Meet McKinsey’s MBA Class Of 2017

Clarisse Liguori

McKinsey Office: Sao Paulo, Brazil (Senior Implementation Coach)

Hometown: Belo Horizonte, Brazil

MBA program: INSEAD

Undergraduate School, Major: Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais (UFMG), Production Engineering

Focus of current engagement: Supply chain optimization in a household and appliances company.

Why did you choose McKinsey? It has always been very important for me to see practical and relevant results of what I do and initiatives in which I engage. I also have the desire to do meaningful and interesting work in different industries and different functions. I knew I would have the opportunity to do so at McKinsey. Another thing I looked for was to have exposure to highly motivated and skilled people because I will learn from every interaction with them – I was sure at McKinsey I’d be surrounded by people like that. Lastly, the fact that McKinsey has a bigger Operations practice than any other consulting firm in the world was a game-changer for me. That meant I would be in touch with the best people in the field and do meaningful work in the area I love.

What lesson from business school best prepared you for your career in consulting at McKinsey? Business school helped me in two ways. First, it helped me learn how to transit between business and engineering/operations, my original field. During my previous experiences, I would be in touch with different areas of the businesses, but it was different to actually understand how each area generates value to the business. Just today, I was discussing accounting with a client while maintaining a perspective of operations – before business school I would not have been able to participate fully in that conversation and know my contributions are relevant. Second, at INSEAD we came from 66 nationalities. I find it very similar to my reality at McKinsey: different people, different cultures, different behaviors. I became very culturally aware during business school and I can translate that into comprehension and stronger relationships as a consultant.

Tell us about an “only at McKinsey” moment you’ve had so far. When I was interviewing with McKinsey, I kept questioning myself if there was a real possibility to make my own McKinsey. Ever since I joined, I noticed that it is for real and I find it amazing. I have been able to work in industries I was most interested in and on the engagements that most appealed to me. It’s been up to me to determine what opportunities I look for or lean in on and what path I’d most like to take.

What advice would you give to someone interviewing at McKinsey? I would give two pieces of advice. It is important to prepare for case interviews – there is no showing up to interviews unaware of McKinsey’s assessment model and hoping for the best. In the process of preparing for a case interview, you learn if you like it or not.  If you enjoy solving the cases, odds are you will also enjoy life as a consultant at McKinsey. The second piece of advice is to remember the personal interview is very important to express what you value most, how you see the world and what makes you tick. The personal interview also shows you what McKinsey values the most, how we see the world and what makes us tick. Being a cultural fit is as important as being a great problem-solver.

What do you expect to be doing in 5-10 years? This is a tricky question for me as I prefer to, every once in a while, re-evaluate my life and determine whether I want to stay in my path or change it. In the short term, I just dive into my current plans. Right now I can imagine myself as an operations leader at McKinsey, advising the biggest and greatest companies in Brazil on how to be competitive and sustain healthy business practices. On a personal note, I see a beautiful family in my future – my husband and a child.

My greatest personal or professional accomplishment is…In my previous job, I was invited to implement the operations of a new venture in Brazil in six months. The most challenging part was the short timeframe – from non-stop work for six months to learning how to handle my emotions. One day after the sixth month, I felt proud and fulfilled to see almost 600 people hired, trained and motivated to live the implementation I had built from scratch.

A fun fact about me is…My memory is not very reliable and I go through awkward situations because of it. My husband and I went to the same school; he was one year ahead of me. I met him early in the course, we even talked a few times but I completely forgot about him. A few months later, we met again during a friend’s get-together – we talked, but again I forgot about him the following day. I met him a third time during an exchange program – and that was when my memory was actually “introduced to him.” We’ve been together ever since.

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