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Cecilie Skjong

Associate

Even when you are amongst the youngest in the room, your opinions are valued as much as everyone else’s.

Expectations for working at McKinsey

I chose McKinsey because of the people at the firm. I studied engineering at NTNU in Trondheim and attended a set of McKinsey recruiting events where I got to know the people working here. I was amazed by the talented and inspiring people at the firm who were genuinely interested in getting to know me and understand what I could contribute. At the same time, I was drawn to the firm, due to the complexity of the problems being solved and the opportunity to learn from the best.

I expected the work to be tough and that the expectations would be high from day one. Expectations are high, but you are working in a team solving the problems together. The team is always there for you. Simultaneously, there is a great amount of trust in every individual, which gives you ownership of your work and makes it fun.

Rewarding and meaningful experience

I am passionate about female representation in the workplace, both in McKinsey and in our society more broadly. As part of this, I am working with our Young Woman Leadership Program, which is a leadership program for female students and young professionals. The program is based on centered leadership, a philosophy founded on the notion that how you lead yourself is related to how you lead others. Through this work, I have gotten to know a wide spectrum of ambitious and talented females who we will see more of in the years to come. Having the time in the firm to do this, aside from project work, is fantastic.

Collaborating with colleagues

At McKinsey, we always solve problems together. The firm is the best when we bring the client, the team, and our international expertise together to tackle the problem. Even when you are amongst the youngest in the room, your opinions are valued as much as everyone else’s. Bringing people together means also bringing different perspectives together, which in total results in a better result than only leveraging one person’s perspectives.

Working at a global firm

On a recent project, we brought together expertise from around the world for a three-week design of a large-scale digital transformation at the client. Both of the teams from the client and from McKinsey were international and people were chosen for the project based on their specific relevant expertise. Within the first day on the ground, it felt like we had known each other for a long time and could discuss everything.

Advice for applying to McKinsey

Attend recruiting events and get to know us from early on. Also have in mind that we are choosing candidates based on four dimensions: personal impact, entrepreneurial drive, problem-solving skills, and leadership abilities.

Also note that there is a large diversity of people in the firm and we are looking for people with all sorts of backgrounds—see yourself as relevant.

Education

Norwegian University of Science and Technology
MSc, industrial engineering and technology management