Meet McKinsey’s MBA Class of 2022: Michelle Gil

Michelle Gil

McKinsey Office: London

Hometown: New York City, NY

MBA Program and Concentration: London Business School (No Concentration)

Undergraduate School, Major: Dartmouth College, Government

Why did you choose McKinsey?  As someone who loves problem-solving, being challenged at work and meeting new people, McKinsey was a no-brainer for me! Beyond the unparalleled reputation and chance to work with clients at the very top of their industries, McKinsey also gives me the chance to be a part of teams that tackle complex challenges and create real impact for the companies we work with. It’s also an environment that encourages constant learning at all levels and pushes you to build upon your best self. Not to mention the view from the London office rooftop is hard to beat!

What did you love about the business school you attended? It’s a cliché, but definitely the people! Everyone is assigned a study group for first year, and each study group is made up of six people from six different countries. There are not many business schools where that is possible! Not to mention the variety of occupational, cultural and life-experience backgrounds of my peers: I’d never been surrounded by such diverse people before, in an environment where literally every single person had something unique to teach you. Being a part of such a diverse community was the perfect preparation for joining McKinsey!

What is your most meaningful accomplishment/professional accomplishment prior to your current role? When I was 23, I moved by myself to London to join my then-company’s UK office. I arrived with just five suitcases and my cat, knowing no one here and having more or less moved on a whim. Looking back, I’m very proud of the life and community I’ve since built here.

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? I think the Personal Experience Interview is a great opportunity to let your personality shine and share your perspective on the world – it’s a way for the interviewer to get to know who you are and what you stand for. I chose to share a mix of professional and personal stories to showcase my skills and I would recommend that others do the same. Interviewers hear so many peoples’ stories; you’re more likely to stand out by demonstrating your values and skills in a story about how you got lost in a foreign country or helped lead your sports team to victory rather than just another work-related story filled with technical buzzwords.

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 think a lot of people assume McKinsey is full of soulless robots. I’m not quite sure where this stereotype came from, but I heard it from multiple people before I joined. Eithin days of being a part of the firm, I realized this could not be further from the truth. Every person I’ve worked with or met at the firm has been incredibly warm and welcoming. I never expected to make so many friends at the firm – people really get involved in each other’s lives outside of work, from casual drinks down the pub to weekend hikes.

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? To me, sustainable and inclusive growth means helping our clients develop solutions and strategies that they can carry forward on their own for the long-term once the project finishes. This also means bringing the client along for the ride and making sure everyone’s needs and input are taken into consideration and contributions come from all sides – from the C-suite exec to the frontline staff. I’ve been in workshops where we actively encourage clients’ staff members to raise their hands and have their voices heard, and I think this is such a crucial element in making sure change can continue in the long-run once McKinsey walks out the door and hands over the reins.

Who has had the biggest impact on you at McKinsey and how have they helped you? My most recent Engagement Manager, Angélique, has been such an inspiration of what it means to be a leader who cares about her teammates on both a professional and personal level. She has showed me what it means to bring your whole self to the workplace and encourage the people around you to invest just as much in developing their lives outside of the office as inside. Not to mention she has shown me that empathy and kindness will take you far in a people-based career like consulting.

Describe an “only at McKinsey” moment. A surgeon, an Antarctic engineer, a diplomat and a musician from a famous band sit down at a lunch table. No, it’s not your imagination – it’s just a typical day at McKinsey surrounded by coworkers with incredible former experiences!

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? I think McKinsey truly prepares you for a future doing anything. I don’t know what my next steps look like, or if they will be at McKinsey, but I know without a doubt that the lessons I learned here and the genuine connections and friendships I made will help carry me forward through whatever comes next. I do hope that whatever I do, it still involves a fast-paced environment, clever colleagues and the ability to always keep learning.

A fun fact about me isI’ve never lost a game of Wordle ever!


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