2020 Fall Careers in Consulting 101 Panel

hi everyone thank you all for joining us today for the careers and consulting 101 panel co-sponsored by the villanova career center o’donnell center for professional development and the lenovo consulting group my name is maya whittles and i’m an industry advisor at the villanova career center i hope that your semester is going well and that everyone is settling in nicely i want to remind you that the career center is open and here for students you can schedule a virtual appointment with us at any time through handshake additionally if you want to stay updated about consulting opportunities and recruitment please click on management consulting on handshake under your name and career interest management consulting this will ensure that you receive my management consulting news about newsletter as well as job then updates before i welcome our panelists i wanted to go over a few housekeeping items for the virtual event if you get kicked out of the zoom room due to wi-fi or technical issues go ahead and rejoin the zoom meeting if you have any questions during the event please submit them through the q a section and we will try to address as many as possible if we don’t have time to answer all the questions an email with responses will be shared after the event this zoom webinar event will be recorded and a copy of the recording and contact information for panelists that are willing to be contacted by students will be shared in an email after the event with that i want to welcome our panelists alex pereira from accenture arielle masalan from booz allen hamilton claire schmidt from bcg michael oniderio from accenture mike giaruso giorusso from ey consulting and villanova senior chi chi chi okay as our moderator chichi i’ll let you take it from here all right welcome everyone thank you for joining us this evening for our annal 2020 careers and consulting panel um like maya mentioned i am a senior at vsb studying finance i interrupt mckinsey my sophomore year and i will be returning as a business analyst um fall 2021 in philadelphia um without further ado let’s uh introduce the panelists um michael geros so do you like to go first sure thanks chi-chi good evening everybody my name is mike giarrusso i am a proud villanova graduate as you can see with my sports illustrated championship magazines back here but i graduated 2001 from school of business as an accounting major with a minor in theology and philosophy started at ey right out of school actually had an internship going into my senior year and started full-time right after graduation i’ve been there ever since so just about 19 years at ey always in the consulting side of the business focusing on financial services i now live in outside of boston massachusetts in brookline where i run our consulting practice for the new england market segment for financial services and i live here with my wife and two young children i have an eight-year-old daughter and a six-year-old son so fantastic thank you michael um arielle would you like to go next yes hi everyone my name is arielle massion i graduated from villanova in 2017 with a bachelor’s of science in environmental science and sustainability studies and i minored in spanish i started at booz allen a little bit later so i took a gap year after i graduated to do some volunteer work down in costa rica and then once i was done i joined booz allen to do some consulting for the aviation administration right now thank you um claire please could you go next hi everyone i’m claire schmidt i graduated from villanova in 2019 and studied mechanical engineering at nova after i graduated i joined the chicago office of bcg so i’ve been an associate for a little over a year and i’ve worked in a variety of industries including financial services manufacturing and non-profits thank you uh michael onodera hey everyone a pleasure to be here my name is mike arnadero i graduated undergrad from villanova in 2014 when i actually went back to get my master’s and got that in 2019 so firstly mentioned mba from the school of business undergrad i was management with a minor in an international business and then with the mba the focus was uh strategic management i live in philadelphia right downtown near the art museum i right right out of undergrad i went to go work at a firm now called iq via on their consulting side um and now i’m at accenture my entire career has really been spent in the life sciences space um specifically the specific focus on patient and patient services fantastic and last not the least alex thank you so my name is alex pereira graduated from villanova and class of 2019 majored in organizational communication minor in business and i’ve been at accenture since i graduated and the summer of 2019 i started out of accenture’s philadelphia office and similar to claire i’ve had a really unique opportunity to be able to work on different projects across different industries specifically in life sciences and telecommunications all right awesome uh so now we’ve gotten the opportunity to get more introductions from the panelists and now we want to get to know who’s in the audience a little bit so we’ve put together a couple polls um the maya is going to launch in a few seconds um and so once those come up on your screen please go ahead to respond so we have an idea who’s with us in the crowd today all right okay so as it seems most of our panelists most of our attendees rather are joining us from nova a couple people from home and we have one percent from other location all right um we have a couple more questions that will come up shortly [Music] are the next questions coming up hold on one second i see okay should we be answering these two you’re welcome to i allowed panelists to answer to because truth be told wearing a button down on the top but definitely not slacks on the bottom definitely white shorts and slippers it’s definitely shorts and slippers going on below the screen all right okay most of our most of our attendees kind of have the similar thing going on business on the top of pajamas at the bottom um i’m also guilty as charged for the panelists has that switched for you because i definitely was a night owl undergrad but now i’m like an early bird well for me i’m kind of both at this point to be honest you know the kids get up pretty early and it’s hard to stay asleep here yeah about 50 50 in our car which kind of makes sense um i think depending on the kind of person you are you kind of kind of you could create your college schedule to kind of align with either one but um it makes sense that for consulting either one thinking about my experience just interning i had to be both wake up early in the morning but go to bed really late at night to you sometimes so we have our final question about familiarity with consulting industry okay so 66 percent of our attendees are somewhat familiar with consulting um 23 have absolutely no clue and just uh 11 of are really familiar with uh with what the consulting industry is so i think with that information that kind of gives us gives us a good you know perspective of who we’re talking to um and i think it’s a perfect segue to our very first question which directed to michael j russo um so michael seeing as you’ve been in the consulting industry the longest for over 19 years you’ve worked through some of the most like historic moments we’ve had in the past decade from the great recession to now covet um could you talk talk a little bit about you know what the consulting industry really is what do consultants do and how is that how our goals changed over the past two decades sure thanks chi chi uh happy to and actually even before the credit crisis my first day on the job was late september 2001 a couple of weeks after 9 11.And my first project was actually working for bank of new york down on wall street at one wall street about three blocks from the trade center which was still burning at the time when we were down there helping them with a disaster recovery doing a lot of cash reconciliation type of work and that kind of leads me to when you talk about what is consulting consultants are problem solvers so whatever they may be as great of magnitude as helping with a cash recovery from a you know a horrible event to more benign types of issues that get brought up every day by our clients so they look to us to bring perspective from the industry from our experiences at other clients from other areas of the the economy where we have a review that they don’t have most of organizations know themselves very very well but they don’t have a good view of what’s going on in the market with their competitors with their peer institutions or they don’t have an understanding of what the requirements are from a regulatory perspective or other stakeholders what they’re looking for so they look to us to bring that perspective and to help them solve their most complex problems um it’s something that is always kept me excited about being in consulting because i’m a problem solver by nature i’d love to look for those types of solutions and work together you know side by side with our clients to solve those problems and they can take many forms you know from in financial services i heard people working in life sciences and other sectors around the world and they all have their types of problems they all have uh unique solutions that we can help bring to bear for them and it’s what makes consulting to me just most exciting every every project’s a little bit different every client’s a little bit different and why i’ve i’ve stayed in in this industry for for so long you’re fantastic thank you so much for that michael uh and then moving on to the other michael um thinking about you know now we have a good uh our attendees kind of have a have been given an insight to what the consulting industry really is and how that’s you know evolved over the past couple years could you talk us through some of the skills you think are really important for consultants to thrive within the industry and what students should be doing right now to start honing those kinds of skills yeah no absolutely i think it’s a great question and it’s probably a question that you know students have obviously thought of themselves and probably looked up so many people that answer this question including myself would