While I was an undergraduate at the London School of Economics, McKinsey came to present. I had friends who were interested in consulting and knew McKinsey, and they convinced me to go with them to a dinner (I’m embarrassed to say, but I was partly convinced at the time because the dinner was free!). There was a German partner from the Business Technology Office at the table, and our discussions made me understand the impressive work that the firm did. The whole night was amazingly fun.
"I love my colleagues, whom I value highly for their professionalism, intellect, and personalities, and the fact that mentorship and teamwork are part of every day here."
Women at McKinsey
Being quite young when I joined McKinsey (I was 22) I found a little difficult. I needed to build up my confidence. I did that by cutting my hair short and wearing man-type shirts with collars and trouser suits. But if there’s one big lesson over the past eight years from McKinsey, it’s that you don’t need to be a man to be successful – now my hair is long and I wear skirts! There are so many exceptional and inspiring women at McKinsey, and I’ve found some great role models, both in the Middle East and in the London office, who have helped me find my own style, personally and professionally.
Middle East Explorations
I rejoined McKinsey after my educational leave and had the opportunity to work with two of my mentors on a healthcare project in Bahrain. The study focused on developing a reform strategy, to improve access, quality, and system productivity. That was the perfect merger for me in terms of industry and an emerging country experience. I ended up staying in the Middle East for two and a half years doing a variety of healthcare projects including market entry strategies for big private companies into the Middle Eastern, African, and Asian healthcare markets.
Departure to London
While in Bahrain I knew that I’d come to the point in my career where I needed to make a decision if I was to return to Europe. I’d studied in London and had lots of friends as well as my brother here, and I missed being close to my home in Austria. Returning to the UK has been great from a career perspective, as it has allowed me to focus on healthcare studies and given me a whole new territory to explore. And the move was made simple with my international healthcare work and my mentors in the Middle East, Germany, and the UK, who really made it happen for me.
Helping Through Healthcare
I have an intrinsic interest in development and making a difference or doing something good. The bottom line is important, but for me it’s even more important to see that patients are gaining a better life, accessing healthcare more easily and affording it much better through the work we do. In Bahrain, we worked on a study helping extend access to primary care services, and I had a patient come up to me and say “Thank you, my little girl was seen immediately by the doctor because of your work. In the old system she would have had to wait for hours.” Those moments are really great.
|London School of Economics
|London School of Economics