Daniel Sheridan

Daniel Sheridan

Master of Business Administration, 2018

Current position
Consultant, BCG

In my current role at BCG, I partner with clients across industries to solve pressing challenges and identify new opportunities for success. Often, this means providing objective analysis of threats and opportunities to guide client decision-making, and ensuring that complex concepts are distilled down into relevant, actionable insights.

Day to day, my role can vary considerably, and is guided by the demands of the case I am working on. From researching the what makes an industry sector tick, to developing complex financial models, or workshopping strategic initiatives with client groups, I am rarely doing the same task for long, as things move fast.

Part of good consulting is being able to contextualise and bring relevance of the environment to your client and the challenges they face. To support this, I ensure that I am abreast of the latest social, political and technological events, as well as liaising with colleagues working across my passion-areas, energy and infrastructure, to get the latest insights.

Prior to joining BCG, and midway through my Monash MBA journey, I joined toll road developer and operator, Transurban as Strategy Manager. My experience with Transurban reaffirmed my passion for industries ‘that move cities’ such as infrastructure and energy. I had the benefit of being mentored by my manager, previously a consultant, who encouraged me to explore consulting as a career option.

I enjoyed a lengthy career at Shell and learned a lot through the sale of Shell Australia’s downstream assets to form Viva Energy Australia in 2014. Throughout my tenure at Shell, I was fortunate to experience roles across marketing, sales, strategy, supply chain and network development.

The biggest highlights in my career to date have been having the opportunity to develop Transurban’s refreshed corporate strategy, and working with Rio Tinto to develop a brand-new fuel supply chain and terminal at the West Angelas Mine in the Pilbara.

The Monash MBA identified the shortcomings of many other MBAs and sought to resolve them. Eschewing endless exams and textbook readings for guest lecturers, practical consulting assignments and a focus on developing leadership skills throughout appealed to me, and the course really delivered on that front.

I was awarded the Dean’s Honours for my MBA and I also received unit awards for: MBA Unit 1 (2017); MBA Technology & Entrepreneurship (2018); and MBA Seminars (2018).

What I didn’t expect, but really enjoyed about the experience was the extent to which the program explored my moral compass. Developing leaders that can solve emerging challenges requires some soft skills and awareness that I think Monash touched on more than other MBAs.

"My MBA program really asked me to explore my moral compass"

Learning strategy basics – the Minto communication method; developing issue trees and breaking down problems are invaluable skills no matter which realm you go into. Having the confidence to walk into a situation with these tools to be able to break down and sequentially solve problems is something that has both helped me get the role I am in today and deliver results in it.

I’ve always been most influenced by those around me as opposed to say a Steve Jobs or the like. The biggest influences on my career have often been my managers whom have instilled in me the importance of strong people leadership skills, and effective problem-solving.

The strongest managers I have worked with in my career have always spent the time getting to know their teams, developing and communicating a shared vision, and as a result created a workforce of highly motivated and devoted team players.

From a business perspective, I really love market assessment and strategy. Analysing a market, developing a proposition that resonates with it, and creating a plan of attack is something that I love to get my teeth stuck into – a good puzzle.

When I can link that up with one of my personal passions – food or creating a sustainable world – that’s probably what would most make me want to jump out of bed in the morning.

It’s a common saying, but business makes the world go round. While the term 'business' conjures up visions of suits, spreadsheets and slideshows, really it boils down to creating value.

Underneath that umbrella there really is a good fit for anyone, and one benefit of a business career is that you have a bit of luxury of exploring for a while to find that industry, specialisation or passion area that lights your fire.

The best piece of advice I can give to students is to make the most of your relationships. I took a very different approach to studying my undergraduate degree as compared to my postgraduate degree.

By spending more time getting to know people and engaging a bit more in the ‘university experience’, I found my time at Monash much more rewarding both personally and professionally.