Summer Internship Series: EY-Parthenon

Brandon Quinn is an MBA2 specializing in Strategy and Business Analytics. Prior to Stern, Brandon worked in financial regulation where he examined some of the largest US brokerage firms. At Stern, Brandon serves as a Graduate Ambassador, Career Fellow, VP of Admissions for the Management Consulting Association (MCA) and VP of Marketing for the Business Analytics Club (BAC). 

Consulting recruiting is a time consuming process that begins as soon as you step on campus to start the MBA program – or in a pandemic, as soon as you log into Zoom for that first class. Students attend various corporate presentations, coffee chats, and case workshops to learn about the different firms and to prepare for the case interviews. We put in all this effort to land a coveted consulting internship, which will hopefully turn into a full-time post-graduation offer. 

I spent my summer at EY-Parthenon in their strategy summer consultant program. I was assigned to the New York office, but the internship was almost entirely virtual. There were a few days I decided to go into the office to see where I would be working, to meet some colleagues face-to-face, and to attend some in-person happy hour events. 

The first week of the program was comprised of various training sessions to help us get accustomed to the firm, learn about the different types of projects, and build our consulting toolkit. After the first week of training, all the interns (including me) were eager to find out which consulting project we would be working on to start the summer. I was assigned to a working capital engagement at a large cosmetic company. Coming from a finance background, the cosmetics industry was a bit foreign to me, but this is what excites me about consulting. Consultants solve some of the most complex problems at some of the largest corporations and work across various industries that might initially seem foreign to them. 

A typical day as an intern on a project consisted of a daily check-in call with the team where we laid out all our objectives for that day. After this call, we split into our workstreams to accomplish the goals for the day; I spent time assessing and prioritizing new markets for expanding one of the client’s programs globally. There was also a daily call with the client where we would present recommendations and make sure everyone was aligned. 

In addition to the real-world project assignment, interns were put into case teams where we worked on two mock projects with EYP practitioners as coaches. This was a great experience to get a flavor of the different types of projects offered at EYP—this also aided in building comradery among us interns and helped us feel more engaged and connected in the virtual environment. The work was challenging and EYP offered an abundance of support through functional training, mentorship, coaches, and sector spotlights. Overall, this was an incredible experience and made the time-consuming recruiting process well worth it!

Summer Internship Series: ZS Associates

Arthur Heitz is an MBA2 specializing in Strategy and Entertainment, Media and Technology. In addition to serving as a Graduate Ambassador, he is also a VP of Academics and Case Competitions for the Entertainment, Media and Sports Association (EMSA) and a Teaching Fellow for Pr. Matthew Lee’s core Strategy. Arthur was born in Dayton, OH and graduated with a BA from Boston College in 2013. He spent the majority of his career pre-MBA in client services roles at GLG. 

Most choose to pursue their MBA to progress in their career, but getting into business school can feel like a job all in of itself. You study for the GMAT, research schools, speak to alumni, attend presentations, update your resume, write essays and interview all in the hope you end up at a school that’s right for you. Then, what feels like immediately, you get to school and you reenact that process ALL OVER AGAIN: you recruit. You choose your industry(s) of interest, research firms, network, update your resume (even more), and interview all while taking in your class work. All told, upon eventually receiving an offer, it occurred to me I had spent nearly two whole years of my life preparing to become a consultant. I had spent so much time working to get the job, though, that I spent precious little time thinking about the job itself. And with the approach of my internship, it was time, I realized with a mixture of exhilaration and anxiety, to actually consult. Eager, excited and with undeniable nerves, I approached the first week of my internship this summer with a question I dared not ask out loud: So what does a consultant actually do?

Turns out, they do a lot of things. First and foremost, they do what their clients ask. Consulting is ultimately a service business so interacting with and advising clients is required. These are professionals, mind you, whom if they are not former consultants themselves have built a life in their industry or company. This makes learning as much as possible about your clients and their projects essential, both to instill confidence and reassure your client that they are in capable hands. You obviously cannot become an expert overnight, but consultants have a pithy phrase that describes the bar to which you must strive: “know enough to be dangerous.” Furthermore, it turns out those hours (read: days) ((read: weeks)) you spent practicing case studies for consulting interviews actually come in handy. Consulting is also about assessing situations in the moment and problem-solving on the fly. That could mean practicing effective time management, working in Excel or Powerpoint, or figuring out the story being told by a set of data. It could even mean navigating the mine-filled landscape of scheduling a meeting among stakeholders who have a total of zero common availability in a given week. Some problems take days to solve, others may take just minutes. Each day is invariably different in consulting, which can be exhilarating or harrowing, depending on the day.

