Meet McKinsey’s MBA Class Of 2018

Kevin Vichyastit

McKinsey Office: Yangon, Myanmar

Hometown: Dallas, TX

MBA Program, Concentration: Dual degree MBA/MA at the Wharton School and the Lauder Institute

Undergraduate School, Major: University of Pennsylvania, Economics and Political Science

Focus of current engagement: Developing workshops to help a Southeast Asian bank digitize and automate some of its businesses.

Why did you choose McKinsey? Going into business school, I had a very specific goal of returning to Southeast Asia, where I had worked before Wharton to be part of the region’s development story. After talking to people who worked at the firm, McKinsey looked like the best way to do that, given the firm’s truly impressive reach in both the private and public sectors in the region. With my own passion for development, I was doubly excited by McKinsey’s work in Southeast Asia’s more frontier markets like Vietnam and Myanmar.

What did you love about the business school you attended? I loved the sense of camaraderie at Wharton and how easy it was to feel part of a small, intimate community, despite the large size of the school. Everyone was willing to help each other and get to know one another. For example, during my first few weeks at Wharton, I started asking people if they knew someone who had worked in Myanmar. A few weeks later, a classmate connected me with someone who was probably the only guy in my whole class who had done work there.

What lesson from business school best prepared you for your career in consulting at McKinsey? With the number of people I got to know and work with at Wharton, I came to understand everyone has something to contribute, no matter how big or small. Everyone comes with such diverse experiences and perspectives to learn from. And with such a depth of talent and breadth of diversity at McKinsey, everyone is someone to learn from regardless of what team they’re on or what position they have.

Tell us about an “only at McKinsey” moment you’ve had so far. During my first week at McKinsey, I got to attend a CEO dinner in Yangon where many of Myanmar’s business leaders were present. I had a jaw-dropping moment when someone later told me the business leaders present represented at least 30% of the country’s economy. It was really something to be in a room full of people responsible for the future development of their country.

What advice would you give to someone interviewing at McKinsey? Go into the process knowing why you want to be there, both at the firm in general and at the office or offices you interview for. Understand how your recruiting process and choices map to your longer-term goals, rather than following the business school herd. Talk to as many relevant people as possible to help with that mapping. That way, the process will be more enjoyable and feel much more genuine.

Who has had the biggest impact on you at McKinsey and how has she/he helped you?  I would have to say the entire Yangon office, given how small it is (13 people when I joined) and how welcoming they were when I started. Their warm welcome was especially meaningful as I had never been to Myanmar before I joined the office. When I rented my apartment, a few of my colleagues even spent a whole day helping me to shop and move into my new place.

My greatest personal or professional accomplishment is…so far living a life based on relationships and diverse experiences. I’ve been fortunate to do many cool things in this world, whether hiking a live volcano in Indonesia or living aboard a sailing ship in the South Pacific, all alongside some very cool people.

A fun fact about me is…In high school, I accidentally became an award-winning photographer. The journalism teacher at my school submitted a random point-and-shoot photo of mine to a national newspaper competition without my knowledge. He didn’t tell me until after my photo won. Fortunately or unfortunately, I am now a consultant rather than a professional photographer.

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