McKinsey office: New Jersey
Hometown: Palmdale, CA
MBA Program, Concentration: New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business, Strategy, and Management
Undergraduate School, Major: California State University Monterey Bay, Business Administration
Focus of current engagement: I am currently developing a sales pilot for an industrial manufacturer/supplier as part of a larger organizational transformation.
Why did you choose McKinsey? I chose McKinsey for a variety of reasons, but ultimately it came down to the broad exposure the firm offered me and for the opportunity to learn and grow in a dynamic environment. I was drawn to McKinsey because I wanted to work on meaningful projects across diverse industries and functions. Prior to business school, I spent five years working in Washington, DC in various roles in the Obama Administration. I pursued an MBA because I wanted to better understand how public policy impacts business decisions and to learn more about the motivations of business leaders. McKinsey allows me to see those decisions first-hand.
What did you love about the business school you attended? There are many reasons to love business school, but I really enjoyed and appreciated the student engagement opportunities and community I found at Stern. New York City can feel like an intimidating place, but NYU Stern prides itself on the community aspect of the experience. As President of our Stern Student Government, I worked with professional clubs, affinity organizations, and individuals who were committed to improving our school and student experience. Between our academics, recruiting, and navigating the city, it amazed me to see how committed my fellow classmates were to creating a really special environment at school.
What lesson or skill did you learn from training at McKinsey and how has it helped in your role? The training I found to be most beneficial was learning to leverage the immense resources at our disposal. Whether I am interviewing experts from industry or using insights from a McKinsey Global Institute report, I have an incredible amount of material I can use to help our clients achieve their goals. I may not have the answer right away, but you can believe I have the resources to find it.
Tell us about an “only at McKinsey” moment you’ve had so far: To re-emphasize the point of how diverse our work can be at McKinsey, in a three week period I concluded a five-year strategic plan for a financial services client, transitioned to a pro bono project helping a non-profit in the city, and then started my current project helping a major industrial supplier develop their sales pilots. I am happy to report I found all three interesting and I learned a lot in the process.
What advice would you give someone interviewing at McKinsey? Beyond the casing and standard interview prep required to succeed in an interview, I would encourage applicants to think about what strengths they have developed over their professional life and how they plan to leverage those at McKinsey. There are a lot of people with impressive backgrounds, but it is important to remember what makes you special and articulate how you plan to bring your personal strengths to your work at McKinsey.
Who has had the biggest impact on you at McKinsey and how has she/he helped you? I would give a shout out to Jackie Wong, who is currently an engagement manager in the Philadelphia office. I had the pleasure of meeting Jackie at ROMBA, Reaching Out MBA, which hosts an annual conference that connects members of the LGBTQ+ community with organizations and businesses around the world. During my first year of business school, I met Jackie at the ROMBA conference and he would go on to be a great mentor for me. Now that I have joined the firm full time, I do my best to emulate his example and pay it forward where I can.
My most meaningful achievement (professional or personal) and how it made a difference is: My most meaningful personal achievement is defeating stage three testicular cancer at the age of 25. Nothing can prepare you for a stage three cancer diagnosis at any time in your life. As a young and otherwise healthy individual, it completely caught me off guard. With the support of friends, family, and coworkers, I beat back the disease and the experience now informs everything I do in my life. Life is short, and it is precious, and I am grateful for an experience that has now shaped every decision I make for the better.
A fun fact about me is: When I worked in Washington DC, I dressed up in a mini monument costume to help commemorate the grand re-opening of the Washington Monument. I had a ton of fun at the event and took lots of pictures with tourists and the crowd assembled for the ceremony. Little did I know my picture would become one of the AP photos of the day and I would be on the cover of the Washington Post, the New York Times, and dozens of local newspapers across the country. If you google my name and “Washington Monument” you can catch a few photos of me in action.