always say like you have to be a self-starter you have to be analytical you need to be diligent so there there are a lot of not necessarily cliches because they’re they are true in terms of the work that you need to do that makes you a good consultant um thinking about the question in terms of what has served me well um but i think one of them soft skill 100 but it’s just being able to be relatable and personal you know create a genuine personal connection with the clients now that’s not to say like that’s mandatory but it served me well in terms of working with clients and you know outside of the specific tasks if there are common threads that you can kind of connect with the clients on and if you especially if you’re working with a certain group i think that kind of allows you to work better and the reason i say that is in a lot of other jobs that aren’t consulting when the people that you’re working with every day if there’s not professional services or client-facing you have you know months and years to build genuine relationships that allow you to work well with those people but in consulting you can be on a project for six weeks you know a couple of months and i do think that being able to have a personal connection with people allow you to work better so if that is something that you’re able to do and step out of the here’s my specific task but let me get to know this person and see if there’s a connection here i think that can serve you well would be one um another one it’s a little bit more practical that um i had trouble learning and the first is kind of owning the task or owning the project um again as a consultant you come in and you’re hired to help the client achieve a goal so it’s not that you want to do it for yourself you’re trying to help them but a lot of the times they have their day job so that task is kind of ancillary so they may not put in or be as available or give you the amount of effort that you would need to make sure that that goal gets completed in a certain amount of time so one thing that was hard for me as a younger analyst coming into the consulting world was being a driver right so if you had to get something done in two weeks and the client says i don’t have time i don’t have time i don’t have time it’s easy for me to kind of go back and be like oh well i mean it’s your project if you want to get it done on time you’ll make time for it if not but as a consultant they’re bringing you in there to push so you you know in a professional way it’s a little bit of artistry there but being able to make sure that um you’re able to build that connection and i’m rambling now i think the second part of the question was what skills that you need to hone at this point um i would say uh to mike’s point he talked about you know they hire you for your expertise if you are passionate and you are genuine about what you want to do as a consultant doing that research you know reading up on articles and things of that nature will serve you well as an analyst because it’s one thing to be able to know your job within the confines of the tasks but it’s always a plus if you’re able to bring in real world experience into those conversations so let’s remind you yeah fantastic thank you so much for that um and even personally reflecting on my experience in joining at mckinsey my i was a sophomore at the time um i really resonate with the with your um point about making genuine connections the people you’re working with because i was there for like 10 weeks um definitely not enough time to you know be buddy buddy with everyone but there’s a lot of intentionality has to go around you know really being present being an active listener so that those relationships begin to build organically and definitely your other point about owning your tasks um i think i definitely felt um i i talked to the clients asked to you know ask for a certain piece of information or data and yeah like in two weeks i could get that to you like not right now but then in two weeks i was not interning there anymore and so you just i just kind of had to learn also how to be very very very proactive and very insistent in a very professional way so definitely definitely do that um arielle can you walk us through a typical day in the life of a consultant and how you see these you know skills play out in your day-to-day um yeah sure so i’ll start off by saying that i think my answer might be very different from other panelists i was sort of hired as a niche consultant and i also work in federal consulting and i don’t do commercial so i and also i’ll start off by saying booze allen is very flexible with like our time schedule so depending on the day like i might start at 7 30 and then other days i might start at 10 so um but for me i am in dc and i work for the federal aviation administration and i am on a small team that sort of operates all of the faa’s environmental and sustainability aspects so whether that is the new design of airport facilities or if we’re auditing facilities and but most of the time we do a lot of work on the upcoming executive orders and a lot of just like annual reports so for me i normally will have about 10 different things on my to-do list for the day and my goal honestly is just to make it as far through the list as i possibly can i am lucky enough to sort of know my deadlines ahead of time i know like i need to turn in something in november and so i know when to start it there aren’t a lot of things that pop up out of nowhere so when those do of course i like um both mike and michael were saying how you just have to learn how to balance and just use your prior knowledge of like how to be personable and how to like talk to people to properly communicate like okay i have this on my plate but you need this done too because a lot of times people will toss work at you and they don’t actually need it by the end of the day they need it like next week but they just wanted to throw it at you and so just being able to communicate and ask when is this actually due when’s the duel due date um everybody will be able to like shift your schedule a little bit better so i will get random emails throughout the day about little tasks that sometimes i can just follow up really quickly and answer other times it’ll take me the rest of the week to get it done properly but um truly depending on the day most times i am working on tasks by myself and i’ll have maybe two or three meetings a day just doing group collaborative works with other teams within the faa just to talk about different aspects of what’s going on and how we’re moving forward and other times will be internal meetings just to figure out how we can be more innovative and how we can solve problems for our clients that they haven’t even thought of so a lot of times you are on your toes but if you’re really focused and you’re really organized it’s not crazy but every day is different for sure fantastic thank you so much ariel for that um i think you you’re right about your own experience about you know your day today as a consultant it’s definitely very unique i guess different from say claire or alex warren bcg or accenture so you know thank you for that perspective because i i personally hadn’t um you know heard kind of heard um perspective of someone who works within your um within your group and kind of piggybacking off of that claire alex would you guys mind jumping in just also talk through what your typical day is as a consultant and how you know you see the skills you’ve learned through college or the things you skills you began to hone while you’re in college how you see that play out in your day-to-day as a consultant yeah definitely claire do you want to go first yeah sure um i would say i mean similar to ariel day to day kind of looks different every day but you know generally it’s comprised of team meetings client meetings and then depending on the type of project you’re working on um you can do uh experts or external interviews um but i also find you know i spend a lot of time now in zoom but um used to be live with my team brainstorming solutions um designing out uh implementation strategies bouncing ideas off each other and with the client i think that’s one of the my favorite parts of my day is when you can just get down with your team and brainstorm um and then when you put pen to paper you know you build models you um design solutions in or um decks in powerpoint to help communicate to the client too so it’s a lot of variety and that’s what i really like about it um and of course in a lot of consulting firms there is a fair amount of travel not anymore but it’s a good way to break up your week which i really enjoy too and get closer with your team i would definitely echo all of that claire every day and this is one of the reasons why i enjoy consulting so much is that every day truly is different and it is crazy how even on analyst level when you compare your project to some of your friends that are on different projects with different clients just how remarkably uh different their day-to-day is and it all comes down to once again as it was previously mentioned throughout all the panelists so far the the specific project that you’re working on maybe the industry the time that you have to complete the project the size of your team the relationship with your client all these factors come into play um and as an analyst for me it’s super exciting because you get to see us a lot in a short amount of time and you get a really nice breath of strategic work as well as implementation work and and in a lot of cases you get to see a project come from its early stages through the actual uh and implementation state so you get to see a lot of the working parts of the business throughout and you’re coordinating with different people on the client side throughout so it’s been um yeah all that more fantastic thank you both for that so to kind of stare off a little bit um alex as a com major um at villanova what would you think influenced your interest to pursue consulting um and just additionally as well what do you think are what were the some of the obstacles you faced transitioning from being in college and then entering into the consulting industry and how did you overcome those or how are you overcoming those every day yeah absolutely that’s a great question chi chi um so for me when