Meet Alex, an associate partner from the Minneapolis office

I am an associate partner and am based in Minneapolis. I do the majority of my work at the intersection of Global Energy and Materials (GEM), especially chemicals and agriculture, and Operations, focusing on manufacturing & supply chain.

I am an engineer by trade and started my career in maintenance and reliability in the aluminum industry. I moved to commercial project management, strategy and corporate development in industrial goods. As part of my strategy and corporate development work, I got to work with consultants on a few projects and was intrigued by the fast pace, intensive learning, and high impact of the work we did together. After completing my MBA at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth, I joined the firm.

Alex Sierra blog post
Alex Sierra blog post

My wife Irene and I moved to Minnesota in 2015 so she could start her PhD in forest management at the University of Minnesota. We have grown our family here over the years, starting with our dog Panza (which means Potbelly) and recently adding our first child, Gonzalo.

Alex Sierra blog post
Alex Sierra blog post

What advice would you give to someone on their first day at McKinsey?

You will develop yourself in ways you didn’t think were possible. Keep your strengths at the forefront; you will have plenty of opportunities to learn about them during feedback sessions with your teammates. Put them to work and use them as the basis to build new skills. Actively find people you like working with; seek out mentors and stay close to them to learn as much as you can. In my case, I met two senior colleagues, Matt and Anand, on my third engagement. They stood out for me in terms of knowledge, problem solving, and people skills. I have always stayed close to them, checking with them on opportunities as well as advice on my career choices. They have shaped my professional and personal development.

How did you find the McKinsey Hispanic Latino Network?

During my second client engagement at McKinsey, I worked with Ximena, a fellow associate from Peru based in Chicago. She introduced me to the Hispanic and Latino Network family. I soon realized how supportive and empathetic everybody was, with a push toward diversity, inclusion and profession development of each other. Then, I was lucky to work with Ingrid Millan in a due diligence study. Ingrid has been a true friend and mentor during my journey at the firm. She also introduced me to Lucy Pérez, who gave me the opportunity to lead the Freshman Diversity Leadership Academy in 2019. Finally, through the Hispanic and Latino Network I met Fernando Perez, who has been creating opportunities for me and with whom I have worked on my last three engagements. The Hispanic and Latino Network has been a source of mentors, fun - from the conference in Puerto Rico and the Cinco de Mayo celebrations - and of personal development for me. It has expanded my network, created opportunities for me to contribute to diversity and inclusion, and enabled me to do meaningful work for our clients.

How are you currently involved with the Hispanic and Latino Network?

Alex Sierra blog post
Alex Sierra blog post

In 2019, I led McKinsey’s Freshman Diversity Leadership Academy with Lucy and Ingrid. It was an amazing experience to share the impactful work we do for our clients while teaching a diverse and energetic group of sophomore students how to solve problems effectively.

That same year, I was part of the team that put together the inaugural McKinsey Hispanic & Latino Economic Forum (HLEF). During the event, we brought together close to 60 Hispanic & Latino leaders to talk about economic and educational development for the Hispanic & Latino community in North America. We continue HLEF efforts this year with a series of webinars focused on health, financials and wellbeing of our community in the COVID-19 environment.

Locally, we also get together as a community. In Minneapolis, when we are not in the middle of a pandemic, we plan lots of fun events. For example, Ricky, an associate partner in Minneapolis, and his wife, Kelly, hosted a paella competition (see photo). Even though we see each more these days through Zoom, I know we’ll get together – hopefully with paella – in-person one day soon.

Learn more about the Hispanic and Latino Network at McKinsey.

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