I received my undergraduate degree in business and marketing and my graduate degree in business administration and marketing from Clark Atlanta University.
After college, I worked for a few large, global companies, and spent seven years as a marketing consultant, advising clients on how to spend their marketing funds to bring in or retain customers.
I was feeling a little bit stagnant, and I wanted a challenging space where I could think and grow personally and professionally—and prove myself. I wanted more than just more money or a new title. I wanted to work somewhere that was driving positive change. After years of consulting clients, I preferred an internal role that would enable me to work with a variety of people.
McKinsey offered all that, so I joined the firm in 2019, and it’s been amazing.
My first experience with the firm
My interview experience surprised me in a good way. The process is in-depth, and I spoke with several people, but the interviews weren’t redundant or boring. Everyone was so personable and willing to tell me about their experiences. They gave me a real sense of what it would be like to work here—and whether it was a good fit for me.
The onboarding experience was just as rewarding because I felt people wanted to get to know me and see me thrive. The person who recruited me—who I remain in contact with—became a friend. She was open with me about her experience at the firm. She was honest about the role, the team, the pros and cons, and what I’d be doing. From the beginning, I had a support system.
The work I do at McKinsey
I am a senior product adoption manager, and my goal is to help colleagues discover, appreciate, and become proficient with our technology solutions. I lead programs to demonstrate how technology experiences benefit colleagues and clients, and I create strategies to help transform behavior and design solutions to boost the adoption of technology.
For example, when COVID hit, we had to shift the entire company to virtual and change how everyone worked--and essentially, their behavior. Almost overnight, colleagues who had been flying all over the globe, collaborating face-to-face with clients, had to work from home and learn and use different platforms. We needed to increase the adoption rate of specific technologies—from approximately 50 percent to 100 percent—fast.
My team created the strategy, provided the steps, and aligned with IT so we could execute the strategy. When an issue occurred, we had to be there to fix it, so people could stay productive and continue to serve clients from home.
My most meaningful project so far
Internships were a big part of my education, so I am thrilled to have helped launch an internship program for diverse candidates interested in STEM.
At a previous company, I had been an intern buddy, guiding interns through the process. Here it was deeper and more involved. We built plans for interviewing candidates and onboarding interns, and we focused on creating an experience where they learned new soft and hard skills to take back to college. Our goal was to teach them something tangible, from how to work a nine-to-five job to how to engage with colleagues over Zoom.
I worked with recruiting, HR, and legal on the project, and it was incredible to see this beautiful experience come to life, bring candidates onboard, and have them tell me they learned something. Our hope is the experience stays with them, and they come back to work for us, but even if not, they still spent eight weeks with us growing and learning. I invested in someone else’s future, and it’s a wonderful feeling.
Benefiting from diversity and inclusion initiatives
McKinsey is working to change the firm’s culture, so we’re hiring and promoting more women, LGBTQ+, and diverse colleagues. I am glad I can be a part of those efforts by, for example, going to a recruiting session at a university center or working with different Black organizations and participating in their career fairs.
I also attended the McKinsey Black Leadership Academy the firm initiated last year. It enabled me to connect with Black leaders across the globe, and I learned a lot about leadership, analyzing information, pricing, and more. I took so much knowledge back to my team. And, on a personal level, I’m thankful to have this network of people from whom I can learn and with whom I can grow for years to come.
Hailing from Milwaukee, WI, Shalonna loves spending time with family and friends, and is passionate about health and fitness. Kickboxing is her favorite sport, but she is also a certified yogi. She is a huge college and professional football and basketball fan (Go Lakers!).
Shalonna loves sports cars, and you can catch her at the latest auto show or race track. She is passionate about global travel, trying new international cuisine, and being the adventure seeker she is—ziplining through the jungle, hiking up a mountain, or jumping out of an airplane.