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Mentored to make a difference

Snezhana, an associate partner in New York, came to the firm to make a difference. She has – as she’s carved a path here, thanks to the support of her mentors.

I’m an associate partner in our New York office and a member of our Strategy and Corporate Finance practice. I first joined McKinsey as a business analyst after I finished my undergraduate degree at Harvard. As an undergraduate student, I interned with large banks, but I ultimately chose McKinsey for the flexibility and mentorship I knew I would receive here. I eventually went on to earn my joint MBA–MPA/ID from Harvard’s business school and Kennedy School of Government. During my joint degree, I interned with the International Finance Corporation and the Bulgarian Ministry of Finance, but I came home to the firm after graduation. I returned for the mentorship, people, and opportunities to work on interesting, high–impact problems in a fast–pace setting.

Recently, one of my client service teams organized a series of workshops to help reshape a company’s long–term operating model. We ran in–depth interviews with the leaders of the company, synthesized common themes, and brought in outside perspectives to inform the critical decisions they were facing. It felt great to see our work enable decisions that will improve the performance trajectory of the company.

Throughout my journey at McKinsey, I’ve had a lot of support from the firm as I’ve shaped my path. As a business analyst, I transferred to the Swiss office for a year; the firm’s culture was quite consistent between offices and my skill set was completely transferrable. More recently, I transitioned back after maternity leave. I didn’t miss a beat. My professional development manager was very helpful in meeting my needs, pairing me with more local teams and serving as a sounding board so the transition went as smoothly as possible.

Moreover, my mentors have continually set me up for success. One of them is a role model in every respect, including how he makes every day fun. I consistently seek out projects to work with him, since I know he’ll bring a healthy attitude, focus on the most important problems, and help us manage our time wisely. He cares about his team members’ development and has repeatedly stepped in to create opportunities that I might not have had the confidence to ask for early on–and then coached me to handle them with skill and grace.

I’m definitely enjoying my experience at McKinsey and am excited about the possibilities in front of me to continue to make a difference, grow and develop, and help others do the same.