Career before McKinsey
Before I graduated from university and joined McKinsey, I used to play blackjack in online casinos. I was excited to translate AI in computer games into products and built automated bots and a cryptocurrency mining farm with automated trading.
In 2011, I participated in an event McKinsey held in Barcelona for technologists. We teamed up to tackle a case related to reducing the CO2 footprint of a server-farm provider. If we implemented the solution we developed, we could greatly decrease CO2 emissions. Realizing the meaningful work I could do at McKinsey was the watershed moment that sealed my future. It’s been four years since then and I’m still impressed and excited about the work I do here at McKinsey.
Diversity in action
On a recent project, I built a dynamic pricing tool for a commodity producer with a data engineer from India, a solution delivery specialist from Brussels, a team manager from Prague, and a content expert from Hungary.
At the start of the project, we had team learning sessions to understand everyone’s working preferences and work-life balance needs. We took a bi-weekly survey to check in on how well our needs were addressed and identify ways to improve collaboration and happiness in our team.
Another time, on a team of two, I helped create a machine learning-based tool to optimize the steel yield in hot metal converters. It gave our client better control of the process and significantly reduced material use and equipment wear. I realized how versatile modern machine learning techniques are, and how I could apply them to make a difference in any industry.
At our best at McKinsey
Motivation and focus make McKinsey teams special. Everyone is driven and committed to solve problems in a short amount of time, while being mindful of the resources spent and never compromising the relevance for clients. I value McKinsey’s strong feedback culture, which allows everyone to build on their strengths and learn from their mistakes. I know I can grow at McKinsey. My colleagues, managers and global tech community are always there to support me and help me achieve my goals.
Balance between work and personal life
I’ve found routines that keep me happy, including regular gym time, daily calls with my wife and baby, and one early evening a week. I share these with my team during kick-off. Right now we are close to home being safe during the global COVID pandemic but typically when I have been staffed on projects outside my hometown, I have enjoyed new cities and explored restaurants and cafes.
Being with McKinsey and flying around Europe allowed me to meet regularly with my fiancée (now wife) who lived and worked in a different country. By planning weekends together around Europe, we shortened the distance in our remote relationship many times.
Martin is a digital associate based in Prague and joined McKinsey almost four years ago. Martin holds a master’s degree in computer science focused on AI in computer games from Charles University in Prague and an MBA from Stockholm School of Economics.