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From the Marines to McKinsey

Kirk started his career as a member of the US Marine Corps. Now he’s running a New Ventures startup at McKinsey. Read how it happened.

My journey from the US Marine Corps to McKinsey has been exciting; it has taken me through Silicon Valley’s semiconductor industry, solar research and development, clean energy and battery technology, and solar power plants.

It started in me meeting other Veterans at McKinsey while I was a client of the firm. Our shared experiences and common background made it easier for us to connect and build relationships. We had a similar work ethic, philosophy and approach to solving problems.

Kirk inline

Sponsorship from day one
Working with these Veterans at McKinsey helped me realize something important: I could fit with McKinsey’s culture. I applied and this network of former service members rallied behind me. They coached me as I prepared for my interviews and wow, did I need it.

My first case was so bad, a lead balloon would have done better, but my coaches were quick to provide positive reinforcement and specific suggestions for improvement that enabled me to quickly approach the interview questions in a more structured way. I would not be at the firm today without the support of the Vet network.

Finding a new home in New Ventures
Now that I’m a full-time member of the firm, I still turn to my network of veterans for advice on navigating McKinsey and with project-specific questions. I’m a New Ventures solution manager for the incredible Cloud Control Tower by McKinsey, a construction industry executive project and production controls dashboard.

It’s very exciting – similar to working with a startup. I use skills I learned as a Marine daily: keeping a clear mind amid chaos, speaking to leadership, making decisions quickly based on the available facts, and being biased toward action.

Outside of work
Outside of work, I’m passionate about Ducati motorcycles, Swiss watches, and my four-year-old twins. Since the twins were born, I have not ridden my motorcycles or built watches as much as I would like. Now I’m teaching the budding young minds to help Daddy work on motorcycles and build jewelry for mom.

Oh, and we love Star Wars. The children have determined that I am Darth Vader, because if they are Luke and Leia, I must be the evil father who constantly loses all battles to the powers of the good side of the force.

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About 

Based in San Francisco, Kirk is a solution leader with Cloud Control Tower by McKinsey, one of our firm's 50+ New Ventures. Prior to McKinsey, he worked at a global renewable energy development company, leading its utility scale construction division. He is a  is a certified Program Management Professional, and a US Marine Corps. veteran.

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