i was at villanova the reason why i went into communication and modern in business the rationale for that for me was i knew that i really wanted to be in a business environment but i naturally always gravitated towards the relationship aspect of business i’m a communication guy by heart that’s the environment that i thrive in and for a while i said hey maybe that’s a career in sales or real estate essentially that path where you’re not going to the desk the same desk every day and you’re doing the same type of work for eight hours and then you’re going home and it really wasn’t until my senior year actually around this time where i was introduced to the world of consulting and it was almost like everything had just clicked because for me what gets me so jazzed about consulting is that as i had just previously mentioned especially as an analyst coming into a program specifically at least to accenture you have the opportunity to work with different clients across different industries so you get to see a lot in a short amount of time and there’s so much of the communication piece playing throughout consulting as the panelists have previously mentioned from your own team dynamic and the actual dynamic with the client and that for me has been just like the the fire in my soul in terms of like why i love the industry so much and and the career because i get to really use and continually sharpen my communication skills but i’m doing it in that business environment that’s specific to the client and the project so i’m picking up those skills as i go and what i’ve learned is that especially maybe coming out from the the communication major piece the when you have that diversity of thought on your team and i mean when i say diversity of thought i mean having team members from different backgrounds and different majors on your team when you get that diversity of thought that’s where you get those breakthroughs because everyone can start to play their own role and for me that’s one of the most unique aspects of consulting is that it’s one of the few at least entry-level careers that i can think of that is truly open to all majors and all backgrounds so for me in my short time at accenture i’ve worked with majors across business engineering uh liberal arts my manager right now has a phd from psychology so it all really depends on the niche within consulting that you’re playing in and um you know those majors and backgrounds will follow um and i guess kind of playing off the the second part of the question um in terms of you know navigating some of those initial challenges as an analyst and um developing professionally and personally for me coming in i wanted to just have an open mindset because at least within accenture there are so many different paths and opportunities that you can take and do work within so i wanted to have an open mindset to the different types of work within accenture and what i knew that whatever role i had especially when i started i wanted to just be a sponge take it as much information as i could ask as many questions as i could and basically embrace this mindset of fail fast and learn from your mistakes and just continue to grow from there because i guess you know since every day is unique um you’re always going to be presented with a different challenge but at the same time it’s a it’s a new learning opportunity fantastic thank you so much for that alex if i may i’d love to just chime in there because i think alex you hit on something that i say quite a bit this whole concept diversity of thought i use that exact terminology because if you get five accountants in a room they’re going to answer the question like an accountant or five engineers they’re going to solve the problem like an engineer but if you get a communications major a philosophy major accountant an engineer in a room you’re going to get more innovative answers and solutions to the problems right and that’s proven out study after study and that is something that i think has evolved over the last 20 years that i’ve been in consulting we’ve started to see all organizations look to different majors and different backgrounds to bring in as opposed to just focusing on only finance majors or only accounting majors i know at ui we’ve absolutely broadened the types of majors we look for in our consulting practice as we’ve grown over the last 15 years plus so i agree completely with what you’re saying and it’s i love seeing you know poli sci majors communications majors because a big part of consulting is how do you communicate how do you take complex ideas and information and present them in a simple way that can be understood by different people and having that ability and a lot of times different disciplines like poli science communications or econ have a lot of practice at doing that exact thing so it it’s really it was cool to hear you say that whole diversity of thought i use that line all the time fantastic thank you thank you so much alex and michael for that i also cannot agree more i think um what so i’m currently i’m currently attending a virtual conference the grace hopper conference and something that that’s that i’ve heard over and over again uh going through the sessions that a great team is kind of like a venn diagram so everyone kind of has their own complementary skills but there is an overlap in the sense of like problem-solving skills critical thinking skills communication skills but they’re all they’re all kind of each their own individual person and having that diversity of thought always always leads to a more innovative and just different type of solution so definitely definitely go with that and then my next question is for claire um so reflecting on your own you know on your experience going through recruiting for bcg what were some of your challenges that you faced how did you go about it and what advice would you have for students who you know probably don’t know much about consulting and are looking to go into consulting how to kind of navigate that process um it’s a good question and like alex i kind of found out about consulting late into my senior year um sorry late early in my senior year but late uh compared to when a lot of people start looking and studying for interviews um and so the biggest piece of advice i would say if you’re very new to consulting still kind of trying to figure out if it’s right for you or if you’re if you’re uh interested in it definitely do a little research um about for sure what you know the different firms but also about the interview because uh tj like you said the interview process is pretty different than you might see a lot of other um in a lot of other industries and i think just general advice would be the earlier you can start doing some of that research and due diligence around the interview process and what they expect you to you to do in the in the interview especially with the case interview i think the better and following that advice what was really helpful for me is leveraging the resources that villanova has so i think i met with the career center a couple times and did practice cases um people at villanova consulting group that were also going through the recruiting process we would do cases uh case interviews together live um or just you know bouncing ideas or thoughts or um studying together so i think i i would definitely say use the resources that villanova has because they’re really great um and then you know there is a little bit of a learning curve for getting into the interview process and understanding what’s expected of you but um there’s lots of people that are you know everyone on this call at least is somewhat interested in consulting so there’s a lot of people in the same boat as you and um you know like all of us panelists there’s a lot of people you can reach out to for help too yeah fantastic thank you so much for that claire um and definitely echo all that it is it’s a very different kind of interview process it’s a very different kind of recruitment process generally when compared to other kinds of companies that are that are in corporate america so as claire mentioned there’s a lot of resources that villanova offers from illinois consulting group to management consultant which most of all of us vulnerable school business students have uh free acts free subscriptions to and i also lead the live case perhaps for every vulnerable student who is interested in going through the consulting interview so um definitely definitely rely on the resources that are available um so kind of shifting gary again to a couple other different kinds of questions now this is kind of an open floor anyone uh any of our panelists should feel free to kind of jump on this one um can you tell us about some of the most exciting or or the most impactful project that you’ve worked on in your time working at consulting i mean i can go first gigi uh this is a little bit different uh it was the most unique project i worked on was with paypal actually and this was quite a while ago now maybe 10 years ago or so and paypal was still owned by ebay but at the time you weren’t able to use your paypal account to check out on an airline website say delta.com and they really wanted to do that so paypal at the end of the day is a is a merchant processor like like a credit card the thing is when you’re buying a plane ticket you’re actually prepaying for a service right i’m going to fly home for christmas i buy the plane ticket today i pay for it today but i don’t fly till christmas so i’m pre-paying for that service what happens if i go to fly on christmas and the airline doesn’t exist anymore it went out of business well what happens is the credit card or merchant processor actually refunds your money for lack of service that was rendered and they have to go after the airline to be made whole so that’s a risk for the processor so paypal was worried like how do we know what risk there is in these airlines so we can properly price this product to them so we went in and helped them develop an airline risk desk so to speak where we developed a model that estimated the probability of liquidation we called it because we didn’t care about default you can go bankrupt all you want as long as you keep flying that’s fine so we came up with a whole model around the probability of this airline going out of business and and