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McKinsey Q&A: Heiko

– Heiko, an expert partner in our Operations practice, based in Cologne, joined McKinsey to avoid focusing in a single industry early in his career. He still enjoys the variety of his work within Operations. His most recent adventure is leading our newest service line within the practice: quality, compliance, and remediation (QCR).

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Interviewer: What led you to McKinsey?

Heiko: When I was graduating with my MBA from Wharton, I wasn’t ready to pick a job with one company in one industry. I decided to do consulting for a few years. After more than nine, I still work in different industries, including automotive, machinery and consumer goods. I love it and don’t see any other jobs that offer this amount of variety.

Interviewer: How did you get involved in QCR in particular?

Heiko: I have always been part of McKinsey’s Operations practice. Until last year, I was a member of the procurement and supply management (PSM) service line. This year, I was asked to co-lead our new quality service line. I jumped at the chance to build something new.

Interviewer: Tell us about your most memorable engagement.

Heiko: One of my first is still one of my favorites. I was a first-year associate and we helped an Indian automotive supplier evaluate its options for entering U.S. lawn mower market. We had to understand the market, supplier base, competitors, etc. in a short time. Every month, my team and I met with the owner of the company and reported our progress. The business case unfortunately did not work, but the client was happy he learned so much about the market.

Interviewer: What are you passionate about outside of work?

Heiko: I recently started playing tennis again. I rejoined a team I played with when I was 15-25 years old. I enjoy vintage cars and bought a 20-year-old Porsche a while ago. Driving it feels so much more direct and real than modern cars. It’s exciting every time – just to see if it will work!

Learn more about roles within QCR.