My firm journey
I began my McKinsey career as a junior research analyst in our San Jose, Costa Rica office in 2012. This was an ideal role for me: having recently finished my undergraduate studies, I was looking for a fast-paced learning environment and something to take me out of my comfort zone. The opportunity to move to Latin America from Europe and work with clients from all over the world was truly enticing. During my first two years with the firm, I kept my focus broad, learning as much as I could about different industries and geographies, until I discovered one of my true professional passions: economic development.
Discovering this passion completely shifted my career: I started developing expertise on the topic, particularly around investment promotion and job creation programs in developing countries, and worked with governments, development banks, investment promotion agencies and private sector associations on topics I enjoyed, while getting to know new countries and cultures.
Spending most of my time doing work in an area I was passionate about opened a lot of doors for me: I studied development economics at MIT and Barcelona GSE, published articles on growth and development with McKinsey Global Institute and the McKinsey Center for Government, and started giving lectures and masterclasses on the topic, something I absolutely loved.
Earlier this year, I helped ramp up our new Client Capabilities Hub in Lisbon, a completely different challenge from most of my career with McKinsey and something I fell in love with: the possibility to shape a growing office, transform the way we work with clients and double our rate of innovation. What made it even more meaningful was the fact that I am creating opportunities for people in my hometown in Portugal. This opportunity felt like a dream come true, and I am truly honored to lead this new hub for McKinsey.
Learning along the way…and helping others
One of the key things I learned at McKinsey is the importance of living by my purpose, and shaping my career to focus on the contribution I want to make.
In my case, what drives me is helping people grow, both personally and professionally. This has driven my career in a number of ways. For instance, I’m passionate about learning so I designed and delivered several training programs, including a three-month engagement readiness program to ensure all our analysts have a broad toolkit of problem-solving skills and practical approaches to be successful in their client projects.
Coaching also brings me joy and I try to spend at least 30 minutes every day working with peers and junior tenured colleagues on their development. One of the initiatives we’re currently piloting is an EMEA-wide mentoring program that connects colleagues across the region with new hires in Lisbon, in an effort to bring an international perspective to their professional development. This drive was one of the main reasons I decided to take my current role as the leader of our Client Capabilities Hub in Lisbon.
An increasingly important theme for work/life balance and our health overall is mental health, and it’s a topic close to my heart. It’s something I’ve struggled with, as have many others, and something I’ve worked on while using resources the firm makes available to all colleagues.
The Mind Matters initiative, with access to mental health support and counselling for all colleagues, has been an outstanding effort, particularly as the pandemic took a heavy toll on the mental health of many; this includes learning programs on supporting the conversation on mental health with teams, free, confidential, independent, and clinically-trained professional mental health support 24/7, and even tactical resources such as free access to the Headspace app, among others.
I’ve tried to give back by sharing my own experiences and lessons with others, being a local point of contact for mental health topics. I model appropriate behavior and create a safe space for colleagues to share their stories. I also let colleagues know it is ok to be vulnerable.
Music is life itself
I come from a family of musicians and music has always been a big part of my life. My father was a professional musician and my brother was a touring musician. I have been fortunate to play throughout my McKinsey career - including starting a band with a close friend I met at the firm and setting up another band with a group of colleagues that would play at the San Jose office parties.
McKinsey enables me to stay close to my passion for music and connect with others who share similar interests. One of my favorite McKinsey events is the McKinsey Music Festival. This three-day event, typically held in Kitzbühel, Austria, brings together 200+ colleagues in celebration of their collective passion for music. During the day we rehearse in different musical interest groups and at night, we jam. On the final day, there’s a concert where each group showcases their work. I was skeptical coming into the festival, but ended up being truly amazed by it: accomplished musicians arranged a full 40-piece orchestra, and there was awesome acoustic, jazz and funk bands, and a really fun Afro-Cuban Big Band.
During the global pandemic, we couldn’t meet in person, but that didn’t stop us. More than 130 of my colleagues sang and played their hearts out virtually across 60 cities in a rendition of "O-o-h Child [Things Are Gonna Get Easier]."
Interested in working with Andre in Lisbon?
Whether you have a background in business, economics, engineering, computer science, or industry experience in sectors like retail, telecommunications, private equity, insurance, pharmaceuticals, automotive, operations, or marketing & sales, joining McKinsey in our Lisbon Client Capabilities Hub could be a rewarding next step in your career. We are recruiting for roles in Software and Data Engineering, Product Management and Capabilities and Insights (Research). As part of our Client Capabilities Network, you will help clients solve their most challenging problems by providing them with expertise, research and advanced analytics.