Emerging Scholars – Michael, Columbia Business School

I’m Michael, a second-year student at Columbia Business School. I started my JD/MBA right after resigning my active commission with the U.S. Marine Corps. Coming from the military, I had little knowledge of what my career options would be after business school. The Emerging Scholars program seemed like a great opportunity to learn more about consulting and McKinsey, including the interview process and lifestyle, before starting school and the active internship recruiting season.

The program has been hugely beneficial. The best part has definitely been my mentor, Brian, an engagement manager in the New York office. The recruiting team did a terrific of job matching me with someone with a similar background and who faced comparable challenges going through the recruiting process. My mentor has guided me through the summer internship application process, helped me practice cases for my interviews, and been my biggest fan along the way. When he called to congratulate me on my offer to intern with McKinsey this summer, I felt it was a joint accomplishment. We have built a great relationship.

Another highlight of the Emerging Scholars program was meeting the other scholars in Chicago for a fun weekend. We took cooking lessons from a Top Chef winner at the Little Goat Diner. It was a great opportunity to try something new and informally meet my peers. Everyone had such eclectic backgrounds and interesting experiences to share. Since the event, we have stayed connected and supported each other throughout our first year of school and recruiting.

The Emerging Scholars program has shown me that consulting fits my career goals and that McKinsey will be a great place for me. I am excited about the sheer breadth of McKinsey’s work and the opportunities to switch from things like managing a turnaround for a Midwestern manufacturer one week to helping a pharmaceutical company streamline its marketing communications the next.

Outside of work and school, I spend as much time as possible with my family. I have been married for seven years, and my wife and I have a beautiful one year old daughter. Every weekend we hop on a train and explore the neighborhoods in and around New York City. I love music and food. Naturally, my favorite apps are Pandora and Seamless; Pandora allows me to find new songs while I’m at the gym or walking to class, and Seamless helps me discover great food options in the city.

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