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Connecting through healthy initiatives in Prague

For one group of colleagues from Prague, participating in a storied half marathon together reinforced the teamwork and connection they feel in the office every day.

On April 2, the 22nd Prague Half Marathon took place in the historic center of Prague, and a group of colleagues from the local McKinsey Global Services (MGS) office laced up their sneakers to complete the 21.1-kilometer (13.1-mile) run.

The race focused on healthy habits, teamwork, and motivating one another—themes that are also important for work at the Prague center. The runners share about the experience, their close-knit center, and the work they do at McKinsey.

Their work at the firm

Our Prague center offers a wide variety of career paths—and each of the runners has found a special place on the team.

Randall, who’s part of the Agile Coaching practice, helps his colleagues find a balance between productivity and a healthy work environment. Marina, an IT support professional, says her role on the team is to fix problems so her teammates can stay productive. And Klara, an IT service professional in Global Provisioning Services, makes sure her colleagues receive the service, products, and accessories they need to do their jobs well. Gabriela, a break fix analyst, helps to keep colleagues working by seamlessly replacing broken devices. And Arsalan, an IT analytic support intern, helps colleagues prepare and build dashboards for clients and assists with analytics-related issues.

All these roles are rooted in teamwork, which is evident every day in the workplace and was especially notable on the day of the race.

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Teamwork in the office and during the race

The MGS Healthy Club—which encourages colleagues to enjoy sports together, build a community, and support one another—brought the group together to run the half marathon. While racing can feel like an individual sport, the team members credit each other for their success.

“I must thank Marina because, without her, I wouldn't have finished the race in under the three-hour limit,” says Klara. “We ran the whole way together. I started to feel pains after 10 km of distance, and the last 7 km were the worst for me. I wanted to give up a few times and walk, but Marina kept encouraging me until the end. She could have finished in a better time, but she didn't leave me alone.” And Marina feels the same about Klara, “I have never run such a long distance. Many thanks to Klara, without her, I wouldn’t have been able to check this race off my bucket list!”

Randall and Gabriela both credit one another for helping them overcome hesitations and obstacles. “Gabriela motivated me. Never underestimate the power of a hug given at the right time. I had injuries to my ankle and knee, so I was hesitating, but she helped me prepare and we planned how to complete without getting injured. I finished the race largely because of her.”

For Gabriela, the feeling is mutual: “I was super scared to run. I am active, and I like to think I have good stamina; however, 21 km is scary. Randall encouraged and advised me. A week before the race, I hurt my foot, and I was so disappointed. Randall supported me emotionally during the short recovery. I jogged the whole route, and I thank Randall and others for the support to help me cross the finish line.”

For Arsalan, an avid runner, he used the race and motivation from colleagues to achieve a personal best time and set a new goal for his next half marathon. “I am going to finish the next one in two hours!” he says.

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Thoughts on the Prague center

For the group, the Prague center represents diversity, a place where colleagues from different nationalities, backgrounds, interests, and skills can connect and become friends. Particularly meaningful to everyone are the organized social events.

In addition to the MGS Prague Healthy Club, each of these colleagues is also active in various health-related activities, including organized groups for football and salsa.

“We all come from different backgrounds, and many of us are not from Prague. However, we feel welcome and included,” says Marina. “I see a great effort in the Prague center to promote connection through social activities, which I love being a part of,” adds Gabriela.

“We often have special events. Lunch is served every two weeks in the cafeteria or on the terrace, and the cuisine is always different. We have a meeting room called The Pub, where you can take pub quizzes and grab a drink. There are kids’ work events, organized trips, and green initiatives, too,” adds Klara. “And the food is always great,” says Arsalan.

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Working at McKinsey

One thing is clear, this group values the people in the firm and the opportunity to collaborate with and serve talented and inspiring individuals across the globe. Rewarding work and growth opportunities add to the benefits of working at the firm.

“My work is never boring. Every day is unexpected, as colleagues come up with novel and stimulating problems for me to solve. I have grown as a professional in the nine months since I joined the firm,” shares Arsalan.

Randall continues, “This is an environment that is changing regularly, and we need to adapt and learn at the same pace. Our work is challenging, but challenges create opportunities to grow. McKinsey is a place that encourages self-development and strong teamwork.”

You can learn more about the MGS Prague center and our open positions here.