I grew up in a small town in Northern Mexico, and didn't travel much when I was younger. I think I saw the mountains for the first time when I went to college at 18. I went to business school in the United States, but when I arrived, I had never heard of McKinsey - I had no idea what McKinsey was. I joined because I wanted to get a sense of what business strategy really meant, and thought spending a couple of years here would provide great value before going somewhere else. I liked it so much that I decided to stay a bit longer.
Traveling the World
I had never traveled outside of North America before coming to McKinsey. One of my first studies as an engagement manager took me to France. I also got the chance to spend four months in Italy on a client study. Luckily, this study took place during the summer, so I moved my family to Milan with me. It was a fantastic experience, both the work that I did, working with a truly international McKinsey and client team – 10 nationalities in our team room – in a completely new environment, and the leisure time that I had to explore Italy. My daughter was 7 at the time, and we gave her a guidebook and put her in charge of finding places to visit each weekend. She created a journal that's now a treasure for the entire family.
When I was making the transition to associate principal, I had a chance to bring a new team to one of our clients, a worldwide consumer goods company. We started with just one McKinsey team in a central location, but had so much impact and developed such a strong relationship with the client that they asked us to look into all regions where they had operations. We launched pilot programs in Costa Rica, Argentina, Korea, and Malaysia to prove the program would work in diverse areas before expanding further; this was truly an international business. And while they all work for one company, each region is very independent, which made it quite a challenge to standardize their practices – especially when you hear, “We have nothing to learn from you,” in over 10 different languages.
In the end, we were able to improve productivity by as much as 30 percent and to reduce inventory by 20 percent. It was just amazing to see the impact in different locations; even though all of the McKinsey teams were experiencing completely different cultures, we were able to standardize our approach, which the client appreciated greatly. It showed me the nature of what we can achieve when we all work together as one firm, and provided real meaning to the phrase “only McKinsey can do it”.
The Hispanic and Latino consultant community (HLCSS) didn’t exist when I joined McKinsey, but as soon as the group was formed, it immediately made sense to me. I think it’s a fantastic group, and one that enables us to tackle meaningful topics. The most important thing that HLCSS has done for me is creating the forum to connect with other consultants with Latin backgrounds to support and help each other.
HLCSS has allowed me to mentor a number of colleagues in their career at McKinsey, from recruiting, to their first days at the firm, to supporting and exploring options in difficult times. This is important for me, because as an international student in the U.S. during my business school years, I noticed how differently Latin countries approach recruiting. Here in the U.S., it's all about having clear goals and objectives. The targeted approach that students and companies have in the U.S. is drastically different than Latin America, and much more effective, but it’s just something that people with backgrounds like mine are not used to. So being able to help others in their journey is something that I’m quite passionate about.
What I do in my free time
I travel a lot during the week, so I really look forward to being home on the weekends to spend time with my family. We enjoy having a barbeque at home in the yard, spending time together either at the park or at the pool or at the beach – anywhere where we can take advantage of Miami's great weather.
|Northwestern University - Kellogg Graduate School of Management
|Northwestern University - McCormick School of Engineering
||BS, Industrial Engineering