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Making My McKinsey

Ana Maria manages our global Agriculture practice. Her path has included international transfers, various roles, a growing family and more.

I originally joined McKinsey as a research analyst in São Paulo. After some time, I saw the Operations practice gaining scale in the region. I wanted to contribute to its growth, so I joined. I spent time abroad to help build the practice including our Latin America Sourcing Center. It was an enriching and truly international experience. I worked in McKinsey offices in several continents and everywhere felt like home.

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A few years later, the firm asked me to build a research team in Mexico. I knew this could be a great professional and life experience. Of course, there were trade-offs: my boyfriend (now husband) couldn’t join me for a year and I’d have to adapt to a new culture and learn a new job. However, the risk was worth it. I spent two amazing years in Mexico during which I learned a lot, made great friends, and got married. Once the team was fully up and running, I felt I’d completed my mission and transferred back to São Paulo to become the Consumer Goods practice manager. I spent three and a half years in that role, during which I welcomed our twins (the surprise of our lives!).

Eventually, I was ready to move on to learn something new, and again an amazing opportunity popped up. My passion has always been agriculture, and I have close ties to the sector. When passion meets opportunity there is no other way to go, so I transferred to Chicago to be the global Agriculture practice manager. So far, this move has been an amazing experience for me and my family.

I have made my own McKinsey. I have not followed a traditional career path. I’ve taken risks – changed my areas of expertise and found entrepreneurial opportunities. McKinsey’s mission of developing people is genuine. One of the big reasons I love this firm is because our values are not only on the walls; they are inside every individual, everywhere in the world.

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