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Ready, (jet)set, go!

– Happy fall, everyone! A year ago, I rejoined McKinsey as a full-time business analyst after graduating from college. I had a great summer experience with the firm in the summer after my junior year and knew that I wanted to be part of the amazing McKinsey community. However, as I left my friends and family to move to Miami, I have to admit that I was nervous about how my time at the firm would pan out.

A full year later, having met hundreds of inspirational colleagues and clients, as well as having travelled to several countries and to over 10 U.S. states for work and training programs (with all the hotel keys to prove it too!), I’m happy to report that I’m a little wiser, more well-travelled and much richer in life experience than when I left Stanford.

Just some of my hotel room keys
Ready, (jet)set, go

When I joined McKinsey, I wanted to leverage the firm’s global network to explore the world and was thus very open to doing projects outside of Miami. I was staffed in Wisconsin for my first client engagement and was bursting with anticipation as I got ready for my first business trip. Moon River kept playing in my head as boarded my flight: “… off to see the world, there’s such a lot of world to see!” After being in the air so much as a consultant, I now cringe at the thought of taking a long (and non-direct) flight anywhere. However, I’m still excited to fly, not because I get to see cool places, but more because I get to meet great people. McKinsey has given me the opportunity to work with people from all around the world, with backgrounds vastly different from my own. Whether it’s presenting at a big “steering committee” meeting with my team in the Netherlands, or problem-solving with a West Coast director who was an Olympic gold medalist, or finding a mentor in a world renowned human rights activist who is now a Dallas-based engagement manager, I’ve been able to learn from and have fun with some of the best and brightest. Everyone I’ve met at McKinsey has their own interesting personality and life experience, but what unites us is the drive to achieve impact for industries and clients we’re passionate about. I’m constantly inspired by my colleagues’ and clients’ courage to take risks, and by their relentless commitment to excellence.

Staying grounded

One of my favorite quotes is from Miriam Adeney, who wrote: “You will never be completely at home again, because part of your heart always will be elsewhere. That is the price you pay for the richness of loving and knowing people in more than one place.” Even though I call many places “home”, Miami holds a special place in my heart and I always make sure to take advantage of my beloved city’s great weather and pristine beaches every time I’m back. From SCUBA diving with friends to playing tennis by the water, unplugging from work in my beautiful South Florida home helps me to stay grounded.

SCUBA diving with a "friend"

The many outstanding colleagues and clients I’ve met during my journey at McKinsey also keep me level-headed. They are the core reason why I’m excited to go to work each day. As I begin my second year here, I’m excited to start this online journal to document all the adventures that are in store and more importantly, remember all the amazing people I’m surrounded with along the way. It’s going to be a fun ride!


About the blogger

Business Analyst


Janelle was born and raised in Singapore. She originally joined McKinsey as a summer business analyst and returned to our Miami office full-time after graduating from Stanford with a degree in human biology. She serves clients around the world in industries such as retail, travel and transportation, healthcare, and energy. A lover of travel and discovery, she was drawn to McKinsey as she recognized the opportunity to combine her passion for adventure with her desire to learn new skills while creating meaningful impact. Janelle loves the outdoors and spends her free time playing tennis and SCUBA diving.