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Joining McKinsey as an experienced hire

– Hi everyone! I look forward to sharing my adventures with you. A little about me: I studied finance in university—my program had actually a partnership with CFA Institute. My first job after graduating was with a large brokerage house. I worked in research, preparing internal communications on buy/sell recommendations based on market trends, performance expectations and valuation. In this role, I realized I didn’t have a lot of impact on the market itself, which was something I really desired, so I moved to a new role with Ernst & Young in their advisory department.

My department at EY was headed by a McKinsey alumnus, and I was very impressed by him and how he managed resources. I learned a lot in this position, but after some time I was also intrigued by what I’d learned about McKinsey. I had a development conversation with my manager and he encouraged me to apply to the firm as an experienced professional candidate. After attending an event the Warsaw office hosted for potential applicants, I started the interview process and landed here in June 2014.

Working and travelling in the finance world
At the "Summer Academy" for Europe-based analysts

I knew when I joined McKinsey that I wanted to work in “FIG,” the financial institutions group. So far, I’ve only done one client engagement outside of FIG—all of my other clients have been banks and insurers. I am excited to be creating impact for so many different companies while also learning an incredible amount. I’ve worked on two global transformations—one that involved 10 countries and now one that involves 31 countries.

I love travelling, so this has been an amazing part of my job. Just to name a few countries, I’ve gone to Vietnam, Hungary, Dubai, and Thailand. In addition to the value of learning about other cultures, I find that international work is important because there are contrasting opportunities, priorities, and challenges in different countries, and all of this knowledge helps me “connect the dots” about the capital markets and deliver greater work back in my home country.

Vietnam was a particularly amazing experience for me. I loved the people, who were incredibly friendly and helpful. One of my most memorable experiences was when I arrived in the country at 6:00 a.m. for a 9:00 a.m. meeting, only to learn that the airline had lost my luggage. I was wearing a track suit and sneakers—not exactly business attire! My taxi driver took great care of me, bringing me to the right shopping mall so that I could buy something to wear to my meeting. Everyone I met in Vietnam was polite, worked hard, and didn’t complain.

Women’s recruiting
At our office's Cuban-themed holiday party

I recently started to lead the Warsaw office’s women’s initiative. I am thrilled that we have already increased the percentage of female consultants in the office! We are hosting quarterly “coffee chats” with female candidates so that we can give them personal perspectives on working at McKinsey. My Warsaw colleagues have been very supportive with this effort.

McKinsey as a firm focuses on growth and development, and one of the ways this happens is through skill-building events. In this vein, I’m organizing a one-day event for young women in Poland, focusing on presence and personal impact. This should give potential candidates a taste of what they might experience at McKinsey.

Having fun with my amazing McKinsey colleagues

Finally, I was happy to be entrusted with running our office’s “buddy” program for new hires. This has been valuable for me since I get to know every new consultant in Warsaw. It’s also wonderful to see how well certain pairs of people connect and how the buddy relationship impacts a new joiner’s experience at the firm.

A busy life outside of work

I absolutely love being out in nature and two of my passions are skiing and sailing. I am a level I skiing instructor and looking forward to getting some time on the slopes this winter. I think sailing is a great team building activity, so I try to do this with groups in the summer when possible.

Advertising Europe's "Next Generation Women Leaders" event

Outside of sports, I adore the theater. Last year I attended 30 different performances—mostly in Poland, but several in London and one in Germany as well. I am hoping to take some theater classes when I start my MBA in a year.

Until next time,
Anna

ABOUT THE BLOGGER

Anna
Associate

Anna

Anna joined our Warsaw office as an experienced hire after working in finance for several years. While completing her bachelor’s and master’s degrees—both in finance—from Wrocław University of Economics in Poland, she also completed her CFA program, paving the way for her to work almost exclusively within our financial institutions group. She speaks four languages, which is useful given her love of international travel. Outside of work, you’ll find her skiing, sailing, or attending the theater.