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Chief of Staff, Shanghai
Lingxiao graduated from the University of Southern California with a degree in communications management. Before joining McKinsey she was a journalist based in Los Angeles. She returned to China to be with her family and joined McKinsey’s Shanghai office as a research analyst in media, later transitioning to business analyst and now to engagement manager.

Get To Know Lingxiao

The most unexpected aspect of my time at the firm is the relationships I have built with members of my teams and with clients.

When considering my career options after school, I had offers to join the strategy department of Cosmopolitan magazine and an offer with a financial news channel for the Shanghai Media Group. I chose McKinsey, however, because I wanted to go beyond my media experience and sharpen my business knowledge and skills.

I expected to be exposed to various industries and I have been. I have also learned a lot through McKinsey’s structural approach to solving our clients’ problems. The most unexpected aspect of my time at the firm is the relationships I have built with members of my teams and with clients. Some of my closest friends in Shanghai are from client projects.

One of the most special things about working at McKinsey is that we’re a nonhierarchical organization. The most junior people on a team are encouraged to voice their opinions, ask questions, and suggest solutions and everyone is expected to actively contribute to the overall success of the project. I experienced this in my first few years and now, as an engagement manager leading teams, I encourage the same with my colleagues.

In my current role, I focus on digital and innovation. I have been working with a start-up client for almost a year to co-build the next big online real estate rental and sales platform in China. This experience gives me the opportunity to build something and as well as work on down-to-earth, everyday business and operations.

This past year I became a mother and through this personal journey, I’ve received tremendous help and support from my leadership and teammates, which I believe is a critical value of McKinsey people. My daughter brings a new perspective to my life—I will continue working hard to make the most impact and make her proud.


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