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A learning program in Singapore

I spent this week in Sentosa, Singapore at a learning program with over 30 McKinsey colleagues from across the world.

Anna joined the firm as a senior business analyst with McKinsey Energy Insights. She works with our Performance Improvement team and is based out of Manila office. Before joining McKinsey, Anna worked as a drilling engineer in a multinational oil and gas company and obtained her MBA in Singapore. She loves coffee and dancing and is currently trying very hard to keep her sugar habit in check.

Hi everyone,

I spent this week in Sentosa, Singapore at a learning program with over 30 McKinsey colleagues from across the world.

It was truly a diverse group—there were participants from Tokyo, Seoul, Gurgaon, Houston, London, Sydney, Prague, and more. The five-day session covered core McKinsey skills such as problem solving and structuring, and also other skills including communication, conflict resolution, coaching and personal values.

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"Phone jail"!

A cool concept I saw in practice during this program is the “phone jail”—the facilitators had us deposit our phones on a labelled board every morning (and as you can see in the photo, it’s pretty easy to see who hasn’t done so!) so that we could focus on the discussion and the conversation. It’s fairly therapeutic to not have the phone for eight hours a day—you’d be surprised at how focused you are—and how much you remember—when you don’t have the distractions of the phone beside you.

The evenings were always fun—I included a shot of us eating Singapore chili crab at the Red House in Clark Quay! We’re wearing aprons to prevent the chili crab sauce and other curries splashing on our clothes—most crab restaurants in Singapore provide them. On another night, we did karaoke, and it was an absolute joy to pull in our shy colleagues to go onstage and belt out Bohemian Rhapsody.

Altogether it was a pleasure to meet colleagues from around the world and swap stories with them, and to sit down and reflect on my McKinsey experience. Certainly our experiences differ across the different offices and continents, and the session was a good time to self-assess on where I wanted to go from this point onwards.

It’s amazing and comforting to know that there’s a big group out there you can call on in over ten cities across the globe. I look forward to seeing them further, whether on McKinsey work or just as friends who’ve had a great time in Singapore together one September in 2018.