Managing director, Funda
What did your McKinsey career look like? I started out as a fellow straight from university, working under the guidance of consultants who’d joined only one or two years before. I worked in sectors such as telecoms, TV, internet, energy and finance, slowly taking on larger chunks of work and responsibility. Some clients were successful businesses, others were in deep trouble. Some were big international businesses; others were small local players. I also remember applying game theory matrices for a utility company looking for the best response to their competitors in a bidding war for long-term fuel contracts.
What is the best thing you have learned from your McKinsey time?
McKinsey gave me a truckload of tools and techniques to help with problem solving and organizing my thinking, all designed to improve understanding and decision making. These have proven useful in all my ventures since.
If there’s one thing you would like to have done when you were at McKinsey, what would it be? At some point I signed up for a project in South Africa, where McKinsey had only just opened office. Unfortunately I couldn’t go, as I was needed for a project in Amsterdam. Some of my friends did some terrific work in Johannesburg. McKinsey offers tremendous opportunities for getting international experience.
What advice do you have for someone considering McKinsey? McKinsey is a terrific career starter and stepping stone to management positions in all sorts of businesses. Consulting allows its practitioners to taste many different working environments in a very short time frame. Plus, the speed and the variety of the work mean a very steep learning curve.
What do you do today? I run Funda, a leading property portal in the Netherlands. The company was one of the early internet successes in the Netherlands, launched in 2000, currently employing approximately 50 staff. I joined in 2008, after I’d spent almost 8 years in the UK.
How does being a McKinsey alumnus specifically help you? The McKinsey network is very strong and the connection with my previous colleagues remains strong even years after we’ve all left.
Joep left McKinsey as a fellow, and has an M.Sc. in engineering design from Delft University of Technology and an M.B.A. from INSEAD.