Meet McKinsey’s MBA Class of 2022: Jada Ferreira

Jada Ferreira

McKinsey Office: Houston

Hometown: Houston, TX

MBA Program and Concentration: Rice Jones Graduate School of Business, MBA. Strategy & Finance

Undergraduate School, Major: University of Pittsburgh, Mechanical Engineering

Why did you choose McKinsey?  I was impressed with the deeply-embedded professional development culture. Prior to starting with the firm, every McKinsey consultant I met spoke about the abundant opportunities to not only experience professional growth through a variety of, but to also experience it through weekly feedback sessions with study leadership and professional development managers. It has always been important to me to work where everyone is striving to be the best versions of themselves.

What did you love about the business school you attended? I loved building a network of driven individuals in the heart of the energy industry in Houston, TX. As an engineer with a background in energy tax and sustainability project management, it was important for my MBA program to provide me with the opportunity to meet like-minded individuals who also want to lead this industry through the energy transition.

What is your most meaningful accomplishment/professional accomplishment prior to your current role? Working full time while attending my MBA program is an achievement I am immensely proud of. I was analyzing clients’ carbon footprints during the day and learning how to build valuation models in Excel during the evenings. It was difficult, but incredibly rewarding, and I was able to finish the program with a 3.8 GPA.

When you think back to the different elements of the McKinsey assessment: the digital test (i.e., Solve), the Personal Experience Interview (PEI), and the Problem-Solving Interview, what stands out? The PEI stands out to me because I really appreciated the level of depth the interviewers go into on one key professional story. They do so in order to understand how you specifically impacted the outcome and what elements of the experience led to growing new skills that you could then apply at McKinsey.

What do you think made you successful and what advice would you give to other MBAs going through McKinsey or another organizations’ process? I can attribute my success in the recruiting process to highly proactive networking – starting with current Interns in my MBA program, followed by MBA alum working at the firm, and (along the way) asking for recommendations on other consultants to speak to. You are trying to understand what skills and behaviors the company culture values, the profile and demeanor of the typical consultant, and if these factors are a good fit for the type of role you’re pursuing.

What was an assumption you held—either specifically about McKinsey or the management consulting profession as a whole—that was proven wrong once you began working in your role? Why did you hold the misconception and how was it refuted? I held the belief that the vast majority of the type of work consultants do is strategy work. However, in a vast and multi-faceted firm like McKinsey, there are several other operational, digital, and technical service offerings for our clients. I think I held this misconception because of the myriad of strategy-related courses and frameworks taught during business school. However, strategic thinking is a core skill for all types of consulting projects.

McKinsey talks a lot about partnering with its clients to “accelerate sustainable, inclusive growth.” What does that mean to you and how have you seen it in action? I can break that phrase into three parts. First, “accelerate” represents how we help clients solve problems faster by providing thought partnership to think beyond what seems possible. Second, “sustainable growth” represents both how we help build solutions with long-term durability in mind and how the structures we help establish will endure through climate change. Lastly, “inclusive growth” encourages McKinsey consultants to think of enlarging the pie instead of assuming our clients play in a zero-sum game. This mindset enables us to promote equity and inclusion in our solution-building.

Who has had the biggest impact on you at McKinsey and how have they helped you?  My McKinsey mentor has helped me by meeting bi-monthly to discuss the challenges I face as a first-year associate. They provide a unique perspective as a tenured partner and, as a person of color, that has helped me shape the way I approach and solve new problems. I could not have progressed this far without them.

Describe an “only at McKinsey” moment. Only at McKinsey will a Steering Committee (SteerCo) meeting get moved up by a week… and we’re still able to pivot quickly and prepare all of the necessary presentation materials for the clients!

What’s next? It could be within McKinsey or beyond. How/In what ways do you think your time at McKinsey will prepare you for your next step? Whether I become a Partner at McKinsey or an industry executive, I want to be in a role where I can manage large, impactful projects and inspire people to be great. I know that my time at the firm will shape me into a dynamic and influential leader.

A fun fact about me is… I’m a huge fan of EDM music, so I took DJ lessons to play an EDM DJ set at my own wedding – in my wedding dress!

DON’T MISS: MEET MCKINSEY’S MBA CLASS OF 2022

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