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McKinsey Q&A: Joanne


– Meet Joanne, a senior implementation coach in Melbourne. She’s a graduate of the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (B.Eng. in aerospace engineering) and Melbourne Business School. Joanne started her career as an engineer and worked with several major airlines including Airbus, Lufthansa and Jetstar before coming to McKinsey.

Interviewer: What led you to apply to McKinsey?

Joanne: A friend working for the firm encouraged me to apply. Consulting wasn’t something I’d considered, but I had nothing to lose. The people I connected with along the way were incredible; the possibility to work with such amazing individuals and the promise of challenging and dynamic projects convinced me that joining McKinsey was the best next step in my career.

Interviewer: Why did you join McKinsey Implementation specifically?

Joanne: Working in industry, I experienced disconnect between best practices and implementation. I’m passionate about developing solutions that deliver tangible and sustainable results. My work through McKinsey Implementation gives me the chance to do this.

Interviewer: What keeps you here?

Joanne: In two years, I’ve advised leaders on critical business decisions, mentored young and talented entrepreneurs, ridden shotgun in a mining pit, gamified learning, visited karaoke bars in three different countries, eaten jellyfish, participated in an “Amazing Race” style competition, entered a labyrinth and made friends from more than 15 countries. I can’t wait to see what the next two years bring.

Interviewer: What has been your most challenging engagement at the firm so far?

Joanne: One engagement comes to mind – I was coaching a client who was new to her role. We were developing a plan to improve the efficiency of her organization’s operations. The engagement was particularly challenging for three reasons: the time frame was very tight; the people were resistant to change; and the client was not confident in her abilities to lead the transformation. We, however, were able to deliver more than we’d targeted because we learned to work together really well to develop solutions and influence others. The engagement was memorable for me because I saw my client’s confidence and abilities grow. In the end, she was recognised by others for her work.

Interviewer: What are you passionate about outside of the office?

Joanne: Anything travel related. I’ve lived in five countries. I love exploring a new place – absorbing its culture, language and atmosphere.