Given her expertise on the supply side, you might be surprised to learn how much time Christina Butterworth spends talking with customers. As a global supply market (GSM) project manager at Halliburton, Butterworth helps business development teams win projects ranging from $1 million to more than $3 billion in scope.
Her job is to make sure everyone understands the cost factors that lie behind Halliburton's pricing. Through extensive research and analysis, Butterworth builds a picture of all the costs involved—for materials, transportation, contract services, and everything else the project requires.
She often sits at the bargaining table, too. "Some business development professionals want a supply chain ‘wing man' to assist in the negotiations," Butterworth says. "That's an exciting role. I'm negotiating with extremely talented supply chain professionals from some of our top customers."
Having caught the travel bug early in life, Butterworth was thrilled when Halliburton sent her to Malaysia in 2014. "It has been the highlight of my career so far," she says. Her mission was to extend the GSM concept to the Asia-Pacific market, where it hadn't been tried before.
Since arriving in Kuala Lumpur, Butterworth has led her GSM team on more than 90 projects. The new posting has taught her about many more of Halliburton's products and services, and has given her the chance to visit about a dozen countries. "Learning about different cultures and eating new foods has been incredible," she says. As a bonus, she has taken the opportunity to earn her open water scuba diving certificate.
Butterworth's projects are often complex, and may require cooperation from a wide range of people. That's not easy to achieve. "Sometimes you need support from various teams, with diverse priorities, to achieve a common goal," she explains.
She prevails because she has honed a skill she calls "influential leadership." Butterworth knows how to get people pulling in the same direction for the good of their company. "Throughout her career, Christina has been able to gain trust, articulate a vision, and lead a team to success," says nominator Jami Bliss.
Along with her Houston colleague, megawatt star Katy Conrad Maynor, Butterworth played a major part in launching ISM-Houston's 250-member Emerging Professionals Group (EPG). Butterworth chaired the EPG committee in its first two years, and helped spread the word on how to create such a group at ISM's Affiliate Leadership training events in 2012 and 2013.
"If you're in school and want to enter the supply chain field, get as many internships or co-ops as you can," says Butterworth. "You'll get a chance to see everything supply chain management can offer before you have to make a more strategic decision on your career path. Also, don't be afraid to take risks."
HOMETOWN: Houston, Texas
ALMA MATER: The Pennsylvania State University
CURRENT POSITION: Global Supply Markets Project Manager, Halliburton, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
NOMINATED BY: Jami Bliss, Director of Procurement, Teva Pharmaceuticals
I was involved in the startup of ISM Houston's Emerging Professionals Group. I chaired the committee for two years. One year, the group grew to more than 250 members and held four events.
Yes. My advice would be to take calculated risks in your life and career. You lend yourself to more opportunities, and won't feel the need to look back and think you should have done something a different way.