Meet McKinsey’s MBA Class of 2022: Hugo Nathaniel Chim

Hugo Nathaniel Chim

McKinsey Office: London

Hometown: Hong Kong

MBA Program and Concentration: London Business School

Undergraduate School, Major: University of Hong Kong, English Literature & Economics

Why did you choose McKinsey?  In business school, I had the opportunity to interact with many McKinsey people and I was deeply impressed by how smart they were. They were also incredibly easy and interesting to talk to, from my fellow classmates who came from McKinsey to the partners who interviewed me. From early on, the collaborative culture of the firm has come through very clearly to me. Everyone was helpful in every step of the recruitment process. I received so much formal and informal coaching in the process and the recruitment team did go out of their way to provide a level-playing field for everyone. The firm’s focus on making a lasting positive impact on its clients and society also resonate with me deeply.

What did you love about the business school you attended? My time at LBS has allowed me to grow as a person and to understand myself better. The student body was highly international, and my classmates came from a wide variety of backgrounds. I learned so much from interacting with them, not only from working together but also the many social occasions such as drinks, trips, and rugby tours. My active involvement in the LBS Rugby team also allowed me to achieve a lot of personal growth, both in terms of resilience and stamina of the mind and body. We may have come to business school with different objectives, but we all graduated with lifelong friendships.

What is your most meaningful accomplishment/professional accomplishment prior to your current role? I was one of the key persons who developed the stress-testing system for one of the biggest international financial institutions. Throughout my career, I pride myself for being able to combine my communication and quantitative skills. I was driving the whole model development process with the bank’s senior management and internal model developer, while working closely with regulators. The opportunity has allowed me to develop and showcase all aspects of my skillset in communication, stakeholder management, project management, and quantitative model development.

When you think back to the different elements of the McKinsey assessment: the digital test (i.e., Solve), the Personal Experience Interview (PEI), and the Problem-Solving Interview, what stands out? What do you think made you successful and what advice would you give to other MBAs going through McKinsey or another organizations’ process? Every step of the process tests a candidate’s ability to think and articulate clearly and methodologically under time pressure. For the digital test, everyone works differently, but most of the successful candidates I know have formulated a system of taking notes and organizing a large amount of information quickly – whether it was digitally or on a piece of paper. For PEI, it’s really about being able to articulate the impact you make. For the case interview, being able to communicate in a MECE (Mutually Exclusive, Collectively Exhaustive) manner is crucial. In all interactions, it helps to form rapport with your interviewers early on – it’s a people business after all. Finally, just be yourself and be confident.

For preparation, the McKinsey website was really helpful for me. In fact, it has everything you need to know for the PEI and case interviews. You may find sample questions and answers, as well as tips and explanation of the whole process there.

What was an assumption you held—either specifically about McKinsey or the management consulting profession as a whole—that was proven wrong once you began working in your role? Why did you hold the misconception and how was it refuted? I used to think that McKinsey consultants were rather buttoned-up. but since I’ve joined the firm, I got to see the openness and fun side of my colleagues.

McKinsey talks a lot about partnering with its clients to “accelerate sustainable, inclusive growth.” What does that mean to you and how have you seen it in action? We co-develop solutions with our clients a lot. As the question stated, our business model is to help clients to accelerate sustainable and inclusive growth. As a result, we work closely and attentively with client teams to tailor solutions that are effective and workable for them. My mentors in the firm have always encouraged me to tirelessly think about what my clients care about and how we can deliver more impact. In every project, I was expected to be working as a part of the client team from day one to deliver impact from multiple angles. This allows me to form really tight relationships with the clients and really get to understand their businesses. And the ability to help my clients form actionable and impactful solution is what energizes me every day.

Who has had the biggest impact on you at McKinsey and how have they helped you?  Lena Koolmann, a partner in London, who I’ve worked with on recruitment. I have learned a lot from her presentations about her experience at the firm and she always has great stories to tell. She has also coached me on a few occasions and I was truly inspired by the way she approached problem-solving and built client relationships.

Describe an “only at McKinsey” moment. I supported the recruitment team on welcoming this year’s intern class. In the planning process for social events, we have come up with a scoring spreadsheet for all the options to help us problem-solve the most cost-effective and fun option(s).

What’s next? It could be within McKinsey or beyond. How/In what ways do you think your time at McKinsey will prepare you for your next step? McKinsey has so far proved an invaluable management education. It has allowed me to explore and gain experience in different sectors and functions, in a client-facing capacity. It has given me the structure and discipline to maintain clarity when tackling difficult business problems.

A fun fact about me is…Fitness is an integral part of my daily life. During my time at LBS, I was a core member of the LBS rugby team Hawaiians. These days, I have been training for the Hyrox race to keep myself active. I am also very involved in recruitment to help provide more access to candidates from diverse backgrounds (e.g. candidates who identify themselves as a part of any of the McKinsey networks and communities): McKinsey Black Network, Women in Business, LGBTQ+, First Generation / Social Mobility.


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