Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Summer, Revisited (The Consulting Edition)

Linda, Management Consulting  
A.T. Kearney, Chicago

Friday, 06/13
First day of work, and I’m not even done with my last final. The new Chicago office is gorgeous but my brain is otherwise engaged in trying to figure out how much I don’t know for Lubos Pastor’s Portfolio Management class. Answer: too much. Second answer: it's ok, it was worth doing for the experience.

Key Takeaway: Don’t take morning AND afternoon Friday classes Spring quarter.

Wednesday, 06/18
Training, Day 2. Starting to remember peoples’ names. I’m in a group with two associates from the New York office, one in Toronto, and one in San Francisco. We're trying to figure out how much we can save in transportation costs. Our slides look pretty good for a bunch of people with zero consulting experience and negligible artistic skills. 

Key Takeaway: Listen to the full-time associates when they tell you the slide makes no sense. It doesn’t, even if you break out the fancy graphics.

Monday, 06/23
First day at the client site; first day getting up at 4:30AM to catch a 6:30AM flight out to Connecticut. This is the stress-test for career switchers—can you handle life on the road? I am armed with three apps, a Monster energy drink from the 7-11 across the street from MPP, and the ability to pass out on any moving vehicle in under 5 minutes. Verdict looks good.

Key Takeaway: Apply for Global Entry before your consulting internship.

Tuesday, 07/01
My manager is God’s gift to new consultants. I’ve been assigned to a workstream of my own (!) and am learning how to structure a well-reasoned hypothesis and analysis around investment income for the client. The transition from financial services is a little weird—whaddya mean we have to wait for data? Not having a Bloomberg is making me a little sad.

Key Takeaway: Structure your case and figure out what data you absolutely need, before you ask for it.

Saturday, 07/12
In New York, at LAF (Learn About the Firm) to get a better sense of the firm as a whole and get to meet Kearney folks outside of your case team and your office. On Friday, I had some great chats with the heads of the E&P (Energy and Processes) and PE (Private Equity) practices—the E&P teams who won the Client Impact award for their work in Saudi Arabia definitely had fun. Then the real fun began: afternoon cruise in the harbor around the Statue of Liberty followed by Top of the Standard followed by a great night in New York City.

Key Takeaway: Always remember to take something fancy to a firm outing in case you need it. 

Saturday, 07/21
Midterm Review! I would have spent the morning quaking in my boots except I was too busy building my new slides on international competitors in a new market segment. I’ve gone through a truly ludicrous number of historic annual reports and investor presentations in the last week.

Review is totally in line with what I expected. Everything’s great, I’m on track to getting an offer, but my slides still need to be improved. My manager: “They are…just a little bit ugly. Hahaha.”

Key Takeaway: By Week 5, you should know exactly where you stand. If you don’t, that’s Trouble with a T.

Thursday, 07/31
Cannot believe the end is in sight! The last two weeks have really started to ramp up. Gone are the leisurely team dinners—our key deadline is soon, our deliverable to the CEO is beginning to expand in scope, and the Head of Strategy is scheduling many, many meetings. Working past midnight most days at the client site; have eaten my way through 85% of the room service menu.

Key Takeaway: Make friends with your Information Services counterpart. They are very nice, and you get better, faster data when crunch time comes.

Friday, 08/15
Last day of the internship; went to salon to get a blowout for my final presentation. Hair looked awesome and presentation looked even better.  My fellow interns had amazing summers, and it was really something to see all the impactful work that they did in ten weeks. Are we really the same group of people who sweated through Excel Training 101 earlier in the summer? Unbelievable.

Key Takeaway: Work hard, work smart. Crush that internship.

Wednesday, 08/27
In Shanghai!!! Living with my aunt and uncle, and seeing my grandparents on a daily basis. The food is so amazing I nearly cried when I bit into my first xiaolongbao (soup dumpling). My grandparents did cry when I showed them all the pictures of my first year at Booth—dinners with friends, Chicago outings, hiking the Inca Trail with 25 awesome Boothies and partners during Spring Break.

Key Takeaway: When the work’s done, when the slides are in, remember how to take a step back and embrace the important things in life: your loved ones and your community. 

1 comment:

  1. Wonderful experiences, you have shared here! These are so inspiring to all of us. I am really grateful to you for that. And I will never forget you’re these highlighted key-points for global MBA throughout my MBA course-period.