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New opportunities can be right around the corner... all we need to do is look.

Written by Pip Radford, Associate at McKinsey & Company

Pip Radford is an Associate in McKinsey & Company’s Melbourne office. She joined McKinsey in 2019 after studying a Bachelor of Engineering and a Bachelor of Finance at the University of Adelaide. We asked her to share a little bit about McKinsey and her experiences for you.

When I was studying at university in Adelaide, I had no idea what a career in management consulting was, let alone what it could look like for me. I studied a Bachelor of Engineering and Bachelor of Finance and was on the track toward a graduate engineering role. Until a friend told me to check out McKinsey’s website.

McKinsey & Company is a global management consulting firm. McKinsey is a trusted advisor to the world's leading businesses, governments, and institutions, with a mission to help clients make distinctive, lasting, and substantial improvements in their performance and to build a great firm that attracts, develops, excites, and retains exceptional people.

I applied for the Women in Leadership internship in my penultimate year of university. During my internship in Sydney, I had the chance to work on two projects. The first was a research piece called The Power of Parity: Advancing women’s equality in Asia Pacific by McKinsey’s Global Institute on the economic opportunity for achieving gender parity. The second was an agile transformation, where I was working in a team with executive-level clients on the future operating model of their business. I loved the variety of the work that I was exposed to, and had a taste of the focus on learning and development that I really wanted in a grad role.

My first years at McKinsey have been a blast, a few of my highlights have been:

Meeting friends for life, and building a network of mentors and sponsors. Development and learning has been central to my time at McKinsey. The people around me have invested in creating opportunities for me, providing coaching and feedback – whether that’s peers, leaders, or even my mentees.

Solving challenging and impactful problems. I’ve worked on projects across ten different industries, solving problems on topics ranging from corporate strategy, to customer experience transformation, to organisational design. I am constantly being challenged and learning new things.

McKinsey’s consultants come from all sorts of backgrounds – there are engineers, lawyers, medical doctors, economists, art majors and linguists, computer scientists – you name it. Over the last few years, I’ve benefited from the diversity of thought that brings to our problem solving.

Participating in world-class training opportunities. Most recently, I spent a week at Team Leader training on the Gold Coast learning about leading teams, leading problem solving, and leading clients. We did a lot of role play simulations, 1:1 feedback, and peer coaching, and of course made some time to hit the beach!

Having the chance to travel and work with people from around the globe. Our global firm is truly global – on average I talk to an expert a day on whatever topic is relevant to my work at that time. We have experts around the world on almost any topic we cover, including some really niche topics (think: ad monetisation for streaming services, postal sorting systems…).


For more information on the Women and First Nations Internships and Scholarships, please see our website.

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