Pursuing your passion

Yukiko golfing
Yukiko enjoying a day of golf with her husband
Yukiko golfing

I rejoined McKinsey in 2013 after my MBA and a short stint at a start-up. I was slightly discouraged by the limited opportunities to work in healthcare outside of pharmaceutical and medical technology clients in Japan.  I wanted to serve the system, payors and providers, and I was not sure I could realize my passion at the firm, especially as a new associate.

Luckily, I found a like-minded mentor, a partner from Germany, through a team problem-solving session. He helped me pursue my passion of building the Healthcare Systems and Services (HSS) practice in Japan. Thanks to his mentorship, we are now serving the broad healthcare community.

Through my mentor, I learned how to initiate and engage in discussions with clients about how our work supported significant changes to struggling healthcare systems globally. I still remember how much fun we had developing new problem-solving approaches, frameworks and methodologies to bring to clients. We spent hours discussing what additional support we, as a firm, could bring to the healthcare system and payors, what pressing healthcare issues we should discuss with hospital and insurance company stakeholders, and what global resources we could leverage to make things happen.

My mentor also helped me tap into the firm’s resources so we could bring our best collective knowledge and experience to clients. He helped me engage like-minded colleagues in our efforts, growing the group from 1 aspiring associate to 5+ passionate consultants ranging from associate to partner in the HSS practice in Japan.

From this experience, I can proudly say I’ve “made my own McKinsey” – a phrase we use to describe how we support each other in pursuing what’s nearest to our hearts.

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