This is a profile image of Russell


Engagement managerChicago


Engagement managerChicago

Coming from the performing-arts and not-for-profit world, I was surprised to find how well the skills I’d learned there can translate to consulting.

Translating my skills to the world of strategy

Working at an arts institution required uniting both logic and passion to make decisions, and learning this balance is a key component of true client service. At McKinsey, I have been able to further develop my skills in the art of storytelling. Playing sonatas, grant writing, and making complex strategic decisions all require skills that will tell a compelling story.

Colleagues and mentors—with me every step of the way

People here are quick and eager to help, from sharing expertise and work-related advice to showing an interesting article to going to fun dinners as a team. It’s one thing to see amazing passion and skill from the people you work with—it’s another to experience the genuine desire to help others succeed. McKinsey has given me a set of mentors who support me every step of the way in both my personal and professional development. They are concerned not only with the decisions I’m making but also with how I’m feeling—and growing.

Above and beyond the call of duty

Serving a not-for-profit organization supporting reconstruction in Haiti after the 2010 earthquake, even though pro bono, was the most grueling work I have done—disaster-relief work is a 7-days-a-week job, and there are always more needs. But it was inspiring to see how much my team and other consultants at McKinsey were willing—and excited—to go above and beyond the imaginable and devote their time and expertise to help support wide-scale reconstruction for the homeless.

A chance to share my passion

Every year in August, a group of passionate McKinsey members and alumni come together and form a series of musical ensembles—a full symphony orchestra, a choir, and several bands. As a former classical pianist, the opportunity to share my passion with other McKinsey people has been incredibly uplifting and is always one of the highlights of my year.


University of Pennsylvania
BA, international studies; BS, arts management

Royal Academy of Music
Masters, piano solo