McKinsey Q&A: Patrick

Meet Patrick, an advanced analytics expert in transportation and logistics who is based in Dusseldorf. Patrick joined McKinsey after a first career in academia. He loves the fast pace of McKinsey life and the exposure he’s getting to an array of industry challenges.

Interviewer: Why did you apply to McKinsey?


Patrick: I spent my pre-McK professional life in academia, first as PhD student, then a postdoc and faculty member. After a while, I felt eager to apply my skills in the real world. What I found most intriguing about McKinsey was the ability to work on today’s most pressing questions across industries. I also loved the firm’s dedication to professional development, through training, coaching and a multitude of other opportunities.

Interviewer: Why did you join Advanced Analytics specifically?

Patrick: I had my mind set on leaving academia, yet absolutely wanted to stay close to my roots. Data driven decision making – from data mining and predictive statistics to operations research – will continue to gain importance and fundamentally change how organizations are run. Being part of McKinsey Advanced Analytics means I get to experience this first-hand every day; we’re truly living in exciting times.

Interviewer: What keeps you here?

Patrick: The unexpected. Every day is different; each one brings new challenges and fun problems to solve. It’s a bit like watching one of those really addictive TV shows. I couldn’t stand to miss an episode.

Interviewer: Tell us about your most memorable engagement?

Patrick: Last year, I helped a major logistics player develop its network strategy for the next decade. My role was to develop an end-to-end network model to simulate the effects of different demand scenarios and develop an overall optimized network roadmap. All sorts of obstacles popped up along the way – from identifying the right data sources, to aligning everybody on the right modeling methodology and correctly interpreting results. It was fantastic to see how a great team made all of this work come together in a comprehensive answer.

Interviewer: What advice would you give to others considering joining McKinsey?

Patrick: McKinsey is a great place. It’s fast-paced and creative. As you’re preparing for interviews, don’t go crazy; be confident, enjoy the problem solving, and remember all your interviewers want you to succeed.

Interviewer: What are you passionate about outside of work?

Patrick: With our first child – a now six-month-old daughter – at home, there’s no question where most of my outside-of-work energy goes. I also love to hit the trails for a run or get lost in a good book.

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