About Shahnaz

Through both professional and personal transitions, I always felt I had the Southern office community ‘in my corner.’

McKinsey has been an adventure for me since day one. During my first project I spent five months supporting frontline transformation at pharmaceutical manufacturing plants in the Caribbean. I was pleasantly surprised to find that the staffing process worked as it was described to me during recruiting! Just a few days before being assigned I had a conversation with my staffing manager and shared my interests in doing something related to healthcare operations. My staffing manager took it from there and found me a fantastic engagement with an equally fantastic team.

While I learned a lot from my team, I learned just as much from my hands-on problem solving work with our clients. After two weeks, I was leading interactive workshops for the entire site leadership team, and within three months, I was leading my own client team inside the overall transformation effort. I was struck by the deep client relationships we built in a short time, and by the impact we had working side-by-side with clients at the frontline.

Following my passion

From that study forward, I have followed my passions taking our best thinking in operations and organization to clients in complex industries (e.g., energy, transport, and logistics). What I love about this work is that it isn't enough for us to just help clients implement well. Instead we want to ensure that clients can “make change stick” across geographies, so we help clients build capabilities that will endure beyond any hard re-wiring.

Building a support system

The South has always been home to me, and the support network I built over the years through our regional offices has propelled me forward at the firm. Through both professional and personal transitions, I always felt I had the Southern office community “in my corner,” When I shifted into the engagement manager (EM) role, I took advice from friends not only in Houston but across the Southern office, and I attended a full day “EM essentials” training that is unique to our office. When I prepared to go on maternity leave before my son was born, I talked to all my closest mentors (many of whom happen to be in the Southern office), fellow moms across the Southern office, and our North American Women's group. At every transition point, there have been dozens of colleagues looking out for me. It’s the type of environment that makes you bold and helps you take more risks as a leader at the firm. People genuinely care about making each other successful and you know you have a safety net.

Education

Cornell University, Johnson Graduate School of Management
MBA

Rice University
BA