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Running Ultramarathon with McKinsey

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– I joined McKinsey to get out of my comfort zone. Previously, I spent seven years at a Salesforce implementation partner working my way into a great role, with people I loved. However, my sense of adventure took over. I knew moving to McKinsey would let me work on new, interesting challenges and push myself further.

McKinsey hasn’t disappointed. As a digital expert, I’ve worked as a Salesforce.com architect, a product owner for an Islamic bank’s new digital lab , and an Agile coach. With each engagement, I am delivering on my promise to push myself, learn new things and achieve new goals.

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In addition to cool clients to work with, I have developed a new hobby: ultramarathon running. My Garmin history paints a great picture of the number of European parks I have passed on my mission to log training miles and explore new places. On one visit to Gibraltar, I covered almost every square inch of road and hill in a 30km Thursday evening exploration run. I’ve always been a keen traveler, so I was a little surprised my colleagues don’t make more time to explore the cities they visit for work. Taking a few hours to explore nature and push my body to extreme limits is the perfect counter-balance to busy days in bustling cities. What’s more, the data driven nature of training, nutrition, kit-selection and electrolyte replacement caters to my nerdy side, as does planning and executing my race/body management strategy.

To build on my new hobby, I will use Take Time, a programme that enables me to take two extra months of time off to develop myself. I will use my time to run a 250km, 5 day adventure race across the Namibian desert in November, lugging 10kg of food and equipment on my back, whilst trying to avoid Lions, Snakes & Scorpions along the way! Whilst a significant undertaking, this challenge is probably the most exciting thing I have ever done, and I value having the support of McKinsey (and my wife!)

Pushing myself physically, and many hours pounding the trails, gives me time to reflect on who I really am and who I want to be, and I will be raising money for Cancer Research UK in honor of close family and a great friend who have recently have been battling “the big, ugly C”.

Want to learn more about roles like Chris’s? Click here.

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