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Driving change and innovating in the Client Capabilities Network

Nina is a capabilities and insights (C&I) specialist in our Düsseldorf office, and part of our geographic research team, where she uses her deep expertise on innovation in technology management and sustainability. In addition, she coaches less tenured colleagues to help them thrive at McKinsey.

My role within the Client Capabilities Network

I am a C&I specialist who works within the geographic research team for Germany, Austria and Switzerland. I support clients and colleagues with my deep expertise on innovation, particularly at the intersection of technology management and sustainability. The work varies, depending on the type of project and client needs. From taking over a complete workstream on a client study—including direct client contact—to quick outside-in data and fact research for a client service team, I have the opportunity to face new challenges every day.

At the same time, I also support internal projects. Currently I am working on a project to foster our internal innovation capabilities in our Client Capabilities Network. I also love being able to serve as a coach and mentor for less tenured C&I colleagues. It makes me so happy to onboard new colleagues and help them thrive at McKinsey.

My journey to McKinsey

I applied to McKinsey in 2016, when I was a post doctorate researcher at the University of Bonn. I had previously helped set up a professorship for technology and innovation management in the bioeconomy, which was a great experience. However, my big passion was to conduct research and dive into different topics. When I found a job posting on McKinsey’s website focused on research that was dedicated to innovation, it was eye opening. I had not realized McKinsey focused on research and the role seemed to be a perfect match. Even after all this time, it still feels like the right role for me.

A team like no other

I work on topics related to innovation and sustainability, which are among the highest relevance for our clients, and allow me to have great impact through my work. My role allows me to interact with colleagues and clients from all over the world, meet inspiring people and learn every day.

At the same time, I have my geographic research team, which is my community within McKinsey. My colleagues care and support me, laugh with me and are my anchor. We drive our professional development together, exchange knowledge, provide feedback and learn from each other. I know that they are all there for me if I need advice, support or just a nice coffee chat.

Driving change

I really enjoy taking part in the trainings the firm offers, as I get to meet people from all different paths and workstreams. Project management and effective communication are great skills I have learned through these training opportunities, and which benefit me every day.

A project in 2019 that I consider particularly meaningful allowed me to use many of the skills that I acquired in trainings. For more than six months, I worked with a European public sector client with the objective to develop a perspective on critical AI applications for small and medium sized enterprises (SME) in Europe. We developed a framework for how the public sector could best support European SMEs in developing and adopting AI. Considering the impact of AI and the importance of SMEs for the European economy, this project allowed me to see how my work makes a difference.

Nina’s advice

If you are considering applying to McKinsey, join recruiting events and get to know our people. I had quite a few questions before I applied: Is this really the right place for me? Are there people working there who I would like to be surrounded by? And now I can say, it is precisely because of the people at McKinsey that I learn something every day, am supported and feel I am making a difference.

Outside of work

I love spending time with my family. My husband and my two-year old son are my everything. We enjoy going to playgrounds, biking, riding or hiking. To free my mind, I love to run in the early mornings.