A year into McKinsey, I am writing from the unlikeliest of places. Six months ago I was in chilly, beautiful Edinburgh. Today, I am in sunny Borneo, sharing its stunning views with the team and our client of the last six weeks.
I wouldn’t say that this was the easiest six weeks of my year in McKinsey—on the contrary, there was a fair bit of sleepless nights (okay, there were a lot of sleepless nights) and I averaged about fifteen cups of coffee a week. I’d like to introduce you to my team for the last month and a half who’ve made the experience an amazing one (photo on right).
We are a fairly diverse group: a Singaporean, Indonesian, Malaysian, Filipino and two Italians (Antonio, we missed you in the photo!) who’ve come together for this project. It’s been a great six weeks working with this group—we’ve spent a lot of time laughing, eating and crunching numbers and slides. We even attempted a sports day with the client, which ended with us huffing and puffing and conceding that our PowerPoint skills may be better than our cardio.
I am grateful for plenty, but two things stand out: first, self-confidence in my own abilities; and second, the relationship with our client that goes beyond the project. A year in, I am thankful for the people who have pushed me and helped craft opportunities to allow me to grow—and to the friendships I’ve made, which will outlast the project.
Over the last weekend of the project, Sherman flew over to see me and explore Borneo together. While I would like to pretend that we enjoyed hiking the rainforest, all of our friends would know that I’m lying—neither of us are particularly outdoorsy, and we’re certainly not motivated to start hiking in the tropics where we both grew up. He and I instead spent the day exploring the local food scene, singing karaoke with friends and listening to local acoustic bands in the cafes (we also ate four slices of cake within a sixteen hour period). We are both taken in by the charm of the island, and promise to come back once we’ve burned off the calories we’ve put on.
I’m taking the next couple of weeks off for the holidays (and supposedly burning those cake calories)—but I can’t wait for 2019 and what lies ahead!