This is a profile image of Cathy


Associate Design DirectorHong Kong

At McKinsey, I learned to influence and accomplish great things by practicing this powerful skill in my everyday life.


My ideal job was to work across industries and sectors and tackle the toughest challenges with smart and exceptional people to make a difference. When I found out McKinsey offers all of the above, I knew this was the firm for me.


I supported a petrochemicals client to incubate their new business transformation from B2B to B2C. We worked with the client from identifying the opportunity through strategy design, business scale-up, and daily operations over two years. The relationship evolved to where we were no longer only consultants but peers, friends, and coaches. We helped the client with the entire pathway for the new business and coached them to adopt a customer-driven mindset instead of one that was mainly sales-driven. Witnessing the relationship evolve and being part of that evolution was one of the most rewarding experiences of my career.


At McKinsey, I acquired the powerful skill of influencing, and practicing it has become a new passion. I’ve leveraged this skill to successfully integrate the design mindset and methodology into traditional consulting projects. With influencing, every project I’ve worked on has become more integrated with design, moving to customer-centric methods. I love that I can apply design knowledge and methodology to business cases, coach clients to adopt a design thinking mindset, and codify my experiences and knowledge into firm assets. The ability to successfully guide and influence my peers, leadership, and clients makes me feel valued and excited to continue my career.


In my past three years here, I have worked on several international projects across industries. My first project was a global one—the client was a multinational company with headquarters in Europe. The company wanted to redesign a business line in China. During the project, I collaborated with colleagues from seven countries and worked across two regions. It was remarkable to be part of a diverse team and leverage approaches from different countries and teams to create a holistic design concept for Asia.


One of the things I appreciate at the firm is being able to plan my time. Our projects always start with a team learning session where we share our strengths and working preferences. This allows me to allocate time for important things like exercising, spending time with family and friends—and before COVID-19, traveling. Additionally, the firm has flexibility programs like Take Time, which allows up to ten weeks of unpaid leave in between engagements to recharge and use however we want.


Savannah College of Art and Design
Master’s, design management and industrial design

Sichuan University
Bachelor’s, industrial design