Meet McKinsey’s MBA Class Of 2018

Sehrish Saud           

McKinsey Office: Houston, TX

Hometown: Lahore, Pakistan

MBA Program, Concentration: INSEAD

Undergraduate School, Major: University College London, Chemical Engineering

Focus of current engagement: Operation transformation of an unconventional oil and gas operator

Why did you choose McKinsey? I wanted to expand my career path while leveraging my existing skillset in oil & gas exploration and production. I was thrilled to learn about McKinsey’s Petroleum Asset eXcellence (PAX) practice and saw an incredible opportunity to challenge myself intellectually.

The recruiting process definitely helped nudge me towards the firm. I found the McKinsey interview team to be the warmest and most open of all the interviewers I met. Unlike many other interviewers who only seemed interested in eliminating me from their list of candidates, the McKinsey interviewers rooted me on and were personally invested in seeing me succeed. That feeling of continually being encouraged to succeed has only grown deeper in my time at the firm.

What did you love about the business school you attended? I was humbled to be part of an extremely diverse group of talented, intelligent and intellectually curious classmates. I was impressed by the global perspectives that tinged every aspect of INSEAD’s MBA program and helped me develop an appreciation for the interplay between cultural and business norms around the world.

What lesson from business school best prepared you for your career in consulting at McKinsey? I found INSEAD’s MBA program to be a great microcosm for a career at McKinsey. Like some McKinsey studies, INSEAD classes seemed to end almost as soon as they started and were incredibly valuable in learning to hit the ground running on new engagements.

Tell us about an “only at McKinsey” moment you’ve had so far. The phantasmagoria of cultural and intellectual breadth I’ve encountered at McKinsey can best be summarized by recounting a problem-solving session in which a colleague from Minnesota stopped a partner to inform him that he wasn’t pronouncing my name correctly. My colleague then proceeded to write out my name in my native script while explaining the nuances of the pronunciation of my mother tongue.

What advice would you give to someone interviewing at McKinsey? 

Thoroughly research the roles available when you apply. Many students incorrectly assume all consulting roles are cut from the same cloth, whereas the opposite is most definitely true at McKinsey. There are many practices and functional areas one might focus on. Personally, I might not have learned about PAX and what a wonderful fit it was for me had it not been for a classmate who had a friend in that practice.

Who has had the biggest impact on you at McKinsey and how has she/he helped you? (can include person’s name) The Client Services Team on a recent engagement made it clear they truly cared about my personal and professional development. Their coaching, conversations and feedback sessions were extremely valuable in helping me integrate into the firm and align with my role. In particular, I would point out the incredible level of sponsorship provided by the leadership of my group.

My greatest personal or professional accomplishment is…integrating the word ‘phantasmagoria’ into a client presentation.

A fun fact about me is…I actually enjoyed being submerged in a sinking helicopter during offshore survival training.

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