Opportunities Abound. Find The Confidence And Drive To Take Them
Meet Diana Müller. Having joined MOL Group in 2010, straight from university, Dia built a career based on expert knowledge, determination and a work ethic that has allowed her to rapidly rise within the company.
Today she is a Learning & Competency Development Manager for MOL Hungary, and is evidence that a woman in the Oil & Gas industry can build a strong career.
Opportunities at MOL Group, she says, are not based on gender, but instead are dependent on hard work, developing yourself professionally, keeping an open mind, and constantly striving to help advance the company.
When did you start work with MOL Group, and how did you first get involved with the company?
I started my career at MOL Group in 2010. My attention was raised as a student, because many of my university friends had a positive opinion about the company as an employer. So I applied for, and was given, an internship position when I was in my final year of studies. It proved to be a good decision.
You’ve built a career in the HR profession, but was it always your game plan to work in the Oil & Gas sector?
When I started to work for MOL Group, I was an International Relations MA student at Corvinus University, Budapest, with a major in Diplomacy. You might think this is far from the Oil & Gas industry and HR, but actually the opposite is true.
I had the drive to deal with people issues, and I could combine this with my international relations knowledge as MOL Group is operating in a multi-cultural environment. And as the O&G sector is very complex, I also had the chance to deal with various topics and HR-related challenges during previous years.
Can you tell us a little about your career progression within MOL Group?
After my internship, I got into the Growww graduate programme of the company. This is a one-year long programme, offering in-depth professional development for the participants and great networking possibilities, as there are more than a hundred Growwwers from almost 15 countries every year.
Through project work and soft skill development, I gained a broad overview of the company and the industry itself, and had great fun with my fellow Growwwers. I have, since then, been able to build a great deal from this network.
As the HQ is located in Hungary, I had the opportunity to experience how the strategic decisions are made and rolled-out to other countries. When later working in HR expert positions, I expanded my knowledge regarding Strategic HR, Talent Management, Employer Branding, and Talent Acquisition and Performance Management. Since the summer of 2016, I have worked in the role of Learning & Competency Development Manager for MOL Hungary.
Your rise within the Group has been fast – is this down to your professional drive alone, or is it also connected to the company’s policies and planning regarding employee retention and advancement?
In the last few years the company has developed many programs and solutions for the advancement and development of its employees. The career journey is designed in a way to provide opportunities to young professionals – allowing them to reach higher roles internally.
For example, I became a participant in MOL Group’s LEAD leadership development programme last year, and this helped me a great deal when preparing for this new role, together with colleagues who are in a similar situation.
Support and advice from senior team members is often the key to career advancement. Has this been the case in your career?
Yes, I am lucky, as in HR we have a lot of senior colleagues who are eager to support younger employees. My superiors and peers really helped me to reach this position. Also, there is a mentoring scheme implemented in the Growww programme, and the aim of this is to give useful advice and to help with integration.
Can you tell us a little about the day-to-day work in your current role, and how this differs from your previous position?
Previously I worked at the Headquarters of the company as an expert, and now I am in a managerial role in the Hungarian Flagship of the Group. I am currently responsible for leading the Learning & Development team of MOL Hungary, providing learning solutions for approximately 10,000 employees, and I directly lead a team of ten.
The elephant in the room is often the gender divide in the Oil & Gas industry. As a woman who is building a strong career at MOL Group, can you give your impressions regarding gender issues in the industry, and, specifically, how MOL Group tackles this?
The Oil&Gas industry is, globally, male-dominant, being a traditional sector with many blue-collar and engineering positions. Therefore, we have to pay an even more significant focus on diversity and inclusion when compared to other industries. It is key to our success to be an attractive employer for women as well, and to help them find their way towards MOL Group.
Through our talent acquisition programmes we offer opportunities for talented female students to gain expertise in the Oil&Gas industry, and can help them to become future leaders. And in the Growww programme we reach an almost 40% rate of female participants yearly, which is well above the industry average for female representation.
What advice would you give to people, of either gender, looking to start their career in this industry? And do you have specific advice to those joining MOL Group?
The world, and this industry in particular, is experiencing rapid change – so quick adaptation is key. You have to be flexible to work in an always-changing environment, and bring your ideas proactively to allow for smooth transitions.
At MOL Group we are more and more open to significant new initiatives, so my main advice would be to show your ideas, be brave in speaking up, and then you will be recognized quickly.
What has surprised you the most during your time with the company?
It was the diversity of the company. Having grown from a local company, MOL became surprisingly international in the past decade. I enjoy working with people from different countries and cultures – people who often have significantly diverse professional backgrounds, and come from different generations.
MOL Group recently launched its ‘Strategy 2030’. How will this affect your work?
As a Generation Y manager, it is key to me to feel there is room for growth, new initiatives and forward-thinking solutions. When the management presented the new strategy, they asked for our feedback and further comments, and this provided a great sense of involvement for our teams.
In terms of your own personal career growth, what’s next for you at MOL Group? Where would you like to be five years from now?
I would like to grow in my current role and enable my team to achieve great results in the next few years. I would also like to find, later, new and exciting roles that are connected to the recent strategic directions of the organization.
In closing, could you sum up – in one sentence – why you believe MOL Group is a ‘first choice’ for potential employees?
MOL Group’s biggest advance is the complexity, and therefore the diversity, you find here; you can bring out the most from yourself and find a suitable role that fits your needs, skills and goals – all while being a part of a truly international team.