TPG Spotlight: Meet Peter Murphy

"It's been fun taking chemical engineering principles and finding that they are directly applicable to anything."

How did you get into this role initially?

I always liked project work and teamwork so consulting was something that fit that. I could learn new things, I could jump from project to project, and I could work with interesting people, both in the clients and coworkers on the team. I ended up talking to a previous PEY student who spoke incredibly highly of TPG, and everything he said has been correct.

How does your background in chemical engineering relate to your role now?

Chemical engineering is something I’ve always been interested in. One of the things I was pleased to learn in my undergrad and my masters is that Chemical Engineering is more commonly applied as process engineering. Someone figured out a long time ago that the equation for putting a chemical into a reactor, have it undergo a change, and be separated out the other side is identical to the equation for putting money into an account, having it accrue interest and spit it out the other side. The math is just different variables but the same equation. Subsequently, you can apply it to anything. We do a lot of process mapping here where we take processes for organizations and see how their systems work together. You can then model that as step changes. It’s been fun taking chemical engineering principles and finding that they are directly applicable to almost anything.

What is something you wish you knew before starting in this role?

Mostly how tempting it is to eating unhealthily when travelling on a project!

For the work itself, one thing that struck me was how aware people are of their problems. It’s our job to bring new insights and new solutions to the table, but a lot of the time, the client sits down and says, “we know vaguely these are our challenges, we just don’t have time to address them”. They are not necessarily bringing you on to find new problems. They often have wonderfully smart people, they just don’t have the time. It’s our job to take that time and go through the steps to find solutions to their problems.

This makes the working relationship a lot easier because you no longer (usually) have to worry about coming up with some big revelation. Sometimes telling people that things are broken is good, but sometimes it’s not so great. It’s much more satisfying to provide a solution for how to fix something that has been concerning a client for a long time. It also makes for a lot smoother of a process.

How have you found travelling for work?

I don’t mind the travel. I’ve been in the US for about five weeks. I love reading so an hour’s flight once in a while has been great. I was worried about travelling being inherently stressful, but it wasn’t. I have more trouble with an hour-long TTC commute than a flight.

What has been your initial experience with TPG so far?

It’s been fantastic. Everyone is really friendly. It’s like being on a very good group project. Every team I’ve worked with has been smooth and efficient. I never have to worry about someone’s piece of work being done on time. It all fits together, and all fit together on time. It’s amazing being able to jump into a project and have it almost immediately be so smooth.