From graduation to meaningful work

Did you interview with other organizations? How was your interview with McKinsey different?

Ansh, senior business presentation specialist in Bengaluru
Ansh, senior business presentation specialist in Bengaluru

Ansh, senior business presentation specialist in Bengaluru, attended Christ University: I applied to two organizations during a campus placement event. The interview with the first company was very serious and I was nervous the entire time. But my McKinsey interviews were different. Beyond asking about my skills and experience, we had conversations about my interests and discussed the future. Afterward, I was so determined to work at McKinsey I forfeited my final interview with the other employer.

Paulina, executive assistant in Poznań, Poland, attended Adam Mickiewicz University: The interview process for the EA role is called Experience Day and is divided into two parts: a group exercise and then interviews with two different recruiters. My impression was McKinsey cared about giving a realistic view of the role to find someone who really wanted to work there, would be happy and succeed long term – not just someone to fill the role for a few months.

Nailea, global helpdesk professional in San José, Costa Rica
Nailea, global helpdesk professional in San José, Costa Rica

Nailea, global helpdesk professional in San José, Costa Rica, attended CEDES Don Bosco: I was interested exclusively in McKinsey, so I took a risk and applied only here. The interview experience was quite different from what I learned in school. McKinsey conducted team activities and asked questions that were out of the box—but directly related to the global helpdesk role.

Preston, executive assistant regional team leader in Tampa, FL, attended the University of Central Florida: McKinsey was my first interview out of college. The interview process was extensive and in-depth, which told me the firm wanted to hire exceptional people.

Why did you choose McKinsey?

Ansh: I was already leaning toward McKinsey because of the interview process and hearing positive things from classmates. But visiting the then newly-built Bangalore office for my final interview sealed the deal for me. I saw people laughing while they worked. I never imagined a workplace with such a fun, peaceful environment.

Paulina: For me it was the opportunity to work in a role using my English and in which every day is different.

Nailea: I chose McKinsey after graduating from technical high school for the growth opportunities. I knew I could explore and give more of myself here than anywhere else.

Preston: My decision was based on the firm’s inclusive culture, incredible benefits, and opportunities to grow. Plus, as soon as I walked into the office for interviews, I noticed a positive work environment.

What are some of the responsibilities in your role?

Nailea: My role in global helpdesk is helping colleagues with their technical questions about the devices and programs we use each day. I love the troubleshooting aspect and helping my colleagues, sensing their relief, and enabling them to make impact in their roles.

Preston, executive assistant regional team leader in Tampa, FL
Preston, executive assistant regional team leader in Tampa, FL

Preston: Executive assistants manage calendars and troubleshoot logistics to support colleagues around the world. It takes organizational skills, multitasking and creativity. I’ve been promoted to EA team leader and now oversee a group of EAs within our West Coast region. I love that I can use what I learned within the EA role; it comes in handy to relate and help problem-solve.

Ansh: Each day as a business presentation specialist is different and filled with new learnings. We typically work in PowerPoint and the primary responsibility is to help our colleagues translate their ideas into something visually interesting. We work together as a team on the backend to meet deadlines and bring stories to life in the presentations.

What keeps you here?

Paulina, executive assistant in Poznań, Poland
Paulina, executive assistant in Poznań, Poland

Paulina: The people, beautiful office, and opportunities to grow – part of which is a culture that encourages giving and receiving feedback. I love how my work enables me to virtually connect with so many different people around the world.

Nailea: McKinsey’s culture and values are a great example of how every workplace should be. Besides the perks, I feel I can be myself. I’m motivated every single day to do the best I can.

Preston: The relationships and the continuous growth. I built meaningful relationships as an EA, which I foster to this day. The growth is also my internal motivation as I can constantly do better, be better, and grow into the best colleague possible.

What advice can you offer recent graduates interested in a career at McKinsey?

Paulina: Take a look through the careers website. There are both client-facing roles and internal roles like mine. Explore all the different job descriptions, and see what might be a fit.

Ansh: Keep a growth mindset and be open to new and different perspectives. At McKinsey, the learning never stops. If you have a skill or talent, you will find an opportunity to put it to use. Once you are here, you make your own McKinsey.

Preston: Thoroughly research the different career paths before applying. I knew I wanted a long-term career here and to eventually lead, so I chose a path with the potential to grow into a leadership position.

What’s one thing you want everyone to know about McKinsey?

Paulina: There is a lot of respect here. You can talk with others and exchange your thoughts and experience. We work hard, but at the same time, we care for one another.

Ansh: If you have the will to develop and grow, there is no stopping you. I was interested in coaching others and managing teams. I gained the right skills, and I was given an opportunity to take over the assignment of a Project Coach at an early stage of my career. I believe if I can do it, anyone can!

About the panelists:

Ansh was hired in 2018 as a business presentation specialist to help colleagues bring their ideas to life through presentations. He participates in Equal at McKinsey Allies and is an inclusion champion. Outside of work, he loves football, basketball, and gaming.

Nailea joined McKinsey after attending a life skills program offered by a recruiter at her school. In her spare time, she loves to hike and spend time in nature. She has a special fondness for puppies.

Paulina helps new joiners with onboarding through the McKinsey Ambassador program. Her passions include writing and improving her fluency in other languages.

Preston is a member of the Tampa Service Center Green Team and Health & Wellness groups at McKinsey. When he isn’t working, he enjoys surfing, snowboarding, fishing, and traveling.

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