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McKinsey Q&A: Shelly

Meet Shelly, a data scientist with our Public & Social Sector Analytics by McKinsey startup. She joined McKinsey as an experienced marketing analytics professional.

Meet Shelly, a data scientist with Public Sector & Social Analytics by McKinsey, one of our firm's 50+ New Ventures startups. Based in Waltham, Mass., Shelly joined McKinsey as an experienced marketing analytics professional. She loves the diversity of people the firm brings together to tackle some of the most interesting and meaningful challenges facing the world today.


Interviewer: Why did you apply to McKinsey?

Shelly: I wanted to develop my skills as a consultant and an advanced analytics practitioner and have impact. The adage ‘make your own McKinsey’ is really true and there are a wealth of talented people here who are always willing to share their experiences and give me sound advice.

Interviewer: Why did you join as a data scientist specifically?

Shelly: Analytics is my passion and there’s no better place to embrace your passions than McKinsey. Analytics is applied across sectors, industries, and functions in almost 90% of our client engagements to help answer tough questions in new ways, with new insights. I wanted to be part of it.

Interviewer: What keeps you here?

Shelly: The freedom I’m given to think big and bold. Yes, I apply tried and true analytic methods and I’m also encouraged to tap into cutting-edge techniques and embrace my nerdier side. We partner with universities and leading analytics practitioners to always bring the best to our clients. All of this means I learn something new almost every day, and I have a ton of fun doing it.

Interviewer: Tell us about your most memorable engagement?

Shelly: I was part of a team helping a government agency improve operations in its jails. One of my responsibilities was to estimate the size of a sub-population of inmates to guide capacity decisions. Defining the parameters and assumptions for the simulation and pulling together the data required in a short period of time meant we collaborated very closely with our clients. I formed close friendships with my colleagues and clients, and presenting our results to the clients’ leadership was inspiring.

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

Shelly: McKinsey is completely what you make it. You will be challenged here – which is a good thing – and the support system is incredible. Make the most of your experience, don’t be afraid to ask for help, and don’t forget to have fun along the way.

Interviewer: What are you passionate about outside of work?

Shelly: I love traveling. This year I will visit at least five different countries while on vacation. My second home is on a plane, and I fully embrace that lifestyle inside and outside of work.

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About Shelly

Based in Waltham, Mass., Shelly is a data scientist with Public Sector & Social Analytics by McKinsey, one of our firm's 50+ New Ventures startups. Prior to McKinsey, she was a data scientist with a marketing analytics firm, and a marketing research consultant. She holds a bachelor's and master's in operations research and information engineering from Cornell University.

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