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My most challenging project at McKinsey

So much has happened since I last blogged—it is 2018, the movie Black Panther changed many lives...
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Amandla originally joined the firm as a summer business analyst in Minneapolis. She spent her third BA year in Lagos before departing to earn her MBA/MPA at Harvard University. In early 2017 she returned home and re-joined us in our Nairobi office, where she works on public sector transformations in taxes and agriculture (and sometimes moonlights in retail banking).

Hi all!

So much has happened since I last blogged—it is 2018, the movie Black Panther changed many lives (did you catch Lupita Nyong’o’s shout out to Nairobi in the movie??), I’ve officially been an engagement manager for over eight months now, it is almost summer in the northern hemisphere, and we are heading into winter here in the southern hemisphere…

I have emerged from the depths of a five-month agriculture sector transformation for the government of one of my all-time favourite African countries (not an easy one to guess, as I have many favourites). This was the most difficult project of my time at McKinsey so far—agriculture is one complex sector (commodity value chains, market value chains / supply chains, dynamics of small vs. large scale commercial farmers….). The hours were brutal. We engaged over 500+ government stakeholders and 150+ private sector, university and producer organisations, and synthesized over 700+ reports…all to make sure we delivered the most impact for the government.

At one point I was managing a team of seven analysts and associates (‘typical’ McKinsey studies are two to three people), but we survived. I am so very proud of the work that we did, the incredible growth I saw in my team, and the impact I hope we can continue to be part of delivering. I need to give a shout out to my sister, who was a total rock for me during this engagement—she would put my phone on sleep mode undercover, she would pack me delicious healthy lunches, she forgave me for sleeping through her raucous birthday party celebration in the apartment we share…she is an MVP—and you can spot her in the red blazer in the photo below. This photo was taken at the beautiful home of Omid, the partner on this project, at a BBQ near the end of the project. Omid is the bald guy.

In my next post I’ll share how I celebrated the end of this challenging engagement!

Amandla