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McKinsey Q&A: Josh

– Josh, an engagement manager in our Advanced Analytics practice in New York, came to McKinsey from academia. He’s a machine learning expert in the customer experience space. He finds the opportunities here compelling because of the access he has to cross-functional experts, rich data sets, and tough business problems.

Interviewer: What is the best thing about the Analytics team at McKinsey?

Josh

Josh: The analytics my group is doing in the customer experience space is truly exceptional – we call it Journey Analytics. Until now, assessing the customer journey has been quite qualitative, based on results from focus groups, interviews, pain point analyses, and surveys. We’re bringing hard data to the table. We’re deploying incredibly advanced machine learning models to improve organizational decision making. I love the challenge.

Interviewer: Tell us about your role at McKinsey

Josh: I lead projects that have a significant analytics component, especially around customer experience. I’m a machine learning expert and I apply my skills to assess the patterns within a customer’s journey from awareness to purchase and beyond. I focus on sequential pattern mining and time series analyses.

Interviewer: Why did you apply to McKinsey?

Josh: Mostly for this role. I came from academia, where I worked on hard problems with really interesting data sets. The work I do now requires 4x the analytic horsepower. I have the best opportunity to deliver value to clients because I’m part of a global firm with rich experience in strategy in all sectors and I work with some of the best analytics specialists in the world. We have an integrated model that enables us to tackle the biggest, hardest problems from end to end. It’s amazing.

Interviewer: What have you been involved with outside of client work?

Josh: I enjoy playing an active part in the broader advanced analytics community outside of McKinsey. I’ve taught university courses, delivered keynotes at conferences and competed in Kaggle.

Interviewer: What advice would you share with others considering a McKinsey career?

Josh: The best and brightest advanced analytics professionals have many opportunities in front of them. What’s compelling about McKinsey is the data and problems to which we have access. It is important to acknowledge that this is not a research job; we are consultants. We are passionate about working with people in team environments.

If you’re interested in opportunities to join Josh’s team, please explore this role within Advanced Analytics.

If you’re in the Boston area, register for the Open Data Science Conference on May 20-22 in Boston to meet Josh and several of our colleagues in Advanced Analytics.