“Do you work for McKinsey? – Wow, so cool!” This is how people usually react when I tell them where I work. I have to admit, I didn’t share that enthusiasm one-and-a-half years ago before I joined or really knew McKinsey.
Since my first year at the university, I was aware of the firm, but I thought working there would mean overtime, high pressure, and frequent business trips. I didn’t imagine myself in such an environment. Over time, as I gained working experience, I realized I’d like to do data science. I completed a relevant master’s program in the Netherlands and started looking for a new job. It was quite a challenge because COVID was creating restrictions and I was trying to enter a new field from scratch.
When my journey with McKinsey starts
Having no high hopes, I visited McKinsey’s careers website and applied for an intern position. A friend and I organized a tandem for solving business cases, and I refreshed my knowledge in data science with others already working in the industry. McKinsey shared with me contacts of a consultant who could help me do two mock interviews. It was a great opportunity to learn from a consultant who solves such cases every day at work and knows very well the firm culture and values. McKinsey’s Human Resources department was also very supportive in answering all my questions.
The preparation took me about a month. It was difficult to stay calm during the interviews, so I approached them as if I was having breakfast with Warren Buffett: opportunities for me to talk to very interesting people whom I might not have met anywhere else. This technique worked for me. I was happy and excited after my interviews just for the experience, regardless of its outcome. Luckily, I got an offer in the end.
What I found at the firm
After a year in my intern role, I accepted the offer to join McKinsey as a full-time analyst. What makes me smile every day at work is my amazing team. People here are exceptionally smart, kind, and brilliant communicators with deep expertise. I feel like I’ve known most of them for ages.
The other thing I couldn’t find anyplace else is the impact I have. The work I do will land on CEOs’ desks and can help their companies reduce inefficiencies and gain millions of dollars. For example, my team recently helped a client improve its profits by predicting optimal setpoints for copper concentrating equipment. Our solution added more transparency for operators who manage this process and allowed them to take data-driven decisions.
Lastly, I can choose projects in the fields that drive me, locations that I find interesting, teams I’d like to work with, etc. This freedom is invaluable!
More about Elizaveta
Elizaveta joined McKinsey Advanced Analytics as an intern more than one year ago, after working in various industries, including oil and gas. Originally from Russia, she holds a bachelor’s in economics from Moscow State University and master’s in marketing analytics from Tilburg University. In her spare time, Elizaveta enjoys snowboarding and skating in winter and jogging and cycling in summer. During COVID she started jogging and ran a half marathon.