Platinion Associate Director, New York
At BCG, Seekers go deep into the challenging issues our clients face. Their curiosity empowers our teams to facilitate change and add value to society. Michael finds clarity in a complex world.
The best part of working at BCG Platinion is going to work with pleasure and looking forward to the day ahead.
I joined BCG after working for 14 years in the airline IT industry. One of the main draws of BCG was the possibility of working across multiple industries with very smart people solving complex problems. I was not disappointed with the choice. In my first year, I worked on projects across three different industries, in addition to an airline-related project. Once an airline person, always an airline person.
One of my biggest surprises coming to the corporate world from a startup environment was the collaborative nature of the organization and the focus on individual growth. Before joining, I thought I’d miss these features of the startup world. However, I must admit that collaboration at BCG is at a scale that I’ve never experienced anywhere else before. At BCG, everyone—from the most junior intern to the most senior partner—is there to help. The talent in the company is extraordinary, and being able to make use of it makes you truly stand on the shoulders of giants.
Michael holds a PhD in computer science, with a focus on information visualization from University College Dublin, in Ireland. His bachelor’s degree is in computer science, from the University of Malta.
Q: How do you get to utilize your unique skill set within a team?
A: I’m usually the most technical person on the team. Therefore, I’m typically helping the team understand the technical challenges and the solutions to those challenges. As a team, though, we’re always bringing together the various skills each member has, to develop the best possible solution to the customer’s problem.
Q: How does Platinion fit into BCG as a whole?
A: Platinion and the other different divisions come together like ingredients making the perfect dish. BCG lays the foundation with strategy and vision. BCG Digital Ventures, in turn, will take a vision and spin off a new business out of the vision, while Platinion and GAMMA will implement a pathway to jump-start the development of the vision. BCGDV, Platinion, and GAMMA bring deep expertise in venture architecture, technology design and implementation, and advanced analytics, respectively, to complement BCG in developing the best solution for the customer.
Q: What did you learn in your first year on the job?
A: Where to start? The first year was a fantastic learning experience. Being a technologist, I feel that my biggest learnings were in the field of effective communication. Learning to tailor the message for the right audience and being succinct in summarizing complex topics into easily digestible bites were two key areas. BCGers are masters at this craft, and it was very beneficial for me to see this done at the highest levels in practice. No textbook will ever come close to the ability to learn from BCG. I’ve learned a lot on the technical side, too. This year, I worked with IoT data for the first time and had to figure out complex architectures and new techniques to clean and use this data.
Q: What’s your office environment like?
A: Our office environment is spectacular from an architecture point of view and a human relations point of view. Apart from a spectacular view of New York, we also have the best coffee in the city, with Joe’s coffee on the 45th floor. The best-kept treasure in New York, though, is the Platinion Digital group on the 42nd floor and their Friday retrospectives!
Q: What trends are you following, and why?
A: Working in data-related fields, I naturally follow a lot of data-related technology trends. Artificial intelligence and machine learning developments are being published on a daily basis, so keeping up with these is almost a full-time job in itself. Data engineering, distributed computing, and human-computer interaction are other topics that I follow closely from a research and development point of view.