Skip to main content
Back to

Solveig Xia

Associate

I appreciated the fact that ‘people’ was highlighted before anything else, and that rings true for my own experience.

Choosing McKinsey

After many years abroad, I found myself gazing in multiple directions with personal interests spanning across disciplines and geographic borders. McKinsey came up as a unique opportunity to explore these interests on a project-by-project basis—solving for challenging and interesting problems surrounded by wonderfully curious and sharp people.

Expectations for working at McKinsey

The common themes among those I connected with were 1) interesting people, and 2) interesting projects. I appreciated the fact that “people” was highlighted before anything else, and that rings true for my own experience. At the end of the day, these are the people you learn from and spend many waking hours with. I’m often inspired and feel that good vibe from working with good people.

Rewarding and meaningful experiences

On my first study, I worked with a retail client on its customer-experience strategy. There was an opportunity to apply design thinking to drive user insights and rapid prototyping—a new way of working. Even as the most junior team member, I was encouraged by my project manager and the partner to pitch and drive the idea forward. In retrospect, there was both the responsibility granted and also support that makes you want to own it and fly. We ended up collaborating with Veryday, a design and innovation consultancy, and delivered an experience that exemplified the synergies between design and McKinsey’s distinct problem-solving methods.

Collaborating with colleagues

There is a unique culture around the notion of problem solving and gathering people to tackle something together. What I find incredible is the way in which we mobilize experts and colleagues across the world—those at the forefront of their field, together with the working team and client. It’s a collaborative and dynamic interaction that gets people thinking, drawing, scribbling, discussing, running. The energy level is often contagious.

Advice for applying to McKinsey

Try to connect with people at the firm and ask every question you may have—keeping in mind that every person makes their own journey here.

Education

Brown University
BA, economics, with focus on China and sustainable development