Written by David Olivencia, Director for Oracle Consulting. Prior to joining the Troy, Michigan office of Oracle Consulting, David graduated from the MBA Class of 2004 at Notre Dame Mendoza School of Business.
I am currently a director for Oracle Consulting (ORCL). With nearly 50,000 employees, Oracle is the world’s leading enterprise software company. I work out of Oracle’s office in Troy, Michigan, where I work within our enterprise architecture organization.
Enterprise architecture focuses on aligning a company’s enterprise business strategy with its information technology. Enterprise architects are the liaisons between a company’s business strategists and its information technology professionals, who often aren’t well-versed in each other’s languages. As an enterprise architect, I can facilitate expert communication between them.
STRATEGY SESSIONS. My background includes strategy and enterprise architecture leadership roles at Accenture (ACN), Intelligroup, and Ford Motor (F), where I worked while I earned my MBA from Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business. My Notre Dame MBA prepared me for my job by giving me a world-class education in the relevant areas of leadership, information technology, entrepreneurship, ethics, economy, finance, innovation, accounting, and business strategy.
I joined Oracle in 2005, working on a strategic program called “Insight.” This program helps our leading clients to understand and address their business goals, strategies, competitive threats, and pain points. First, we conduct multiple discovery sessions to analyze the client’s current business processes. Based on the input from these sessions, we develop various solution designs. The Insight is completed with an executive-level solution presentation, which includes a phased implementation plan and road map.
Here’s a typical day in my life:
5 a.m. Alarm goes off. I head to a quiet place in my home or hotel and reflect and pray. I listen, ask for strength, give thanks, reflect on leaders I admire, and ask for ways to improve. I can’t think of a better way to start each day.
5:30 a.m. I leave for a workout. I usually bring a newspaper, a book, and the latest issue of BusinessWeek (of course!) to read while I work out on the elliptical machine or stationary bike. Reading and exercising at the same time makes me feel like I’m really leveraging my time.
6:30 a.m. I handle not-for-profit work. I sit on the Notre Dame Mendoza School of Business Alumni Board, and I’m also president of the 300-member Detroit chapter of the National Society of Hispanic MBAs (NSHMBA), one of the largest and fastest-growing Hispanic professional organizations in the country. I send follow-up e-mails after a successful Notre Dame executive retreat I led titled “Strengthening the Spirituality Within our Leadership.”
I also send thank-you notes to the participating leaders in a NSHMBA-Detroit power breakfast and award ceremony. These leaders include Dick DeVos, former CEO of Alticor and candidate for governor of Michigan; David Mounts, CFO of Domino’s Pizza (DPZ); Teresa-Iglesias Solomon, board of directors, AMCORE Financial (AMFI); and Frank Venegas, chairman and CEO of Ideal Group.
7:30 a.m. I check my Oracle e-mail and download several files to read on the plane.
9 a.m. I catch a taxi to the airport. I have to fly to New York to do an Insight at a large financial-services company tomorrow. We’ll be focusing the Insight on an area called Grid computing. A Grid is a futuristic platform that uses software (especially Oracle software) to bundle a lot of small, cheap computers to outperform larger, more expensive servers that are in place across Corporate America. I enjoy speaking about this technology because I can use the skills I learned from my MBA to really bring out the Grid value message.
10 a.m. On the plane, I prepare by reading up on Grid computing in the financial-services industry and reviewing where we have done this for other clients. I also review background on the client. It’s all very much like a B-school case-study prep.
12:15 p.m. I arrive in New York and take a taxi to my hotel. After checking in, I check my e-mail and return a few voicemails. I also verify my reservation for NSHMBA’s Executive Summit.
2 p.m. I join a conference call to discuss next week’s Insight event with a large East Coast insurance company.
4:30 p.m. I review a past Oracle Webcast on our Roadmap to Fusion. Fusion is Oracle’s vision for next-generation enterprise technologies, applications, and services. I want to get up to speed on this important new product.
5:30 p.m. I join a conference call to walk through the agendas for next week’s Insight and discuss my Enterprise Architect leadership role. It’s important that we exceed the customer’s expectations at this Insight. They are one of our best customers in their particular industry and we want to keep our relationship with them strong.
6 p.m. I call my wife and kids. My wife is my CEO. She gives me 110% support, and I could not do it all without her.
6:30 p.m. Dinner with my team to prep for the Insight meeting tomorrow.
9 p.m. I return to my hotel, where I book my flight and hotel for next week.
9:30 p.m. I return a few final e-mails while watching the evening news. I also finalize my preparations for tomorrow’s meeting.
10:30 p.m. I head to bed to get some rest for another exciting day!
If I had the chance to do my MBA over again, I would have worked harder to expand my network by building connections with more professors, students, and alumni. I continue to learn that who you know is just as important as what you know. I would have also taken a course on corporate governance and corporate accounting legislation like the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. It seems like these issues (in reference to IT security, application authorization controls, and database information and access) come up in conversation at least once a week.
Overall, I love working at Oracle and enjoy being around our incredibly talented global team members. Oracle has a solid strategy, excellent products, and a leadership team that is moving us in a great direction. The software industry is hypercompetitive and can change very fast. This makes it challenging but also makes it tons of fun. My nonprofit work has enhanced my leadership skills while building my personal network and, most important, helping to enhance causes that I truly believe in.
Source: Bloomberg BusinessWeek.