At BCG, Allies bring a sense of collaboration and excitement to their teams. They create an atmosphere of trust and support in which people can do their best work. Whitney connects the dots to see the bigger picture.
I’ll never forget the moment that I realized problem solving and analysis aren’t enough. You need to work with people to get to the root of change. I love how we’re encouraged to build strong relationships with our clients and really listen to understand what matters most.
My time at BCG has really lived up to the idea that you can chart your own course and create the path that’s right for you—within BCG. I started as an associate in the Toronto office and spent my first year trying new things—from financial services and IT to major transformation in consumer foods! But after a while, I started to miss the sector I’d come from: natural resources.
With the support of my career advisor and mentors, I transferred to BCG’s new Perth office and spent the next two years exploring my passion—working across mining and energy projects that looked at everything from new-market entry to technology strategy to social license to operate. I was able to round out my interests through a secondment in a remote indigenous community, a global experience case in Mongolia, and most recently an MBA and master’s of science at Stanford. Now I’ve returned to BCG in Sydney, and I’m building my experience in the energy sector, where we’re changing the face of the markets we work in.
Whitney holds a bachelor’s of commerce from the University of Calgary and a joint MBA and master’s of science, focused on energy, from the Stanford Graduate School of Business and Stanford Emmett Interdisciplinary Program in Environment and Resources.
Q: When did you know you belonged at BCG?
A: For me, I realized BCG was the right fit early in the recruiting process. At a gut level, I knew that I would enjoy working with the people that I met, that we shared similar values, and that they would teach me to learn and grow. I also loved the idea that I could chart my own course, and that within our offices social impact wasn’t just a once-a-year volunteer day. There was a spark in the eye of most of the people I met that showed me that it was a shared passion that went deep.
Q: What are some of your goals (personal or professional), and how does working at BCG support them?
A: I want to improve the way the natural resource sector does business. It is such a tangible and large-scale industry, and when it does good in the way that it operates it can make a tremendous positive impact. But conversely, when things go wrong, the consequences are severe. My theory of change to tackle that issue has been to try to steer change from the inside, rather than outside-in through policy or advocacy. The reason for this is if you want to steer a ship, you do it from the inside—and even a couple of small degrees, if the ship is large enough, can change the course significantly.
Working at BCG has allowed me to be part of that change, within a year of graduating from undergraduate study. I’ve been part of major social license to operate strategy in central Asia, worked directly with affected communities in Northern Australia, set internal standards in Western Australia, and also shaped the way that those companies think about their future technology. I can’t imagine another job in the world that could have let me make that level of impact so quickly.
Q: If you could compare what you do with any other job, what would you say?
A: The way I describe consulting to my Grandma (who lives in a small town in Canada) is that being a consultant is like being a doctor: you can support your patients through listening to their problems and diagnosing what’s wrong, by prescribing things that can help them get better, and by being there to support them on the journey back to health. Sometimes you just need a checkup, sometimes you’re about to give birth (to something completely new). Consulting is really there for companies at every stage of their lives.