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The (un)original plan

Damian was a professional soccer player, but after many surgeries, he had to give up on this dream. Luckily, McKinsey gave him a new one.

My original plan was to follow my father’s footsteps and have a long, lucrative career as a professional soccer player. As a young prospect, I was raised in one of the best youth soccer academies in Ekstraklasa. I played on the Polish National Team U-17 and continued at one of the best clubs in Poland. At that moment, there was no way I could have known my life would go under a full transformation when I was forced to prematurely retire from soccer after suffering six injuries to my right knee.

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Being an immigrant (my parents came to the US when I was 14 years old) and a first-generation college graduate only contributed to my struggle to adapt to a changed life and new goals. I worked hard and experienced many failures before I realized the professional workplace and a competitive athletic team are quite similar. Professionalism, hard work, and the ability to work well under pressure helped me transform my career.

Today, I work with a phenomenal group of intelligent individuals with valuable expertise and perspectives. They challenge me and help push me to grow as a person and a consultant. Everyone here really wants to help each other be their best.

When I accepted McKinsey’s offer, I moved to New York. I didn’t know anyone there outside of my new colleagues. They welcomed me, befriended me and showed me around. They looped me into our soccer team; even though I can’t play, I cheer them on every Sunday and when they play once a year in the McKinsey-wide tournament in Costa Rica.

I am part of the service operations practice with a focus on solutions and partnerships. I help our clients turn operations into a strategic advantage by teaching them use technology, big data, and advanced analytics more effectively. I collaborate with the world’s leading AI tech organizations to deliver customized and impactful services and develop and share knowledge.

Learn more about Damian’s group

About Damian
Damian is an operations implementation specialist based in New York. He earned a bachelor's in accounting from the University of Illinois and a certificate in artificial intelligence form the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Prior to joining McKinsey, Damian was an analyst at Accenture.