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Opportunities as high as the Rockies

Helen experiences a feeling of home coming to the Calgary office.

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I got my first taste of life at McKinsey working as a summer intern through the University of Alberta’s School of Business co–op program. At the end of my program, I was offered a business analyst position in Calgary. This was a surprise to my family and friends. I’m a huge politics geek and very interested in the non–profit sector. Working at the world’s largest management consulting firm wasn’t initially on my radar, but it has already proven to be a great opportunity to learn new skills I can use no matter where my career takes me.

I’ll admit, I was nervous starting my first engagement as a business analyst, especially when I learned my first project was outside my area of expertise. I was terrified to find out I’d be working in the retail and consumer goods. My fear was that I would not be able to contribute to the team’s success because I’d be spending all my time getting up to speed.

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When I arrived on–site and met my engagement manager, I realized she was not just interested in what I could do but in what I could learn. Her advice helped me navigate the firm’s resources and work better and smarter. This supportive environment and focus on continuous professional development permeates McKinsey’s culture. Everyone I worked with –from new business analysts like myself to senior partners –wants to learn new skills and take risks. It feels like the potential for self-directed learning here has no limits.

That’s why it feels like I’m coming home when I get back to the Calgary office on Fridays. Seeing my fellow business analysts is always the highlight of my week. There is a real sense of community –an awesome support network of smart, funny and motivated people who are just as inspiring as the Rocky Mountain peaks I can see from my office window.

Learn more about roles like Helen’s during one of our two sessions at the University of Alberta:

April 5th: Presenting on the Power of Parity

April 6th: Centered Leadership Workshop at University of Alberta