The Story Behind Becoming a Consultant at Magnum Forge
After completing my junior year in college, one of the big consulting firms offered me a summer internship. This particular firm had a thriving energy practice. It offered a great opportunity to learn the ropes while working for a respected firm that held potential for long-term employment after graduation. At the end of the summer, I was fortunate to returned to school for my senior year with a job offer in hand, plus a substantial signing bonus and a laptop, courtesy of my new employer. Life was good.
Upon graduating, I joined the firm as an analyst and immediately started an eight-week training program in Chicago. I am a lifelong Cubs fan, so I planned to attend a few games at Wrigley Stadium. Sadly, I never got the chance to visit the ballpark. Training consumed most of my time, and what little “free” time I had, I spent studying.
Once home and staffed on projects, it seemed I was being sheltered from each team’s engagement partner and I never had the opportunity to work directly with the client. I was rarely staffed on an energy client and I bounced from one assignment to the next. It was fast-paced and expectations were high but it appeared that I was on track to make manager in five years. While my job description stated that I would be assisting with the development, delivery, and management of technology-based business solutions, I actually spent the majority of my time on data analysis.
My technical skills did become stronger with each project but looking back, I worked on the same type of project every week and was shuffled on and off jobs so quickly that I never developed any true industry expertise. I was always out of town, working for a client that I never met, in an industry that did not interest me. My career path was not as I had hoped. I wanted to develop skills that are more specialized. I wanted to work directly with the client and to learn via a hands-on approach, using real project data rather than through training materials and though I was reluctant to leave the firm, I knew it was time to make a change.
I interviewed with several firms that focused on energy, but Magnum Forge stood out so I was excited to receive an offer from them. I now work exclusively in energy. My jobs are ERP implementations or implementation-related projects at upstream oil and gas companies and no two have been the same thus far. I interact with the client daily, up and down the chain of command. I work closely with Magnum Forge’s leadership, and I learn as much, if not more, by sitting with the senior managers and partners each day than I had on any given day in my previous job.
I continue to build skills on the different software packages, but I am also learning the business behind the energy industry. In my role, it is critical to understand exploration and production, but equally important is the understanding of clients’ day-to-day operations. Without this crucial knowledge, one can never successfully marry technology to business.
Today, I am finishing our first round of data validation, working on resolving open issues with the vendor, and meeting with the accounting department manager to discuss open issues. I am attending an operations meeting where a new acquisition will be discussed, and then I will prepare a status report that I will deliver directly to my client. The experience, responsibility, and visibility I have achieved in this job have exceeded my expectations. Once again, life is good!
Brian – a Magnum Forge consultant