Meet McKinsey’s MBA Class Of 2022

MBAs don’t join companies just for the money. They’re drawn to learning, to being exposed to a variety of issues and responsibilities. They want to surround themselves with smart, good people who’ll make them better – and even make them laugh too! In many cases, these MBAs hope to make a difference, to fulfill a mission and leave a legacy.

As Davon Robertson weighed career options, he would return to one question: Where am I going to have the largest impact on economic mobility for the Black community? A Harvard Economics major and Stanford GSB MBA, Robertson ultimately chose an internship with McKinsey & Company. Quickly enough, he recognized that the firm’s capabilities and influence offered a platform to realize that impact.

“McKinsey is the ‘Mecca’ of operational excellence,” Robertson tells P&Q. “The alumni that have come through the firm (e.g., Sundar Pichai, Sheryl Sandberg, Jason Wright) have an immense amount of power and impact on society. If we’re going to solve the problem of Black people not holding seats of power (e.g., entrepreneurs, executives, investors), we’re going to have to increase the number of Black people at McKinsey – and more generally in consulting. I hope not only to be a person who will hold a seat of power, but one who will open the pipeline for others.”

McKinsey’s global workforce was 48% women in 2022


Robertson is among the MBAs who joined McKinsey & Company in 2022. Now a year into their McKinsey careers, these hires are increasingly bringing their goals to life. Take Candice Creecy, an MIT Sloan grad who works out of McKinsey’s Boston office. A former emergency medicine physician assistant, Creecy has witnessed the gaps undermining the health business and patient care models. As an associate, Creecy has enjoyed a front row seat on how to drive change.

“McKinsey has a long history of partnering with life science and healthcare organizations offering them a seemingly endless number of resources to address concerns and co-create solutions. McKinsey allows me to be at the center of the change I envisioned with full confidence that we are providing these organizations [with] the tools to rebuild and create a sustainable future.”

In contrast, Jennifer Li has chosen to work in the Operations practice out of New York City. An engineer by training, Li is thrilled to work alongside experts who wrote white papers she read during courses at the University of Chicago’s Booth School. For Michelle Gil, McKinsey tapped into her love of problem-solving.

“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,” writes the ’22 London Business School grad. “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!”


Mridang Lodha earned his MBA from Duke University’s Fuqua School before landing a spot in McKinsey’s Seattle office. For him, the firm has lived up to its promises about support – the biggest attraction to him. As an international working in the United States, he also relishes the flexibility to live and work where he wants. More than that, the “scale and scope” of his projects have been mind-blowing, he adds.

“We work with everyone across the spectrum of corporations to governments and everything in-between. I was attracted to the idea of exploring multiple sectors and topics while developing the transferrable skills that come in a consulting career.”

One of those skills is critical thinking, says Blair Ciesil, a McKinsey partner working in Global Talent Attraction. Now entering her 17th year in the firm, Ciesil completed a law degree before earning her MBA at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School. Despite her legal pedigree, Ciesil doesn’t believe she truly developed her critical thinking muscles until she entered management consulting.

“Our entire value proposition – why our clients trust us – is to help them with their hardest problems they are grappling with,” says Ciesil in an October interview with P&Q. We are really good at – and really love tackling – big, amorphous problems that are very complex and have very unclear answers…disaggregating and synthesizing all the data to show what we think is going on and trying out some hypotheses and working through problems in a team-based way. I can’t stress enough how much fun that is with your peers and clients – people who are very different than you are – side-by-side. That is an iterative, messy hard, and exhilarating process.”

McKinsey clients contributed 20% of global GDP growth in 2022


Indeed, the Class of 2022 come from locales as different as Mexico City, Hong Kong and Cape Town, while earning undergraduate degrees from institutions as varied as the University of St. Thomas, Colorado State, and the University of São Paulo. That’s hardly a surprise considering McKinsey recruits from 1,700 different higher education institutions. Among graduate business programs, the hires stretch from Harvard to the University of Minnesota to Cambridge Judge.

The class’s pre-MBA and pre-consulting backgrounds are equally diverse. For example, Brooke Wages, an MIT Sloan grad, co-designed a Workforce Development program that helped several formerly incarcerated people land jobs. London Business School’s Hugo Nathaniel Chim developed a stress-testing model for one of the world’s largest financial institutions. By the same token, Jennifer Li takes satisfaction in seeing one of her Johnson & Johnson newborn products being sold worldwide. Compare that to Mridang Lodha, whose startup racked up $100K worth of investment in 10 minutes. That achievement, however, doesn’t reflect the adversity that Lodha overcame behind-the-scenes.

