Working together on a project is a collaborative process. Every voice is heard, and every idea is considered.

What did you do before joining McKinsey?

I was a student at the University of Jena, studying business mathematics with a focus on optimization. During my studies, I became interested in examining real-world problems and finding pragmatic solutions. Working here is such a good fit for me that it’s the only time I’ve applied for a job. I have been with the firm for 8 years, and I now lead the analytics group in our German office. We help clients and consultant teams solve complex mathematical problems.

How would you describe the collaborative environment?

My colleagues are willing and open to helping each other and sharing their expertise, and you can contact anyone throughout the firm to help answer questions and solve problems. Working on a project is a collaborative process. Every voice is heard, and every idea is considered—it does not matter if you are a partner, a newly hired consultant, or knowledge professional.

We also typically have great relationships with clients. On one project, for example, we trained the client team over 9 months to implement our approach, during which we established a deep sense of camaraderie where no separation between “McKinsey” and “client” existed.

What has surprised you the most about being here?

I used to be heavily focused on content development. When my current position as a team leader opened, I was not sure if this was something I would like or if I had the right skills. My manager and I agreed to arrange a trial period to start, and I was surprised that I found topics such as people development and management to be fun—and, I received the required time and coaching needed to grow successfully into the role.