When I realized that I could continue building on my scientific knowledge of both food and biomedical engineering while working in the fast-paced world of consulting, I took the leap.

From scientist to business consultant

I earned my PhD in food process engineering, learning how air bubbles can be stabilized to create such foods as ice cream, chocolate mousse, and whipped cream. To broaden my horizon, I then decided to do a postdoc in biomedical engineering. During that time, I had the exciting opportunity to support a baby food start-up, applying my knowledge and expertise from the food sector. Working with this start-up gave me a glimpse into how I could translate my enthusiasm for science into supporting a business. When I realized that I could continue building on my scientific knowledge of both food and biomedical engineering while working in the fast-paced world of consulting, I took the leap.

What sets McKinsey apart

I looked at many different possibilities in consulting, including more specialized firms as well as other generalists. Though it may sound like a cliché, the main reason I chose McKinsey was the people. Everyone I met during my interview process was very friendly and knowledgeable, and I could definitely see myself working with any of them. The second reason was the great opportunities offered by the firm, not only to work in different industries and functions, but also in terms of career development, with excellent training and great mentors.

What to expect in your first 100 days

My first 100 days at the firm were incredible—meeting so many great people, receiving excellent training to prepare me for the work at McKinsey, and diving right into exciting client projects.

I had two different initial trainings. The first one introduced me to the day-to-day work of a consultant. This was followed by the mini-MBA, where I learned about important business concepts and also got the chance to meet colleagues from around the world. Soon after, I received a call for my first project.

During my first few projects, I not only learned a lot about the way we work at the firm but also had the opportunity to help clients in different industries, on very different topics, ranging from R&D portfolio assessments to merger support. I also quickly realized that I really enjoy work related to my scientific background, and I am now focusing almost exclusively on the pharmaceutical, chemical, and consumer goods sectors.

Great support for pursuing my areas of interest

I had the opportunity to work on an advanced analytics project with QuantumBlack. This project opened many doors for me, including additional advanced analytics projects and forming a team to participate in the firm’s New Ventures Competition. All along this journey, I have always had the full support from the project leadership to further develop my skill set, in advanced analytics and other areas.

Education

Columbia University
Postdoc, biomedical engineering

ETH Zurich
PhD, MA, food science