The team behind Talent Exchange

One of the many ways McKinsey is helping in the fight against COVID-19 is by supporting Talent Exchange, an employer-job seeker marketplace, powered by, in partnership with FMI. Carla Arellano, a partner in New York who is spearheading our involvement, explains, “This crisis is reshaping lives and livelihoods and this is one way our firm can help.” In fact, there’s a whole team of McKinsey colleagues working on this initiative. We’d like to introduce you to them now.

Zoom photo of six team members of the talent exchange
Zoom photo of six team members of the talent exchange

Lea, engagement manager – Chicago

Lea started as a business analyst in our Cleveland office. She spent her third year in the program focused on social sector work in Johannesburg, then stayed in South Africa for a few years to  help start a school network that now spans South Africa and Kenya (and is led by another McKinsey alum ). She rejoined McKinsey after earning her MBA and Master’s in Education at the University of Virginia. She focuses on retail and agreed to manage this project to support an incredible initiative in this very challenging time, and get to work with an amazing team.

Bryant, associate – Chicago

Bryant’s a teacher by training, having taught in Indianapolis and on Chicago's South Side. He helped start the Chicago region for the non-profit iMentor before getting his MBA from Kellogg, which ultimately led him to the firm. With Talent Exchange, his first role was to develop the platform. Once it was operational, he switched to outreach, identifying new ways to reach potential job seekers and employers. Among the team members, he might have embraced Zoom the most, even using it to show his teammates how well he cut his fiancé’s hair (she’s also a McKinsey associate).

Jada,  business analyst – Chicago

Jada joined McKinsey after finishing her bachelor’s degree at Indiana University. On the Talent Exchange team, she’s the master organizer. The team reached out to more than 300 companies across the US and Canada; Jada designed the system to track conversations and key decisions. She also brought joy and warmth to the team with walk-and-talks, virtual happy hours, games (a fan favorite was a hybrid of Pictionary and telephone), shared meals and more.

Emily, associate partner – New York

Emily led the way in building the partnership with our tech partner, Eightfold, grounding our relationship in trust, collaboration, and mutual appreciation. She provides guidance and perspective on our strategy and communications, making sure what we’re doing and how we’re talking about it makes sense. She’s even pulled her husband and parents (cheesemakers in Pennsylvania) in on occasion for an external perspective. From the very beginning, Emily grounded us in kindness and a people first mentality, even though this project is very fast-paced.

Iyad, expert engagement manager – Waltham (Boston)

Iyad joined McKinsey in India and moved to the US in 2016 after serving clients in 15+ countries. He specializes in managing large-scale Transformations, cultural change engagements, and situations that use advanced analytics to solve talent-related questions. With the Talent Exchange, Iyad helped establish the Artificial Intelligence-based tech platform and drive scale up to Small and Medium Businesses. He also laid the groundwork for expansion into countries such as Canada, UK, and other countries in Europe and Asia. While he is based out of Boston, he was visiting his family before COVID-19 lockdowns halted international flights so he led the work from his home office in Delhi.

Vanessa, analyst – London

Prior to McKinsey, Vanessa worked at another consulting firm and joined our Organization practice with a passion for people analytics. On the Talent Exchange, team Vanessa drives three core pieces of work: 1) developing a playbook to support global radiation; 2) designing our small business strategy and outreach; and, 3) executing company outreach tracking with Jada. She brings laughter and a good sense of humor to every team call, and starts every day with a jog.

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