What did you do before joining?
I studied aerospace engineering at Delft University, where we were encouraged to develop ourselves and gain experience before we graduated. Between my bachelor’s and master’s degrees, I took a break to develop and build a solar car with ten other students. We ended up winning the World Solar Challenge in Australia! I also did a fellowship program at Boeing in Seattle to get a better understanding of what an engineer’s job would be like.
What made you choose McKinsey?
When I was at Boeing, what gave me the most energy was having a full picture of how a company works, interacting with people from different departments, and thinking about which strategic direction the company should take. On the other hand, I found that the engineering work of designing and analyzing structural components of an airplane was more repetitive and less exciting than I expected. Some fellow students and colleagues introduced me to McKinsey, and I realized that consulting would be a better fit for me.
Is life at McKinsey what you expected?
I was surprised by the collaboration among colleagues. I expected people at McKinsey to be competitive, and not necessarily supportive. But it turns out that everybody works together and helps each other learn and develop and deliver our best work for clients.
What do you like best about working here?
One thing that stands out for me is the learning and training opportunities. After 2 years working as a business analyst, I was offered the opportunity to do an MBA, and I spent a year at INSEAD in Fontainebleau and Singapore complementing my engineering background with a solid business education. During the application process, McKinsey helped me select the right business school and wrote letters of recommendation, and after I graduated, the firm made sure my return to work was as smooth as possible.