Meet McKinsey’s MBA Class of 2020: Aston Hamilton

Aston Hamilton

McKinsey Office: New York City

Hometown: Kingston, Jamaica

MBA Program, Concentration: Wharton, Concentrations: Finance, Business Analytics, Business Economics and Public Policy

Undergraduate School, Major: University of the West Indies, Computer Science

Focus of Current Engagement: Consumer Finance Digital Sales

Why did you choose McKinsey? McKinsey gave me an opportunity to use my deep experience in technology design and implementation to solve bigger problems in a wider variety of contexts. I had almost a decade of hardcore technology architecture design and implementation, but I was looking to build my problem solving skills, and improve my ability to prioritize, synthetize, and communicate.

What did you love about the business school you attended? Wharton was a good balance of opportunities to interact and learn from my peers and also opportunities to get a world-class formal education in my interested subject areas as I sought to balance my very technology-heavy background.

What lesson or skill did you learn from training (formal or informal) at McKinsey and how has it helped in your role? McKinsey’s training in our problem solving toolkit has had a big impact on my journey at the firm so far. I am typically more biased toward a detailed bottom up analysis, so practicing to exercise top down problem-solving and hypothesis-driven analysis has helped me be more creative and drive more impact as I tackle difficult problems in different contexts.

Tell us about an “only at McKinsey” moment you’ve had so far. On one of my earlier engagements with the firm, I had the opportunity to do numerous interviews with past CEOs and well-respected industry experts as part of my research to support a due diligence for a client. That access to a best-in-class knowledge network, especially so early in my tenure, was one of my first “only at McKinsey” moments. It  delivered exactly the value proposition I was targeting in deciding to join the firm.

Tell us something you’ve learned about yourself or something that brought you closer to teammates or clients during the COVID-19 pandemic? I learned that I can be much more engaged and extroverted in my life outside of work than I would typically be. At McKinsey, client and team experience is a top priority. A part of this realization is through each team being encouraged to designate a “Chief Experience and Inclusion Officer” (CEIO). For one of my recent projects I was the CEIO for my team. From leading virtual team dinners, virtual magic shows, and our well-lauded Whimsical Wednesdays, my role gave me new opportunities to engage with my team and my clients. Before the pandemic and remote working, I would be more inclined to be heads down hammering at the latest nail that would cross my path.

What advice would you give someone interviewing at McKinsey? Be your authentic self and try to think of it as you interviewing us as potential colleagues. My McKinsey interview was much more a treat for me than a job interview and it was a big part of why I ultimately chose McKinsey.

My interview preparation saw me building real connections with existing consultants who volunteered to coach me on highlighting my strengths and improving my weaknesses. In addition, my initial round of interviews had me in engaging conversations with my interviewer about similarities in my past experiences. My final interviews with McKinsey partners were special as each interview evolved into an exciting problem solving session to crack cases that modelled real problems. On multiple occasions, my interviewer and I turned a few heads as passersby of our glass interview room itched to join in the fun when we erupted into bursts of laughter.

Who has had the biggest impact on you at McKinsey and how has she/he helped you? Sasha Richards and Allison Cook are my McKinsey Black Network Professional Development Specialist and my Personal Development Manager, respectively. They have both been overall the most impactful on my journey so far. My McKinsey working team colleagues have all had an impact on my growth and maturity, but Sasha and Allie are my guiding lights and my sounding boards. In a reality of entirely remote working while navigating the complexities of a new joiner, Sasha and Allie have been my safe space and my friends to help me explore my strengths, prioritize building up my weakness, and make the right decisions about projects and opportunities to prioritize as I navigate my journey as a McKinsey consultant.

My most meaningful achievement (professional or personal) and how it made a difference is…So far, I am proud to have been one of the founding members of my undergraduate University’s IEEE student branch. We were one of the first teams from our local university to participate in an international robotics competition. Although we were thoroughly beaten on our first attempt, only a mere three teams later, we cinched a top position and, to this day, our initiative motivates teams to build robots, seek funding, and participate in the annual competition.

A fun fact about me is…I had a five minute modeling career when I was selected to represent my graduating class of my undergraduate university. I was on a billboard on a well-trafficked street for about a month.



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