McKinsey office: Casablanca, Morocco

Hometown: Morocco

MBA program, concentration: INSEAD, General Management

Undergraduate School, Major: Mohammadia School of Engineers, Ms. in Industrial Engineering

Purpose of current engagement: Business strategy for a Telco client in Africa

Why did you choose McKinsey? I have always been motivated by changing or improving things around me. I was impressed with the firm’s impact in the region and wanted to be part of such an honorable mission. During my recruitment process, we were told how the company has supported the eradication of poliomyelitis or the improvement of access to electrification in Africa. These examples speak volumes. McKinsey also invests in pro-bono projects and keeps social impact at the center of its priorities (for example, the company helped a social school become more financially viable to provide access to people from disadvantaged backgrounds).

I also appreciate McKinsey’s focus on the well-being and development of its colleagues. I have been privileged to have close coaching and mentoring from more experienced colleagues since day one and am grateful for what they have helped me accomplish so far.

What did you like about the business school you attended? I loved how INSEAD helps train global business leaders around the world. It starts with a diverse cohort. Our class included people representing more than 75 nationalities; each of us would bring a different perspective and an exotic flavor to social activities (eg Latin American week, Africa conference, country discovery, etc.). I remember an economics and management class in developing countries. There were 20 of us, each from a different country, and we were all eager to share what we see in our regions. It was fantastic and revealing.

Moreover, INSEAD has four campuses and I studied in two of them: Fontainebleau in France and Singapore. Each region allowed me to be more exposed to its specificities and to the opportunities therein. I was also able to meet the alumni network in each region, and it was exciting to see that you can meet the community wherever you go.

What lesson or skill have you learned from training (formal or informal) at McKinsey and how has it helped you in your role? During my first year at McKinsey, the firm offered me the opportunity to attend public speaking classes (which I did). I liked how the course was practical and based on learning by doing. We learned many communication skills which we applied and received feedback for, not only from the teacher but also from our peers.

Tell us about an “only at McKinsey” moment you’ve had so far. I never thought I would work in seven countries in Africa and the Middle East in just three years. In each project, I would put my heart into understanding the context of the country, working on what will bring lasting value to the client and connecting with the culture.

Tell us something you learned about yourself or something that brought you closer to your teammates or customers during the COVID-19 pandemic? During the COVID-19 pandemic – and especially when the weight of quarantine was heavy for everyone – we decided to introduce a PIE (Physical, Intellectual and Emotional) check-in. My team tried it and it brought us closer to each other creating a safe space for us to do a little soul-searching before starting the day.

What tips or advice would you give to someone interviewing at McKinsey? Don’t forget the second and third level previews. Don’t just focus on the outcome of your quantitative response or the obvious elements of exposure, but think carefully about what it is (i.e. what are the potential causes and consequences of such results).

Trust the process. Your interviewer wants you to succeed and will guide you through the interview. Be flexible and willing to react quickly to your interviewer’s questions and comments.

Who has had the most impact on you at McKinsey and how has he/she helped you? I met one of my McKinsey managers during one of my very first projects. His dynamism and his presence inspired and taught me a lot. She really cared about my development and took the extra time to teach me how to approach work without financial or counseling experience. She inspired me to stretch my goals and always aim high when I achieve them. Over time, I developed a stronger bond with her and consulted her regularly for advice, guidance, or just emotional support.

My most significant achievement (professional or personal) and how it made a difference is… My most significant work was a project where we helped a government digital agency define their digital roadmap. We have defined a set of initiatives to drive the digital transformation of the country from a governmental, economic and social point of view. This effort has helped the agency gain digital momentum and create several internal and external partnerships to transform the way citizens and businesses interact with government and do business.

A fun fact about me is…Don’t share your favorite song with me if you know I’ll like it. Otherwise I’ll play it on repeat until you don’t like it anymore.

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