(No) great expectations; awesome results

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 joined McKinsey straight out of university, which may lead you to think this was my childhood dream. It wasn’t.

I studied finance and always thought I would end up working in an investment bank like most of my friends. I thought management consulting was for business or marketing majors, people who gave very insightful advice based on little analytical evidence. In other words, I was very biased and incredibly wrong.

Luckily, I had good friends who convinced me to at least consider the option. The first thing that struck me about McKinsey was the quality of its people. During one of my first interviews, the partner facilitating it dropped his pen and paper 10 minutes in to ask me about my 10-year fencing career. He was more interested in understanding who I was as a person than checking whether I could compute the cube root of 742.


After leaving that interview room, I’d made my decision. The following day, I received the call I’d been pining for, dropped all other offers, and signed on with McKinsey.

From that moment on, the people at McKinsey have never disappointed me. The colleagues who joined with me a year ago are some of my best friends now. This May, I had an accident and was hospitalized. When I woke up from anesthesia in the recovery room, the first thing I remember seeing was a bunch of flowers sent by my team with a note: “we will be waiting for you.” Everyone, from analysts to partners, asked if they could come visit. Everyone called. I realized just how close this family can be.

My best advice is never limit yourself to the things you know. Explore. What you find at along your road might be much better than what you hoped for.

Find a job like Sara’s

Never miss another post

Receive new stories once a week directly in your inbox