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McKinsey Q&A: Sarah

– Meet Sarah, a junior associate in our London office who found McKinsey by way of our UK Insight program. If you’re a PhD student, post-doc or Rhodes, Marshall or Gates Scholar in the UK, Ireland, Benelux countries or Switzerland (like Sarah was), please apply by 12 Feb 2017 for this 3-day opportunity to learn problem-solving techniques, experience life as a consultant, and enjoy getting to know your peers and our colleagues.


Interviewer: What were your interests before you came to McKinsey?

Sarah: I spent five years avoiding a physics lab by cycling, running, sleeping or eating cake as much as possible, then briefly became a secondary school science teacher.

Interviewer: What attracted you to McKinsey?

Sarah: I’ve never known what I wanted to do or be when I grew up (and I still don’t). Consulting was not on my list – I had barely heard of it or McKinsey. Then, I saw an email about the Insight programme and a free trip to Austria seemed like a great way to start my job search. I really enjoyed the programme and discovered that being a McKinsey consultant would give me everything I wanted from a job – short projects, opportunities to study and fix complicated problems, exceptional teammates from whom I could learn, and, most of all, the ability to make change happen.

Interviewer: What have you enjoyed most during your time here?

Sarah: The work is really interesting, I’m learning all the time, the people are very friendly and supportive, and I’ve received a lot of responsibility right away. The problem solving process is similar to scientific research – on a very compressed timetable. Previously, I’d spend weeks working on an idea or topic; now I spend hours – so I’m definitely never bored. And I’ve already worked abroad – I always wanted to work in New York and finally my dream came true.