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McKinsey Q&A: Heidi

– Meet Heidi, a consultant in our Copenhagen office. Running is a big part of Heidi’s life and we were keen to find out how she combines training with her busy work schedule.

Interviewer: How did you get into running?


Heidi: It’s a funny story – when I was younger, I played tennis competitively and had no interest in running. My mother signed up for a 5km women’s race in Copenhagen, then got ill and couldn’t run. She encouraged me to race in her place and, after a great deal of persuasion, I agreed. It got a bit embarrassing when I won the 50+ age group race and the magazine that sponsored it called my mother for a feature interview. She had to admit it was actually her 20-year-old daughter who won. For me, this experience highlighted how competitive racing could be and I’ve been hooked on it ever since.

Interviewer: What is the best part of the running?

Heidi: I like its flexibility. I can run anytime and anywhere. I love to run with friends; it’s a great way to catch up and better for you than a cup of tea in a café. I really enjoy pushing myself through tough interval training and races.

Interviewer: How do you fit training into your schedule?

Heidi: It’s all about planning. I run in the morning but I know other colleagues who train during their lunch breaks or in the evening. Running before work puts me in a great mood for the day and ensures I’m ready to focus when I arrive in the office or at the client site.

Interviewer: What advice do you have others considering applying to McKinsey?

Heidi: Just do it! Too many people are afraid they aren’t good enough and fear they will be unsuccessful. Believe in yourself and believe in the skills you have to offer. Also, don’t let rumours of long hours put you off – time flies when you are working on tasks that are meaningful to you.

Interviewer: What support did you receive during interviews?

Heidi: I spoke with a consultant at the firm a few times leading up to my interviews. We met in Copenhagen and talked informally and honestly about life at McKinsey. I asked all of my questions and learned so much. I also had a prep call with another consultant a few days before my interviews in which we worked through a practice case. You can also find a ton of resources online.