My parents are social workers in the Philippines, and I have always known my purpose was to make a difference in the public sector. But I realized that experience in the corporate world would provide good background for public sector or government work, so I studied management engineering. After school, I wasn’t really considering consulting, but my first McKinsey interview was with the head of the Philippines office. He talked about projects he’d done in Southeast Asia, and I thought, “This is what I want to be talking about six years from now.”
McKinsey represents a marriage of two worlds
We focus on top-management issues in major organizations. Addressing such issues—in places like Southeast Asia—also impacts local economies and communities. For example, improving the service level of a country’s top telecom company improves communications throughout the nation. McKinsey also does many government projects and pro bono engagements. The opportunity to do work that seriously affects society really distinguishes McKinsey.
I like to go out with my friends and travel whenever I can. I go to the gym and I go to dance class. I am excited about writing a book in the future.
Inspiring conversations with partners
The chance to work with inspiring people has been extremely important to me. In particular, heart-to-heart conversations with partners have helped me understand what working with clients really means. Are we approaching the problem right? Are the clients truly engaged? Are they ready for our recommendations? How can we prepare them? I don’t know if you can have those conversations anywhere else. They have taught me what I’ve heard many partners say—consulting is not just a science, it’s an art.
Rebuilding after disaster
I was part of the post-tsunami effort in 2005. It was my most exciting and inspiring experience here. We were in a unique situation where we were working with top leaders of government and private industry to help Indonesia define, design, and implement the best role that they could play in the reconstruction.
Our biggest challenge was determining how to deploy the significant amount of funds that were raised for disaster recovery, and determining how to help eliminate any potential corruption because of these billion dollar funds. Given that Indonesia has a history of corruption, it was also important that the reconstruction agency play a role in safeguarding against that potential problem, especially with the global attention on Indonesia at that time.
I think this was one of the most in-demand projects we have ever had at McKinsey. We had consultants from all over the U.S. and Europe, and of course associates and analysts in Indonesia. It was truly a global effort. We were on the phone with international disaster reconstruction agencies and experts all over the world looking at cases on the Bam earthquake in Iran and earthquakes in Japan to learn how they handled those situations. What role does the government play and how do they ensure that the reconstruction process goes smoothly? We engaged the client in these discussions because it is very important to always make sure you address the individual client’s issues, not just look at best practice solutions and implement them.
Our work focused on defining the best role and operating model to ensure that the needs of the people were addressed with the right projects and the funds were being allocated effectively. We were also involved in stakeholder relations and coming up with an anti-corruption strategy, which I think is such an exciting and also very challenging work stream to have because it is so unique. I don’t think there are many other places where you’d be responsible for developing the plan to be able to prevent and act on the corruption that can happen in the process of reconstruction.
|Ateneo de Manila University
||BSc, Engineering Management