24 hours with Ana

“24 hours with …” is a series that highlights a day in the life of our colleagues as they share their passions, cultures, and ways of working.

Business analyst Ana had only been with McKinsey for a month when COVID-19 forced everyone in the Rio de Janeiro office to work remotely. That didn’t stop the former architect from finding her footing and family at the firm.

A self-described “Air Force brat,” Ana lived all over Brazil and the United States as a child—a lifestyle she credits for shaping her extroverted personality. During the pandemic, Ana built close relationships with mentors and sponsors on her teams and developed a women’s speaker series with her friends in the office.

Follow along as Ana shares what her typical remote workday looks like and how she manages her time.


6:15 a.m.: My alarm goes off. I’d like to say I normally don’t hit snooze, but I totally do. I’ll probably get up around 6:30.

7:00 a.m.: I hit the gym. It’s my therapy, and I try not to think about anything else when I’m in a session. Today, I meet with my personal trainer, who makes me lift increasingly heavy weights as we talk and laugh. It’s Monday, so it’s leg day, and I leave the gym with that marvelous feeling of spaghetti legs.

8:30 a.m.: This is when I’m most grateful I can work from home. I shower and eat breakfast with my family. I created a diet with my nutritionist, so I eat the same thing every morning: one slice of bread, three eggs with cheese, and coffee with a little oat milk. I’m a very systematic person, so I love following a routine.

I also get in some crocheting time before my workday starts. My mom taught me to crochet last December, and now I’m making a coat. This is the epitome of my personality: with every new interest, I want to be as good as a professional. It’s the architect in me.

9:00 a.m.: Check-in with my team. It’s supposed to be a quick check-in to start the week, but we spend 30 minutes catching up about our lives and weekends, 15 minutes doing check-in, and 15 minutes joking around.

10:00 a.m.: Time to get to work. Right now, my team is sizing potential markets for a client and putting together information to build out the client equity story. I assemble the team’s to-dos and start sending emails to experts in those markets and McKinsey research and information specialists, gathering key assumptions for growth projections over the next two decades.

10:15 a.m.: An associate partner calls about a women’s program we’ve been organizing in the Brazil office. I’m proud of putting the Women’s Voices initiative together with my friends in the firm. We’ve been working on a monthly coffee chat where we discuss TED Talks, podcasts, and books by women. Our January event was about Glennon Doyle’s first podcast of 2022, “New Year, Same Me.”

1:00 p.m.: I’m Brazilian; in my country, we value our lunchtime. I didn’t recognize this until I worked with a US-based team who found it surprising I stopped for 40- to 60-minutes for lunch every day.


2:00 p.m.: My team has a problem-solving session with our McKinsey leaders. We present a preliminary version of a document we’ll share with the client steering committee this Wednesday. The partners ask some tough questions, and we realize we will need to shift gears in our analyses to better fit the scope of the study. It was a challenging moment, but our engagement manager helped the team stay on track and made sure we were clear on next steps.

3:00 p.m.: My team and I get to work rethinking our original analyses and developing new ones. We’ll need additional data, so I send out another round of emails.

Meanwhile, my “pandemic fur-baby” Margo curls up in my lap to take a nap. We got her last year, adding to our troop of puppies. My other dogs’ names are Baloo and Peggy.

4:00 p.m.: I begin building out the pages for the client equity story—shaping the overall storyline and considering ways to best illustrate our findings.

5:00 p.m.: We share the reworked advice with the senior partner on our team before touching base with the clients at 6:00 p.m. It’s a productive discussion that helps us further clarify our direction.


7:00 p.m.: Time to check-out with the team. After a quick break, we align on what we have to finish today and what we can leave for tomorrow, then I do some more impromptu problem-solving and wrap up a few items so I can call it a night. I also take a quick call from my engagement manager—a chill conversation where we spend 20 minutes getting to know each other better.

9:00 p.m.: Dinner time! I heat up my chicken with breading and Parmesan cheese. In Brazil, we eat dinner later in the evening—between 8:00 and 9:00 p.m. is typical.

11:00 p.m.: I’m done for the night, and my mother surprises me with my favorite drink—coconut water. There’s nothing more carioca. After a quick shower, I FaceTime with my fiancé and prepare to start again with a 6:15 a.m. alarm/snooze tomorrow.

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