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From doctor to consultant

We sat down with Rhyenne to learn how she went from resident OBGYN to a consultant specializing in public health at McKinsey

I was born and raised in Curacao, and joined McKinsey in London in October 2016, before transferring to New Jersey in 2018. I never planned on consulting. Healthcare has always been my passion. I was working as a resident OBGYN when I made the decision to specialize in public health. Seeing so much disparity among women’s health and observing the socioeconomic determinants of health propelled me to switch from clinical practice to health policy to try to improve women’s healthcare on a broader scale.

Meeting McKinsey

I got a Fulbright scholarship to go to New York to study public health at Columbia University. While there, McKinsey gave a campus presentation, and the recruiter invited me to apply. At first, I was hesitant; I wanted to solve public health issues, not business issues. The recruiter told me about all the work McKinsey does in healthcare, and I decided to submit my resume.
During the interview process, I was really excited as I learned more about the various possibilities, including the type of work I am doing now: advising major pharmaceutical companies on their portfolios, drug launches and R&D processes; working with leading healthcare providers to improve the delivery and quality of care; and supporting eminent public and social sector institutions in dealing with the world’s most important public health issues.

Why London?

Because of my Dutch nationality, it was easier to join a European office. I chose London because of its large and diverse healthcare practice and phenomenal leadership, spearheaded by Dame Vivian Hunt. I loved my time in the London office. From doing healthcare in Madrid to pharma in Verona and public health in the UAE, I worked with extremely talented colleagues from across the world, who had vastly different backgrounds but a shared passion for improving healthcare.

Moving across the pond

I hadn’t planned on staying at McKinsey longer than one, maybe two years. Well, after those first two years, I realized I really liked client service and McKinsey. I wanted to be closer to my family, though, most of whom live in the Caribbean. I transferred to the New Jersey office in 2018. In addition to putting me closer to my family, the New Jersey office also focuses on healthcare work.

Feeling at home

A key factor in my feeling so at ease at McKinsey has been my involvement with the McKinsey Black Network and, since moving to the US, Hispanic and Latino Network. Both groups have provided a space to discuss shared experiences and been pivotal starting points for dealing with injustices like the murders of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor. I’m inspired by their efforts to help understand and change the situation for minorities in the US and beyond through research and community-wide commitments to action, like the Black and Hispanic Economic Forums.

A memorable client project

I’ve had many memorable projects, including important work on COVID-19. Just before world-wide lockdowns were imposed, I was doing a dream project: emergency supply chain preparedness in Latin America and the Caribbean. I helped several countries in the region on a topic that immediately proved hugely valuable, and, as an added bonus, escaped the New York  winter. When I started working on this project in November, a pandemic of COVID-19’s proportion was still hypothetical. Who could have known how quickly this work was going to become the single most important subject for our clients?

Apply by July 12 to follow in Rhyenne’s footsteps.