not being able to fly and then we also had this loss given liquidation which was how much money could be lost if the airline went out of business and then what paypal did was using this formula coming out of these models they actually asked the airlines to post collateral cash collateral in an escrow account to hold on to help mitigate the losses for paypal it was a really cool project we were working on ebay’s campus out outside of san jose i was flying out there every week it was really exciting really cool campus to be on you know the silicon valley campuses are pretty cool and then at the end of it it was probably the most like real thing i’ve ever done because at the end of the project you could go to delta.com and sure enough there was an option to check out with paypal and that wasn’t there before right um so if anyone ever asks like what do you do i can point to that and say well did that so that was probably one of the cooler things but it what it brings back to is the idea of that problem solving that i was talking about before they had a problem they wanted to be able to do this but they had to understand all the ramifications of that and what it meant and we we helped them come up with a solution it was pretty cool i thank you so much for that michael i think that’s one of the uh at least person that’s one of the things i love about consulting is that you see the impact of the work that you do um and so that’s that’s fantastic ariel would you like to talk a little bit more about an exciting project you’ve worked on yeah sure so i i definitely like fan girl over the work that i do i get excited with like every single thing because it’s just so cool so um i guess i’ll speak on two they’re really short but um so i am from charlotte north carolina and for the past few like for the past year we have been working on the upgrades to the charlotte airport and i was on the team with like the redesigning and all of the like special things that are going into place so of course as somebody who’s in dc and i would fly home often it would be cool to be like going through the airport and knowing that like oh i was the one like a part of this like picking things out so i would always get like super excited about little stuff like that and then um most recently i am on a team that has been writing the newest executive order for um environmental issues within like department of transportation and that stuff so it’s been like crazy to work with all these like random agencies like i never even knew existed we’ll hop on a call and they’re like oh like i’m from this this and this i’m out in texas doing that and it’ll just be like amazing like i literally write down notes for my own self to be like this is so cool like just to be able to work with like random people from different agencies all these different backgrounds just doing something that’s like super impactful that’s been a lot of fun for me fantastic thank you thank you um so next question is for are michael’s michael nader and michael jorisso um so from you from your profiles it seems that you both you both did mbas at some point in your professional journeys uh michael you mentioned yourselves at vsp and michael jr so yours was at columbia so could you guys talk a little bit about you know how those experiences impacted your your work at accenture and ey respectively and you know how if they were like useful or you know just we just want to kind of hear your insights on that yeah i can go first thank you sure um so i i think um i got my mba for villanova so it was obviously great and it was very useful um but i think that the one thing about the that really helped me is you’re in a space with you know like college you’re in a space with like-minded people who i went to my mba three four years outside of undergrad so i had been in the working space already i’ve kind of built up a little bit of experience what was great about the mba was you were able it wasn’t really just kind of learning in you know theory right it wasn’t just kind of learning in academia it was learning and applying and then applying and learning and just kind of going back and forth which is really cool and it reminded me of um of a class that we had so currently students may not have it i don’t know maybe brenda or michelle or mia if these are still around we had fmr and ce competitive effectiveness these were monster courses there were six credits and really tough but uh competitive effectiveness was cool because you had a project that you worked with your team on the project but simultaneously as you were working on the project you also were evaluating your own team dynamics and you’re also evaluating the way that you work together and i think the mba took that up like three or four notches because as i’m working in the space of consulting i’m also going back into the classroom and reflecting on why these systems are in place why does the hr department work this way why do managers and you know we’ll call them uh individual contributors work in the way that they do and it was really cool to be able to go to work during the day and then at night go back and be like okay outside of the work that you were actually doing why right let’s let’s analyze the company that you’re working from from that perspective which i thought was cool and then harken back to that i would say that that was probably one of the the biggest facets of the mba that i took away that was really important sounds great i um a little bit of different experience because i did my a couple years into my career and i actually did an executive mba program and was sponsored by ui to do that it’s a very it’s a great benefit that that we offer i know a lot of firms offer something similar very competitive you have to apply first to ui to get approval and then once they agreed to sponsor you you then apply to from columbia and you have to get in there as well it was it was an executive program which is a full-time program just structured differently so i was taking nine hours of class every other friday and saturday while working 40 plus hours a week while then also once a semester we had a block week we had a week worth of class five days in a row of nine hours a day and by following that you were able to get your full mba in just under two years it was about 20 months or so to get it done i was also traveling that paypal project i was talking about i was doing that while getting my mba so i was flying to san francisco i would take the red eye back thursday night go nine hours of class on friday and then it’s nine hours class on saturday and then fly back to san francisco on sunday for a little while so one good thing is a lot of long flights to do homework and and other and study and read and then being out away from my family and friends on the west coast i went went back to my hotel and did my school work so there was some advantages to that but i would say for me i you know i was excited to be sponsored by ui i knew that i wanted to stay at ey so when i focused on within my mba was how can i build out some skill sets for senior management right to be a leader within the firm so i looked at things like behavioral economics payroll finance managing organizations like trying to understand how to motivate people how to operate within a large organization and build out kind of my vocabulary and skill sets in those areas so i would say for anyone that’s thinking about an advanced degree like an mba you want to think about the why like why do you want to to get this degree you know a lot of my colleagues that were in the executive program wanted to change careers so they were looking to build out a whole different skill set you know some of us wanted to continue on with our our current organization so we’re looking for a different type of skill set so these are all great organizations great institutions um and they offer a lot of options so understanding the reasons why you’re doing it not just because you want the title you want the the degree and the letters behind your name on linkedin you know you really want to understand what you can do about it and what you do with it and why is it worth investing a lot of time and effort to get right you’re fantastic thank you so much for that um so the next question is kind of for all our panelists everyone again everyone should feel free to hop on to this so i mean on so many fronts 2020 has been a difficult year from like the global pandemic that’s taken the lives of so many people and has normalized remote work to the social unrest that’s kind of rocked the u.s it’s i’ve been thought a lot of people were going through this like consistent grieving process um and you know from each of your respective firms what have they done to you know provide support for the employees during this time and you know still keep people engaged and um you know uh feel like they’re still part of a team part of a company though they’re working from home anyone can jump in to start with this one i can start um i would say what i’ve been really happy with is that um you know they recognize that a lot of them employees but also more broadly around the world people are really anxious um it’s harder to deal and let out stress when you’re at home maybe you’re working in the same room or chair like myself for the past couple months um and they realize that it’s it’s harder to channel those things when you’re not interacting with co-workers um or just have mix up in your day of commuting or traveling during the week one thing i’ve been really happy well i guess two things more from that mental health perspective um we started to see more initiatives that helped to allow people to take more time off or you know more on the day-to-day making sure that there’s no internal meetings on fridays afternoon to make sure that people have the opportunity to start their weekend early or decompress if if possible um the other thing and i i can probably uh say this is true for a lot of you know not just consulting firms but firms across a lot of industries is that a lot of executives are starting to get into more conversations about diversity inclusion especially around race and equity in the workplace which i’ve been really excited to see you know i can speak to the bcg front of having a seat at the table in public forums and but i think a cool