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McKinsey Q&A: Michael

We are delighted to welcome Michael to our San Francisco location as a McKinsey Implementation coach.

We are delighted to welcome Michael to our San Francisco location as a McKinsey Implementation coach. He is a Bay Area native who has been gone for the last decade and is excited to return. Michael majored in economics and French at Vanderbilt University and competed in the SEC cross country and track championships all four years. He also co-founded a non-profit to provide mentorship and financial aid to under-resourced high school students. He taught English in Zanzibar, then pursued his master’s in finance at Washington University on a partial scholarship from the NCAA Southeastern Conference. Next, he worked for five years with the FBI, writing multi-million-dollar IT contracts and serving as an internal consultant to top executives in intelligence, legal, finance, laboratory science, and operational technology.

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Interviewer: Why did you apply to McKinsey?

Michael: I love driving organizational change and having direct impact on an organization. McKinsey enables me to be a part of major moments in our clients’ histories and quantifiably affect their outcomes. The firm’s impressive resources and knowledge base allows me to bring the best of our partnership and of myself to each client.

Interviewer: Why did you join McKinsey Implementation (MI) specifically?

Michael: I find implementing great ideas is the most rewarding part of any project. Putting theory into practice is always challenging. Helping clients execute strategic plans in a way that realizes the full potential of those changes is my full-time job with MI.

Interviewer: What keeps you here?

Michael: The people and the challenging work. I can’t imagine another place where a PhD in particle astrophysics can sit down with a former professional athlete and a plastic surgeon to discuss the financial implications of a manufacturing process change. It happens here every day and it’s absolutely incredible. Working with such amazing people to tackle tough problems keeps me on my toes more than any other role I’ve held.

Interviewer: What has been your most fun engagement at the firm?

Michael: My first engagement team was tasked with identifying and executing $80M in savings opportunities while maintaining the quality of care for a major healthcare provider. To achieve these goals, we had to build financial models, benchmark industry best practices, prepare executive communications, and provide supply chain and procurement expertise. Changing hats from data analyst to meeting facilitator and client coach required my constant focus and provided a refreshing amount of diverse responsibilities.

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

Michael: Find your niche. Whatever interests you, you will likely be able to find a way to pursue that passion at McKinsey. The firm is involved in an array of functions, industries, and locations; there really is something for everyone.

Interviewer: What are you passionate about outside of work?

Michael: I love running, playing guitar, being outdoors, and studying wine. An overall mix of physical activity, music, fresh air, and new knowledge refreshes me.