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Engagement Manager, Dubai
Background: Healthcare

About Ahmed

Through projects in economic development across the region, I have been able to contribute to work that is actively impacting the lives of millions of people across the Middle East.

I grew up in the United Kingdom and studied medicine at the University of Bristol. I was a physician for a few years in London before deciding to make the transition to consulting. I chose McKinsey because I knew it would give me the opportunity to do interesting and challenging work, and I joined the Middle East office for two reasons. First, I wanted a chance to further explore the region and my heritage. And second, as a region experiencing rapid economic and developmental change, I knew I would have the chance to be involved in projects that were exciting and impactful. And this has 100 percent been the case! Working at McKinsey Middle East has been the most enjoyable, challenging, and rewarding experience of my professional life.

Why I chose McKinsey

I chose McKinsey specifically for three reasons. First, the reputation of the firm is unrivaled. As I did my research and spoke to mentors and family members, the reaction was consistently, “It has to be McKinsey.” But reputation alone is not enough.

The second reason I chose McKinsey is the people. Prior to joining the firm, I was fortunate to be put in touch with a McKinsey partner and an associate, and after 15 minutes speaking with them, my decision was made. Not only were they incredibly impressive individuals, but they took a genuine interest in me professionally and personally, and everything clicked into place.

The third reason is the training that McKinsey offers, such as the mini-MBA, and the flexible working programs, such as the Take Time program, where you can take time off to explore your personal interests and passions.

Soon after starting at McKinsey and meeting other McKinsey consultants, it became clear very quickly that these are genuine opportunities that are open to all colleagues. And I have really made the most of them since joining, including taking one month off to trek through Africa in my second summer with the firm, and, recently, enjoying a six-week journey with my siblings traveling the globe. I have also been able to pursue studies in the United Kingdom, which allows me to get home and see my family and reconnect, recharge, and have some of my mum’s amazing food!

The opportunity to work in new areas and sectors

My expectation in transitioning from being a practicing medical doctor to a consultant at McKinsey was that the majority of my work would be broadly in the healthcare space. However, I was given the incredible opportunity to do economic-development work in the region, and over the past two years, this has become a true passion of mine. As a doctor, I was able to impact the lives of individuals one-on-one, but through projects in economic development across the region, I have been able to contribute to work that is actively impacting the lives of millions of people across the Middle East. It took me a while to appreciate the scale of impact our projects can have, but when you take a step back and reflect, or hear a journalist talking about the work you have done, it really hits home!

Advice for other healthcare professionals considering joining McKinsey

I know it is not an easy decision to leave the healthcare field after five or six years of training and potentially several years of practicing. But there is great support at McKinsey to help you in your transition. You will work with others who have made the transition from a professional field to consulting and, specifically, with other doctors and clinicians in the firm. You will receive unrivaled training, support, advice, and mentorship to help you succeed.

The beauty of McKinsey is that you will have a wealth of opportunities across sectors, if you choose. Or if you are looking to build on your healthcare experience, McKinsey is the preeminent healthcare consultancy globally. In either case, you would be hard pushed to find a better place to launch your consulting career.


University of Bristol
MBChB, medicine
BSc, physiological sciences