Feeding my love for analytics to solve business problems

When I finished my undergraduate studies in engineering, I didn't know what I wanted to do, but I ended up starting my career in the financial industry, focused on management information systems and statistics. I then went to work at a major global media player, where I was doing more planning, investor relations, and analytics.

Feeding my love for analytics to solve business problems
Feeding my love for analytics to solve business problems

While earning my master's degree in engineering, I realized how much I liked analytics, statistics, and solving business problems. I even took several PhD-level classes in statistics, machine learning, and optimization to build my expertise.

After finishing my master’s, I went to work for SAS, one of the largest advanced analytics software companies. After directing the presales team, I was invited to lead the consulting team for Latin America, so I managed roughly 400 people responsible for consulting, P&L revenue, and signings.

I came to McKinsey because the firm provided an opportunity to do bold, distinct work. I already knew how to handle the role but wanted something more challenging and different. At McKinsey, I could solve many different problems for our clients, which is exciting. Additionally, our firm offers you the freedom and liberty to do the type of work you love. I can go after the projects that feed my passion, and our firm provides the resources and encouragement to go after what I want.

Solving complex problems with significant global impact

Feeding my love for analytics to solve business problems
Feeding my love for analytics to solve business problems

I work on a wide variety of projects, solving complex problems that can have far-reaching impact. For example, we are partnering with a company in South America to increase the throughput and yield of soy—without sacrificing quality. If the company didn’t produce a quality product, it would pay penalties. So, using an advanced analytics model, we created a profit optimizer that was so successful that we conducted a global transformation for the client, expanding what we had done in South America to the US, Europe, Asia, and beyond.

We also did a production optimization for a livestock and agriculture client, which saved the organization $30 million in Brazil. The company is now expanding the solution to Latin America, which could generate more than $100 million.

It’s incredibly cool to create these assets that solve regional problems but are then spread across the world.

Receiving support at the firm

For leaders at other organizations who have reached a certain level, support and development opportunities aren’t always available. At McKinsey, it’s different.

I have outstanding sponsors who have been by my side since I started. They have been critical of me at times, offering feedback I needed to improve, which can sound like a negative, but it’s not. As I joined McKinsey at a senior level and didn’t grow up in the firm, having candid discussions about my performance is vital to my growth.

My sponsors are also highly supportive. I can reach out to them for answers to questions and to receive their guidance on navigating our firm. They have been committed to helping me build connections and have created opportunities for me to gain exposure.

Lastly, on a more personal level, our firm has supported me as a working mom, and you don’t always find that at this level. I am a mom of two, and if my work keeps me from spending time with them, I can’t be happy or capable of giving my best at work. I have put boundaries in place—with the firm’s support—to protect that time with my family.

I am a family person, so I love spending time and traveling with them. I love to exercise. I have studied classical ballet since I was a kid, and I continue to dance because it inspires and relaxes me. I am from Rio, so I love going to the beach and being near the ocean.

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