Meet McKinsey’s MBA Class of 2022: Paul Prenevost

Paul Prenevost

McKinsey Office: Minneapolis, Minnesota

Hometown: Park Rapids, Minnesota

MBA Program and Concentration: University of Minnesota, PharmD/MBA dual degree

Undergraduate School, Major: University of St. Thomas, Biology BS

Why did you choose McKinsey? I chose McKinsey because I was attracted to the firm’s culture of intellectual rigor, and I wanted to solve complex upstream problems in our healthcare system. I believe there is no better place to address some of the most important questions in healthcare today while also markedly accelerating your career trajectory. Working at McKinsey has allowed me to stay close to home while gaining experience with national clients that may not have a local presence. These factors, combined with the amazing, caring people that I met at the Minneapolis office and the quality of relationships I formed made choosing McKinsey an easy decision for me.

What did you love about the business school you attended? I loved the tight knit feel and commitment to the community at The Carlson School of Management. The school is truly a part of the local community and reflects all that is best about the Midwest. Additionally, coming from a healthcare background, I appreciated the diversity of my classmates and professors which created a learning environment that inspired me to expand my horizons more than I had previously in my studies. Don’t let me forget, business school was incredibly fun, and I created lasting relationships with my classmates that are truly priceless.

What is your most meaningful accomplishment/professional accomplishment prior to your current role? My most meaningful accomplishment prior to my current role was working on a project to improve transitions of care and optimize outcomes for patients admitted through the emergency department at a local hospital. The project involved working with doctors, pharmacists, nurses, and hospital administrators to develop new procedures and protocols. It was rewarding to see how our recommendations were able to make a real difference in the lives of many patients. It’s special experiences such as these that led me to McKinsey where I get to help solve similar problems regularly.

When you think back to the different elements of the McKinsey assessment: the digital test (i.e., Solve), the Personal Experience Interview (PEI), and the Problem-Solving Interview, what stands out? What do you think made you successful and what advice would you give to other MBAs going through McKinsey or another organizations’ process? Coming from a healthcare background, I viewed the problem-solving interview as the element that stood out the most. It’s unlike any interview that I had ever been through before in that it allows you to demonstrate your unique problem-solving skills and is also incredibly fun. My success in this portion was in part due to it being novel for me – I was having fun learning and adapting on the fly. I would tell others going through this process to expect the unexpected. Do not feel as though you need to have drilled any and every concept that could be thrown at you. The process is designed to test your ability to think on your feet – that means you will likely run into something you haven’t practiced or are still uncomfortable with no matter how much time you have put in. Just do your best to seize this opportunity to demonstrate how innovative your problem-solving truly is!

What was an assumption you held—either specifically about McKinsey or the management consulting profession as a whole—that was proven wrong once you began working in your role? Why did you hold the misconception and how was it refuted? A great part about coming from a background in patient care was that I did not have many preconceived notions about McKinsey or management consulting. However, I will say that everyone here has been so supportive and willing to go out of their way to apprentice me in a way that I had not seen in my previous roles. Everyone I have interacted with has been very passionate about building a firm that attracts and develops exceptional people.

McKinsey talks a lot about partnering with its clients to “accelerate sustainable, inclusive growth.” What does that mean to you and how have you seen it in action? For me, this means that the value that we are providing is not always easily quantifiable. It means that the impact that I’m having is often around making healthcare more affordable, increasing access, and ultimately improving the lives of more patients. I have seen this in my work helping a pharmaceutical company increase access to quality healthcare for people living in settings with limited resources. In healthcare especially, I believe we can continue to make a significant impact over the next decade. As healthcare costs continue to rise, stakeholders are looking for more and more innovative strategies to improve patient care in a sustainable and cost-effective manner.

Who has had the biggest impact on you at McKinsey and how have they helped you? It’s hard to pick just one person since there are so many people who have helped me already! If I must pick one, it would be Jeris Stueland. Jeris is a great representative for the Minneapolis office and a great model of a caring people leader. She has mentored me starting all the way back to my time as a Summer Associate during my MBA. She is incredibly knowledgeable in the healthcare space and has helped me learn and create impact with a multitude of healthcare clients. I always look forward to catching up with her at company events or in the office on Fridays!

Describe an “only at McKinsey” moment. I feel like these moments happen frequently, but one that comes to mind for me was a frequent occurrence on a recent healthcare project. Our project was in a growing space within healthcare with an outpouring of excitement around the opportunity to improve patients’ lives through novel therapies. It was nearly a daily occurrence that someone on our team would link an article from a reputable international news source profiling the exact opportunity that we were working on. It was great to put our work into perspective and connect what we were doing with the real opportunity make positive change in front of us.

What’s next? It could be within McKinsey or beyond. How/In what ways do you think your time at McKinsey will prepare you for your next step? I’m having a really great time with McKinsey right now, so it’s hard to say what is next! I know that I still have plenty to learn from the amazing people here, so I will continue to take advantage of the opportunities that are provided to me. I’m confident that my time here will prepare me well for whatever it is I do next. I’m excited to see what the future holds!

A fun fact about me is…I have yet to miss a 4th of July back in my hometown of Park Rapids, MN. It’s my favorite holiday and a great chance to spend time with my parents, sisters, and five nieces and nephews!


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