For Alina, one of the most important things about her job is “the entrepreneurial culture of Metyis that allows everyone, whether junior or senior, to make valuable contributions to teams.”
In the newest edition of our chronicle, One ethos, One culture, we spoke with Alina, a multitalented analyst. She shares her diversified experience with Metyis and how her role expanded to span business development, project work and internal initiatives.
What is your role at Metyis?
I joined Metyis Middle East in Summer 2020 as a Digital & Management Consulting Intern, and then my role evolved into that of an Analyst. Metyis has granted me the opportunity to wear many hats and gain diversified experience far beyond what a first-year would at a conventional consulting group.
So far, I have supported ongoing projects through analytical work. Currently, I'm project managing a technology workstream within an integration management office of a leading energy services company. In general, I’ve contributed to my core analytical expertise in research, writing pitches, proposals and contracts, and led internal initiatives on design and recruitment.
I have been sharpening my recruitment acumen by showcasing Metyis at my alma mater, NYU Abu Dhabi, and by eventually taking an active role in evaluating profiles of junior candidates from all over the world, in alignment with our capability requirements in the Middle East. Thus, my experience has evolved from leading our informal coffee chats, a prerequisite stage in our recruitment process, to developing my own cases and conducting first-round interviews. I reflect on how my role expanded to span business development, project work and internal initiatives as I meet potential future colleagues and bring them into my world.
Tell us a little more about yourself.
I grew up in a relatively small and remote city in Russia. For the most part, I was juggling professional swimming and high school to pursue a Chemistry degree in university later, even though my school specialised in linguistics. I was encouraged to seek external resources to cover for any “weak spots” academically and, in combination with swimming, drove me to always be up for a challenge, looking for a linear relationship between effort and reward.
My family has always lived in my hometown and worked in the same place their entire lives. I won a coveted opportunity to study abroad in the US for a year in high school, and I dedicated myself to pursuing an unprecedented path. I aspired to defy convention and be the eccentric auntie who chose a life of adventure rather than stay in a familiar comfort zone.
My studies in the US sparked my curiosity for different cultures, academic and professional pathways, new knowledge and different perspectives. It changed everything, and after graduating from school, I won a full scholarship to study at one of the global campuses of New York University (NYU) in Abu Dhabi for four years. There, I pursued an academic knowledge in social sciences – ‘social’ being an important new aspect for me. My dual major in Economics and Finance blended diverse interdisciplinary classroom experiences with study abroad experiences at NYU’s campuses in London, Shanghai, New York and Sydney.
Last year, I committed myself to find impactful work in an environment where I’d learn to utilise cutting-edge technology alongside international peers who’d expand my horizons. I joined Metyis as an Intern, after foregoing a full-time role elsewhere to start here from scratch, wielding business and analytical experiences to drive the value of technology in the business world. I have now been with Metyis for over a year, leveraging my multidisciplinary toolkit to continuously grow while adapting swiftly to changing circumstances.
What made you decide to join the Metyis team?
I was not fulfilled by my the roles that I held in two previous workplaces. I was seeking a day that is dynamic but also challenging in terms of understanding the depths of how different functions and businesses work.
My acquaintance with Metyis was a coincidence, but joining the team was a conscious decision. Days after leaving my first job, I participated in an online event led by a Metyis Director, hosted by my university targeting mostly current students. I reached out to him shortly after, expressing my interest. My timing aligned with an upcoming recruitment cycle for the Middle East. Soon, I met the team and heard the mission and vision for the office and the more comprehensive firm. I got excited about the potential to pioneer analytics-driven projects in the region and work at scale with the Metyis family in other parts of the world. I also felt a reciprocated excitement towards myself as a determined candidate, making my ultimate decision to join easy.
I love the possibility of collaborating with people who are experts in their field, especially in data and technology, because these are the areas I would like to be closer to moving forward. I enjoy reading up on start-ups and developments in the technology world in my free time, but it is most exciting to see how our people at Metyis leverage the insights I would read about online in real life.
Now that I am working on a project around the integration of technology, I have been able to use conceptual thinking and logic to make sense of technical concepts and processes involved and have some aha-moments on my own with the team learning curve extremely enjoyable.
Apart from the functional expertise, I have found many of my colleagues in the network to have diverse academic backgrounds, from Nutrition to Astrophysics. I am always excited about these little discoveries and unexpected conversations originating from them, both of which make our community and our collaborative spirit unique.
What do you like most about working at Metyis?
Like in any company, there are processes and hierarchies involved, but the entrepreneurial culture of Metyis allows everyone, whether junior or senior, to make valuable contributions to teams, offices and the broader firm. On a company-wide scale, our rapid growth in the number of people doesn’t minimise the number of opportunities to make your history at Metyis via internal initiatives. I collaborate with my peers to bring their ideas and experiments to life. These projects and initiatives have ranged from unearthing methods to launch trainings and knowledge-sharing sessions within the company, to learning about ongoing project work in different offices, and empowering Metyis’ social media presence and visual brand identity.
What advice would you give to someone who would like to embrace a similar role?
I would say to see every challenge as a learning opportunity, even if it may not appear as such at first glance. For example, some of our relatively young office’s current project work may fall onto a more conventional, strategic side of consulting. Nevertheless, I have learned that it is more about the toolkit that you gather along the way that makes you a valuable team player rather than the industry or the project’s goal.
The same logic applies when you are brought onto a project that is reminiscent of previous ones. Even if the industry or your functionality are repeating, the business context might be different, stakeholders will certainly be different, so there will be many new lessons to take away regardless.