Skip to main content
My Dashboard
Back to Careers Blog

McKinsey Q&A: Holger

Holger studied technical mathematics and computer science in university in Germany and the US. He applied to McKinsey because a Google search presented the opportunity.

Holger studied technical mathematics and computer science in university in Germany and the US. He applied to McKinsey because a Google search presented the opportunity. Now, 10 years later, he’s a partner in Analytics in our Dusseldorf office who thrives on the variety and challenge of life at McKinsey.

Interviewer: Why did you apply to McKinsey?

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:

Holger: Two weeks before I signed my contract, I’d never heard of McKinsey. I was Googling content that interested me, such as optimization, modeling, and machine learning. I came across a company called McKinsey that wanted to build up its German Analytics group.

Interviewer: What keeps you here?

Holger: Every year during the winter holiday break I ask myself this question. My wife and I have two young kids so naturally I sometimes question whether I’m achieving the right balance. In my very early days at McKinsey, I received good advice to regularly explore career options outside of the firm. Although the market is aggressively looking for profiles like mine, I always feel more assured in my decision to stay after considering other options. What keeps me here are my fun, smart, and motivated colleagues. I am working on important topics for clients and I get to see the transformational impact of my work.

Interviewer: Tell us about your typical day.

Holger: One of the best things about McKinsey is that a typical routine doesn't exist; the variety keeps me learning and energized. I am often heavily involved with one or two teams at a time, working on topics related to Advanced Analytics strategy, transformations, organizational design and capability building. I work across sectors (mainly in retail, telecommunications, and banking), themes (mainly commercial, but also predictive maintenance), and geographies (I’ve worked on every continent except South America). In one week, I might travel for two or three days, or I might spend every day in a different city. Recently, I spoke with 20 teams in five cities in one week. I spend most of the rest of my time scaling McKinsey’s Advanced Analytics efforts. I was the first analytic specialist the German office hired; since then, I’ve helped grow our German Analytics group, then our Marketing Analytics team, and now our Advanced Analytics practice. I help hire and train talent, define career paths, set strategic priorities, etc. – which has been lots of fun and very entrepreneurial.

Interviewer: What advice would you give others considering McKinsey?

Holger: McKinsey is an intense experience and the difference between what I put in and what I get out of it has always been hugely positive. I would never had expected how fast and how much I’d learn here. The McKinsey environment keeps pushing me from one curve to another, which I find quite addictive.

Interviewer: What are you passionate about outside of work?

Holger: Above all, my kids and my wife. Then watching soccer, working out, and doing things around our house and garden.

Never miss another post

Receive new stories once a week directly in your inbox