Reading this, you may think I have reached a place of comfort in the role. More comfortable than when I started, certainly, but I still have a long way to go. Luckily, I work for an organization that understands my plight and is dedicated to supporting me. I was fortunate and humbled to receive an offer to intern at ZS Associates, a firm that works across industries but specializes in consulting for healthcare clients. Despite this focus, they work on as wide a breadth of project types as you would expect to encounter at other leading firms. They understand you are an intern, so try not to push you directly into the deep end. You’re brought onboard for a reason, though, and are given the opportunity to contribute directly to live project work. To help, ZS provides you with resources in the form of trainings, coaches and peer-buddies to help you wade slowly but surely into the oceanic waters of consulting. I’m learning that becoming a great consultant does not happen overnight, so am constantly reminding myself that improvement can come but one day at a time.

Consulting is, on one hand, a natural progression of everything I’ve learned during my career and at school. But on the other, it can be really, really hard. You could say something similar about business school, by the way. Ultimately, like getting into school or recruiting, I see it as another obstacle to overcome, another problem to solve. With some help, determination, and maybe a little bit of luck, I may just yet learn enough to be dangerous.

What It’s Like to Experience Virtual Recruitment for Consulting

Lanesha Williams is an MBA2 specializing in digital strategy and marketing. Prior to Stern, she worked within Accenture’s federal practice as a technology consulting analyst, helping different government agencies implement and maintain technology systems. At Stern, she serves as the VP of Treks for the Association of Hispanic and Black Business Students. Lanesha graduated from Howard University in 2015 with a B.B.A. in Supply Chain Management.

2020 has been quite an interesting year to be a business school student.  During the spring semester of my first year, things began to take a turn.  We moved to online classes, social events were canceled, and some companies decided to scale back their internship programs.  I was fortunate to have a full internship experience this summer.  Although my experience was completely virtual, I was able to be placed on a retail project at a digital consulting firm.  I thoroughly enjoyed my summer but decided I wanted to explore other job opportunities that were available.  I knew that the recruiting process would be different in the age of COVID-19, but I was willing to adjust and cast my net to see what I could catch.  

As most people interested in consulting are aware, case interviews are a pivotal part of the recruiting process.  Before the pandemic, we had the opportunity to practice casing in person with our classmates.  We had teams and groups that would practice drills together and participate in mock interviews.  The pandemic didn’t stop the collaborative recruiting environment that Stern fosters.  My classmates and I organized virtual meetups where we could practice casing and run through math problems.  Through the Management Consulting Association, I also received exclusive access and discounts to prep websites.  I was even able to take a Consulting Interview Readiness Assessment, which highlighted my strengths and weaknesses when walking through case interviews.  My classmates and MCA club members extended themselves to ensure that I was prepared for the interview season that was quickly approaching.

The second-year recruiting process is much more expedited when compared to the first-year student process.  Companies were not able to come on campus to host events, but they did host multiple information sessions via Zoom.  Stern alumni were also happy to talk to me about their experiences at various companies I was interested in applying to.  This isn’t behavior that was unique to the pandemic; Sternies are always willing to connect if you reach out to them with questions. 

Once I was done attending virtual info sessions, I applied to the companies that were on my shortlist.  Within a few days, employees from each company reached out to me to set up individual calls to chat about the company as well as help me prep for interviews.  These representatives walked me through how their company would be conducting interviews and made sure I was comfortable with the new set up.  They also answered any outstanding questions I had.  These pre-interview touchpoints really made me feel comfortable and confident going in to interview day.

On interview day, I got up and prepared myself as I would for any other interview, minus putting on real pants.  I did some meditation, put on a dress shirt and blazer, set up my ring light, and reviewed my notes one final time.  Each company I interviewed for included some form of online analysis before moving to one-on-one interviews.  Since I had passed those, I was able to move on to the zoom interview rounds.  The interviews were a lot less stressful than I had anticipated.  Interviewers were forgiving of technical glitches.  Some even fielded distractions from kids or pets.  I did have to talk through my cases a bit more since my interviewer couldn’t see my paperwork, but I had no problem doing so.  I ended the day feeling confident and reassured about the entire process.

