I fly airplanes, kitesurf, and have visited approximately 40 countries so far. Working for McKinsey has been one of the best journeys in my life.
At McKinsey, anything is possible. There is a lot of flexibility balancing your professional development and personal interests as well as your career path in general. During my first couple of years as a business analyst, I explored topics in a variety of industries and locations. I wanted to travel to as many places as I could so I worked with my professional-development manager to get assignments with clients outside of Colombia. I was able to live in several cities around Latin America.
People ask me, “How do you manage the work life balance?” I tell them there are some trade-offs, but you just have to be clear with your teams about which things you are not willing to sacrifice. It is very important to me to exercise, so I´ve always set a routine that allows me to do so, no matter where I am. When kicking off a new client project, I let my teams know how important exercising is for me. These types of conversations are typical at the beginning of projects, and my teams encourage me to keep up with my routine.
I have had some great experiences getting my exercise while traveling to serve clients. For example, in the Dominican Republic, I would jog a ten-kilometer trail with amazing sea views and see the sunrise every morning. In Lima, I got together with a group of consultants to play squash every week.
McKinsey provides flexibility to pursue personal interests. I took part in Take Time, which allows consultants to take extended time off between projects to do whatever we like. I took two months off for a multiengine pilot course. This works really well in consulting because of our project focus—I could never have taken that kind of time off working in industry.
Recently, I have found a passion for marketing. McKinsey offered me opportunities and tools to help me become an expert on this topic. I participated in different projects related to marketing, attended training sessions and have a marketing mentor to help me map out my career. Now that I´m a mom, I am slowing down on the travel and have received a lot of support from the partners in the office for options to continue developing my career.
As an analyst and associate, I thought my greatest interests were analytics and problem solving. However, in my role as an engagement manager (EM), I have discovered a new side of consulting—leading a team and helping to develop others.
As an EM, you are responsible for leading the day-to-day work of the team and managing the overall performance of the project. It’s fascinating to see how teamwork can lead to greater results than any individual effort could accomplish. Additionally, a very important part of your role as an EM is to make sure all the people on your team are fulfilling their professional goals. This role has allowed me to be part of the development journeys of my teammates which has been one of the most enriching experiences I´ve ever had.