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Exploring the Consulting Mindset

November 16, 2011
Faculty Lead: Paul Walker 
On Nov. 16, 2011, the PricewaterhouseCoopers Center for Innovation in Professional Services held an “Exploring the Consulting Mindset” presentation for third- and fourth-year McIntire students interested in consulting as a potential career field. The goal of the session was to introduce students to the basics of consulting. These basics included what consulting is, the mindset of a consultant, and how to structure a problem as a consultant, all of which were discussed in the visual learning tool created by Dr. Elizabeth K. Thurston. The session then progressed to a panel discussion led by Professor Paul Walker and Professor Cynthia Fraser. Panelists included Michael Chagares from Accenture, James Marshall from PWC, Meghan Murray from Stynson, and Steve Reis from McKinsey.
The panelists shared insight on times where the problem for a client changed and when they were faced with restructuring their way of thinking, situations when they were solving the wrong problem, and how they use data analytics in solving problems. The conversation then shifted to the qualities companies look for in young consultants and how students can best prepare themselves for work in this field. These qualities ranged from solid writing skills to having the ability to communicate and build relationships with people. Students then had the opportunity to ask the panel questions.

After, the students were asked to fill out a survey about the presentation and how they felt about the digital learning tool. At the conclusion of presentation, students had the opportunity to talk with the panelists one on one to gain further insight on recruiting for consulting and ask personal questions about the panelists experiences in the field.

Michael Chagares, Senior Executive, Accenture
James Marshall, Partner, PricewaterhouseCoopers - Transaction Services
Meghan Murray, President, Stynson LLC
Steve Reis, Associate Principal, McKinsey & Company