“[I] was fighting facial paralysis during the peak of this startup, finding my resilience to face it and exiting the startup to find more meaningful endeavors – it taught me to be detached from success and truly find meaning in what matters both personally and professionally.”

Jada Ferreira actually worked full-time while earning her MBA at Rice University’s Jones Graduate School. “I was analyzing clients’ carbon footprints during the day and learning how to build valuation models in Excel during the evenings. It was difficult, but incredibly rewarding, and I was able to finish the program with a 3.8 GPA.

Ferreira herself is an electronic dance music fan – and even DJ’d her own wedding…in her wedding dress. Alexander Schurer, a Cambridge Judge MBA, once ate Jelly Babies alongside Archbishop Desmond Tutu. Not surprisingly, these McKinseyites also love to travel. Candice Creecy has hit all 50 American states – not to mention 6 continents – while IESE’s Débora Rozão reached 30 countries in the past 12 months alone! Some, like Davon Robertson, even maintain some unexpected hobbies.

“Not that many people know this but I’m a birder,” he explains. “I took an ornithology class in my 5th year of high school as a post-graduate at Phillips Exeter Academy and have stuck with it.”


The MBA Class of 2022 joins a long line of consultants at McKinsey, a firm that traces its lineage back to 1926. The largest MBB firm – both in terms of staff and revenue – McKinsey is home to 38,000 staffers operating out of 135 cities and 67 countries. That doesn’t count another 34,000 alumni operating out 15,000 organizations. While McKinsey has a reputation for being the cradle of Fortune 500 CEOs, it has also emerged as a training ground for entrepreneurs, with alumni producing 76 active or exited unicorns worth a combined $330 billion dollars.

Size. Expertise. Influence. Renown. McKinsey has it all.  Historically, McKinsey has acted as the innovator. The firm was responsible for creating the General Survey Outline (GSO) and Overhead Valuation Analysis (OVA) and spurred breakthroughs at organizations ranging from IBM to AT&T to NASA. That’s one reason why that some academics joke that the American Century was really the McKinsey Century —the proverbial hidden hand behind the Wall Street Journal headlines.

You won’t find McKinseyites making such bold claims. They’re too busy establishing hypotheses, identifying knowledge gaps, and breaking down problems – always filtering out what’s relevant and possible to identify holistic options. In the process, they are never afraid to adjust. In fact, junior staffers are charged with an “obligation to dissent” when engagements appear to go off track. What unites McKinseyites, however, is a commitment to the highest standards of client service and final product. That’s one reason why the firm maintains ongoing, rigorous training from the top down. Even more, they connect themselves at the hip to clients. Working across every level and function, McKinsey consultants build understanding and buy-in from the start, with the “McKinsey Polish” stemming from speaking their clients’ language and rolling out a logical, ‘no surprises’ solution.


For Blair Ciesil, the McKinsey difference boils down to two principles. The first involves continuous learning. Ciesil notes that the firm pours $600 million dollars a year into learning initiatives. In her experience, ongoing learning, particularly apprenticeship, is central to the firm’s DNA, adding that coming to McKinsey is equivalent to getting another degree. More than a narrow academic pathway, McKinsey provides an array of options, Ciesil says, where MBAs can try a bunch of different careers on for size.

“[McKinsey] is for people who like stretching, growing, learning new things, and building their own capabilities. It’s hard to think of any other profession where…you can work across different industries or try out different functional areas. You can build knowledge in one area and become a deep expert or you can be more of a generalist where you actually, by design, want to work across many different topical areas and clients.”

Scale is the second McKinsey value proposition cited by Ciesil. She points to the firm’s sheer global size, not to mention its history of working with nearly every industry on the planet. Despite this, she has found it to be a “meritocracy of small communities”, thanks in part to its “one firm” philosophy that enables it to staff teams from a range of geographies and areas of expertise. That said, some competitors have continued to paint McKinsey as “big and impersonal,” Ciesil adds. She herself fell into this same trap over two decades ago as a recruit. At her interview, Ciesil knew her potential McKinsey peers would be smart, but assumed they would also be “competitive, sharp-elbowed, and elitist.” Instead, she discovered they were “humble, collaborative, funny, interesting, quirky, [and] engaging.” That wasn’t the only misconception she discovered about McKinsey.

“People would be blown away to know that we hire people without degrees. We actually care more about people’s potential than their pedigree.”

Page 2: McKinsey Mentors and ‘Only At McKinsey’ Moments

Page 3: Profiles of 13 McKinsey MBA Hires

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