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Reflecting on my McKinsey experience

In front of the Cloud Gate sculpture in Chicago (also known as "The Bean")

– Hi readers,

Greetings from chilly Chicago!

Right now we're recruiting our summer associates, and in my role as one of our Midwest Women's Initiative leads, I've been speaking to a lot of our female candidates. The discussions have made me think about why I chose McKinsey, and why I continue to choose McKinsey. Here's my (personal) list of reasons:

Why I chose McKinsey:
—Sustainability Practice: When I applied, McKinsey stood out due to its dedicated Sustainability Practice that had done landmark work on climate change and broader sustainability topics. I wanted to be a part of that.
—One global firm: My impression was that I could transfer internationally much more easily with McKinsey, what with its 'One Firm' model. (And I have indeed transferred, twice—once from São Paulo to London and then from London to Chicago!)

Thankfully, over the years my list of reasons for choosing McKinsey has expanded substantially. Every year I reflect on my pathway and whether McKinsey is the right long-term home for me. And so far, every year, I've decided that it is. Here's why:
—My ability to chart my own path: There are many different types of pathways at McKinsey, and I don't need to conform to a certain mold.
—Learning and professional development: I learn so much here, all the time. About new sectors or technologies, new business challenges, and about how to be a leader. And I've found the firm to be incredibly supportive in facilitating that learning.
—My McKinsey family: Caring is part of the DNA at McKinsey, and I have built up a great global network of friends, mentors, sponsors and mentees. It’s a long list, but to cite a few examples: Shannon, who helped me network in our Sustainability Practice my first year in the firm; Alexandra, a wonderful engagement manager with whom I've worked with many times in many places in the last few years; and Eric, who helped me learn the associate partner role and made my recent cross-continental transfer so much easier.
—One global firm: This continues to be important to me, and I've learned that it means so much more than geographic mobility! It also means collaboration and always bringing the best of the global firm to our clients.

I've been sharing pieces of this with a number of candidates recently, and it occurred to me that it may be helpful to more people if I shared in this blog! I hope it's helpful for you. Till next time.

Best wishes,

About the blogger

Associate Partner


Kimberly’s expertise in environmental science and economic policy has carried her from nonprofit work in South Africa to an associate position in McKinsey’s São Paulo office to a secondment with the Global Commission on the Economy and Climate. Now an associate partner based in our Chicago office, she is a committed member of our cleantech practice, following her passion for renewable energy and addressing climate change. Interested in more on this topic? Follow Kimberly on LinkedIn and Twitter.