Why did you apply to McKinsey ? Can you describe your recruiting process?
I never considered working at McKinsey until the Colombo office opened. I heard many positive things about McKinsey and the firm’s commitment to its people, and was interested consulting, but was not willing to leave my family, friends and home in Sri Lanka. When McKinsey opened a new location in my country, joining the firm became more realistic.
The interview process itself was quite challenging because the format was more rigorous and different from what I was familiar with. I was surprised to find the level of preparation needed to perform well in both the case interviews and the PEI. The case studies were a great window into the tough problems McKinsey helps clients solve. The questions and conversations throughout the process showed me the qualities needed to succeed at the firm and helped me see how well I would fit. What really impacted me was the level of support I received at every step of the process. Leading up to the interview, my recruiter referred me to a series of workshops and training sessions that helped me set myself up very well. During the actual interviews, my interviewers made me feel very supported. Everyone I met was extremely smart and established in their careers and still helpful and caring – they provided in-depth advice on what career paths and life at the firm was like, and how to improve on my performance for the next round of interviews. It was an unexpected but pleasant surprise to receive so much support before I even joined.
What has been your experience as a consulting analyst?
In this role, I have worked with some of the biggest companies in South Asia on topics such as retail, consumer foods and advanced analytics. The fast-paced nature of the work gives me the excitement I always wanted in a career and opportunities to explore and try different things to figure out how I want to grow.
Along the way, I’ve teamed with some of the brightest and most experienced experts across industries and sectors. These supportive team members and mentors helped me realize I have the autonomy and trust to perform to and exceed my own expectations. I discovered endless formal and informal learning courses at McKinsey—my favorite so far is the two-week training program for new joiners. I got to meet and connect with a group of extremely diverse colleagues across Southeast Asia .
Describe your most exciting project so far?
I served a company whose products I grew up loving, and worked with the client to leverage data science for decision making. We worked with the client to build and apply data science models across an array of use cases, allowing them to make more informed decisions on how they made and sold their products, while also improving their bottom line. It was a truly surreal experience to advise a company I knew growing up, and to work closely with them to witness the power of advanced analytics.
Advice for people considering McKinsey as a consulting analyst.
Do your research. Regardless of whether you’re trying to figure out if McKinsey is the right place for you or if you’ve already applied and preparing for your first interview, the McKinsey careers site provides a lot of helpful information on the career paths and what to expect during interviews. Think about how much solving tough problems excites you—that’s what McKinsey consultants do every day.
Pamokya is a graduate of the University of London, with a degree in economics and finance. Before joining McKinsey as a consulting analyst, he worked for three years in private equity research. Prior to this, Pamokya was a sports journalist. Outside of work, he enjoys real and e-sports and reading fiction books that are at least 1,000 pages long.