advantage we have as consultants is you can also help to start and integrate those conversations with the clients too um just to have a broader impact on what are these conversations people are having both within our company but also the clients that we’re supporting thank you for that claire um ariel would you like to go next yeah so um bruce allen has actually done in my eyes an amazing job with handling everything that this year has thrown at us um for one as soon as corona really hit they made sure to ensure everybody’s jobs no matter if they had a contract or not for the rest of the year which is like major um they also have like put aside a lot of money just in case any of the employees or their family members got covered so they could help pay for any of their bills um and then on top of that we’ve been doing uh bi-weekly seminars within our teams and then a broader one within the whole corporation just to talk about um different things that are going on talk about different areas where we would like to see the company grow and just to speak and get your ideas off so they just really want to hear from everybody and just are really actively working to change whatever needs to be changed i think like claire our company is setting up side um time for us to take more mental health days and just adding more holidays and giving us more extra personal days just because they are realizing that you know life is hard and things come up and they just want everybody to be as safe and healthy as possible so in my eyes i think brazilian has been doing really great with that one thing chichi i would i would say that ey has been doing that is different than anything else i’ve seen in the last 20 years particularly around the social injustice on anti-racism is not only are we literally putting our money where our mouth is we’re investing a million dollars a piece in several historically black colleges and universities we’re also investing several million dollars in uh philanthropic organizations around the country that are dedicated to solving social injustice and and leading anti-racism causes and that’s something they we took feedback from our people as to say where should we be investing this money where do we want what organizations are you would you be proud to stand next to and the leadership all the way at the top of the firm took that input and is is like i said literally putting their money but it’s more than just money we’re also dedicating our time and our effort um we’ve we’ve dedicated several days throughout the year as community involvement days and community impact days where the expectation is you’re not serving clients you’re not working you’re out in the community helping in any way that that you see is needed and we support all sorts of different campaigns with that and we encourage all of our people to to get involved and be active we had several folks attend the the march on washington a couple weeks ago and then came but the most important thing is they came back and shared their experience with our teams here we had big town halls here in boston uh where people shared their experiences of the march pictures and it was really emotional it was really something it’s not like anything i’ve seen firm like this taking such a vocal and real stance and i’m really proud of what we’ve uh what we’ve done that’s that sounds fantastic thank you so much for that michael and alex would you like to jump in yeah he’s up first um it’s hard i i think with the coveted situation um one of the callings to consulting or the perks right i think we all hear you get to travel and get all the points and you know eat out at these restaurants you get a per diem and all of these things and they just kind of go away in an instant right you’re now you’re at your desk doing the same work the same hours without any of those those perks so it’s hard and i don’t think at least etc i don’t think anyone’s really figured it out yet in terms of how to create that same want i mean we’ve done things um that are cool like we’ll have like a specialty versus a virtual happy hours while we’ll bring in like um a special bartender you know so they’ll tell you to go out and like get some things or they may send some things to you and then you can like you know make something or food and things of that nature um i know that at somewhere else we they had sent out like a pizza making kit and doing things like that so you try to create that inclusive atmosphere but it isn’t easy um so that’s kind of trying to create the fun um you also have to deal with some of the issues and i know that accenture has you know great benefits and a lot of them pertain to child care so trying to switch the child care from your child actually physically being there to creating a virtual program for kids so now um you can block out parts of your calendar and then you have accenture dedicated teaching personnel to teach kids and they kind of group them in buckets um for different variations to help those who are working at home have their children still attend classes even if the classes you know in their community are still trying to figure things out um but yeah so there there’s a lot going on there as far as a lot of the social unrest i think that so accenture 500 000 people basically a country it’s tough to get you know so many different people to kind of buy in and kind of understand it especially if it’s an isolated pocket so you know we started with like a top-down um top-down perspective where we had like kind of you know global corporate town halls getting smaller getting smaller getting smaller and assigning people um in leadership to lead those conversations i know that three or four people kind of raise their hands to take a group of 20 or 30 people to reach out to specifically to have conversations and then turning those conversations into actions um our ceo was very i guess diligent and intentional in terms of setting numbers right seems like we’re going to get our diversity numbers up we’re here and we’re going to get to here by this date and you know that’s sent out and that’s put in stone so we’re working on things like that um one thing that i tried to and i think i sent this to mia um after our last panel was that i feel like at accenture we’re really really great at celebrating diversity so whether it’s black history month or pride month or women’s month hispanic heritage we’re great celebrating diversity when things are when things are going well what i wanted to focus on were in the in those situations where diversity is not the cause for celebration right where cyber diversity was a situation that made that made someone feel uncomfortable because of some nuances or some microaggressions so what do we do in those situations and that’s kind of the things in my smaller circle i try to work on why i think accenture is a great place is because they’re receptive to that right everywhere from leadership is accepted perspective to that um and i’ll let you alex fill in if there’s anything that you wanted to add i would say that the one thing that i really enjoy about accenture with all of this is we have an hr department that have been trained professionally to deal with things like this but the onus is on leadership right the onus is on your senior manager your managing director to make these changes and i appreciate that because that’s where the change needs to happen right it’s hard for someone hr who’s not necessarily staffing who’s not you know necessarily with you on day-to-day to really affect change in your everyday work so putting the onus on your manager your senior manager your managing director to do it even though they’re not trained in that it’s something that i’ve appreciated with the attention yeah well that’s fantastic thank you so much michael for that um alex would you like to fill in with if you have anything to add to it no yeah michael you definitely hit the nail on the head with just about everything i could have possibly thought that was awesome um i think i guess the way i could answer this that maybe hasn’t been touched on is specifically within my own client account team they’ve done a really good job of just having an open dialogue obviously you know with a lot of the social unrest that’s happened over the last couple months as you can imagine especially with students trying to do school it’s hard to do your your day-to-day work with your client and work towards those deliverables and um at least within my specific team they’ve realized that and from the very beginning we’ve had just an open conversation about what is going on and um you know just really providing an open forum for people to share their thoughts and how they’re feeling about everything and not only has i have i found that to make our own team our own team’s bond just more tight-knit but um it just makes at least it made me feel very comfortable and secure and appreciated knowing that um these types of issues are being talked about in the workplace because i don’t think this is something where you can just separate what’s going on in society with work absolutely absolutely thank you all so much for uh for you know really really diving deep into that question and um talking and talking us through about what your different firms have been doing to support you and support the society overall um i definitely agree with alex’s point that it’s it’s kind of difficult to separate the person at work and the person outside of work they are essentially the same person so i i do appreciate that now that a lot of companies are beginning to recognize that and beginning to you know put a lot more resources and thought in place to kind of make people feel comfortable at work and outside of work um so that’s fantastic and we just have two more questions before we kind of go into um our q a because i’m sure our attendees have a couple questions to ask the panelists um and you’re one or two people who could jump on this one not on the on these last two questions and everyone kind of has to see if they don’t have much to add to that you know putting thinking about reflecting about what we just talked about um concerning you know dei at the different firms how has this changed your own direct work with your clients how our clients receptive to these kinds of conversations or is this really something that’s