Posted: February 7, 2018, 12:13pm
For a while now, I’ve been following McKinsey & Company’s efforts in developing strong female leaders and encouraging women to connect with one another. When I learned about their McKinsey Spark series through their newsletter, I was extremely excited to participate! Through their various live and virtual events, current and ex-employees specifically address women in advanced professional degree programs and help them develop both personally and professionally. Because I’m currently in a doctoral program in biomedical engineering, this was the perfect fit for me!
Joining in on one of McKinsey Spark’s webinars, I had the opportunity to hear from panelists who also pursued advanced degrees (PhD, MD, JD, etc.) and successfully transitioned into working at McKinsey, and are either still there or have started their own businesses. I’ve always had an interest in joining a larger, broader firm since my background in medical devices, engineered systems, and technology transfer can apply to a variety of businesses and innovations, but I wasn’t sure if groups like McKinsey would assume that I was too specialized or research-focused. Thankfully, this panel reassured me that as long as I bring a unique perspective to the table and can identify efficient and effective (though not necessarily “perfect”) solutions, I can succeed as a manager or partner within management consulting.
Some actionable tips that they offered for developing a personal leadership brand included:
- Do the things you really love to do and have it organically develop into their own theme from which you can build your brand
- Find ways to mentor and coach others as much as possible
- Work with people who give you step-up leadership opportunities
- Ask and listen for feedback on your leadership strengths and identify ways to leverage them
- Determine your brand attributes and develop a tagline to stick to when making decisions
- Draft a personal brand statement that you can follow and incorporate into your daily interactions, social media, etc.
Thinking about my future and my personal journey has always been important to me, so I am continuously looking for ways to improve my own technical and interpersonal skills. Seminars and talks such as these provide me with critical information that I can use to forge my own path. I’m looking forward to keeping in touch with McKinsey and learning more from their fantastic and inspiring women leaders!