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Apprenticeship in Asia-Pac

Shanghai-based operations expert Hoyt describes mentorship and meaningful client work.

While I was at the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley, I was drawn to McKinsey for its reputation as a leading global strategy consulting firm. During the past four years, I’ve stayed for the accelerated personal development and constant pursuit of excellence. I’ve grown faster here in four years than I could have anywhere else. I’m becoming more insightful, efficient, articulate, and empathetic and learning quickly.

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My mentors have been the driving forces behind my professional development. Several of the partners in our Operations and Global Energy and Materials practices have coached me during client engagements. The best thing about the advice they shared was that it was always actionable and specific. For example, when I was starting, they told me to focus on acquiring the basic McKinsey skill set – how to structure and break down problems, how to communicate starting with the answer, how to effectively lead working teams. As I advanced and was preparing to become an engagement manager, they showed me ways to be more assertive and relate more with senior clients.

They have also created amazing opportunities for me. One of my most memorable and meaningful engagements was with one of my mentors in the Operations Practice. She pulled me onto a team working with an automotive manufacturer to design their next generation SUV. The clients had no experience designing vehicles from scratch; they had previously reverse– engineered other products as the basis for their designs. Our team taught the clients how to develop their customer-centric design, starting with collecting information about the preferences and needs of the target customer segment. We rented the largest exhibition center in the city and flew in potential customers from all across the country for a full customer survey, including test driving competitors’ vehicles and detailed conversations about products. I can&rshquo;t wait to see what happens when the vehicle our clients’ designed hits the market in a few years.

If you're interested in working on tough challenges, continually learning new things, and collaborating with supportive colleagues, apply to join us. MBA students in the U.S., please sign up to learn more about opportunities in Asia Pacific in particular during presentations in New York, Chicago, Boston and the next week.