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Maintaining a balanced life – Matt’s story

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Life at Partners in Performance is fast-paced, challenging and supportive. But don’t just take our word for it – hear what life at Partners in Performance is like, directly from our people.

Meet Matt, Partners in Performance’s Procurement Practice Manager from our Europe region. Over the past six years, Matt has worked across multiple continents and has travelled the globe photographing marine life in far flung places, even winning 2nd prize in a National Geographic photo competition. Read on to learn more about where Matt's love of adventure has taken him...

The early days

I’m originally from the UK, but was living in New Zealand when Partners in Performance hired me over six years ago. My first couple of years at the company were spent flying over the ditch to Australia, where I worked on a broad range of client engagements. I ended up meeting, travelling and making friends with a vast number of exceptional people from around the world, many of whom I’m still in touch with today.

The dilemma I faced was that I wanted to become a New Zealand citizen (don’t ask why), and in order to achieve this I needed to stay in NZ for a significant chunk of the year. At that point, the New Zealand practice was still in its infancy and there wasn’t a steady pipeline of consulting opportunities.


 Touring Tasmania with the team

Becoming a New Zealand citizen

Luckily, I had a couple of wonderful supporters, Nic and Ana, and they found a role for me in Global Services, heading up the team that was overhauling the website. This meant I could spend a few months working in New Zealand, filling the requisite habitation time required for residency.

I am forever grateful that Partners in Performance had the flexibility to make this work for me. It ended up being a really great experience; I worked closely with Ana, Skipp and the directors, learning a new part of the business and watching everyone’s faces fill with awe as the ground-breaking new site went live at UP Day. I got my New Zealand residency and went back into consulting.

The great thing about the firm is that things are always moving and growing, so you never know what opportunities are going to spring up. After some more time travelling for various engagements, Rob, Mohammed and Tom had started ramping up the New Zealand practice and I was able to work there permanently for two years. This allowed me to spend more time at home and to get my little black passport (Kiwi citizenship).


 Showing my teammates around New Zealand

For the love of adventure

You may have realised by now that I love to travel. I’ve been very lucky that Partners in Performance has given me a lot of freedom to take additional annual leave to go on ‘expeditions’ around the world (having been here for six years you could say that I almost ‘pioneered’ the extended purchased annual leave option). I’ll generally take an extra chunk of time when I’m not on engagement to go on a reasonably extreme underwater adventure; a few of my favourites:

  • Swam and photographed a wide selection of pelagic fish and mammals around the Cocos islands off Costa Rica with National Geographic
  • Met the Jawa tribe on the Andaman Islands after swimming with leatherback turtles
  • Trekked around Djibouti and Ethiopia after photographing whale sharks in the Red Sea
  • Photographed blue whales and sperm whales in Sri Lanka
  • Assisted on a few science projects in Mexico as a cave diver

Adventure travel is a real passion of mine and helps me recharge, focus and become a more complete person and therefore, a better employee. When I return to work, I’m always geared up and ready to get going on a new engagement. I really believe finding a work-life balance is key to success and I love that the company supports me on that.


 Photographing big things in the water

Starting a new adventure at home

Recently, I made the decision to move back to the UK to be closer to my family. I wasn’t sure if that was going to work for Partners in Performance, as the European practice is still in its infancy. I had a conversation with Skipp and Rob. They weren’t sure it would work, either, but were really understanding of my situation. In the end, however, they found a spot for me as the Procurement Practice Manager in Europe, where I’m helping build the European pipeline and strengthen the Procurement Practice.

For me, this is one of the best things about working here - having that small group of people who I look up to and can rely on for support when I need it. Knowing that my colleagues have my back makes me feel like I’m part of a family, and not just another cog in the machine.

My new role has been challenging and a lot of fun, at the same time. It’s been nice to have the opportunity to see another side of the business. It has me thinking about the consulting industry more broadly in terms of the firm's product offerings, our place in the market and how we leverage our competitive advantage and turn it into an engagement.

I’ll most likely transition back to consulting in Europe as we grow the practice here, but for now, I’m enjoying a break from travel and the chance to do something different. One thing’s for sure - you can always expect an exciting challenge and opportunity to grow in this company.


 Flying back from engagement in Asia


About the authors

Aoife Murphy