I wanted to better understand the problems facing different industries, and how technology could solve them—McKinsey offered me this opportunity.

Background and joining McKinsey

Before joining McKinsey, I was a PhD student at ETH in Zurich, working to improve the performance of highly distributed embedded computing systems. This was an amazing experience, but it was somewhat removed—I didn’t know what actual problems we were helping to solve, or how our solutions could be of practical use for the companies experiencing them, as well as their customers.

I wanted to better understand the problems facing different industries, and how technology could solve them—McKinsey offered me this opportunity.

Multifaceted teams

I enjoy being able to help executives from various industries use IT and new technologies to become more effective, create a better customer experience, and a more stimulating environment for their employees.

We work in small teams, and team members have diverse backgrounds and expertise, allowing us to tackle difficult challenges and find solutions that aren’t immediately obvious. On one recent project, my team consisted of experts in telecommunications, accounting, and IT and multiple client-side employees such as product managers and enterprise architects, solving the problem of how to digitize customer–client interactions. None of us would have been able to find the solution alone, but by examining the different aspects of the problem, the internal and external views we formed—as well as our different skill sets—allowed us to sketch a solution that we believe will make the client a leader in the digital market.

A fast ramp-up of business skills

Working in cross-functional teams puts you on a very fast learning curve. On top of that, you get a comprehensive onboarding program and regular training sessions tailored to your role, and you can attend international conferences and practice meetings. For instance, since I started at McKinsey without an in-depth business background, I was sent to various trainings for basic consulting skills and business topics. All of these are international, so you meet colleagues from all over the globe and can create a worldwide network of colleagues and friends.

From digital to tangible

Nowadays, I am part of the Digital McKinsey team, which helps clients shape their digital strategy and translate it to the real world. This allows me to apply my passion for new technologies to all kinds of industries. We typically address questions about the implications of the Internet of Things on the advanced-technology sector, digitizing customer interactions in banking, how the newest wireless technology affects the telecommunication industry, and how big data and advanced analytics might change the retailer market.

What strikes me about all of these topics is their implications for the customer—and that you can add a significant contribution by simplifying and improving the lives of many people. I feel technology is accelerating changes in the way we are living, and I want to use it to help create a better customer experience.

Education

ETH Zurich
PhD, computer engineering
MSc, electrical engineering
BSc, electrical engineering