As a data engineer and McKinsey associate partner, I work closely with c-suite leaders to transform how their companies use tech, IT and data. I collaborate with cross-functional teams of data architects, engineers, and designers to transform businesses’ operations from the inside out. It’s an exciting mixture that you only find at McKinsey, and our accessibility to the CEO, top management and the whole board allows for tremendous impact.
My path to McKinsey
I started my career as a software engineer working for a local startups mainly on web and mobile technologies. Then I joined Amazon Web Services, where I took on the role of leading architecture .
When I left Amazon, I spent time in the New York-headquartered media conglomerate Viacom working on its digital transformation. At the time, the media industry was under immense pressure from new players like Netflix. Viacom felt that pressure in terms of content, delivery tools, and platforms. As lead of the technology transformation for the EEMA region, I helped Viacom rethink how to deliver content to their customers. We developed new applications for consumers to watch content, and, along the way, I shaped some aspects of Viacom’s operating model, roles and responsibilities.
Then, I joined McKinsey’s Berlin office.
Fulfilling digital transformations
I recently worked with a client in Western Europe that was very successful in brick-and-mortar retail but was challenged by a very large product catalog. Store employees and managers were so focused on refilling shelves and calculating SKUs that they were strapped for time when it came to customer service.
Our goals were to improve visibility between the stores, warehouses and fulfillment distribution centers and to automate operations that were slowing down the business. This way, employees could be re-trained for more high-value tasks and spend more time with customers
Our team of UX designers, data engineers, data scientists, product managers and business analysts brought a multi-dimensional skillset so we could examine the client’s needs and build a tech product that truly addressed their challenges.
We built visualization dashboards and forecasting algorithms that predict on-shelf needs and fill them before products run out, lowering on-shelf disruptions by 50 percent. This decreased the pressure on employees, improved the checkout experience and customer service, and ultimately increased sales.
Mentorship at McKinsey
I thought I was a good networker, but I didn’t master the dynamics of asking for support and mentorship until I came to McKinsey. Mentorship is part of McKinsey’s culture, and I take it on myself to help new colleagues, especially those who come to McKinsey as experience hires, find their path.
I like to start by helping colleagues create an initial game plan. With so many options, we look for projects that fit well with their skills, interests and lifestyle. I take time to get to know each person, guide them based on my experiences, and introduce them to others at McKinsey who can help them thrive in their work.
My advice for experienced hires: find your sweet spot. McKinsey offers you the chance to experiment and create your own path. Find a topic, industry or group of people you love, because you will enjoy the work that much more.
For more information on McKinsey's data engineering career paths, visit mckinsey.com/TechCareers.