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Digital Associate, Antwerp

The speed of learning and doing is incredible.

What made you choose McKinsey?

I did an internship here as a student, and although I had offers from a consulting firm, a consumer company, and an IT business, I chose McKinsey for the global opportunities, client base, employees, culture, and values. My background is in information technology, and working in the Business Technology Practice is a perfect fit for me.

Is life at McKinsey what you expected?

Yes and no. The interview process gave me a good idea of what to expect, but I wasn’t prepared for how quickly everything happens. The speed of learning and doing is so incredible that it’s hard to explain to anyone who hasn’t experienced it for themselves. Luckily, we get a lot of support and feedback to help us develop and improve.

How difficult is to achieve a good work-life balance?

You won’t be a good consultant unless you do; you can only take care of your client if you take care of yourself. I make a point of setting ground rules with the teams I work with and using our tools for managing time effectively.

But it isn’t all up to the individual; McKinsey helps us manage our work-life balance too. Once I was transferring from Pittsburgh to Boston while my girlfriend was at a conference in New York. When I asked if I could make an unscheduled stopover for the weekend, I was told, “Of course, have a good time!”

What differences does it make to work at a global firm?

My first assignment was a worldwide public-health project, and McKinsey’s ability to call on the best global talent brought in a vast pool of expertise that helped our whole team expand our understanding and personal networks. People are thoughtful about cultural issues too: when I was traveling in Asia to get insight into day-to-day operations, the firm made sure our team members were used to the local dishes so that we could follow tradition by eating with our client.