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No average day at McKinsey

Niharika is a London-based experience designer. Read how the pursuit of challenging and meaningful design work brought her to McKinsey.

I have been at McKinsey since November 2016 and I don’t think I have yet experienced a typical day. I am a designer by profession, and prior to McKinsey, I was use to serving clients as a consultant and being a member of design agencies.

Seeking growth and challenge

I came to McKinsey because I believe business consultation in particular is one of the new areas in which design is growing and thriving. Also, I had heard some of the most brilliant minds in the world today work at McKinsey. I’ve found both of these things to be true.

My “typical” day could start anywhere in the world and that is one of the most exciting things to me. I get the opportunity to challenge and evolve my practice across cultures and geographies. Regardless of my location, I am a morning person, so I get to work as quickly as I can every morning. After my tea and cereal, I make my list of things to do and check my meeting schedule for the day.

Niherika Inline
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Problem solving via design

My role as a design director is to embed design as a strategic problem-solving tool in all the client projects we do. The real value of being part of McKinsey is that we can define the strategy, build and implement our recommendations. Design is the glue that holds the business and technical solutions together; it shapes the strategy and defines how the recommendations are implemented.

I work closely with designers, consultants, solution architects, front–end developers and product owners. I connect with my team at the start of each day. We have a daily huddle to define what we are doing, recap the accomplishments from the day before and resolve any blockers. Throughout the day, I make sure we are all exchanging ideas and brainstorming. We go through a lot of Post–its, pens and wall space.

Meaning and recharging

We often have clients embedded in our teams and we work with them throughout the process. At the end of each week, we share our progress with key client stakeholders. That’s always exciting because they seldom expect McKinsey to produce work that (a) isn’t in PowerPoint and (b) brings solutions to life in unexpected ways.

In the evening, my team wraps up their work and does a final check-in. Work-life balance is essential, and I am mindful that everyone on the team gets to work per their priorities and preferences as much as possible. Personally, I love to recharge during spinning class, while cooking, or with a paint brush and open canvas.

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About Niharika

Niharika is an experience design based in London. Her experience includes user experience (UX) design and prototyping, 3D modeling, agile methodology, motion graphics, and zero-based design. Prior to McKinsey, she worked as a design lead with Boots, Barclays, SapientNitro, and Nokia, among others. Niharika holds a bachelor's in communication design from the Srishti School of Art, Design & Technology in Bangalore; and a master's from the University of Arts London.

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