BCG Tenure: 2008 - Present
Managing Director & Partner
María, who has a background in science and academia, took advantage of BCG’s secondment program to work as an international change manager with Save the Children—an experience that furthered her ongoing passion in global health and organizational issues.
What did you do before joining BCG and what is unique about your background?
I joined BCG in 2008 as a senior associate after obtaining my PhD in organometallic chemistry and working as teacher’s assistant in Edinburgh. The time I spent in academia was very enriching, but I also wanted to plunge into the practical side of my research and obtain insight in other domains.
What's a little-known fact about you? (skill, award, experience, talent, etc.)
Very few people know I played the piano for many years before I joined BCG. People who play instruments or practice sports at a professional level understand how demanding that becomes in terms of time dedication, discipline, etcetera—all of which are skills you need as a consultant. However, there is something more profound than good performance and execution. I like to think I balance my problem-solving and executive nature with other inspiring and moving talents. This came as a surprise for most of my colleagues and friends during my wedding, when I took the microphone and sang a very romantic song in Italian to my husband.
How do you maintain a work-life balance at BCG that works for you?
In 2015, I reached a point during which I felt I needed to rebalance the different facets of my life. As we all know, during certain circumstances you want to be able to devote real, quality time to the people you love most and who need you. I had the opportunity to reduce my work schedule 20% and dedicate Fridays to my personal life. I felt a sense of fulfillment since I knew I was doing the right thing, and, once my personal circumstances changed, I went back to working full-time. This is yet another example of how I was able to create and tread my own path at BCG, a company that cares about its employees and empowers us to make personal decisions to reach a healthy work-life balance at the different stages in our lives. It is this approach, attitude, and company mindset that makes me proud to represent BCG. What I appreciate the most about working for BCG is that it has given me the opportunity to forge my own path.
What has been your biggest adventure or greatest passion?
Working at BCG not only fulfilled my ambition to develop great know-how about different topics but also offered me a steep learning curve. Once you have the feeling you have mastered something, there is another interesting challenge on its way. What I apprecia¬te the most about working at BCG is that it has given me the opportunity to follow my own path. After a few years here, after being promoted to project leader, BCG opened the door for me to become the international change manager at Save the Children through BCG’s secondment program. This program has allowed me to enjoy the experience of working at another company, with a different management style and culture; travel; and, what it is most important, help other people through the impact an NGO like Save the Children can achieve. This has been an extremely valuable experience for me and has facilitated my access to a very exciting area of health care: global health.
Why would you advise someone to join BCG?
Because of the BCGers. It’s true that the job is exciting and interesting, gets you high exposure, teaches you a lot. But what really makes the difference is the people who work at BCG. They are driven by a curiosity to find new solutions, and they have the humility not to pretend they know everything. They are generous and help each other—practicing real teaming—and they create a great atmosphere at work.