Recruiting remotely isn’t ideal, but it’s the world we live in right now.  Both Stern and corporations have done a tremendous job adapting to the changing times.  I’m thankful that I was able to go through the process successful and appreciative of all of the resources I had along the way.

Summer Internship Series: Kalypso

Lanesha is an MBA2 specializing in digital strategy and marketing.  Prior to Stern, she worked within Accenture’s federal practice as a technology consulting analyst, helping different government agencies implement and maintain technology systems.  At Stern, she serves as the VP of Treks for the Association of Hispanic and Black Business Students. Lanesha graduated from Howard University in 2015 with a B.B.A. in Supply Chain Management.

NYU Stern’s “Summer Internship Series” sheds lights into Sternies’ internships. Posts are written by rising MBA2s who are currently working at their summer internship.

This summer I’m interning at Kalypso, a boutique consulting firm that specializes in digital projects.  I had a unique recruiting experience; I recruited at the Consortium conference last summer and received a couple of offers before starting school.  Prior to signing for my internship, I made it crystal clear what type of work I did and did not want to do.  Pre-Stern I worked for Accenture in their federal practice as a software implementation analyst.  My roles were very tech-heavy and I was intent on trying something different for my internship.  I expressed to the recruiter that I wanted to work on a strategy focused project within the retail sector and they delivered exactly what I asked for.

My client for the summer is a 60-billion-dollar department store and we are helping them launch their digital product creation program.  Instead of having physical clothing samples that are shipped around the world, everything will be created digitally.  It’s actually pretty cool to see a designer’s sketch of a hoodie turned into a 3D creation that looks realistic.

The hardest part of my summer has been to integrate with teams that I haven’t met in person.  My team is close knit and they have built strong relationships with our clients.  It took me a little bit of time to figure out how to best communicate with my team and what unspoken standards existed for deliverables.  I looked at these obstacles as a learning opportunity.  I pushed myself out of my comfort zone to speak up when I was confused, set up virtual one-on-ones to ask questions, and attend zoom happy hours to network with my colleagues.

I’ve been given several different parts of our project to own and have had considerable face to face time with our clients.  I’ve been pleasantly surprised with the amount of trust my team has in me to execute different tasks – I feel like a full-time employee on our team.  I’ve also been able to be involved in different internal initiatives such as the launch of a new Employee Resource Group and the creation of a recruiting strategy for diverse candidates.

Working remotely was not the vision I had for my summer, but I consider myself blessed to have still had a full 12-week internship experience.  Since I am at home all day long, I’ve had to develop new routines to keep myself focused such as having a dedicated workout schedule, an organized workspace, and a planned-out to-do list for the day.  Although I was looking forward to traveling this summer and racking up the loyalty points, working virtually gives me a glimpse into potential post-COVID changes in the consulting industry.  I think the future consultant lifestyle will still include a significant amount of travel, but there will definitely be more opportunities to work virtually.

I am excited to get back to Stern this fall and hear about the experiences my classmates have had at other consulting firms.  This summer is not what we were expecting, but I know my fellow Sternies have done their best to make lemonade out of lemons.  This summer has given me more perspective as to what I want to do post-MBA and I plan to spend my last year at Stern taking advantage of every opportunity that comes my way.

Summer Internship Series: Boston Consulting Group

Emily Glaser is a rising MBA2. Prior to Stern, she spent four years at Restaurant Brands International in communications and marketing for the Burger King brand. At Stern, Emily serves on Student Government and the Graduate Marketing Association. She loves dogs, musical theater, and hiking.

NYU Stern’s “Summer Internship Series” sheds lights into Sternies’ internships. Posts are written by rising MBA2s who are currently working at their summer internship.

This summer, I’m interning at BCG as a Summer Consultant. And that is a sentence I never expected for myself.

When I came to Stern, I was intending to recruit for brand management at a traditional CPG company. My background was in marketing at a fast food chain, and I was interested in continuing to grow my skillset as a marketer. But throughout the fall semester at Stern, I learned about the mysterious world of consulting and found work that truly interested me. I decided to challenge myself and took a leap of faith into a completely new career path!