only happening within the firm because as consultants our work is um it doesn’t just happen at say like within bcg or within ey we’re kind of the um we’re sent out out of these companies to go to different um clients to do the work that we have expertise in so what’s that experience kind of been like well i know for me um we talk about these issues you know dni issues very openly with our clients we actually partner with them quite often on diversity inclusive events we we host a chief diversity officer roundtable we bring the diversity officers from our clients together so they can talk about the issues that they’re dealing with i mean one direct example one of my other roles is i run a particular solution it’s called third party risk management this is where banks hire vendors to help them do certain things like all of us we’re all vendors right so we’re all part of that program well one thing that institutions need to have and are focusing more on is supplier diversity so are we hiring suppliers that are minority-owned companies or women-run companies or whatever it might be are we giving the proper weight to those suppliers to have a diverse as diverse a supplier base as we think about for our our employee base right so they look at their suppliers as extension of their employees so that’s those programs have been heating up particularly recently they’ve been around for a little while but i think more focus on them now so it’s not only talking about them from a social perspective but also from a business perspective how they should be thinking about diversity inclusive as part and inclusivity as part of their business as part of a competitive advantage for the reasons we were talking about before like alex was saying you know the diversity of all levels not just diversity of thought but diversity to all levels is is an advantage and the more you embrace it and actually you know use it as as part of that and invest in it the more returns you’re gonna get classic thank you michael uh well if no one else likes to jump on that we could just segue into our final question um you know thinking about your respective experiences working within consulting from you know a couple months to 19 years in like one or two words what do you love the most about your job i can jump in um i don’t know what i want to do when i grow up i’ve been in i guess consulting since 2014 so you know about six years now and i don’t know what i want to do i grew up but i i like the project aspect of it because you’re able to see things now i’m a little bit narrowed in terms of life sciences but i think about it kind of like netflix right you pick a genre you can watch the first season of as many shows as you want until you decide that this is the one that you’re going to watch to the end and i think i i enjoy about consulting you you’re there you enjoy it but then maybe one season was enough for you and you can move on until you find something long-term yeah i don’t know what i want to be when i grow up either even though i’m probably i’ve been in consulting as long as some of the people on this meeting have been alive probably which is just scary to say out loud but at the same time you know i’ve been with one firm for 20 years almost but i’ve probably had six different jobs yeah you know that kind of opportunity is what really has kept me coming back and staying and getting up every day excited um that and just helping people i know you know we talk about at ei like our tagline building a better working world and it sounds very kind of trite and corny but you really we are helping we’re helping in a number of different ways and we’re making the world better and i truly believe that and it’s very motivating and keeps me very much engaged so i’d say you know the the opportunities you know the vast opportunities within a large firm like like ui but also the the opportunity to to make a difference and to really help in a number of different ways i would say similar to what michael and michael both touched on if i were to say in one word it would probably be variety um i’ve i’ve been at bcg for about a year and i’ve worked on five different case teams with five different clients and in five different industries and you know like both of them i still don’t know what i want to do and i think consulting is a great industry to go into if you don’t because you can kind of shop around different industries or teams or types of projects which is which is really great um and then the other words i would say is my favorite part would be the learning and development piece of it especially right out from undergrad um it’s an awesome opportunity to be exposed to senior clients you know work on those soft skills but also analytical modeling all types of incredible learning and development skills that can set you up for really a career in any field that you want to go in after consulting or if you want to stay consulting for a while yeah i would probably say in addition to the variety i’d probably hit on the people for me i’ve been very lucky to work with managers and people that are in levels above me that not only appreciate the work i do even as an entry level analyst but empower me to take on more work and take those calculated risks and give me opportunities where i have opportunities where i’m able to interact and manage a relationship with the client and to be you know 22 23 24 to have those opportunities it’s super exciting and what i’ve found is that you know not only do i get to do really interesting work but i enjoy the people that i’m working with and it just makes the whole process much more fulfilling and enjoyable building off of what alex said i would definitely say the relationships not even within my regular team just within the company i think everybody i mean you can see this like across the board of consulting everybody is just so eager to learn and excited to talk to new people and just see new opportunities so it’s always awesome to just form new relationships with people who are doing something completely different and just to learn from them and hear about different experiences yeah fantastic um thank you all so much for you know being present and active during this uh during our panel and you know really diving into these questions head first uh i’m really really thankful i’m sure all the attendees here have taken a lot of wisdom from the past hour that we’ve been we’ve been having this discussion and so we’re going to go in now into the question answer part of this panel uh we do have a couple questions coming that have come up already but um for the attendees who are on here if you have any questions please feel free to use the q a feature on zoom it’s depending on what device you’re using it should be on the top right of your screen um so the first question we have is a bit about work-life balance working as a consultant um the the attendee asked uh mention that for invest for other kinds of jobs say like invest in banking or work on wall street that you know it’s close to 100 plus hours especially for like entry-level analysts so the question is you know for entry-level analysts within consulting what does that look like and how does that change as you kind of go up the ranks i can start by um saying that the answer to this is different depending on your contract your client your firm i know um for us when i first started nobody who was entry level could work anything more than 40 hours but also i spoke to the fact that booz allen is like really about like work-life balance so like it’s really odd hours whenever you want sort of situation but you know i have friends who are at like pwc who first year they were working on saturdays and sundays like it just depends on the client and the actual job that you’re doing i don’t think you can go into it and expect something and know what you’re gonna get i think it really is just like sorry but like winging it and just hope that you know you are not one of those people who have those like seven day work weeks yeah but even with those those seven day work weeks and the nature of consulting is it’s not the entire job it’s for that project right so you’re gonna have those times where you need to work those you know 15 16 hour days you know six seven days a week but they’re not for very long you know you’re not doing that day after day for nine months right it’s gonna be for a couple of weeks maximum probably you know i think the hardest i ever work was when we were doing this capital stress testing for bank of america back in 2012 or something it was due on january 5th and they told them about it in on thanksgiving so basically had a month to get this huge project done and we worked like crazy but it was actually somewhat rewarding because at the end you had a finish line you got a project you got it done and then it went back to more normalized you know 40 50 hour work week kind of a kind of a thing so it’s very project dependent i agree with with that um and usually it’s towards some end right towards some deliverable something that that you’re going to achieve at the end that you can point to and say all right we did it right and it’s appreciated it’s recognized yeah you know we we look at people’s hours and make sure that they’re not burning out and we offer opportunities for flexibility and you know so yeah if you’re scared of hard work you know consulting is not going to be for you you’re going to have to work hard sometimes but it’s not all the time and you know it’s you figure it out you figure out how to make it work all right we can move on to the next question we have a couple here um so the question is about you know within each respective firms what professional professional development opportunities are available for their employees um as they go through like different kinds of industries different kinds of work what does it for what kind of resources does the firm provide to its employees to make sure that people are set up for success i mean i feel like i’m doing a lot of talking so please jump in um i’m sure all our firms are very similar programs you know i i had the executive mba program i mentioned as one example but that was only for a small group of individuals we also sponsor all sorts of certifications you know depending on your sector or your your specialty if you want to be you know