Shaping my path as a McKinsey recruiter

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While earning my bachelor’s degree in business administration at the University of Cologne, I was part of a student organization called World Business Dialogue. By pure coincidence, I started on the HR team. I had such an amazing time getting others excited to join our initiative. That’s when my passion for recruitment was born.

Joining McKinsey

I learned about an internship opportunity with McKinsey’s recruiting team in Cologne via a uni friend. We were part of WBD and he knew about my passion for all things related to talent acquisition. Back then, I knew the name McKinsey but not a lot more about the firm. I decided to apply, hoping to meet some of my potential colleagues during interviews to learn more. I had such a positive and insightful interview experience that I was over the moon when I received the offer to join. Little did I know I had just found the place where I would build my career.

Aline Frenzel
Aline Frenzel

Carving my path

Since then, I’ve been part of three very different, yet very wonderful recruiting teams at McKinsey. The first team I joined was the German office recruiting team. I will forever be grateful for the two years I spent there. I had a great manager who gave me some of the most valuable career advice, and I worked with colleagues who became friends.

McKinsey then enabled me to move to London, where I joined our MBA hiring team. I remember thinking that, after having such a fantastic team in Germany, I probably wouldn’t be so lucky again. My new team exceeded my expectations. They helped me navigate my first year in London, and we remain close; we were re-united at my wedding this past December.

I then left McKinsey for a year, curious to see what was outside the bubble I had created for myself at the firm. I do not regret that move because it taught me lot on a professional and personal level. Most importantly, it showed me McKinsey was the right place for me.

Aline Frenzel
Aline Frenzel

Before I left McKinsey, I considered the team dynamics and collaboration normal since that was all I knew. While I was away for a year, I learned how other companies work and what was the best fit for me. I reflected on what matters most to me in my career, what I could compromise on, and what made an employer the right or wrong fit for me. These considerations led me back to McKinsey. I can be myself here, with all my strengths and weaknesses. I am trusted and encouraged to drive meaningful projects within and beyond my core hiring responsibilities. I have a caring and supportive team that helps me when I need it but can also just laugh with me over a coffee. This journey allowed me to appreciate these things even more than I did before I left, and I’m very grateful for that.

Coming back – virtually

Aline Frenzel
Aline Frenzel

I re-connected with some of the recruiting leads I knew in London and was offered the opportunity to re-join, this time as part of McKinsey’s tech recruiting team. Shortly after, the pandemic hit. To this day, I have only met most of my teammates virtually, but it doesn’t feel like that. Recruitment didn’t slow down during lockdown, and it was a difficult time for me. The support and care I received from my team and my managers were incredibly helpful, and I can’t wait to meet everyone in person soon. I consider myself extremely lucky to work with so many talented, caring, and fun individuals, and I’m excited to see what the future holds for us.

Outside of work

This year has kept me busy outside of work. My husband and I bought our first house and married in December. Hence, my spare time has been dominated by Pinterest. Now that things have returned to normal a bit more, I can finally get back to some old hobbies like spin class in the dark (so no one can see how red my face gets) and making my way through all the Westend shows. My three favorites are currently The Book of Mormon, Starlight Express, and Hamilton, but I have a feeling Dear Evan Hanson might make it in there… stay tuned!

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