Student Perspectives

Student Perspective

Farah Dilber

Farah Dilber

MBA 17

Engagement Manager
McKinsey & Company

Consulting as a path to deep impact in nonprofit

In the long-term, I want to do non-profit M&A and integration. I want to help nonprofits deepen impact and make better use of limited government and philanthropic dollars through strategic joint ventures and consolidation.

I believe a child’s access to quality education should not be left to chance or determined by their zip code, and I’ve worked in organizations that shared these beliefs. I became convinced that to become a social-sector leader who could lead large-scale reform, I needed to complement my experience with robust business skills.

As a management consultant now, I'm developing structured problem solving skills and gaining top management exposure. This will prepare me for a more senior-level nonprofit role.

Coming to consulting from a non-traditional background

Case prep was tough, but with the constant support of my classmates, I logged 50+ practice cases, which helped me feel prepared to go into my consulting interviews. All that preparation led to an internship with McKinsey & Company.

My first study involved preparing a biotech company to launch a breakthrough cancer therapy. This totally changed how I viewed my time in consulting. I had thought I would sacrifice a sense of impact in the service of gaining new skills and credibility. But my summer left me inspired by the opportunities for impact and made it easy to accept a full-time offer with McKinsey.

More than one way to lead

One of my greatest leadership lessons is that it’s important to lead from where you are. Most of us have one archetype of leadership: a commander who leads from the front.

My classmates taught me other models. Our class president led by working alongside his teams. Classmates who took a course in Antarctica taught me about leading from the rear, ensuring no one is left behind. These leadership approaches may be more subtle but no less effective.

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