But what do consultants do? What do YOU do, Emily? Great questions, Mom.

At the base level, consultants find opportunities for improvement at companies across the world and build them a path forward. We help when clients are too close to an issue to see things clearly or too busy driving the bus to fix the exhaust and carburetor at the same time. We’re problem solvers, guiding our clients hand-in-hand toward success.

And as for me specifically, this summer I’m staffed on an end-to-end transformation for a global personal care company. We want to help them listen to their customers better, interpret their needs, and efficiently deliver products that will improve their lives.

My portion of the case has been to analyze and improve the process they use to launch new products across their vast portfolio. I was incredibly nervous to come in as a new summer consultant and be given a topic to own from the first week – how should I know how they should launch personal care products? I only know about burgers and chicken nuggets! But the team has been incredibly helpful in guiding me through my research and analysis, and in only 5 weeks (so far) I’ve already learned an incredible amount. I’ve learned how to frame a high-level ambiguous problem and break it up into digestible questions that can be tackled individually. I’ve developed insights that spurred meaningful discussions with the client about strategic change. And I’ve learned the humility to always ask questions when you feel unsure.

The advice I’d give to MBA1s or those applying for business school is to always be open to learning. You may come to Stern knowing exactly what you want to be, but that can be upended in a moment. And that’s a good thing. There may end up being several different career paths to help you achieve your goals. You may even find new paths and opportunities that excite you! Being open to new paths led me to BCG, which has been one of my greatest learning experiences thus far. I’ll be returning full-time after graduation, and my goal throughout my career here is to always be open to listening and learning.

Stepping Outside Your Comfort Zone in Business School

Sami Abdisubhan is an MBA2 who spent his summer internship at Anheuser-Busch. Sami serves as VP of Marketing & Operations for Stern in Africa (SiA), VP of Training for Stern FC, and Co-President of the Association of Hispanic and Black Business Students (AHBBS). He is specializing in Marketing and Business Analytics.

 

 

One of the values of earning an MBA is exploration. Whether it’s exploring a new industry, function, city, or experience, there lies opportunity in an unusually supported manner when at business school. A subset of this value proposition is something NYU Stern’s Dean, Dean Raghu Sundaram, said to us on our first day of LAUNCH, Stern’s orientation: business school is the best time in your careers to fail. Despite the irony that I’m paraphrasing, this was a moment that I’ve cherished from orientation. There is no safer environment to professionally experiment than business school. The stakes will not be lower! This line from our Dean helped me get through an experiential learning class I took in my first year called Consulting Lab: Branding and Innovation.

Coming into Stern, I wanted to pivot my career into consumer marketing with a focus on brand management. While brand management is effectively a general management function, there is a responsibility to own how a brand is portrayed and understood and that has always been my interest and passion in marketing. When available, I jumped at the opportunity to register for Consulting Lab, knowing it was an experiential learning class; experiential learning, as it sounds, is a format of learning obtained through real-life projects and business challenges. I saw this class as a way to train myself before my summer internship, brand management at Anheuser-Busch, in that fail-safe environment that Dean Sundaram mentioned.

When I started the class, I was very excited to hear from the client about the challenge they brought to us. There was a thrill to it: a large financial services firm was coming to us, graduate students, to support a project with which they genuinely needed help! A slight problem arose: I didn’t understand the challenge. The prompt was clear to me and I understood the need for the project from the client’s side – I just didn’t know where to start. For the most part, my project team was in the same boat and as the solutions-oriented people we are, our minds immediately went to products/changes the client could implement to fix the problem. However, we were quickly reminded that we didn’t understand the problem fundamentally and hadn’t gone through the right analysis to get there.

This start was not what I had hoped. Not just because of the slight project-related hiccup, but also because this is my aspired career. I’ve planned for this since I started writing business school essays. Was I wrong? Will my summer internship be a nightmare? These thoughts and questions had me considering dropping the class as some others – not on my team – had done. However, one of my goals before starting at Stern was to create a different experience than my undergraduate experience. In college, I wasn’t really involved in extracurriculars and didn’t challenge myself, both of which I regretted. The 20-year-old me would’ve dropped this class after the second session for no other reason than to avoid difficulty. Not this time. Again, harkening back to the idea of a failing to learn, I made sure to embrace being out of the comfort zone.

