Latin American talent attracting big name employers like McKinsey

18 October 2018 3 min. read
More news on

McKinsey & Company are amongst a growing number of multinational firms which are looking towards Latin America for fresh talent. With the highest level of digital literacy in the world and a diverse, innovative and resilient workforce, consulting firms are eyeing Latin American MBA graduates and beyond. 

Whilst many may think that consulting firms – and especially the high end firms like McKinsey or The Boston Consulting Group – only hire from a business background, it is common for them to branch across a wide range of sectors. “We hire a lot of engineers, economists, lawyers, journalists, architects, doctors, and those with business backgrounds”, says Luisa Pereira, manager of recruiting at McKinsey São Paulo.

The firm has had a presence in Brazil for 30 years this year and also has offices spread throughout Latin America, in Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Panama, and Peru. The consulting firm is hiring locally and increasingly looking to draw in those with MBAs from across the region. “Candidates are often surprised at our diversity, both in colleagues and clients.”

Looking beyond candidates with an MBA is important for consulting firms to develop a depth of opinions and expertise. Hiring from outside the silos of traditional business or financial backgrounds can also diversify skill sets, lending new solutions to old problems. Beyond professional backgrounds, the McKinsey recruiter also says it is important to have multiple nationalities working together. 

“We not only have colleagues from all over Brazil but also from international locations, and it’s great to see them add different perspectives and become passionate about our country and culture.”

Latin American talent attracting big name employers like McKinsey

Side by side with the majority of consulting firms today, McKinsey is also looking deeper down the tech rabbit hole. Firms are particularly looking towards Latin America for this type of talent, with McKinsey admitting that there is strong demand for designers, programmers, and data scientists within the firms’ ranks. “I love opening people’s eyes to the breadth of work we do,” she says.

One McKinsey consultant recently spoke about what life is like working with the firm and how she was drawn into the consulting industry. “I have always followed McKinsey and their research, so when I started to read about what they were doing with digital I became really interested,” said Jaqueline Pellegrini, who works in the firm’s São Paulo office. 

Pellegrini was drawn into the firm after several years in digital marketing. Her transition into consulting was unexpected but she says that being open to new experiences opened her up to the possibilities with the firm. “Two big surprises for me were how the McKinsey culture is so inclusive and that you work with clients all around the world and gain insights and perspective from all of them,” she says. 

“I like that I can constantly meet, talk with, and learn from people in different roles every day,” she said, adding that “there is a lot of sharing between the teams.” When commenting on the daily routine, she says: “We will all get together in a team room first thing in the morning and check in about what needs to be accomplished that day and the rest of the week… Sometimes I have days more filled with meetings, workshops and problem solving sessions and other days I have a good amount of solo work. I like that balance.”