Sainsbury Management Fellows

Interview 10: David MacGeehan

David MacGeehan (BSc/BEng University of Western Australia, MEcon University of Sydney), London Business School

David established a successful career in the energy industry before returning to study for the MBA at London Business School. After completing his undergraduate studies in Perth, Australia, he joined Shell where he contributed in a number of technical and operations roles across the business. He later relocated to Aberdeen, Scotland, to take on a new challenge, and most recently worked for Chevron as facilities engineer responsible for executing projects and repairs to offshore assets in the North Sea.

What inspired you to study for an MBA?
Throughout my career, I have sought to understand the business decisions behind the engineering work that I have done. I believe that pursuing the MBA will greatly expand my business skill set and formalise my commercial knowledge. I am also fascinated by the process of innovation and want to better understand the entrepreneurial mindset and how it is applied across different situations and industries. The opportunity to meet and work with a large group of talented students from a variety of backgrounds and sectors was also a key driver to study for the MBA at London Business School.

What does winning the scholarship mean to you?
Receiving the SMF scholarship means a lot to me because I strongly identify with the aims of the Fellowship to promote education, innovation, and the importance of business skills to the engineering profession. The support provided by the scholarship greatly assists with achieving my goals during the MBA, and I look forward to working with the extensive network of SMF alumni to advance initiatives in these areas throughout my future career.

What tip would you give an applicant for the SMF scholarship?
The tip I have for future SMF scholarship applicants is that you don’t need to have all the answers when applying. Attending business school is a journey of discovery and it is appropriate to recognise that in the application. What is important is to be honest and credible and highlight how your interests, goals and values align with those of the Fellowship.

How will your MBA skills take you forward in your career?
The MBA has given me a chance to build upon the great experiences in my career to date and to identify the areas I want to focus on to complement my practical engineering experience. This includes studying a range of business topics as varied as finance, accounting, marketing and corporate strategy, as well as taking advantage of the many opportunities to further develop leadership and other soft skills. The learnings from the MBA, in combination with my engineering background, will provide the tools necessary to succeed at all levels in my future career.

What’s your career goal after gaining your MBA?
I wish to apply the business and problem-solving skills I have developed during the MBA in a consulting, development or strategy role, helping to drive industry forward. The energy industry remains my focus and I believe it is an industry primed for significant change over the coming decade. I intend to be positioned with the knowledge and skills ready to tackle some of the big challenges in the sector.

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