McKinsey lets me marry challenging, high–impact work with my love for working on short-term projects in a variety of industries. I’m still picking my “major,” if you will. In school, I held a variety of internships in industries from pharma to ship manufacturing and data storage. I still don’t know what industry I’d like to settle in, and at McKinsey I can explore.
I find the greatest satisfaction in projects that both deliver value and help people. For example, I’m very proud of the impact our team made on a recent pharmaceutical project. Our goal was to build a model to help a pharmaceutical company improve communications about a cancer medicine to doctors using a data science–driven approach.
Because of the nature of the pharmaceutical industry, we were working with a limited amount of data, but my team collaborated to solve complex mathematical problems. This project was not only extremely challenging, it was fulfilling, because the result delivered life–saving medicine to cancer patients.
From mentee to mentor
The value McKinsey places on continuous learning is unrivaled. Through McKinsey’s sponsored learning programs, I’ve learned about my working style, how to collaborate with others and how to navigate to reach my goals. McKinsey’s immersive learning courses have taught me how to shape my life according to my values, to find work that meets those values and makes me happy and successful.
I’m very lucky to have found McKinsey at the start of my career and to work with people who have become mentors and close friends. From the start, my mentors guided me through professional and personal issues and helped me progress at the firm.
I realized quickly that I wanted to do the same for junior colleagues. I did my best to mentor three people in my last engagement, all of whom I brought onto my next project. The friends I’ve made at McKinsey are friends for life. I spend time with colleagues surfing and running on the weekends and even ran a half marathon in San Francisco with a colleague.
Advice for candidates
Projects move quickly at McKinsey. Prepare to not only keep up with the latest technologies and programming languages, but to learn non–traditional tech skills and understand the business side of data science projects. If you want to use data science to create high–impact work, McKinsey is the place for you.
The firm’s programs and benefits for significant others are also a huge bonus. I’ve been participated in amazing non–work–related programs through the firm and have been able to travel the world with my wife.
Zamir is a data scientist based in Chicago. Originally from Kyrgyzstan, Zamir earned his bachelor’s in chemical engineering from Middle East Technical University in Turkey and his master’s in statistics and Ph.D. in chemical engineering at the University of California Davis.
For more information on McKinsey’s data science career paths, visit mckinsey.com/TechCareers.