Exploring in Calgary

I was drawn to management consulting because I didn’t want to settle down in one industry, function or geography. In my previous life, I worked in oil & gas and supported one specific asset at a time. In my role with McKinsey, I have already worked for different companies, in multiple locations across multiple business units – and I’ve only been here three months.

Paisley inline
Paisley inline

During my first engagement, I supported a client that was aiming to improve the health of its organization. The concept of Organizational Health (OH) was new to me; I learned that performance is what a company chooses to do, while OH is how the company chooses to do it. My team, which was comprised of my engagement manager and I, worked on many initiatives; the biggest was developing a Health Ambassador program to train and develop key individuals across client sites. We also set up job grades to motivate and inspire the employees not selected for the program. This engagement was exciting and challenging because it required me to work across functional business units (just like I was hoping to do!) and collaborate with individuals from multiple parts and locations within the company. I loved helping my clients develop new skills and watching them grow.

One of my favorite things about McKinsey is how well its culture promotes mentorship. When I joined, I was formally assigned two mentors. The first provides coaching and guidance, mostly around staffing processes, to ensure I’m developing the skills I need as a business analyst. The second answers my questions about navigating the firm, connecting with people in certain industries or functions, and learning new things. She’s a wonderful sounding board when I’m stressed or concerned about something. For example, early in my first study, my mentor walked me through what I was expected to do and taught me how to leverage the firm’s many support resources including graphics, travel, the knowledge database, and our subject-matter experts.

My office – in Calgary, Canada – is also special to me. We’re only 30-minutes from the heart of the mountains. I love going up there to unwind; it makes the city feel a world away. Many of my colleagues love to join in summer Kananaskis hikes, mountain biking in Bragg Creek, and winter skiing.

If you’re considering consulting and McKinsey, I encourage you to talk to as many people as you can about the challenges and opportunities you will face. They will help bring some of the facts on our careers website to life. Also, if you’re interested in traveling, get your Nexus card and sign up for every frequent flyer card before you start!

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