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McKinsey’s Black Network: my firm family

Patrick, a relatively new associate in Chicago, attributes much of his success at McKinsey to the aboveboard support and camaraderie he’s found in McKinsey’s Black Network.

I am a passionate soccer fan, avid traveler, and aspiring chef – my mouth wishes I was better at it. I have long been interested in transportation, especially aviation, capital projects, and infrastructure. An aeronautical engineer by training and a wannabe pilot, I worked for six years planning and developing airports in the US, Asia, and the Middle East before going to Harvard Business School and joining McKinsey.

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With rapid urbanization, infrastructure is increasingly a priority for governments and private companies in many countries. I believe McKinsey is and will increasingly be at the heart of critical infrastructure investment decisions and I want to be involved in this growing sector.

It, however, has been my colleagues who have made my first several months at McKinsey so enjoyable. The camaraderie in my team rooms, the sense of community in my office, and the availability of leaders has been so inspiring. I have also gotten more involved with McKinsey’s Black Network. I initially connected with this community through my mentor Kevin when I interned the summer before I joined full-time. Kevin was instrumental in my early success, and remains a close friend and advisor. He gave me clear directions on what to do Day 1, and has helped me navigate some of the feedback I’ve received along the way, giving me pointers on how to be even more effective in future projects.

The Black Network has become a family to me. I can share anything with this group of colleagues. We celebrate each other’s successes and support each other through tougher moments. It has provided me with a place to ask tough questions and get real answers that have helped me to navigate the firm and succeed.