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Friends for life

Curiosity brought Yohannes around the world.

August 2015. I was a year away from graduation and considering what I wanted to do next. Coming into my degree I assumed I would continue working in family–owned businesses but halfway through, I decided to test my mettle in the corporate world. I wanted to find a place to grow and do interesting work without tying me down to a specific sector.

I first came across McKinsey when a friend from the UK mentioned it might be worth a look, given they had an Addis office. A few clicks later I discovered that in 1970 McKinsey devised a system for assigning unique codes to every product sold in the United States, the Universal Product Code or as it’s more commonly known, the barcode. A few LinkedIn conversations later I was sold. In September 2016, after the recruiting process, I joined McKinsey.

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In three years, I have grown in ways I would not have thought possible. My entire view of the world and my place in it has shifted. Thanks to McKinsey I now truly believe there is no limit to human endeavour if goals are combined with teamwork and perseverance. In my time at McKinsey I have had the privilege of working across sectors covering everything from public finance to organizational health and, not including Ethiopia, I have visited four African countries (only another 49 left to go!).

Of all the things I treasure about McKinsey, it’s the people I work with that mean the most to me. From day one, I met colleagues who have challenged and inspired me. From the partner who made sure I never let self–doubt get in the way of trying new challenges to the analyst who revolutionised the way I take notes (thanks Claire!), my co–workers continuously push me to become the absolute best version of myself. Even more significant than this is that the friends I have made here are friends I know will stay with me for life.

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