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McKinsey Q&A: Caroline

– Meet Caroline, an associate in our Hanoi office, who came to McKinsey after practicing law for six years. Now she works mostly in the public sector and loves the opportunities for learning and the flexibility she’s found at McKinsey.

Interviewer: What is your favorite thing about McKinsey?


Caroline: Continuous personal growth. I’m constantly exposed to new challenges and given increasing responsibilities on my teams. Formal training programs and coaching help me fine–tune my leadership capabilities and personal style.

Interviewer: What do you wish you knew when you joined?

Caroline: Just how flexible the firm can be – in terms of geography, industry, working style, and part time arrangements, for example. Want to work with Africa’s public sector or on infrastructure in Southeast Asia? Want to work just 80% of the time? You can do it here and chances are someone else has done something similar and can guide you. You decide what your McKinsey experience will be.

Interviewer: What is your best application or interview tip?

Caroline: Understand that there is no cookie cutter McKinsey type or profile. This place thrives on diversity. People come from all walks of life, have different perspectives and insights, different personalities and approaches, which only enrich our work. So relax and let your personality shine through.

Interviewer: What question are you most frequently asked about McKinsey (e.g., by your friends or potential recruits) and how do you answer it?

Caroline: I spent more than six years practicing law, so people always ask why I became a consultant. For me, it’s always been about impact. Where can I contribute the most to solving problems I care about? Here, I do a lot of public sector work. I love collaborating with governments on education reform, economic regulation, infrastructure development, legislation, etc. And, I am still a qualified and licensed U.S. lawyer.

Interviewer: What are you most passionate about outside of work?

Caroline: Exploring new places (I’ve traveled all over Southeast Asia with McKinsey), eating local street foods with my husband, reading (my Kindle is always with me), and now planning for the arrival of our baby.