Prior to joining McKinsey, I studied and worked abroad. I graduated from the Warsaw School of Economics after obtaining a finance degree and completing the CEMS program. McKinsey ran one of the CEMS projects, and that’s when I first interacted with people at the firm.
The opportunity was thrilling and nerve wrecking. Now it seems silly, but I was so nervous I could barely speak. As it turned out, all the stress was not necessary. The people I met were extremely humble and helpful. In addition, the project itself was very inspiring. We developed a strategy to improve bottom line of the best, but financially struggling, child care hospital in Poland.
At the end of the course, I made up my mind to apply to McKinsey someday. I spent the next two years gaining valuable work experience in Poland and UK before applying to McKinsey in Warsaw. Guess what? I got an offer!
For me, it was vital to be able to make an international career and yet still to be based in Warsaw. I have my lovely wife and dear friends here. Even when being on a project abroad, I am still able to maintain my work–life balance. Friday evenings and weekends to spend with my closest ones is something I really do appreciate. Together with my friends we have this tradition of the board game meetings when we spend the whole night playing Game of Thrones and recalling student days.
The funny fact is that two of those dear friends of mine are the ones I met at the very first weeks at the dormitory. We have lived next door and shared our ups and downs together over the years. I had never imagined that just a few years later we will end up not only as friends but also as colleagues from the same office.