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The intersection of values and technology

Ed, head of engineering for McKinsey’s Marketing & Sales solution, and former Google engineer and GoHealth vice president, is driven by serving others. Read how he’s working alongside clients and colleagues to solve some of the world’s toughest problems, in line with McKinsey’s values.

Ed sat down with job search and work trends site Ladders to discuss McKinsey’s workplace atmosphere, company culture, and how to prepare for an interview. Read the full article here.

Ed Chang
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I’m an entrepreneur at heart. I left a software engineering position at Google to join GoHealth, a startup that aims to improve healthcare access in America. As a product development vice president and then engineering vice president, we created technologies to help people make better healthcare choices. Now, as the software engineering head with McKinsey’s Marketing & Sales team, Periscope by McKinsey, I’m maximizing data and technology to solve some of the world’s most challenging problems.

As a data-driven consulting firm that’s been around for 90+ years and steeped in tech for more than a decade now, McKinsey is constantly looking for new ways to apply technology. There’s a continuous desire to learn here, which I think is very special and creates an environment conducive to problem solving and breaking out of comfort zones. If you have an open mind and a willingness to learn, you can. This is so appealing to me as a technologist.

Purpose, mission and values

After more than seven years with GoHealth, I had the sense it was time to do something different. I was looking for an organization with a sense of mission and entrepreneurial spirit. I wanted to solve people problems, business problems, and societal problems using technology. McKinsey offered that and more.

I love how McKinsey lives by its purpose, mission, and values. This is evident in how we serve clients, our pro bono work, and in the way we communicate with each other here.

I took on my role as the global engineering head for Marketing & Sales solutions in mid-2020. However, when I first joined McKinsey in 2018, I was an engineering director, using data and software to put truly transformative solutions in the hands of our clients. In that role, I led our product, design, and engineering teams building new solutions and helped client service teams reshape their use of technology.

In my new position, I’m learning what clients are doing in the ever-evolving marketing space, identifying pain points and opportunities for growth and helping them maximize the power of technology and data.

Leading this team, and thinking about everything we do, including how we organize, design, implement, secure, and sustain our products is exciting. If you’re someone who wants to be part of an established, influential organization exploring the power of technology to shape businesses, you’ll love it here.

Advice for candidates

Do a bit of homework. Some people might look at a McKinsey job posting, and assume it’s similar to a typical software engineering role at another organization, but there’s really no comparison.

We’re looking for inquisitive, collaborative and sharp people who are good at using analytics and creativity to solve business problems. Take time to think about what you want to accomplish with your career, what you’re good at and where you want to grow.

At McKinsey we’re driven by serving others and working alongside our clients and colleagues to solve some of the world’s toughest problems: from using artificial intelligence to help support human-trafficking survivorsto building a global tech platform to get emergency COVID-19 medical supplies to save lives. If this type of meaningful, challenging tech work is up your alley, you’ll be especially happy here.

Ed Team
We strive to provide individuals with disabilities equal access to our website. If you would like information about this content we will be happy to work with you. Please email us at: McKinsey_Website_Accessibility@mckinsey.com

The support of a great team

First and foremost, McKinsey’s culture is values-driven and we aim to create a non-hierarchical and inclusive meritocracy.

One value that stands out to me is the obligation to dissent. Everyone – from junior engineer to senior leader – is expected to share their thoughts, perspective and, even, disagreements. Sometimes junior team members are closer to a problem and can provide much needed insights and robust solutions. As a McKinsey technologist, you have the responsibility to exercise your expertise and apply your technical and business knowledge to guide your team in the right direction.

As a mentor to software engineers, product managers, data engineers, site-reliability engineers (SREs), information security (InfoSec) specialists, and data analysts, I help my tech colleagues understand their individual interests and strengths, and combine that with McKinsey’s needs and opportunities. Technologists aren’t always familiar with McKinsey’s work in tech even though we have 4,500+ technologists. I work to help them understand who and what McKinsey is, and create impactful tech career opportunities that engage their passions and experience. That intersection is where interesting work and meaningful growth happens.

Connecting to music

At an early age, the gift of learning to play the violin was forced upon me by my parents, and when I got to middle school I was very ready to quit. Interestingly, two of my three children have a serious interest in music and want to pursue careers in composing and music education. During the pandemic, my children have been playing music together in our driveway for our neighbors here in the Chicago area.

Their love of creating and performing has renewed my interest in music and led me to discover amazing musicians within our firm. From the annual McKinsey Music Festival, which is typically a three-day jam session in Kitzbühel, Austria for firm members around the world (check out our 2020 virtual festival here) to band competitions in local offices, McKinsey values and celebrates our diverse and passionate community.

Find a job like Ed's

Ed wife
We strive to provide individuals with disabilities equal access to our website. If you would like information about this content we will be happy to work with you. Please email us at: McKinsey_Website_Accessibility@mckinsey.com

About Ed

Ed Chang is head of engineering for McKinsey’s Marketing & Sales solution. Prior to joining McKinsey, he was a software engineering at Google and then product development vice president and then engineering vice president at GoHealth, a startup that aims to improve healthcare access in America.

For more information on McKinsey's software engineering career paths, visit mckinsey.com/TechCareers.

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