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Feedback and freedom

Kae, an associate in Tokyo, has come to appreciate the freedom she has to carve her own path at McKinsey and the support and feedback her teams and mentors provide to guide her way.

When I was going through McKinsey’s recruiting process at Wharton, I kept hearing the phrase “make your own McKinsey” from the consultants I met. At first, I didn’t understand what they meant, since I came from a traditional Japanese organization where the company decided which projects I worked on. Throughout the process, I learned how much McKinsey encourages its consultants to carve their own career paths – to discover and pursue their passions.

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Now that I’m at McKinsey, I work closely with my professional development manager and mentors to decide on which engagements I’ll work. I’ve also chosen to get involved with office activities such as recruiting.

Since I’ve joined, I’ve come to really value McKinsey’s strong feedback culture. I receive on-the-spot feedback nearly every day – after client meetings, team problem-solving sessions, etc. I also have bi-weekly check-ins with the McKinsey leadership on my team. All of these sessions are supportive; my colleagues care about my development and happiness, so they help me think through my natural strengths and determine ways I can more fully use them to be a more effective consultant. My teammates support me when I take risks and challenge me to try new things. This all happens in a very short cycle, which is helping me to improve very quickly.

My work has been really interesting and meaningful. On one recent project, my team helped a multinational medical device company determine the best organizational model for its salesforce in Japan. I interviewed experts and members of the client organization and analyzed the client’s pertinent information to inform our recommended sales structure and develop an implementation plan to help the organization evolve. Along the way, we helped the clients strengthen their cross-border relationships and communications. The experience taught me so much about how to build trust, communicate effectively, coach others, and design an effective organization. The most rewarding part was hearing that my clients felt the same way; one of them told me: “working with McKinsey has helped us to feel like we really trust each other for the first time.”

If you’re interested in learning more about opportunities with McKinsey in Asia-Pacific and you’re an MBA student studying in the U.S., please consider joining us for our upcoming receptions in New York, Chicago, Boston and Philly in November.