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Wrapping up my fellowship with MGI

– Hi everyone!

As I mentioned in my last blog post, I had the opportunity to spend most of 2017 on a rotation with the McKinsey Global Institute, which is our firm’s “think tank” for business and economics research. MGI teams aim to develop reports to drive the thinking of private and public-sector leaders on some of the biggest issues in the world today. To do so, we do in-depth research and analysis of topics like the future of work in the digital age, the economic effects of migration, and the impact of global connections on our economy.

It’s been a great year, and one with a lot of learning for me. Since my last post, I’ve had the chance to work with a team of great European colleagues on a report considering what Germany can do to more effectively harness the potential of new digital and automation technologies, and on a paper proposing pathways for Europe to strengthen public trust in its economy and institutions.

To develop these reports, my team has reviewed all sorts of external publications on these issues, run surveys and independent research, and spoken with dozens and dozens of experts within and beyond McKinsey. I’ve been very grateful for the chance to spend so much time learning about issues that will fundamentally shape the economic and geopolitical situation for decades to come.

My time at MGI has also taught me a lot about working with diverse teams. At various points, my team included colleagues from at least eleven different countries, whose roles ranged from senior partner to writer to research analyst to associate to media relations manager. All of them brought different perspectives and insights to our work, which certainly brought us to better answers in the end. At McKinsey, we surface these different perspectives and ideas in “problem-solving sessions (PSS),” where team members get input on their analyses and content from each other, and where the team collectively strengthens the storylines and ideas being developed.

We talk about always bringing an “obligation to dissent” to these sessions. In order to make sure we’re always solving for the best possible answer for our clients (or for our reports, with MGI), we think it’s critical that every team member have the opportunity to speak up and bring his or her perspectives on the path ahead. Especially because my teams have included such a diverse set of colleagues over the past months, this obligation to dissent has been critical.

Above you can see a nice of example of one of our more picturesque problem-solving sessions over the summer.

I’ll look forward to sharing more about my next chapter in the firm soon! 

About the blogger

Senior Business Analyst


Sarah joined our Washington, DC office after completing an M.Phil. in nuclear energy at Cambridge University and studying chemistry and Middle East Studies at Brown University. In her first two years as a BA, Sarah enjoyed the opportunity to explore a range of industries, including healthcare and energy in both the public and private sectors. She is now spending her third BA year in London. When not working, Sarah enjoys baking and running.