The many of firsts
My background is Ethiopian. My parents immigrated to the US and I grew up in Colorado. I went to the Leeds School of Business at CU Boulder as a first-generation college student.
My experiences have been filled with many firsts in my family. From being first to fully immerse in America to the first to apply to college and explore career options post-graduation, navigating these unchartered territories taught me what it means to be resilient and ambitious. At the same time, growing up in a culturally Ethiopian home allowed me to develop an appreciation for different backgrounds. My incredibly hard-working parents instilled values of having a strong work ethic and navigating the world with integrity. By joining McKinsey, I’m excited to continue to grow through experiencing many more firsts and working with folks who bring a different perspective from mine.
My summer internship at McKinsey
I did my first client project at McKinsey when I joined as a summer business analyst. It was a procurement transformation project for a manufacturing client. Our client purchased many goods for their manufacturing needs, and we were brought in to help identify ways they can be more efficient in their purchasing processes and identify cost-saving opportunities. When I joined my team, it became clear we were there not only to help our clients but were also equally invested in developing each other. Although COVID-19 didn’t allow us to meet in person, I got to know each of my teammates through virtual dinners and activities. During one of our first game nights, we played a good round of Two Truths and a Lie where they quickly figured out my lie that I’ve hiked a volcano (maybe one day though!). Not only were they focused on providing me with a rewarding experience, but I built trust with my team and contributed throughout the summer.
Mentorship began before McKinsey
Even before joining the firm, everyone I met extended an offer to support and mentor me as I navigated McKinsey, and this continued to be the case when I joined for the summer. My support system included mentors I’d developed during the recruitment process, my engagement team, the McKinsey Black Network, and numerous others who checked-up on me.
It was through this community that I met my mentor, Bekinwari. Through our chats every other week, she supported me as I thought through what I wanted my McKinsey experience to be and shared so much wisdom around how to set myself up for success when working with my team and client. One piece of wisdom she shared was I should lean into discomfort rather than shying away from it. At times when you’re in new or challenging environments, it’s easy to be reserved. However, getting comfortable with discomfort allowed me to grow and learn, and taught me I was a stronger contributor to my team than I believed I could be, enhancing my overall experience at the firm.
From my first to last day of my summer experience, who I am, how I think, and how I view the world has evolved. My client work, local office activities, and interactions all proved meaningful – primarily due to my commitment to be active, rather than passive, in what I want to do at McKinsey. I’ve learned how important it is to take ownership over all aspects of my life, to have conviction in myself, and to bring my full, genuine self to any situation
I am a travel fanatic. Shanghai, China is next on my bucket list. I love learning about other cultures and exploring different types of foods, and I can’t wait to continue traveling after the pandemic. At times, you can catch me in the kitchen learning to cook up a new dish, listening to music, reading fantasy books, or having a laugh with friends and family. During the spring and summer of 2020, I took full advantage of Colorado’s trails and hiked more than 50 different times.