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McKinsey Q&A: Ginny

– Ginny, an engagement manager in our Philadelphia office and a regular blogger for McKinsey Women answers some popular questions about choosing McKinsey and choosing to stay, staffing, and networking. Ginny has been with McKinsey for almost four years and joined after earning her MBA from Wharton and spending more than six years as a marketing and strategy consultant with the Cambridge Group (now part of Nielsen).

Interviewer: When you were in grad school, what other opportunities did you consider and what made you choose McKinsey?

Ginny: I seriously considered a strategy role at a big financial services company. I loved the organization and the people, but I wasn’t quite ready for the role. I came to McKinsey to grow, see new challenges and work with amazing people. McKinsey has lived up to every expectation.

Interviewer: Have you ever thought about leaving McKinsey? Why do you stay?

Ginny: One of my mentors at the firm told me to look at other opportunities regularly to get a sense of my options. I love the firm and don’t want to be here out of inertia. I want to be here because I still love it – and I do.

Interviewer: How have your McKinsey networks helped your career?

Ginny: My networks make McKinsey feel more like home. The McKinsey Women’s network has provided great opportunities for me to get to know people at all levels and get grounded by being mentored and mentoring other women. One of my best sounding boards who gives great advice is a woman whom I’ve never worked with directly, but met through McKinsey Women.

Interviewer: Have you ever worked on otherwise all-male teams or on all-female teams?

Ginny: I've worked on both and everything in between. When I’m going through the staffing process (personally or to form my own team), I think about the gender mix of the team. Balanced teams change the tenor in the team room, and make us more relatable and relevant to clients.

Interviewer: How much choice do you really have in terms of the types of engagements you work on?

Ginny: I have more and more options the longer I stay. In the beginning, my professional development manager’s goal was to staff me with great teams, led by managers who were dedicated coaches and mentors, regardless of the topic or location. As I became more experienced, I started to branch out more and seek out projects with new people in new industries and functions that interested me. Now, I often leverage my network to find my next assignment and I use my professional development manager as a sounding board (she gives great advice!).