Career Profiles – Sean Murray

Career Field Prior to HBS:
Design Engineer and R&D Project
Manager at Stryker Corporation
(Medical Device Maker)ÿ

Position in McKinsey:
Summer Associate

Why did you choose an internship with McKinsey?
I initially investigated McKinsey after being impressed by my section mates who had worked there.ÿWhile researching companies, I also found McKinsey has a long history of developing leaders for the private and public sector, and is one of the best at challenging and giving feedback to young employees.ÿ Through the interview process I spoke with a number of people I found engaging and accomplished, and I hoped that by joining McKinsey I could learn business and leadership skills from them through their apprenticeship model.ÿ McKinsey also tackles some of businesses’ toughest problems and teaches a unique set of analytical thinking skills.ÿ After being an executor at a corporation, I felt practicing these skills would help prepare me to be a general manager someday.

What made you decide on interning in the Midwest?
My fiancéÿworks in Minneapolis, which was the initial draw.ÿ However, I still decided to work there even after she offered to move for a number of reasons.ÿ First, I hoped to work with great operating and healthcare companies, many of which are located throughout the Midwest.ÿ Minneapolis in particular has the fifth highest population of Fortune 500 companies, including names like Target, Best Buy, Medtronic, 3M and United Health Group.ÿ Second, Minneapolis offers the amenities of a big city (professional sports teams, nightlife, restaurants and art/culture) along with the benefits of suburbia (neighborhoods, outdoor sports).ÿ Last, the biggest draw was the people who I found to be highly educated, accomplished and interesting while also being humble, generous and kind.ÿ ÿ

Summarize your internship experience – the good, the bad and & overall.
I did two five-week projects, including internet strategy development for a large bank and customer segmentation and marketing for a pharmaceutical maker.ÿ I learned as much about each topic as I believe I would have in a semester class at HBS, and I got to present to or interview high-level managers at both companies.ÿ I also got to work with incredible thinkers and leaders at McKinsey and our client companies, and received constructive feedback on a weekly, if not daily, basis.ÿ The Minneapolis office also went out of its way to welcome the summers with numerous Friday lunches and happy hours, and our intern group had a “conference” in Chicago that included watching a Cubs’ game from a Wrigley Field roof deck. On the downside, I traveled 3-4 days almost every week of the summer (though the weekends were completely free), and my work stream on my first project was eliminated by the client so we had to carve off other work for me on the fly.ÿOverall, it was a great, challenging experience that I believe will help make me a better manager.