Some of my favourite experiences have been intense, analytical team problem-solving sessions working on a whiteboard and wrestling with ’unsolvable‘ and ’impossible‘ issues.

I have a PhD in public health from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Before joining McKinsey, I worked for Alberta Health Services and various non-profits, creating and evaluating programs to improve women’s and children’s health, with a focus on immigrant and refugee women. I joined McKinsey with the hope of improving my business skills and knowledge, transitioning from research into more strategic and operational roles within the health system, and becoming a better decision-maker and advocate for public health issues. In my time at the firm, I have been exposed to different industries (oil and gas, mining, public sector, healthcare) and have found myself most interested in projects related to strategic growth, leadership and capability building, and improving the efficiency and sustainability of health systems.

Building knowledge and pushing boundaries

I was part of a team that was doing an outside-in assessment of a large oil and gas company’s strategy and competitive positioning. I am a public health, qualitative researcher without a background in oil and gas, corporate finance, or strategy, so I was not a good fit for the project on paper. However, because McKinsey values diversity and development, I received considerable support from leadership and staffing that enabled me to join the study team. I am thankful to have had the opportunity to work with individuals in the firm I might not have otherwise met. What I learned in those few weeks significantly improved my abilities and confidence.

Finding new strengths

I came into McKinsey thinking I would enjoy on-the-ground, face-to-face client work the most. To be honest, I did not actually think I would be very good at much else. Although I still enjoy client interactions, some of my favourite experiences have been intense, analytical team problem-solving sessions where the team was working on a whiteboard and wrestling with “unsolvable” and “impossible” issues. I have realized that my strengths include big picture thinking and the ability to structure and visualize problems, and I love helping others get past barriers and having others push me to think in different ways and introduce me to new skills and ideas. I find these sessions extremely energizing and, without fail, the results far exceed anything I could have achieved on my own.

Education

Johns Hopkins
PhD