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McKinsey Q&A: Christian

– Christian is a senior research analyst with the North American Knowledge Center. He holds two masters – one in applied economics from Johns Hopkins and one in international relations from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University. He joined our McKinsey family in Waltham about 10 months ago.

Christian G inline

Interviewer: What brought you to McKinsey?

Christian: I first heard about McKinsey when I took an Organizational Health Index (LINK) survey at one of my prior employers. A few years later, I was a feeling a bit frustrated by the limited options for advancement. I got an email from a fellow Johns Hopkins alum about a role with McKinsey in the Boston area, close to my family.

Since I joined, I’ve worked hard; I was very pleased to receive a promotion after nine months. I love the caring meritocracy, huge amount of opportunity, and quality of the people I’ve found at the firm.

Interviewer: Tell us about your most memorable project.

Christian: My most memorable project was developing and executing an economic development strategy for a country in Latin America. I worked with a team of generalist associates, senior McKinsey leaders, CEOs, ministers and the country’s president. In my prior job, I did a lot of research that most of the time never got executed. Having the experience of implementing my ideas was the best part. This project was one of the most challenging things I’ve ever done. The stakes were high because the ultimate goal was to create hundreds of thousands of jobs in a small country. It has been amazing to see how our plan unfolded and how much impact our work has had.

Interviewer: What kind of mentorship and support have you received at McKinsey?

Christian: I feel so fortunate to have many mentors here. I have a couple of managers on my team who regularly help me navigate McKinsey. My team lead in particular has helped me tremendously improve my communication skills. I’ve connected with other mentors on my projects. For example, on an economic forecasting engagement, I worked with a senior expert who knew a lot more than me about a particular topic and patiently shared his knowledge with me. A senior leader on another project also helped me hone my problem-solving abilities by debating ideas with me.

Interviewer: What’s your best piece of advice for someone applying to McKinsey?

Christian: Do it! Working for McKinsey will be one of the best professional experiences you’ll ever have. I really like the mentality here that we figure out the solutions to any problem together. I’ve worked in very diverse teams on a variety of topics and no one has ever suggested I can’t contribute to problem-solving because I have no experience in a particular industry or function. If you love working in say economics, and have a passion for gender equality and professional sports, this is the place where you can pursue all of those interests.

Interviewer: What are you passionate about outside of work?

Christian: I enjoy watching and playing sports. We have a soccer team in the Boston office and compete in a tournament with other teams from offices across the Americas. We took second place this year and are ready to go for first next year. I enjoy movies and books, especially those by Woody Allen and Gabriel Garcia Marquez. I love animals, and have a two year old Havanese dog.