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McKinsey Q&A: Olga

– Meet Olga, a senior consultant with McKinsey Implementation, based in London. Olga holds a master’s degree in mechanical engineering from Moscow State University of Chemical Machinery and an MBA in operations strategy from Warwick Business School. She spent most of her career in the oil and gas industry, working in operations and business development roles for leading companies including Schlumberger, Mitsubishi, and Wood Group. She found McKinsey Implementation through a head hunter who helped her apply a little more than a year ago.


Interviewer: What is the best thing about McKinsey Implementation?

Olga: The amazing people and the freedom we have to make McKinsey our own. I love the variety; no two days have been the same for me. My work has been challenging and rewarding. As an implementation consultant, I bring a pragmatic approach to addressing the challenge at hand – which could be anything from diagnosing a problem to designing an implementation program.

Interviewer: Tell us about your most exciting engagement at the firm.

Olga: To date, it’s been helping a major bank complete a diagnostic of its quality department. I had never worked outside the oil and gas industry and I was worried about whether I could complete the task in the week I was given to do it. I was able to meet the goals and deliver the assessment on time, which felt amazing.

Interviewer: What is your favorite time during an engagement?

Olga: The first one to two weeks, when I am learning about the industry and the client’s situation, building my initial hypotheses, gathering data, and brainstorming possible improvements or solutions to the problems at hand. During this time, I’m continually pushed beyond my comfort zone with an ultimately rewarding sense of achievement at the end.

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

Olga: I’ve developed several knowledge documents that capture research I’ve done and things I’ve learned from my client work. For one project, I brought together a team of four fellow consultants to research an area of my long-time interest. We are now at the final stage of consolidating our insights. I’m also actively involved in women’s recruitment for EMEA Implementation.

Interviewer: What are you passionate about outside of work?

Olga: My family – my husband, Max, and our two sons, Silanty (10) and Luka (5). We love sailing and diving and do a lot of reading together. I also own an art gallery, which has been an exciting experience for me so far. And, in my free time, I run career and motivation workshops for women who are returning to work after taking a long break.