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Helping clients solve tough problems

For Nadezda, a move to McKinsey meant shifting from the deeply technical role of software engineer to coaching and problem solving. Learn why that was the perfect move for her—and why McKinsey has been the ideal place for her to spread her wings.

I came to McKinsey with a strong technical background as a software engineer. I also had my own startup, consulting other entrepreneurs through development challenges.

A friend who worked at McKinsey shared, “That is exactly what McKinsey does, so if you want to do this, why not go to the top?”

I applied and was hired about three years ago as a digital specialist in Berlin, and have since advanced to the digital expert role. My team builds data solutions from scratch or modernizes what the clients already have in place. I help them navigate through the life of the project from the digital perspective.

Clients are my primary focus, so I’ve switched from being super technical to being more of a coach. I’m building capabilities for clients and colleagues. I meet with clients to understand their business model and challenges. Then, I sketch out implementation and talent requirements and the journey to get there. I also assist with implementation.

My goal is to ensure technical excellence across my projects and help other developers, data scientists, and data engineers deliver their best work.

Why McKinsey is different

McKinsey has overall expertise from serving clients of all types across the globe and a massive amount of internal knowledge that informs how we approach and serve our clients.

For Nadezda, a move to McKinsey meant shifting from the deeply technical role of software engineer to coaching and problem solving.
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Using my experience as a DevOps engineer, I focus on advanced analytics and digital transformations that grow clients’ capabilities and talent, and I build platforms to support both. I help change the clients’ operations to transform how quickly they can take solutions to market.

However, digital transformation looks different for every company. Some of the building blocks are the same, but they are used to build custom architectures.

Because of McKinsey’s vast experience and knowledge base, we understand where the various blocks will and won’t work. I get to go in and figure out how to create unique architectures out of those blocks.

Rapid development gives the work meaning

While it’s different for other colleagues, I’ve never been on a project for longer than six months. My team delivers results almost instantly, and it is satisfying to know what I am doing matters now.

Being a woman in tech

When I am asked what it’s like to be a woman in tech, it often catches me off-guard because I don’t think of it that way, which is a testament to McKinsey’s culture. My colleagues and I work on the same projects and they listen to me, the same as I listen to them.

I prefer to say that when I work, I have no gender. I work as a professional, not as a female in tech. I’m a human being who works hard, and that’s the advice I would give others. You must believe you are equal to everybody or nobody else will see you that way.

Find a job like Nadezda’s

More about Nadezda

Outside of work, I love to fly and spends time piloting and organizing flying and BBQ events for people inspired by aviation. It’s great to share this passion and to empower others to take to the skies. When they land, they are always smiling. It’s like being a kid whose dad let you drive the car for the first time. In those moments, I relive my first piloting experience.

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