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Coming back to consulting – but only for McKinsey

Choon, an implementation coach in Kuala Lumpur, is enjoying putting his experience in operations to work at McKinsey.

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Before joining McKinsey, I wasn’t sure if had it in me to go back to management consulting. I started my career with British American Tobacco, working in supply chain and operations. After that, I spent a few years working for various consulting firms in Southeast Asia to hone in further on operations. I made a short move back to industry at Expedia, thinking I’d had my fair share of consulting. McKinsey piqued my interest, though, and it has turned out to be the right decision for me. Here’s why:

1) Leveraging my expertise

At McKinsey, I can tap into my past experiences across supply chain and operations. In fact, my knowledge and expertise has been a tremendous asset. I’ve supported several major operations transformations, in which I leveraged my Lean manufacturing and supply chain management knowledge to help our clients to improve their productivity and optimize their costs. The firm provided the platform for this opportunity. I recently had the chance to serve a European industrial equipment manufacturer by helping them to identify opportunities of productivity gains across their end–to–end operations. Coming from operations, I was able to plug in quickly by leveraging on experiences from other manufacturing sites advanced in Lean practices.

2) Helping people and learning

There was no greater opportunity than McKinsey to help drive transformational change, deliver sustainable impact and develop my own leadership capabilities. What has made the biggest personal impact to me has been the firm’s relentless push, from our leadership to analysts, to always prioritize what’s best for the client and the team. I knew I was only limited by my imagination, and I could see that benefit of my work on my clients and their customers for years to come. The firm has provided me with countless opportunities to achieve that.

McKinsey has also provided formal training programs and mentorship to help me learn how to be more effective at helping people. McKinsey unconditionally prioritized its core values, including regular strengths–based feedback and coaching.

3) Giving back to my home country

It has been a privilege to serve clients in my home country. I am driving improvements (e.g., implementing industry 4.0, applying artificial intelligence to operations,) that help the people who work here and continue to foster Malaysia’s development. I am happy to experience the opportunities and programs that McKinsey provides to help achieve that dream. I recently had the opportunity in Malaysia to serve a client who was looking to unlock productivity improvements using advanced analytics and industry 4.0 use–cases, beyond the usual productivity levers. There was genuine excitement from the clients operations teams who were able to implement the new technology for the first time. It was a great experience supporting them in building up this capability within their operations and stretching my own knowledge in this exciting space.

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About Choon:

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I live in Kuala Lumpur with my wife. I love tennis and paintball and play weekly to recharge. I speak German more fluently than Mandarin since I spent so much time in Hannover.