M.S. in Commerce 2013 (Finance), University of Virginia
B.A. in Economics 2011, The College of William & Mary
After: Kurt Salmon, Consultant (New York, NY)
Now: Harvard Business School, M.B.A. Candidate (Boston, MA)
Leveraging business for a career in consulting
As a consultant prior to returning to school, I spent a lot of my time looking at lots of data and interpreting it. My marketing analysis classes certainly helped prepare me for that, as did my finance classes, especially when it comes to building complex models and working in Excel. I also think the professional environment at McIntire reinforced how to best carry yourself in the business world.
Example of a project at work
At Kurt Salmon, we were hired to work for a large Canadian grocery retailer and redesign its assortment planning process – helping to define the way products were chosen in stores across the country. We were tasked with making the process more consistent across categories and overall more analytically driven. After the design phase, I led two categories through implementation and eventually had the chance to walk into a store and see products that I had personally selected. Very cool.
Importance of the Global Immersion Experience (GIE)
I went on the Latin America track. I’ve traveled abroad quite a bit, but had never approached a trip in such an academic light. It was an incredibly rewarding way to see a foreign country – hearing about current issues from local professors and politicians and truly experiencing the uniqueness of a place.
Most memorable GIE location
Santiago, Chile. I lived in Singapore after undergrad and thought Santiago was very similar – very well-developed and safe. It is close to the Andes Mountains, which are great for skiing. Valparaiso and the Pacific Coast are also not too far away. You sort of have the best of everything.
Advice for future students
First semester is really busy, but don’t let your workload take over and cause you to miss out on experiencing Charlottesville in the fall. When you have some free time, go apple picking, go to a local brewery. We are obviously all here for a purpose, but don’t approach everything so single mindedly that you miss out on life. Also – and this is for the consulting recruiting process – practice, practice, practice case interviews. You need to learn how to play the game.