Back to McKinsey Women Blog

Moving from Australia to the US and joining McKinsey

– Hi everyone!

I'm excited to be joining my fellow colleagues as a blogger on this site. While I don't claim to possess any form of genius literary skills, I hope that these little snippets can provide an honest, different, and hopefully entertaining perspective into my life at McKinsey.

My path to McKinsey was fairly non-traditional. I was born and bred in Australia and started my consulting career there after completing my undergraduate degree. I transferred from Australia to my prior employer’s New York office in January 2014. I know, what a weird time to move from an Australian summer to a polar vortex – I probably didn't think that one through properly! I then joined McKinsey as an “experienced professional” (EP) in October 2014. I was hired directly into the purchasing and supply chain management service line of our Operations practice. My one-year anniversary with McKinsey is coming up. I've had an incredible year and I'm excited about what's in store for the next one.

I've been drawn towards the operations world ever since I started working. There is something really tangible and humbling about spending time at the coalface of the business, getting to know operational employees on the shop floor, improving cultures and processes, and transforming work into visible results. Operations is also incredibly broad and provides never-ending opportunities to learn! I'll talk more about ops at McKinsey in a later post, but for now here are a few updates about my latest activities.

The food life

In Australia the bulk of my clients were in the asset-intensive industries (mining, oil & gas, power & utilities). While their sheer scale of operations makes for super interesting and high impact projects (and it is fun to dress in high visibility shirts and steel cap boots!), I was keen to diversify my experience when I moved to the U.S. I’m currently working with a food client in the consumer space, and we're breaking new ground and delivering tremendous impact on a topic that is really new to them. There are two BAs plus our EM rounding out the team and we get along like a house on fire! After my vacation, I'll have two more weeks on this 11 week client engagement, after which I’ll seek another project in the consumer or logistics areas.

Campus craziness

My recruitment experience when I joined McKinsey was fantastic: there is so much investment in candidate development and I always felt hugely supported throughout every stage of the interview process. I definitely want other candidates to have this same experience, so I'm enthusiastically involved in recruiting both campus and experienced candidates for our Operations practice. Campus recruiting is in full swing now, and I'm really looking forward to interviewing candidates for the first time this season!

My American bucket list
New Orleans eats: St Roch Market freshly shucked local LA oysters and Philay’s Catfish seafood platter

As for the home front, I've written this first blog post from 10,000 feet in the air, but this time for pleasure and not business. My cousin has come over from Australia and we've ticked an "American roadtrip" off our bucket list, having just spent a week traveling from New Orleans, LA to Austin, TX. I've been fascinated by how unique the cultures are between different cities, coupled with the spoils of delicious local cuisine. But I think I'm going to need a break from Cajun fried food and Texan BBQ – see my pictures for evidence of the over-eating!

Texas eats: Salt Lick’s famous BBQ pit

Next week my sister is joining us back in NYC and we'll explore the city together. It's going to be so much fun and I'm really just enjoying this time I'm able to spend in person with family, a rarity given how far away home is!

Look forward to sharing some more news with you in my next post!



About the blogger

Engagement Manager


Originally from Australia, Denise joined our Stamford office in the fall of 2014 as an experienced hire, and transferred to the Seattle office in the fall of 2016. She's served a wide range of clients in her consulting career and is now focused on food companies in the consumer, retail, and logistics industries. Denise holds degrees in commerce and economics from the University of Queensland. She has lots of personal interests, including cooking, restaurant-exploring, anything outdoors, playing the saxophone, keeping up with the latest on entrepreneurship and gender issues, and exploring her new home country with family and friends.