Nadjia Is a Curious Innovator
Partner & Managing Director, London
At BCG, Innovators view the world from unexpected angles. They bring creativity and a fresh perspective to every challenge they face. Nadjia goes deep to understand challenges.
BCG has been more than my employer; it has been a springboard, time and time again, for me to make a meaningful difference in ways I could never have expected.
All my life, I've been fascinated with getting to know other countries and cultures. So when I joined BCG in 2004, I was hungry for an international experience—and I was given one. My very first project was in Mexico, where I helped execute a large international merger involving a Mexican company. I was dazzled by what I learned: manufacturing protocols, the pricing of raw materials, what "day one" of a merger means—not to mention the exposure to Mexican culture, food, and business customs. My clients and team members from that project remain my friends to this day.
These days, I still work with global companies, focusing on how they can use technology to improve their products and services. It turns out that bringing together businesspeople and technology people is not dissimilar to cross-cultural cooperation (sometimes harder!). I am now part of the core team working on technology topics. This career evolved through a process of self-discovery and has been nurtured by BCG's commitment to helping its consultants to chart their own courses—wherever it takes them.
Nadjia holds dual bachelor’s degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and an MBA from INSEAD. She also spent two years working at UBS Wealth Management in New York.
Q: What did you learn in your first year on the job?
A: I learned that in order to really help make change happen at a client, I had to get to know them as people. BCGers and our clients are equally passionate about reaching the goals of any given project. However, for our clients who pour all their efforts and their dreams into their work, big changes are not always easy to handle. We play a role in helping them through that change. It was an experience that reinforced to me that our business was as much about human connections as about solid analysis.
Q: What is something that has surprised you about working at BCG?
A: At BCG, everyone has interests outside of work—but what's amazing is how we encourage and support each other in those endeavors. For example, music is a cherished part of my life. Outside of work, I sing in a contemporary choir and support a music-focused charity. What has surprised me is how I could bring this passion into the workplace! For several years, I have been an active member of BCG London's drama team—a rather zany troupe that prepares skits, songs, and videos about the lighter side of work. Performing for colleagues is now one of the highlights of the year for me.
Q: Can you give an example of a time in which your team really came together in a big way? Put another way, what’s the best team experience you’ve had?
A: Our client, an insurer, wanted help in developing a new digital experience for its customers. We assembled a BCG “dream team” of all disciplines: consumer insight experts, UX/UI designers, team members who understood the regulatory landscape, and other consultants who would help with the marketing plan and business case. This magnified creativity but presented some logistical challenges—as the large team was split between California and the UK! The team overcame time differences, travel, and cross-cultural difference—and became a smoothly operating 24-7 digital machine. By the end of 14 weeks, we had built an actual app, regenerated their Web presence, and advised the client on how to face the digital future.