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OK, so I’ll admit it, I’m an obsessive planner. When I joined McKinsey in 2002, I had spent a lot of time thinking about what life would be like as a consultant, from reading the online message boards and all the books about consulting I could get my hands on, to interviewing a number of consultants, to working part time with an alumnus of the Firm. Despite my best efforts to inform myself, however, there were a few aspects of the experience that I did not anticipate. In case it is helpful to someone else going through (or considering) a similar career change, here are a few thoughts on some of those surprises: There are remarkably smart, diverse, and passionate people in consulting. I was emerging from the M.D. program at Stanford, and was accustomed to ...