more into like uh you know if you’re a part of our data and analytics team there’s like a certification around data data science that you can get if you’re in technology risk there’s different different certifications that we sponsor that you can be part of but also as part of the public accounting firm we have mandatory continuing professional education you have to do you know 40 or 80 hours depending on your level every year right so we have those and we have offerings throughout the year so people can take meaningful training that counts towards their continuing professional education so uh all of our firms i’m sure have very similar programs it’s something we we invest in our people you know we invest in their learning and development that’s um what makes our firms very successful right awesome and alex just just to um talk a bit more about your um because you’re in the cdp programmatic sanctuary if i’m correct yeah so thinking about that what unique i guess opportunities and resources does the firm provide you does essentially provide you especially someone who’s just um been there for about a year yeah absolutely so it might look a little different now because of because of covid but accenture has like their main training campus is out in chicago and within my first week starting within the cdp they flew out all the entry-level analysts that were starting in that month all around the country flew to their training facility in chicago and we spent a week basically not only having opportunities to meet each other it was you know super exciting time everyone’s starting a lot of high energy but the people that were like teaching a lot of the courses and basically like providing client scenarios for us to get comfortable with that environment we’re all accenture employees um managers senior managers and up that basically take off a week out of their own time to go and teach during um at you know accenture’s training facility and for me that was just a super eye-opening experience because not only one was it like wow accenture has such a built-up facility for providing entry-level analysts with this exposure but it’s it was just cool to see how much they put into it um and that facility plays a role in your extent your career so as you go from i think it’s like senior analyst to consultant you go back there and you kind of get like all the training necessary for you know what it takes to be a good consultant and then when you reach the manager level so it plays a role throughout your entire accenture career and i would say that facility itself is like the heart of the training and professional development that is within accenture so it’s been a really unique opportunity um something that i was super excited about hopefully it’ll pick back up soon when people can start traveling and getting back in rooms together right yeah no fantastic so pivoting to the next question the questions about to what degree do employees have authority over staffing who decides what kind of projects you put on do you have independence as to what kind of industries you get in um so i’d love to hear from claire and arielle except like i haven’t heard enough from you guys since we’ve started the q a part of the session yeah i’ll start um i could speak for bcg here i’m not really sure how it works with other firms when you intern or start as an associate which is like the analyst position that some other firms they’ll pair you uh for your first case with a project leader or partner so that um you you can express interest in certain industries but you’re paired with someone sort of as like a mentorship for your first three months and then after that you have almost complete autonomy in terms of what types of projects you pick the caveat to that is it’s somewhat dependent on timing so it depends on when projects are kicking off and how many associates or consultants are looking to staff and you know regions so there’s a lot of those dependencies but um you know if if you have interest in working in manufacturing for example you can definitely get on a manufacturing case at you know if it’s not the first one you can pick it’s maybe the second or third um because of that timing piece but um yeah i mean i i can speak to my project right now because it ends tomorrow so right now i’m talking to a bunch of partners who are looking to staff and i can kind of decide what industry i’m interested in interested in and talk to the project leaders understand what their work style is like and kind of really pick where i want to land next um at booz allen i would say we’re kind of different we when you get hired you’re either hired directly to what we call the bench which is basically a space where you interview random people just talk to a lot of people within the firm to see what contracts are out there what other teams are doing and see if you can get yourself onto a contract or you are hired directly onto a contract i was hired directly onto the contract and i’ve never been on the bench but um my first contract that i was hired on i actually hated it and so um unlike a lot of consulting firms we don’t have case studies we just have um you know random contracts that go and come some are like 10 years long and some are like only a few months so it depends on who you talk to and what sort of area you want to be in for me my contract that i was placed on was something that has been going on for the past 10 years so this was something that was pretty consistent i joined and i realized that this was not something i liked and i immediately had to start um sort of like advocating for myself and putting myself out there meeting different senior associates and different vps that could have a little bit of insight on what contracts are going on and who i could talk to you to see if they needed help on their contract so um i was able to get on another contract that just needed an extra person and so that is the contract that i’m on now and i’ve been able to i guess flourish in that sense but um i i would say for us it’s not as easy to be on something that you love or that you expected to be on it’s sort of it’s sort of a fight because a lot of contracts just don’t have the money to have an extra person on it or the um project that you want just maybe like winding up so for you a lot of times what happens is like upper management will try to place you on different contracts that you just might not be interested in and unless you can you know advocate for yourself and talk to different people you will be stuck on that contract so i think in that sense and i’m sure this goes with a lot of other firms you have to be very strong about your feelings and advocate because if you don’t advocate for yourself then nobody will and nobody will understand what you want so make sure you have a game plan and you are very you know personable you go out and you talk to people because anytime like a random person might fall out of a contract and they just remembered your name and you’ll just be able to slide into a contract that you actually really liked yeah thank you so much for that clearing ariel um to be bringing to the next question someone asked about i will guess pre-coded are your respective firms what options are there to be stopped on international projects um so accenture being as big as we are we obviously have offices all around um we do try to employ a regional model though so i think like most companies specific offices kind of have a geographical location or regional location in which that office usually hires people for to kind of service the clients in that area so that’s first and foremost you’re probably going to be i don’t know if it’s like the bread before but i would assume that the location with your staff there’s probably regions in which you’re you know dedicated or earmarked for but there is opportunity to get on clients i know personally me on life sciences i’ve had the opportunity to travel overseas because life sciences companies that are predominant in the us may be headquartered in places in europe so the opportunities are definitely there depending on the client depending on the project it can happen um and i also know especially within accenture if you’ve you know paid your dues and and shown that you are great and capable there are opportunities to transfer offices you know it’s not something that happens all the time and it’s not something that you should expect but i do know people who have moved to london who have moved to um south africa um from their you know home offices here in the u in the united states because they had interests um overseas so it’s there but especially with covid who knows what happens now i just understand that i feel like most firms try to keep you in the region that you were stopped for yeah and i would say too depending on traveling out of region in general especially internationally it depends a lot on your skill set so obviously as an entry-level employee it’s it’s much more difficult because you know a you don’t have that network that strong network build up that someone who has been at a firm for five to ten years might but also more importantly you just don’t have that specific skill set that could potentially justify why the client would pay to fly you out you know for however long of a period overseas when maybe if they could just stab someone in that international region more locally so it’s something to think about but it’s also super exciting because as you come in you know that those opportunities could present themselves over time as you start to become more of a more i guess more of a a key player in a skill that you’re building out and um adding value uh to you know a a client scenario that might be outside of your region yeah absolutely i think i think that’s pretty much uh the the case in a lot of firms too it’s about your skill set and i guess if you’ve like i’ve also heard cases where someone’s like was an international student in the states and then had to move back home and the the office just kind of moved them back to their home office wherever they’re from so there are some international like options but i think from what i’m hearing it is limited it’s not as common as say like being stopped in like california or new yorkers or things of that nature um and we have three more questions i think michael jerry so