This does have a happy ending: in one of our group project meetings, as my team members were brainstorming, all of it clicked. I literally let out a big “Ohhhhhhhhh. I got it. ” From then on, we went to do very well in the class, presented a viable solution to the client’s executives and, after impressing, earned a good mark overall. Coincidentally, my summer project at Anheuser-Busch was incredibly creative in nature, focusing on advertising. My experience doing branding-related work in Consulting Lab was by far the most influential to my success over the summer and converting my internship into a full-time offer of all the classes I had taken first year. For that, I’m thankful I was able to reflect in the moment to think back to my MBA goals prior to starting and we were reminded during orientation that there is no other time to try and fail and to not run away from failure than business school.

Summer Internship Series: Mastercard

Mark Lomedico HeadshotMark Lomedico is a rising MBA2 and interning at Mastercard this summer. He is specializing in Management, Management of Technology & Operations, and Finance and is a member of the Military Veterans Club, Stern Women in Business, and the Management Consulting Association.

NYU Stern’s “Summer Internship Series” sheds light into Sternies’ internship experiences. Posts are written by rising MBA2s who are currently working at their summer internship.

I first met Dean Peter Henry at the Stern Military Veterans Summit for prospective students in the Fall of 2015. On a Saturday in October, the Dean spent his personal time answering our questions and describing Stern’s unique qualities. I vividly remember him discussing the notion that doing well and doing good were not mutually exclusive and that Stern empowers its students to create value in business and society after graduation. It was with those words in mind that I was able to develop a recruiting philosophy to help guide my journey during the Fall of 2016.

Sometime in November, I took stock of my recruiting strategy. I was interested in the consulting and technology industries and had my eye on a few rotational management programs. While I never felt unsure of my chosen recruiting tracks, I wanted to evaluate my options and decide what companies to focus on most. Remembering Dean Henry’s words helped me take stock of what I held to be important and consequently I concluded the following: I wanted to work at a company where I could do interesting work and have the opportunity to make a difference in society. After that revelation, Mastercard quickly became my top choice.

Given that 85% of all consumer transactions involve cash or check, Mastercard stands to experience incredible growth given its focus on digital payments and its vision of a world beyond cash. I saw the company as a place where I could learn about payments, be innovative, and work in a dynamic industry. Furthermore, Mastercard has a large focus on global financial inclusion. Initiatives such as 2Kuze, prepaid debit cards for refugees, and the many identity inclusion programs significantly improve many peoples’ lives around the world. Having served in the U.S. Army, I wondered whether my career after business school would have a higher purpose and serve a cause greater than myself. Mastercard’s executive leadership emphasizes and champions these financial inclusion programs and I am proud to intern for a company that focuses on generating revenue and improving the societies in which it operates.

Currently I am interning in an account management division that services customers (i.e., banks) that issue Mastercard cards. My project is to examine ways to make account management more efficient and improve the overall customer experience. This has afforded me the opportunity to learn much about Mastercard’s core products, its main revenue drivers, and customer needs. Far from busywork, my project was created out of an observed need for strategic analysis to be put towards a real problem. Empowered with executive buy-in, I know my efforts are valued and matter.

Outside of the office, I have been fortunate to contribute to Mastercard’s success on the soccer field. We face off against companies in the surrounding Westchester area and through soccer I have been able to meet many new Mastercard employees and learn about what they do.

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As we approach the end of the summer, I have my sights set on Mastercard’s full-time rotational management program for MBA graduates. Created by the CFO, the Management Associates Program exposes participants to different business units during three six-month rotations. As Mastercard has many global offices, one rotation is at an international office such as Dubai, London, or Singapore, to name a few locations. Mastercard is full of intelligent people and exciting opportunities to create business value and to assist financially excluded segments of society. I am grateful for Stern’s relationship with Mastercard and the opportunity I was afforded to intern at the firm. I look forward to the exciting opportunities ahead of me and am thankful that Dean Henry’s perspective on the possibilities after graduation guided my recruiting efforts.

Summer Internship Series: Accenture Consulting

TJ_Headshot croppedTJ Herrle is a rising MBA2 and interning at Accenture Consulting this summer. He is specializing in Strategy and Leadership & Change Management and is a member of the Management Consulting Association, and Stern Student Government

NYU Stern’s “Summer Internship Series” sheds light into Sternies’ internship experiences. Posts are written by rising MBA2s who are currently working at their summer internship.

