Always follow your own goals

Join our International Recruiting Reception, March 14th in Paris. If you are currently studying at a French university and interested in learning more about McKinsey and the work we do outside of France, please join us for this reception. Meet McKinsey colleagues from all over the world and learn more about our guest speakers.

I’ve wanted to join McKinsey since I heard about it during high school. I still remember one of my friends sharing her sister’s advice to go to Ecole de Commerce in France, then consult for McKinsey. She described the job: travelling, solving challenging problems, working with different teams on different topics every few months… it sounded too good to be true! I thought this would be the greatest job in the world.

I followed her advice. I went to Ecole de Commerce, but during my four years there, I was told I had very low chances of getting into consulting. I was encouraged to be more realistic and focus more on finance. I went for a degree in market finance and I loved it until I tried it in real life. After my first internship in the front office, I quickly realized it was not for me. I could not wait for that job to end.

I applied for consulting in Casablanca and Dubai because I wanted to help clients in emerging markets and work in regions to which I felt connected. When I went for my interview in Casablanca I loved the people so much. They were (and are) smart, humble, challenging and funny. I received my offer the day I interviewed, and I said yes immediately. I’ve never made a decision that quickly.


Life at McKinsey is as I imagined in high school. I work on cool projects with the best people. One of the experiences that marked me most was a strategy piece for an NGO in Africa. The NGO takes care of natural reserves and protects animals across the continent. It was perfect. My team was extraordinary; smart people with extremely interesting backgrounds and stories. Our clients were passionate about their work and appreciative of our efforts. The work we did was challenging and impactful. And, we got to visit two natural reserves in Malawi and Rwanda.

I’m so glad I revisited my dream and applied for McKinsey, regardless of what my college advisors recommended. I couldn’t be happier and I can’t wait to see what’s next.

Find a job like Salma

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