Ed Johnson

MA in Latin American Studies, 2006

April 13,2014

Mr. Johnson has worked the last eight years at Deloitte Consulting and is currently a Senior Manager responsible for commercial strategy, including pricing and profitability management in consumer products. Previous to his tenure at Deloitte Consulting, Mr. Johnson worked as a Financial Analyst at Johnson & Johnson Vision Care and as a Research Analyst at the Federal Reserve Board.

Mr. Johnson earned dual MALAS/MBA degrees in 2006 from UF’s business school and the Center of Latin American Studies. His specialization in the MALAS program was Latin American Business Environment and his MBA specialization was Finance and Strategy. He received his Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Spanish from The College of William and Mary. Since 2011, Mr. Johnson has served on the advisory board of the Center for International Business Education and Research at the University of Florida.

Ed Johnson

Can you tell us about your current position and how it relates to Latin America?

Deloitte is a professional services firm with many facets, such as auditing and tax preparation. However, I work for Deloitte Consulting, specifically the strategy consulting division, specifically doing consulting for consumer packaged good companies. Most of my projects focus on helping them grow profitably through better pricing, in-store promotions, and customer incentives. There are plenty of large food and beverage companies in Latin America, from beer and soda companies to packaged snack companies, and most countries have 1 or 2 major national players as well as the typical international firms that do business there (Coca-Cola, Kraft, Nestle, etc). I have done consulting in the US, Mexico, Brazil, and Argentina, as well as the Caribbean. Over the course of my career, about half of the work I have done is related to Latin America.

How did your interest in Latin America lead you to a career in consulting?

When I was hired by Deloitte, they were excited about my international background and my experience in Latin America. Deloitte was definitely interested in my ability to speak Portuguese and knowledge of Brazil and Latin America. The research you do as a student is pretty similar to consulting. I continuously have to conduct research and use my findings to come up with the best solutions to my clients’ problems.

How did a MALAS degree help you in your career?

The opportunity I had to study Portuguese and my specialization in Latin American Business Environment helped me understand more of the culture and professional environment of the region. The research I had to do as a MALAS student was important to expand my knowledge of issues such as the political and economic environment, the business culture, and the opportunities available in the region. When you have more knowledge about a topic, it gives you more credibility when speaking to clients. Hence, the MALAS degree was crucial for my development as a professional.

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