McKinsey Office: London
Hometown: Kalyani, West Bengal, India
MBA Program, Concentration: MBA from London Business School, concentration in Finance & Strategy
Undergraduate School, Major: Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Kharagpur, Engineering
Focus of Current Engagement: Growth Strategy for a client in the Insurance space
Why did you choose McKinsey? I was drawn to the plethora of opportunities in almost every sector that McKinsey offered. Be it financial services, healthcare or technology, McKinsey has teams working on solving the toughest problems in these sectors. Irrespective of what you’re good at – and where to want to end up – the firm will provide great growth prospects. But what drew me the most to McKinsey was the people. I have not just met the sharpest but also the warmest colleagues here. I never knew I would make such close friends at the workplace.
What did you love about the school you attended? I studied at London Business School. I was surprised by the sheer diversity of the cohort. I was also impressed by the caliber of the professors. They were actively investing in the growth of the students both inside and outside the classroom.
What lesson or skill did you learn from training (formal or informal) and how has it helped you in your role? One of the biggest lessons I learned is how to build effective relationships both within and beyond McKinsey. Building these connections have broadened my horizons. I learned how to view problems from different perspectives and embed a sense of empathy as I view things from the standpoint of others. I have sharpened my communication skills (verbal, written and visual).
Tell us about an “only at McKinsey” moment: Recently, we were planning a team dinner. I was surprised by how structured we were during the restaurant selection process. We weighted different parameters like location, cuisines, ambience, and food allergies and took in personal recommendations using a form. I may have been more impressed by the fair and exhaustive selection process than I was with the food at the beautiful river-side restaurant.
Tell us something you’ve learned about yourself or something that brought you closer to your teammates or clients during the COVID-19 pandemic? I was amazed by the level of empathy my teammates have shown during the pandemic – being there for each other. Last year, I was feeling low for not being able to see my wife for a long time due to travel restrictions (she is studying in US). It was my manager who encouraged and supported me to work from US for a while after the borders opened. They moved meetings and timelines of certain events to ensure I’m not terribly inconvenienced by the time difference. I realized that my team cared about not just my work but me as a person.
What advice would you give someone interviewing at McKinsey? Practice casing and be authentic! Contrary to what you might hear, McKinsey is not looking for a particular “type”. I have met such different personalities at the firm that, irrespective of what your personality is, you’ll find your team and fit right in.
Who has had the biggest impact on you at McKinsey and how has she/he helped you? It is difficult to pick one! I’ll say it has been my fellow associates. Life at the firm is fast-paced and intense at times and joining in a remote/hybrid world adds to the challenge. I’ve found it refreshing to share experiences with my joining cohort. They have been my support system and made the experience less intimidating.
My most meaningful achievement and how it made a difference is…I worked on a pioneering project to introduce affordable mortgage solutions for millions of homeless Bangladeshis. While working at the World Bank, I spent months in Bangladesh studying the housing finance sector: meeting regulators, real estate developers, and financiers to diagnose the root cause for homelessness in the country and ultimately figuring out a solution for the same. It was a large team represented by a diverse group of both internal and external stakeholders. It was extra special for me as I’m ethnically Bengali and my mother’s side of the family immigrated from Bangladesh to India before the partition of the Indian subcontinent.
A fun fact about me is..I have a cat named Frida Katlo and like her namesake she has a pronounced unibrow as well.
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