– I was attracted to McKinsey because of its outstanding reputation and for the opportunities the firm offered me to learn about business while working with some of the most important organizations in the world. I actually first applied to McKinsey during graduate school at Oxford. I wasn’t successful the first time, but I kept in touch with McKinsey and applied again about a year ago after working in the oil industry for 10 years. Now, I’m a Bucharest-based specialist within Petroleum Asset eXcellence (PAX).
PAX is a new venture within McKinsey’s Oil & Gas practice. Its existence is a great example of how McKinsey responds to new challenges. In this case, leading oil & gas companies need support to transform the way they run their businesses so they can endure the ’lower for longer’ oil price. We embed teams with deep industry experience in our clients’ organizations to drive improvement across all elements of the value chain, from reservoir to sales point. Our teams include geoscientists, petroleum and drilling engineers, and asset and operations managers – people who combine technical credibility with best-in-class consulting tools to develop and implement recommendations.
During my last engagement, my team was brought in to improve the efficiency of drilling operations for a complex offshore well. I worked with an engagement manager, associate, and external advisor to identify performance gaps and mobilize the client to bridge them. We reduced drilling time by more than 15% through the initiatives we implemented in the drilling program. More importantly, we changed the mind-sets of the people with whom we worked. The moment I cherish most was when the client’s project lead acknowledged, “it was the best advice my organization has ever received.”
Before I joined McKinsey, I didn’t realize I would have such stimulating, high-quality conversations with my colleagues. They are literally a group of beautiful minds unlocked by the firm’s culture of structured problem solving, top-down communication and constructive feedback. I learn and receive support from them through formal and informal interactions. For example, during my first week, the office manager taught me the importance of building my network and introduced me to a senior expert with whom she had worked closely. My mentor helped me with staffing. My professional development manager shared her wisdom on several project-related situations in the most reassuring way. An engagement manager on my team showed me a new way to connect with my clients; and a business analyst saved me hours by teaching me PowerPoint shortcuts. Several partners have shared their experiences and tools to help me become the best consultant I can be. The list goes on and on. Now I look for opportunities to help colleagues with my industry knowledge and professional contacts, paying it forward as much as possible.
If you’re interested in applying for McKinsey, go for it! The life style can be a bit tough at times – you may face long working hours for a while, a steep learning curve, unexpected client challenges, etc. But, you will enjoy one of the most fulfilling jobs in the world. And I still have time to pursue my hobbies like reading, playing chess, sailing, cooking, tasting local wines, and, most recently, playing with my newest passion, my little daughter Emma.
If you’re interested in learning more about positions within PAX, check out open roles in Rio de Janeiro, Calgary, Houston, and Kuala Lumpur.