Pamela Fitzgerald, Business Analyst, McKinsey & Company
Degree subject BA Management Science and Information Systems, Trinity College Dublin (2006)
Job title Business Analyst
Employer McKinsey & Company, London
I didn’t have an inclination towards any particular industry after graduation. Management consulting appealed because I wanted a career that would give me a good grounding in all kinds of areas and open up opportunities.
I did an internship in London a few years ago so I’m familiar with the city, and as I could experience a wider range of consultancy work in the UK I applied for positions there. I plan to stay in London for several years, but will return to Ireland in the future.
The application process for my employer’s two-year graduate scheme was considered to be tough and competitive. In reality I didn’t feel one of a huge number of applicants and the interviewers didn’t try to catch us out with trick questions because they wanted people to succeed.
When I first started I took on the basics, such as financial analysis, and assisted other consultants. As I progressed, I had to think more independently. The work I do varies depending on the project and the team: on any one day I might be carrying out interviews, meeting with industry experts, or working on economic forecasts. I’ve always worked in multinational teams, which brings new perspectives to the problems we work to solve. It’s easy to get caught up in what you’re doing, though, so sometimes the hours can be tough. Overall I enjoy having responsibility; it’s rewarding to be considered as the expert on the area of the project that I’m working on.
Reach out to as many people as you can, and show that you’re keen, motivated and informed. When it comes to interviews, my top tip is to practise; practise; practise! Use online example case studies to ensure you’re prepared.