i think this question is a lot more targeted like like you will be the best person to answer this question so it’s a question from someone who’s had who’s had extensive background working for about 10 years in the in media and is hoping to position themselves for a change in careers toward consulting so um any thoughts around that yeah it’s a great question in fact you know quite often we’ll look to hire people with industry experience because they’re very valuable right you have that 10 years of experience in media then you should come back and be a consultant into the media sector and talk about your experience with other media companies right on whatever issues and problems they may be having um it’s a very um it’s a great source of you know intel for us and where we look not only do we look to hire you know undergrad brand new people coming right out of school but we love hiring experience hires we have a whole experience higher program to to bring in people exactly like this with 10 years experience i sit in the financial services sector we hire ex-bankers ex-regulators that focused on banks and who and and the like and they’re usually can be very successful the biggest challenge they face is how to be a consultant right so they know how to be a professional they’ve been in business and professionals uh for a long time but they don’t know how to be a consultant you know and there is a different skill set to being a consultant we talked about a little bit today it’s having that mindset of you know solving problems having to deal with change and uncertainty it’s not like you’re going to your desk and doing the same thing every day for 10 years it’s you know every project’s different every client’s a little different so having building that skill as well so you might not come in at the at a level that’s commiserate with somebody that spent 10 years in consulting so 10 years in consulting you’re probably like a senior manager type of a level they might bring you in a level down so you can learn your consulting skills and then quickly move you back up to that that level of experience so i would say focus on uh if you wanted to change your careers into consulting from an industry like the media you want to focus on your your ability to you know take your your knowledge and convert that to insights that you can share with other clients with who will be your customers from a consulting perspective and then building out how to be able to convey that information in a way that is very easily digested by those people right so it’s a great advantage to have that kind of experience when you’re applying for those kinds of positions fantastic thank you so much for that michael um and then two more questions one question kind of says what percentage of the work is on the job learning um so anyone would like to jump onto that i would say from my perspective i’ve learned at least all of my technical and working skills just on on the job which was a bit of relief because coming in i was a bit anxious that i maybe didn’t have the necessary skills to to do the job at hand whatever those skills might have been but rest assured i was you know on day one on my first project my manager sat me down and was well aware that especially as an entry level employee i you know the expectation was not that i was going to be an expert but more that i was going to be a learner and you know being able to pick up a task whatever that specific function might be whether it’s working in excel or powerpoint or even microsoft word and just taking it day by day and at least in my projects they’ve been very patient with me and understanding once again that i am new to the firm um but giving me the right time and and opportunities to grow and develop those skills in a short amount of time so so yeah i would i would say almost all my my skills i’ve just picked up through experience yeah it’s a high percentage it has to be when we interview people you know we’re not looking for do they understand the um the c car regulations like that’s not something we expect undergrads to know but what we need to understand is you know what’s your work ethic you know how how well can you team with others what experiences do you have with dealing with adversity and and confusion and volatility and how did you react to those kinds of things how good are you at telling a story and sharing information um and and communicating and conveying your ideas you know those are the skills we expect you to come in with with some base you know technical capabilities particularly around your microsoft suite maybe some coding depending on the type of role you’re applying for but the rest you’ll learn on the job you’ll learn what you know stress testing means and see car and all this stuff all that technical stuff you’ll learn it on the job the the key like alex said is to be a learner to be curious when you’re there ask the questions learn about it and then as you move up you’ll you’ll gain that expertise yeah i certainly echo those sentiments by mike and alex i mean fresh out of college you’re 21 22 you know maybe 23 if you’ve done some additional schooling and you’re sitting in rooms with executives of fortune 500 fortune 100 companies right so they’re paying a premium for you to be there to tell them something that they can’t do themselves so i think just it’s rewarding to be in those spaces um at such an early point in your career but the expectation is not that you’re some genius whiz person that you know will figure everything out you’re gonna have people like mike there to kind of take you under his wing and guide you in terms of the right things to say and how to navigate those spaces but it’s going to be a great learning experience because you know being in that room and the depth and breadth of knowledge that you get from just being in that space is second to none so um not to worry um about not having the experience beforehand but look forward to that yeah awesome thank you so much for that and our final question well this is i guess this is a good way to kind of end this what are some we kind of touched we touched on on this a little bit during our discussion but what are some interview tips what’s the best place to start for someone who has absolutely no clue what can how is just really getting your foot wet for the first time with consulting and they don’t know where to start from for me my first step which i thought was helpful is i already mentioned this before but i took advantage of all the resources on campus to help me get up to speed on what consulting is and what the interview process looks like um you can also do your own research but it’s helpful to talk live about someone that’s gone through it or you know career center helps people go through it because it is kind of unique process but um one tip i’d say and i think this is true for all the firms here um there is a case portion and a behavioral portion to the interview and both are super important a lot of people over index on the case portion but part of the interview too is the firm wants to get a feel for your personality how you team what your experience or leadership experience is like and so definitely practice those those questions those soft skills communication presence all really important too did anyone else like to add to that um i would say i mean in addition to all of the on-campus resources i found youtube to be really beneficial believe it or not because for me i mean there’s just a plethora of different videos and hours of content on everything from what is consulting to specific videos on each of the firms a lot of the firms have their own youtube channel so you can get probably as close to possible um about like hearing from actual employees about their experiences on the firm and also i found it super beneficial to watch mock case interviews that were filmed so basically it was like just as it sounds there’d be an administrator and then someone actually taking the case and they would just have like it’s like a 25 to 45 minute conversation and you can just watch it and get an understanding for the flow of the conversation what types of questions they’re asking and then in a lot of the videos they actually break down like why this was a good answer how he or she could have answered it better so a combination of both on campus and external resources i would say would be a great start absolutely could not agree more and so even after after the dis after the panel discussion today all the attendees are going to get an email with the contact information to the vulnerable consulting group um as well as all the other resources that are available at the level for people who are interested in interested in consulting but as alex and claire and everyone else is kind of um echoed through their their different responses it’s you know you want to have conversations with people who are familiar with consulting uh rely on the resources um and i think for the cases honestly it’s all practice no one really wakes no one really is born an expert caser it doesn’t really work like that it’s just consistent practice and going at it my very first case it was absolutely horrible i figured that i had no shock going to consulting but it’s really just being consistent at it and practicing and figuring out what are your strengths and and what are your weaknesses and really really honing in on that um i know we’ve come to the end of our session at 7 31 just a minute over sorry for uh taking extra minute but thank you so much claire ariel michael michael and alex it’s been so wonderful having all of you here today to kind of chat through what consulting is what your favorite parts of your job are and how our attendees can get for those who are interested in going into consulting how to best um have it have the best shot going into the industry and to everyone to the career center and the consulting group and clay center thank you so much for putting this together i’m sure all our attendees had a fantastic time here gaining a lot of wisdom from our panelists so thank you all very much um and have a wonderful evening great job teaching so much for moderating chichi we appreciate it and thank you to all the panelists that joined us hi everyone have a great evening thanks everyone thank you

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