meditation and how it could help us in our work. The training took place in a beautiful mansion with panoramic windows and a view of a beautiful garden with palm trees. We also enjoyed wonderful evenings together, tasting Mexican and Spanish dishes. All of this made every day really special.

Find a role in Moscow with Anna

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