When I began considering an MBA, I didn’t know what management consulting even was. I came from a non-traditional professional background, with a few years of government work experience and several years working internationally at startups. But with the help of an entire ecosystem of people and resources at Stern, I’m excited to say that I’m halfway through a very successful summer internship at Accenture Consulting.

This brings me to the two big questions I want to tackle. First, back to my pre-MBA days: What even is management consulting? And secondly, how did I make that pivot to end up at Accenture this summer?

The way I see it, management consulting is all about helping clients uncover and address their most critical business needs. It always starts with a problem. Maybe a client is losing market share to a new competitor in the industry. Perhaps a firm is looking to replace an older technology system with a better product. Whatever the case may be, clients hire management consultants to help them think through the problem, structure an approach, and develop a solution to achieve meaningful, quantifiable results.

Now to bring the high-level into some day-to-day takeaways for incoming MBA students considering entering this industry. For starters, you have to love working with people. From client-side meetings to late-night project team work sessions, consulting is an incredibly interactive field. If you thrive in that type of fast-paced, collaborative environment like I do, consulting might be a great fit. Next, you should be comfortable digesting large amounts of information and developing organized, synthesized output, usually in the form of a spreadsheet or a slide. You have to prioritize the information, and learn to make decisions without having all of the data you may want. Lastly, from a practical standpoint, you have to be OK with what can at times be a demanding schedule. It’s not uncommon to be on-the-road every week during any given project, or to have to put in extra hours when a deadline is approaching. That said, those demands can be incredibly rewarding in terms of both personal and professional development.

Now for my second big question: How did I make the pivot and end up at Accenture? It was a mix of leveraging the many great people and resources at Stern, and putting in a lot of hard work. From a resources standpoint at Stern I think of three big buckets. One is the Office of Career Development (OCD). They provide a series of skills workshops through the IGNITE program, and they host companies on-campus for corporate presentations where you learn about a firm and network with consultants. An OCD-sponsored Accenture corporate presentation is where I first connected with the firm. The second bucket is the student-led Management Consulting Association (MCA). MCA partners with consulting firms to host additional networking opportunities and workshops, with events such as lunch-and-learns and a weekly casing boot camp. The third bucket is yourself and your peers. Stern provides a clear starting point for how to pursue management consulting, but you must combine them with your own efforts to position yourself for success. For me, that meant spending many-a-Saturday afternoons practicing consulting cases with friends, as well as working independently on specific skills I needed to improve. If you haven’t yet heard about the collaborative community at Stern, let me make sure it’s on your radar. I can’t say enough positive things about the availability, helpfulness, and support offered by my classmates along my own recruitment journey, and I imagine many others share that same sentiment.

It wasn’t all that long ago that I was wondering what management consulting even was, and now I’m halfway through my summer internship in that exact field. My time at Accenture has taught me a lot and I’m thrilled that I am exploring this path. If you’re considering making a change to enter management consulting, from where I sit, Stern is a great place for you to make it happen.

Consulting Resources at Stern

Hi Everyone!

 

It seems like just a few days ago that I was finishing up my summer internship at McKinsey and getting ready for classes to begin but here we are now almost done with the first semester… It is truly amazing how quickly time flies during business school.

McKinsey on a boat (small)
Myself and Stern classmates who also worked at the New York office of McKinsey on a sunset sailboat cruise around the Statue of Liberty after work one night.

Some of the most common questions I receive from prospective students considering Stern are about how to prepare for recruiting.  One of my favorite aspects of Stern is that everyone in the Stern community works incredibly hard to make sure you are prepared for interviews.  As someone heavily involved with the recruiting process for consulting, I thought it would be helpful to share a taste of what I am currently working on to give back to first year students.

 

In my official capacity as a career mentor with the Office of Career Development, I host many helpful events for students. Before school was really underway I worked with students during the IGNITE workshops to write, practice and perfect their 30 second elevator pitch to employers. I reviewed the resumes of 12 students who are recruiting for consulting, then met with them one-on-one to help them wordsmith their points to make the strongest skills stand out. Right now I am working with other MBA2’s to host sessions on recruiting topics like how to navigate the corporate presentations and what to do during informational interviews. Before interviews start in January I’ll work with another group of students one-on-one to do practice interviews so they will be completely ready when on-campus interviews begin.

