Meet McKinsey’s MBA Class of 2020: Mariana Pareja

Mariana Pareja

McKinsey Office: Lima Office

Hometown: Lima, Peru

MBA Program, Concentration: London Business School, Concentration in Strategy & Change Management

Undergraduate School, Major: Industrial Engineering

Focus of Current Engagement: Organizational transformation in banking

Why did you choose McKinsey? I chose McKinsey because of the combination of the following:

* Being able to work with amazing and driven professionals… everyone I met in my application journey was very inspiring and interesting.

* Learning and expanding my range of experience while being able to be part of the digital practice since the beginning.

* Identifying with the firm’s values and commitment to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion in business and in society.

What did you love about the business school you attended? 

* How international it was –I met people from all over the world which was very enriching.

* How flexible it was with different class formats and exit points. It gave me the chance to tailor my MBA however I wanted.

* Amazing location, London is a hub which made it really easy to travel around and be a flight away from America and Asia (pre-COVID).

What lesson or skill did you learn from training (formal or informal) at McKinsey and how has it helped in your role? The most valuable lesson has been the McKinsey way of communicating. Practicing top down communication, being to the point and straightforward while delivering valuable information is a skill I really appreciate and has helped me a lot with the client and my team.

Tell us about an “only at McKinsey” moment you’ve had so far. So far, I can recall two only at McKinsey moments. First, there was Embark, McKinsey’s new consultant training. Even though it was a virtual event, it was very special to learn in a week about the firm and get to experience since the beginning how international McKinsey is. The second moment was the end-of-the-year meeting. The social team organized a Zoom event with different breakout rooms, each room had at the same time wine tasting classes, sushi classes, AND beer tasting classes. It was really fun and it was a great spin off of the real event.

Tell us something you’ve learned about yourself or something that brought you closer to teammates or clients during the COVID-19 pandemic? The COVID pandemic has made me realize how important human connections are and being able to interact face to face is something I didn’t value enough before. I really enjoy being close to my family, friends, and teammates and now I value those moments we can share without a screen in between even more.

What advice would you give someone interviewing at McKinsey? 

* Practice as this will give you the confidence you need to be yourself in the interview and show your own spikes.

* Have a good set of stories to tell and learn them in detail.

* My best interviews were those that felt like a conversation. I felt engaged with the subject and comfortable with the interviewer and, in my opinion, this is only achieved with practice and confidence.

Who has had the biggest impact on you at McKinsey and how has she/he helped you? It’s hard to point out a specific co-worker but so far all of the engagement managers and associate partners have been important in my career path. For example, they helped me know how to reach out to experts within the firm, how to structure problem solving sessions, and, most importantly, how to interact, develop myself professionally and navigate within the firm.

My most meaningful achievement (professional or personal) and how it made a difference is…My most meaningful achievement is building a community that provides accessible professional development tools specially for women. Within the community, we share information and tips around soft skills, work life balance, mental health, and career development. It is something I am very passionate about.

A fun fact about me is… My husband also works at McKinsey. We met in Lima and, both did an MBA at LBS. He applied one year before me and we ended up having the same post-MBA job.




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