Finding a safe place to land

What brought you to Poznan, Poland?

I got my bachelor’s degree in English philology and linguistics studies, and later my master’s degree in linguistics. For nearly ten years, I worked in English-language schools in Curitiba, Brazil. Then, about five years ago, I moved to Poznan.


I love traveling and experiencing different cultures and it motivated me to leave Brazil. I also wanted to develop my teaching skills further and had friends in Poland, so I decided to move.

Why McKinsey?

It was difficult to find a full-time teaching job as a non-European citizen. By the time I realized it was not going to work out the way I planned, I had fallen in love with this part of the world, found a new partner, and started to learn the language. I wanted to stay, so I decided to consider other career paths. My friends recommended Visual Graphics & Media at McKinsey.

Even though I didn’t have a background in visual communication or design, I have always been drawn to the profession. I had friends and colleagues telling me McKinsey is a great employer, so I decided to go for it. I joined the firm as a business presentation specialist and after two and a half years in the role, I became a trainer.


How did you adjust to a new career in a different industry?

I had to learn the job from scratch, but wonderful people at McKinsey guided me through the learning process and gave me the support I needed. A couple years later, I am a trainer on the same team as those amazing colleagues who helped me.

Parallel to my professional life, I have adapted to the local culture and, as I progress in learning Polish, I feel more integrated in the society. Learning Polish takes effort and patience, but knowing the language allows me to have more interesting conversations and a deeper understanding of the local culture.


Tell us a little about your role as a visual graphics trainer.

I conduct trainings and lead initiatives as part of a global Learning and Development team. We support business presentation specialists from their first day throughout their development. I prepare training materials, assess colleagues’ performance, give feedback, discuss projects, support colleagues with real-time requests, and organize and facilitate meetings. My work is dynamic, and my days are never the same.


What’s the most meaningful project you have worked on here?

Right now, I am preparing, delivering, and leading trainings related to diversity and inclusion. One of the project’s goals is to educate colleagues on how to make better use of our media assets to properly reflect diversity in imagery and provides colleagues with the tools and support to do so.

It has a massive impact in our firm’s communities, but it also gives much more meaning to what I do as a trainer. It’s enabled me to grow, learn, and evolve personally. On a professional level, I get to share that with colleagues from all over the world.

You are helping to reinforce McKinsey’s commitment to diversity and inclusion, but have you experienced it firsthand?

I am an immigrant to Poland, not yet proficient in the local language, and I am also a gay man. I have never felt discriminated against at McKinsey. My Polish colleagues are always patient with the occasional language issue, and they work hard to make me feel comfortable. I feel safe here.

Find a role with Mateus in Poznan

More About Mateus

Outside of work, Mateus loves to travel around and outside of Poland. He enjoys outdoor activities, such as skiing, ice-skating, and swimming. He also loves learning new languages and taking photos of landscapes and architecture. At McKinsey, he is part of Equal at McKinsey.

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