A five-star summer

I have always thought McKinsey was the best place to explore my passions. When I was in business school at Kellogg, consulting was my top post-MBA career choice because the work I had done previously in strategy was really engaging and enjoyable. I joined McKinsey as a summer associate in Hong Kong to further explore the field. During my internship, I was exposed to different industries, geographies, and cultures. This variety was important to me because it is difficult to know for sure what I enjoy most unless I get my hands dirty doing it. Now that I’m back at the firm full-time, I’m excited to continue exploring and I have a few ideas in mind, such as our work in climate change and environmental stability.

Spencer L inline
Spencer L inline

As a summer associate, I got to do meaningful work from the beginning. For example, one of my engagements was to help a client build their organizational capabilities and launch their products across Asia. My role was to identify the key activities for a successful launch in each country, highlight the dependencies among activities, identify the resources required, and develop an overall timeline that noted the actions for which each functional team was responsible.

Another business analyst and I quickly realized the key challenge would be to get sufficient resources to carry out the plan. Launching new products would create a lot of stress on the client’s existing support units. We reached out to every functional head to explain the overall timeline, highlight key periods with resource challenges, and discuss the function’s resourcing needs. It was a satisfying process because I was able to help relieve the functional heads’ anticipated resource strains and build good relationships with the client team. By the time I completed my internship, the client had adopted our proposed timeline and started to execute our plans.

Along the way, my teammates were very willing to help me get up to speed. My fellow business analysts in particular were some of the best and the brightest people I have ever met, and they were always willing to help me think through situations, options and analyses. My broader group of peers within the Greater China office, my professional development manager (who helped me find the best opportunities for me during the summer), and my development group leader (my senior mentor, assigned by the firm) were also terrific resources and supporters. They were always willing to share guidance when I needed them.

Outside of McKinsey, I continued to make time for my hobbies. During business school, I visited San Pedro de Atacama in Chile to stargaze. I will never forget the way seeing the Milky Way and a million stars made me feel. I’m excited to do more traveling to premier stargazing locations to unwind and relax between engagements and I’d like to try my hand at astrophotography in the future.

The adage is true: you can ‘Make Your Own McKinsey.’ You can explore and create your own path even if it’s something no one has done before. If you’re an MBA student studying in the U.S., I encourage you to join my colleagues from throughout Asia-Pacific for a networking reception this November. Apply today to join the reception nearest you: 

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