Product manager creating value for clients around the world

Before the tech industry and product management swept me off my feet, I received my degree in international business from Corvinus University in Budapest. I also studied for a year at the University of Southern California, which was an amazing opportunity to see the other side of the world and experience a different approach to education. The US was very practical and project focused, whereas Hungary was more research and literature based, teaching me valuable lessons on how to navigate in both environments.

Reka Szabados
Reka Szabados

I joined IncepTech about four years ago as a product specialist. IncepTech was focused on digital consulting, rather than classic management consulting. We tend to work on shorter projects and our work is like what you might find in a start-up or tech company. We ideate with the client, come up with solutions, quickly prototype something, test it and then move forward based on the outcome.

This February, IncepTech was acquired by McKinsey and became one of McKinsey’s four digital studios in Europe. We’re still focused on helping clients with digital business and product building.

Excited about becoming part of the McKinsey family

Reka Szabados
Reka Szabados

About seven years ago, IncepTech was built by three McKinsey alumni. We’ve partnered with McKinsey on this type of digital work for a while now.

IncepTech has always been involved with impactful projects here in the central Europe, and we’ve done work in banking, fitness, real estate, health, and higher education. The acquisition by McKinsey is an exciting opportunity for us. We can continue to work on awesome projects, iterate quickly, and build valuable and sustainable digital products that matter, AND now, as part of McKinsey Digital, we can scale our impact to a global audience.

I am excited for other reasons, too. At McKinsey, in a relatively short period of time, I can experience many industries and be involved in a wide range of projects. I can tap McKinsey’s expansive network of exceptional people for support or information. Plus, I can access just about any type of training I need because the firm’s digital leadership puts a great emphasis on providing us with all the resources to succeed.

For our office in Budapest, the strength is our community. I know it’s kind of cliché to say, but I would work on almost anything with the people I have around me.

That’s big for me, because I tend to choose projects based on people involved, not necessarily the client or industry.

My role at our firm

Reka Szabados
Reka Szabados

As a product manager, I’m responsible for finding out what products should be built and why, then ideate about the ‘how’ with my engineer teammates. I put together the strategy and product vision, and determine whether a product serves the client’s needs. I ask whether it’s usable, modern, maintainable, and sustainable from a technical perspective.

While I am not writing code, I like to be more tech savvy and have more digital affinity than the average consultant. If clients have a product idea, I can discuss the high-level architecture and technical building blocks.

Focusing on user experience to develop valuable products

I very much see myself as a problem solver. For example, recently, we have been working with the leadership team at a university in central Europe to imagine a digital-first university where student experience is enhanced by an ecosystem of digital products.

During the diagnostic phase, we discovered many students feel lost in the vast system, lack mentoring and desire a more personalized learning experience. They didn’t understand how their courses supported their career paths.

Reka Szabados
Reka Szabados

To address this, we built a gamified digital compass for academic orientation supported by a recommendation engine. It provides users with career anchors that match their type, for example “startupper,” “consultant,” or “creative.” It matches relevant courses and subjects to move students closer to their ideal careers. So users can take ownership of their development journey and get this easy to understand, visual representation of how specific courses can guide them in the right path.

Throughout another client engagement, my team helped build a collaboration platform that aims to harness the power of design to solve the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals. Projects born there could benefit millions of people.

What I have loved most about these is how we’re putting all these pieces —strategy, user experience, and technology—together to create a product that is lovable and worthwhile. That is what gets me going every day. I love seeing how the initial beautiful mess turns into a product that adds value to the world.

More about me

I come from a competitive sports background and was a competitive swimmer for twelve years. I’ve developed a great passion and love for sports, especially surfing, wakeboarding, and all water sports really.

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