Coffee time with a Next Generation Women Leader: Vera

Read more about: Diversity | Community | Supply Chain

1) Who are you?

I am Vera, a 26–year–old–operations consultant in Munchen. I studied supply chain management in Rotterdam. Given supply chain is a relatively broad field, the Operations Excellence Program of McKinsey is a great fit, as I can test whether I enjoy warehouses, process planning or network design. When I am not at work, I like to dance (I have been a true ballerina since I was four) or get–together with friends to cook a delicious meal.

Inline Vera 5
Inline Vera 5

2) What did you have for lunch?

A salad and a pretzel. The canteen at my current client is not the easiest for vegetarians. However, at night we usually find the time to go out for dinner with the team, so I still get a rather balanced diet. On all my teams so far, we have been able to respect people’s preferences regarding food. For example, I like to have dinner outside of the office and then finish work at the hotel, but others prefer ordering food to the office. As long as you get your work done, you can choose your place and time.

3) What are you drinking and why?

I am drinking water – usually around four to five liters a day. I am already known for the large amounts of water I drink. Maybe it’s a bit too much? It is a habit and an easy way to stay healthy, since it automatically keeps my daily coffee consumption low. I consider that a double win.

4) What are your Friday or weekend plans?

This weekend, two of my closest friends will visit me in Munchen. We wrote our bachelor’s thesis together. After that, one moved to Vienna and the other to Dublin. We try to see each other at least three times a year. The plan is to cook some good food, talk for hours and tour around the city. Of course, with today’s social media, it is relatively easy to stay in touch, but these girl weekends are crucial to keeping such close friendships alive across distances.

5) Do you have a Feel Good Friday tip?

Have at least one coffee with a friend. Actually, the coffee machines in the office deliver quite good coffee and milk foam so I find the coffee chats quite delicious and relaxing at the same time. If your week was stressful, you can share your troubles and joke about them a bit. You can talk about things other than work, like your weekend plans or your next dinner get–together, which will help you get in the weekend vibes.

6) What type of music makes you feel motivated?

When I need to motivate myself, I like to listen to music with a fun beat and some lyrics. For example, ”Animals“ by KYKO, ”Once in a While“ by Timeflies or ”Take Me Up“ by Coleman Hell. The beat makes me dance a little in my head while typing away on my laptop, but it is not so strong that it distracts me from my work.

Inline Vera 3
Inline Vera 3

7) How did you make a difference this week?

Every other Friday, the Munich office organizes a Friday Bar, where drinks and snacks are served on the top floor. This week, I met an old friend, who recently joined. She was a bit flustered, because she had just received her first piece of feedback from her project manager. I explained to her how she should interpret the McKinsey jargon and why none of it was anything to worry about. At the end, she felt a lot better and even texted me later to thank me for the support.

Interested in meeting Vera and getting inspired? Join her during our Next Generation Women Leaders event in Paris. Learn more here.

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