Christine Zhang

My Trajectory

General info
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Resources I used on my MBA application journey

Applicant Lab for MBA application

One thing I wish I knew about the MBA application process

Essay writing cannot usually be done overnight (or in a few weeks). You need to really sit down and reflect on your past experiences, your strengths and weaknesses and your passions, and decide on your future journey - and it will take time to get to know yourself!


If you look at my resume or my LinkedIn profile, you will see a smart student who went to a top college in China and then went to MIT Sloan for MBA, a hard-working young professional who joined McKinsey right after college and transferred to its US office, and a thoughtful person who focuses on her passion in healthcare industry.

But the reality is - sometimes I also wonder whether I am an "admissions mistake", a "recruiting mistake", or an "outsider". Growing up in a small and poor town in China, I was taught to only "study hard and get good grades", and soon after moving to Shanghai, I realized that I was different from most of my classmates and colleagues - they grew up speaking fluent English; they have impressive extracurricular and internship experiences in different countries; they began exploring different career options from a young age; and I was quite the opposite.

I wondered, many times in my life, whether I am a good fit for McKinsey or MIT, whether I should just go back to my hometown, get married, have children, and become a housewife, like many girls usually do in my hometown. But luckily, every time I had any self-doubt, there were always some people who saw my potential and encouraged me to carry on - the leaders at the student union at my college who trusted me, the Project Managers and Partners at McKinsey who coached me and sponsored my career development, my MIT Sloan classmates and professors who gave me great emotional and career support, etc. These people are my mentors and my role models - I learn from them how to become a better leader, how to close the gaps of my previous experiences and capabilities, and most importantly, how to see the strengths of other people and help them to realize their full potential.

Right now at McKinsey US, as a healthcare consultant, I still face challenges in terms of leadership skills, culture/language, industry knowledge, etc. But I feel much more confident about my future journey - knowing that I am on the right track with the support from all of my mentors and sponsors. I am also motivated to give back to the community, since I know there are others like me!

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