Izulman bin Telimik
McKinsey Office: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Hometown: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
MBA Program, Concentration: Yale School of Management
Undergraduate School, Major: The University of Sydney, Account & Finance
Focus of Current Engagement: Wealth Management business setup for a bank in Vietnam
Why did you choose McKinsey? I wanted to pursue the intersections of finance, technology, and policy to work on and support those sectors across Southeast Asia. The region has huge potential given development in past few decades, though many still earn below $2 per day and are financially excluded. McKinsey is a powerhouse both in public and private sectors, with many clients across banking and other relevant sectors. It is natural for me to leverage this platform to meet the brightest and smartest people in the region trying to solve the most pressing issues within the area I focus on.
What did you love about the business school you attended? The people! I was considering other schools, but was touched by the genuine people I met before and during my business school at Yale School of Management. I saw a good mix of people across different disciplines including those who came from public sectors. “Business & Society” is something Yale SOM people hold dearly to heart. It aligns with my objective to create meaningful relationships at business school rather than merely pivoting career. I also loved the flexibility to cross register courses across the broader Yale University. It is a very fine institution with a lot of resources and strong focus in sustainability, global affairs, and law (to name just a few).
What lesson or skill did you learn from training (formal or informal) at McKinsey and how has it helped in your role? McKinsey has an outstanding learning culture supported by its robust learning platform. In the first two weeks, we crunched a lot of things (and we continue to develop ourselves through specific learnings and pathways – at your own preference on top of the core, mandatory modules).
On top of necessary technical skills (such as McKinsey’s way of problem solving), I have also learnt great soft skills, including managing conflicts and navigating life as a consultant supported by great peers. The combination of those skills is necessary to become a good consultant as we are dealing with people. In that context, they tremendously helped me in my day-to-day job.
Tell us about an “only at McKinsey” moment you’ve had so far. That would be the Values Day event held by the Kuala Lumpur office. I imagined it would be a generic moment of reinforcing McKinsey values. However, Li-Kai, the senior partner managing our office, decided to go down memory lanes to talk about our history, from a mere few people doing consulting in a hotel room to a solid 50+ consultants today. We learned how McKinsey has shaped and helped not only largest companies in all major sectors, but also supported Malaysia’s dynamic growth for more than two decades. I was surprised to realize how much things around me have been conceptualized and executed by the company which has made me feel more connected to the company and my country.
Tell us something you’ve learned about yourself or something that brought you closer to teammates or clients during the COVID-19 pandemic? My father passed away last year April during my final semester, the time when I had to complete my final exams. The pandemic has made things harder to be back home, so I missed his funeral. I did not realize how much it affected me until we had an ice breaking session pre-engagement. Opening up has made things a lot easier, and somehow made me feel more connected to my teammates and leadership in the project.
What advice would you give someone interviewing at McKinsey? Always stay true to yourself, be approachable yet structured to portray the persona of a McKinsey consultant. To me, McKinsey consultants are smart, confident, and approachable people. Building this balance is crucial on top of nailing the case interviews.
Who has had the biggest impact on you at McKinsey and how has she/he helped you? I appreciate Euodia, my personal development manager, who always has my best interests in mind. She gives me flexibility in shaping my McKinsey path but also guides me throughout. This gives me a lot of comfort amid uncertainties, especially during COVID. She also helped me when I had to take a long break from McKinsey when my mom was hospitalized and diagnosed with cancer September last year. Not forgotten, I also want to mention Li-Kai, Ee Huei and all amazing partners and colleagues at the Kuala Lumpur office who have made life as a McKinsey consultant so much easier.
My most meaningful achievement (professional or personal) and how it made a difference is…It was the time when I volunteered to support flood disaster recovery program in Malaysia end last year. It was the worst flood since 1970s with over 50+ death and more than 500K individuals impacted. It was not easy to raise funds, tweak operational plans, and mobilize volunteers, but seeing how Malaysians come together to help really made everything worth it. The impacts we had on over 200 families after raising $5K worth of cash and also another $5K worth, and the memorable friendship I made would be something I will always treasure.
A fun fact about me is…I grew up with 14 siblings. Ask me anything about my life.
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