Developing new skills with support to give back

Before McKinsey, I worked as an engineer in Germany specializing in cybersecurity. I had technical skills, but wanted to learn more about the business side of technology. It was during that time that I got in contact with a recruiter and joined the McKinsey Berlin office.

After one year in Germany, an associate partner in the Ho Chi Minh City office reached out to me about a short-term rotation to help grow the Vietnam office.  As a German-born Vietnamese, I was excited to reconnect with my roots and become part of Vietnam’s growth story. Before I knew it, I was in Vietnam serving clients and collaborating with colleagues.

How has McKinsey supported you to be your best?

At McKinsey, I work with clients across industries and topics, which include cybersecurity strategy, tech provider growth strategy, fintech strategy, and building a digital B2B market place app. During each of these projects, I worked closely with the clients’ top management team to solve tough technology and business challenges. In one of my cybersecurity projects, a European airline was attacked by ransomware. McKinsey was asked to help define a cybersecurity strategy, create a three-year implementation roadmap, and build the company’s capabilities. I was confident my technical expertise would come in handy—I analyzed the airlines’ maturity and defined initiatives across vulnerability identification and cyber incident detection and response. My team supported me by pushing me to think through how to clearly communicate the technical concepts and elevate the technical cybersecurity risks to business risks.

What is your favorite part about working at McKinsey?

I enjoy working at McKinsey because it is a global firm and provides opportunities to work in different countries and office locations (pre COVID-19).  My passion is to visit and work in different countries to broaden my perspective and meet and learn from global experts. At McKinsey, I’ve worked in Italy, Denmark, Saudi Arabia, Belgium, and Vietnam and with colleagues from all over the world. Most importantly, as a German-born Vietnamese, I can  help grow the office and do work that contributes to the country’s development. For example, I worked on a project where we defined the long-term strategy for a top real estate development company, which included creating PropTech solutions for the local market.

What are your interests outside of work?

Outside of work I am passionate about connecting people and helping underprivileged groups. With friends and colleagues, I applied skills like problem-solving and communications to scope challenges, propose creative solutions and connect with the right people. Together with fellow colleagues in the German office, I co-founded 2 NGOs: and Overseas Vietnamese. is a mentoring platform that helps underprivileged students and students who are the first in their families to study in university. The organization aims to help them succeed by matching them with experienced mentors to help their studies. Overseas Vietnamese is a global networking platform. It is comprised of overseas Vietnamese professionals and already has more than 10.000 members. The goal is to connect the Vietnamese diaspora and build a bridge to Vietnam, improving cultural understanding and exciting overseas Vietnamese about opportunities to help the country grow.

How would you summarize your McKinsey experience thus far?

My McKinsey journey has been overwhelmingly rewarding. I’ve gained many new skills, broadened my perspective, reconnected with my roots, pursued my passions, and made lifelong friends. With my newly acquired skills, I can quickly adapt to new situations, dive into a new topic, work under tight timelines and effectively communicate and problem solve to reach solutions. My journey has just started, and I look forward to what’s in store.

Find a role like Daniel’s:

More about Daniel:

Daniel is a consultant in the Ho Chi Minh City office.  He holds a bachelor’s degree in computer science and mathematics from the University of Düsseldorf and San Jose State University. He holds a master’s degree in computer forensics from University College Dublin. Before joining McKinsey, Daniel worked as a cybersecurity engineer specializing in responding to cyber-attacks. In 2019, he was appointed as the official German delegate to the G7 Youth Summit in Paris, where he was part of the working group on digital equality.

Never miss another post

Receive new stories once a week directly in your inbox