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McKinsey Q&A: Kei


– Meet Kei, an engagement manager with our Business Technology Office, who joined McKinsey in Tokyo three years ago and transferred to our Singapore location earlier this year. Kei studied international business and marketing at the University of British Columbia before starting her career with Deloitte and then working as a global strategist for the fastest growing mobile application company in Japan. She came to McKinsey to further her professional growth and has worked with colleagues from all over the world on a variety of engagements.

Interviewer: Why did you apply to McKinsey?

Kei: I had friends who were working for McKinsey and they got me excited to challenge myself by working on important business issues. I chose McKinsey’s Business Technology Office so I could stay in the tech space and engage in wider business topics. I was attracted by the global scale of the firm; I wanted to work with colleagues from all over the world.

Interviewer: Tell us about your most memorable engagement.

Kei: Soon after joining, I was part of a project to understand customers in China and incorporate those findings into the next generation of products. My teammates were from China and Japan and we traveled all over China to conduct focus groups. It was memorable because we discovered key product attributes that the client hadn’t valued before, the client adopted our marketing methodology and rolled it out across its offices, and our team had a lot of fun exploring cities we had never visited.

Interviewer: What have you been involved with outside of client work?

Kei: Recruiting and office events. I enjoy meeting candidates from all over the world and sharing my story with them because it’s energizing to remember all the amazing opportunities I’ve had and it’s fun to help find my future colleagues. I also led planning for Values Day for the Tokyo office last summer. We discussed what we stand for as a professional firm and how we uphold our values, and then shared many laughs while learning to salsa dance.

Interviewer: What advice would you give to others considering joining McKinsey?

Kei: Talk to as many consultants as possible to understand what it is like to be a part of the firm. We spend a lot of time together, challenging and encouraging each other, so see if you feel at home with the people here.

Interviewer: What are you passionate about outside of work?

Kei: I love running. I have done a few marathons, and every time I think “why did I pay to be part of this excruciating activity?” Then, as soon as I cross the finish line, I can’t wait for the next one. Running is therapeutic for me; it helps me relax and feel healthy.