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Advance others in analytics

Sebastian worked as a professor, then came to McKinsey to have more tangible outcomes.

Before I joined the Marketing & Sales practice in Dusseldorf four years ago, I was working as a professor. I enjoyed dealing with challenging analytical problems, and I always had a passion for teaching. However, my work tended to be very abstract. Solving a problem was satisfying, but rarely resulted in tangible outcomes beyond a publication.

My area of research was called “abstract algebra,” if that’s any indication. Switching to McKinsey’s marketing analytics team allowed me to keep the best of the academic world, and at the same time to create a tangible change. For example, on one of my recent engagements, I used machine learning to predict which customers would cancel their bank accounts. Our clients contacted these customers proactively to offer products and services we predicted they would like most.

Sebastian M&S
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Using deep analytical techniques to make concrete business decisions is quite typical for me now, and that is exactly what I like most about my role: it combines theory with direct application.

Many of our clients want to apply more of advanced analytics but do not yet have the necessary experience. Training employees of all seniority levels – from board members to new joiners – has become a big part of my work. This year, I have spent more than 250 hours training clients. By doing so, I feel like I really make a difference – not only to the bottom line business, but for the people with whom I work.

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