Meet McKinsey’s MBA Class of 2021: Nanditha Chandrashekar

Nanditha Chandrashekar             

McKinsey Office: Abu Dhabi, UAE

Hometown: Mysore, India

MBA Program, Concentration: MBA 2021 London Business School, Strategy and Change Management

Undergraduate School, Major: NIT, Surat ; B-Tech in Civil Engineering

Why did you choose McKinsey? The scale of McKinsey and its expertise inspired me. Think of any area as niche as it can be, and there is someone at McKinsey who is an expert in it. The firm is truly global, everyone is willing to help and responsive. The best expertise in the world is just a phone call or an email away which is a motivational boost for me on every problem-solving exercise.

What did you love about the business school you attended? The community and people! London Business School is known for its diversity, and two years of learning from your classmates and friends from all around the world changes your perspective and makes the world look smaller. Today, the school has provided me with such a strong network that I can at least think of one person when I think about most countries. It has also given me a few of my closest friends, with whom I can bounce off ideas any time, be it personal or professional.

What lesson or skill did you learn from training (formal or informal) at McKinsey and how has it helped in your role? The onboarding at McKinsey is great. It set me up to deliver from day one. We had role plays with McKinsey colleagues playing clients as part of our training. I had the exact same situation come up two weeks into my first project, and I could keep my calm and knew exactly what to do. The onboarding is also setup in a way that you bond with the people from your cohort. A few of the people from my onboarding are still my go-to when I hit a roadblock.

Tell us about an “only at McKinsey” moment you’ve had so far. It was my third day on my first project and my team encouraged me to share concerns about a few processes to a CEO of a bank. When you have done your due diligence and have facts supporting your concerns that have the best interest of the client in mind, your McKinsey teammates will always support you to speak up which is very empowering.

Tell us something you’ve learned about yourself or something that brought you closer to teammates or clients during the COVID-19 pandemic? I always thought consulting didn’t bring a sustainable lifestyle, but COVID-19 really forced me to pause and understand what things are important to me and how I can prioritize my time. I recently adopted a dog; I take out time to work out every day and I still deliver the same on my projects.

What advice would you give someone interviewing at McKinsey? I interviewed with all the big consulting firms; McKinsey’s process really stood out for me. Interviewers genuinely wanted to know me as a person and share as much I wanted to know about the firm. People were direct and clear in their communication and feedback, which I really appreciated. There were a lot of channels given to me to clarify, share concerns if any, and ask all my questions. The advice to anyone recruiting for McKinsey is bring your true self to the table and share your questions: it’s a two-way dialogue. The firm wants you to succeed as much as you want to succeed in the process.

Who has had the biggest impact on you at McKinsey and how has she/he helped you? In one of my recent problem-solving sessions with Shankar, a partner in Doha, we were discussing recommending a solution to a client that could cost them $100K a year. Shankar asked me if that $100K were going out of my salary would I still think the spend is worth the benefit. It pushed me to think beyond what the data was suggesting. Now, whenever I am thinking about a solution for a client, I think about this question, and it forces me to put myself in the shoes of the client.

My most meaningful achievement (professional or personal) and how it made a difference is…During my time at London Business School, I worked with an NGO in India to build a training platform for empowering women entrepreneurs in rural India. I helped the team through ideation and launch of an MVP. It comes up in my mind as a meaningful achievement because the platform had the potential to make thousands of Indian women financially independent. Hearing stories from women firsthand through the pilot emphasized this potential. They all had opened their own ventures and felt very much in control of their life.

A fun fact about me is… My first ever job was as a zookeeper.


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