Last August, I decided to pursue an MBA full-time at Wharton. I was very excited to start another chapter of my career. I believe education crystalizes our potential and helps us achieve goals, so my decision to take an MBA was natural. I received a lot of support from my colleagues throughout the application process – from helping me understand my goals to writing recommendations and proof-reading my essays. At McKinsey, we spend so much time with our teams, we get to know each other very well so my teammates were best equipped to help me think through such choices. The firm is also home to alumni from many top schools; they shared their experiences before I decided where to apply. In addition, I also appreciate the financial support I received from McKinsey.
I am now about to start my second year of business school. Throughout my first year at Wharton, I explored many different things from VC deal sourcing to autonomous vehicles and dancing in a studio. The opportunities and dynamics of my MBA remind me of McKinsey and being exposed to different industries and functions. My MBA is very similar in that sense, but the deadlines are even shorter! This has taught me to prioritize my time and focus on the most important things.
One key aspect of my time at Wharton has been learning about innovation and entrepreneurship through hands-on experiences. For example, I took part in the UPenn Y-Prize competition. My team consisted of engineering, public health, and business students, and together we devised a commercialization strategy for UPenn’s patented metal-air energy harvesting technology. We were honored to get the first place and have decided to bring the idea to life.
Another exciting part of business school is meeting new people. My class of ~850 students at Wharton is ~30% international, with 46% women. I enjoy this diversity just as much I did with diverse client teams at McKinsey. Attending lectures, participating in extracurriculars, and traveling has brought my classmates and I closer to each other, and I’ve learned to work more effectively with peers from different cultures and backgrounds. Unfortunately, COVID-19 has had an impact on in-person interactions, but we all learned the new normal of studying and hanging out virtually.
I am sure these experiences have contributed a lot to my personal and professional growth, and I look forward to bringing my new skills back to the firm once I graduate.
More about Kateryna:
Kateryna joined our Kyiv office in 2016 after working for two years as a corporate finance consultant. At McKinsey, she worked on exciting projects from public sector strategies to large plant operations optimization, in various industries ranging from metals and mining to media. Outside of work, Kateryna enjoys travelling, running, and skiing. She earned her degree in international finance from Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv, and is now an MBA candidate at The Wharton School of University of Pennsylvania.