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Associate partner, Dubai
Background: Business

About Margaux

Working in McKinsey’s Public Sector Practice in the Middle East has given me the chance to work with the highest-level stakeholders in government, on transformative topics that are really reshaping countries and changing the lives of citizens.

In college, because of preconceived ideas I had about consulting, I was convinced that a consulting career was not for me. So when McKinsey came to visit campus, I did not even go to the presentation. However, a friend who did attend convinced me to come for the post-presentation “coffee chats,” because McKinsey offered an amazing food buffet. I went because high-quality food was scarce on campus. However, during one of these chats, a partner described how McKinsey was helping save lives through leading lean turnarounds of emergency services in hospitals. This really piqued my interest because it seemed like a job with a great sense of purpose and meaning. I decided right then that McKinsey was the place for me. For the next one and a half years, I focused on taking the right courses and landing the right internships to be able to get into the firm.

Changing people’s lives

I was very fortunate to join the Middle East office—almost ten years ago—in the Public Sector Practice. The practice has grown to be one of the largest globally at McKinsey. This has given me the chance to work on topics I am passionate about, including helping bring about government improvements in the Middle East and beyond—whether by developing a specific economic sector such as tourism, enhancing education outcomes, or reforming labor markets. I never expected I would have the chance to work with the highest-level stakeholders in government on such transformative topics that are really reshaping countries and changing the lives of citizens.

A caring and supportive environment

However, my biggest surprise since joining McKinsey has been the people. I of course expected to meet a lot of bright and sharp problem solvers, which I have. But I more or less thought that my colleagues would be the cookie-cutter variety of business majors and MBA holders, just like me. What I found, though, is that McKinsey is made up of a diverse set of fascinating people, each with their own unique life story. What was even less expected, was being surrounded by a truly caring set of people who are genuinely interested in not only your professional development but also your personal well-being. I had worked a couple stints in investment banking before coming to McKinsey, so this kind of work environment came as quite a shock to me!

For example, in my first few years at McKinsey, I fully leveraged the opportunities that come with being one global firm. I worked all over Africa and in the broader Middle East region, including a couple of projects in Palestine. Once I decided to start a family, however, I wanted to limit my travel and work much more locally. This decision was supported fully by my supervisors and colleagues, and I was given opportunities to do exciting work right here in the United Arab Emirates. Being able to work close to home has allowed me to be with my children every evening. This has made a huge difference in balancing my work life and my family life.


HEC Paris
MSc, business