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Associate Alumnus, Nairobi
Born and raised in Kenya, Shadrack spent time in South Africa before attending Columbia University. Early in his college career, he thought he would become a civil engineer and maybe moonlight as a DJ. Then he learned about McKinsey and our amazing work and realized he wanted to join.

Get To Know Shadrack

My teammates are not only colleagues but friends, and it makes work that much more fun.

What initially drew me to the firm, and keeps me excited about McKinsey, is the immense responsibility each person on a team has on driving impact, regardless of tenure. As a business analyst, I feel I am a crucial part of my team and the work I do matters. Not many other organizations offer such an opportunity, especially so early on.

Before joining, I heard a lot about how hard consultants worked, but I really paid no attention to it—after all, college was not a piece of cake either. That said, I can comfortably say I underestimated the effort McKinsey consultants put into everything they do. We solve our clients’ most challenging problems and this requires lots of work. However, the mental rigor required is one of the things that keeps me continuously engaged.

To achieve the right work life balance, it helps to be very open with your team about the things outside of work that are important to you and when you need to spend time on those things. Each client study begins with a team learning. During that conversation, teams discuss their individual work-life balance goals and support one another in achieving them. My teams have been open to talking about it, and it is something that you have to be willing to talk about as well.

I’ve been really excited by one of my most recent projects, mainly because of that incredible team dynamic. My teammates are not only colleagues but friends, and it makes work that much more fun. For instance, we had problem-solving sessions to figure out the optimal itinerary for our team leader’s Christmas holiday. I have such a cool team!

In one of those “it only happens at McKinsey” moments, the official launch of the Nairobi office was a one-of-a-kind event. I had only been at the firm for 2 weeks, and there I was having conversations with the CEOs of the top companies in the country—people I had only seen on TV. I do not think any other place could have offered me such an opportunity.

Outside work, I’m passionate about entrepreneurship in Africa, and in Kenya in particular. There are many new businesses coming up with very innovative revenue and operating models, which not only make money but significantly improve people’s lives. When I’m not thinking about entrepreneurship you’ll find me searching for new African music.


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