 

As a board member of the Management Consulting Association, I co-lead MCA’s weekly casing bootcamp session with another MBA2 student Michelle. Bootcamp happens every Wednesday afternoon and we teach how to do the technical part of a consulting interview, the case, from start-to-finish. From the framework, to the conclusion, with all the brainstorming, charts, and math you will ever need in-between, the eight interactive weekly sessions will get anyone ready to crush their case interview. If the promise of succeeding in the interview isn’t enough, we also provide awesome snacks like empanadas, cookies, and cannolis, to get your brain moving.

Bootcamp_MS
Students enjoying the last session of bootcamp with amazing Greek pastries.

 

Over 20 MBA2’s, including myself, help prepare first year students interested in consulting through MCA’s mentorship program. Every Tuesday morning I meet with five first years to help work through the topics from bootcamp in a smaller group setting as well as answer any questions about the recruiting process.  It is an opportunity for first years to get an honest perspective on tough questions like how to request an informational interview as well as a chance to get to know their classmates better. As the application deadline approaches I’ll review their cover letters, help fine tune resumes, and give one-on-one case coaching so they’ll be as prepared as possible for their interviews.

 

There are many more examples of peer-led preparation I work on including the two for one casing initiative, corporate case competitions, informal coffee chats, and much more. Stern is really an amazing community where everyone invests in the success of their peers; feel free to reach out if you have any questions!

Downtown New York – Why It Matters

Alex-wsq

In the fall of 2014, on the cusp of applying to business school, I found myself frequently mulling over the many options of each institution I was considering. At the time, I was feeling quite settled in my downtown Manhattan life, yet frequently daydreamed about reliving my undergrad days at a small, rural college.

Simply put, I was torn between the competing ideas of “going back to the woods,” keeping my new urban lifestyle, or splitting the difference via a school in a small-to-medium sized city.

Adding to my decision discord was the fact that while I had a decent idea of what I wanted to do after my MBA, I still had curiosity about certain industries that I wanted to at least dip my toes into during my two years of school.

Ultimately, I decided that coming to NYU, which offered the same kind of intimate community I cherished in undergrad, as well as the power of being in downtown New York, provided me the best path to scratch my proverbial professional itches.

A semester and a half in, all I can say is that if anything, I underestimated just how impactful being in downtown New York is. I remember one week, about halfway through the fall, that illustrated this quite fully.

At the time, I was deep into the consulting recruiting track but still exploring marketing, technology, and entertainment and media. My schedule was as follows:

  • Monday
    • 12pm-1pm: Consulting firm lunch & learn
    • 6pm-8pm: Consulting firm on-campus presentation
  • Tuesday
    • 12pm-1pm: Consulting firm lunch & learn
    • 5pm-7pm: Film studio corporate presentation
  • Wednesday
    • 12pm-1:30pm: Informational interview with a top online retailer
    • 6pm-9pm: Dinner and drinks with a friend in the movie business
  • Thursday
    • 6pm-9pm: Graduate Marketing Association’s “So You Want to be a Marketer?” information session and panel
  • Friday
    • 10am-11am: Trek to a major news organization’s headquarters
    • 12pm-2pm: Informational conversations at a top tech firm’s New York headquarters
    • 3pm-5pm: Coffee chats with consultants from top-tier firms

Now you might be thinking, “well, every school arranges treks to visit these companies, so what makes your schedule so special?”

To this, I’ll answer in two different ways. First, the remarkable thing is that I was able to attend all these sessions as part of my normal, everyday routine – no flights across the country, no train rides up and down the coast. The furthest I traveled out of my way the whole week was about 15 minutes by subway.

Second, not only was all this easy for me, but easy for these companies as well. If you choose to come to NYU, I think you’ll be amazed at just how often the same firms that are making headlines in the Wall Street Journal are here at Stern, whether they are sending someone to be on a panel, recruit students, or drop into a class.

So why does this matter? By being in downtown New York I had unprecedented access to companies, their employees, Stern alumni, events not-specific to business school students, and so on. Within a week, I was able to conclusively rule out all but two industries through this constant exposure and subsequently focus on what I now know concretely I can be passionate about.