Grace McLarty

Grace McLarty

M.S. in Global Commerce & M.S. in Global Strategic Management with a Certificate in International Business, 2017

B.S. in Accountancy, Wake Forest University 2016

Now: Accenture, Management Consulting Analyst (Chicago, Illinois)

Hometown: Memphis, Tennessee (USA)

Why did you choose this program?

I chose this program as a way to further enhance my business skill set while forming relationships with students, professors, and professionals around the world. My undergraduate degree and prior work experience were heavily quantitative, and I felt that this program would enable me to strengthen my soft skills. In particular, I believe that this program offers an unparalleled opportunity to develop my global mindset, an invaluable strength to have in today’s business environment. No other program facilitates this type of living and learning among a small but very diverse group of students across three continents, and I think this experience will help set me apart as I start a career in management consulting.

Advice to future students

It sounds cliché, but I really think the best advice I can give is to come into this program with a completely open mind. If you allow yourself to start with a blank slate, there is so much that you can learn and fill in throughout every aspect of the experience. I know that every expectation and assumption I had coming into this year has been completely overturned. Everything from where I thought I wanted to live after the program to where I wanted to travel to what I expected my favorite classes to be has not been what I expected. If you allow yourself to be a sponge, you can soak up so many new experiences and ideas so that you ultimately graduate as a more well-rounded and flexible individual and business person.

What was your most memorable study trip?

I really enjoyed our study trip to Richmond and the Virginia Chamber of Commerce. I really enjoy studying the intersection of business and politics, and it was great to see this intersection in action. We learned how businesses and the government work together to promote business development that benefits society overall. 

What was your favorite activity/event/memory in each location?

Charlottesville: My favorite memory was our going-away dinner at the end of the semester. It was great to spend one last night all together with everyone who had helped to make our semester at UVA so memorable. This night really drove home just how much of a family we had all become.

Guangzhou: My favorite memory from Guangzhou is visiting the GAC Toyota factory with our Global Operations and Supply Chain Management class. My family has been in furniture manufacturing for two generations, and I have seen my fair share of factories. However, I was astounded by how technologically advanced and efficient the GAC Toyota factory was, and could’ve watched the production line for hours.

Barcelona: My favorite memory was my team’s thesis defense. As a team of four girls, two from China and two from the USA, we researched the impact of fit technology on fashion industry business models. Our presentation went better than any of us expected, and we were told that our work was publishable. After the defense, our team popped mini bottles of champagne, and I felt like it was such a wonderful culmination of this year’s hard work AND fun.

What’s the biggest thing/skill you will take from this program into your career and life?

The biggest skill that I will take with me from this program into my career as well as my personal life is having an open mind. This program showed me example after example of the importance of listening to others and not allowing your own preconceived notions and ideas to limit you. Everyone brings a different perspective to the table, and I truly believe that the best ideas come out of a combination of as many different perspectives as possible.

Being a good listener and keeping an open mind are important skills to have in any career as well as in your personal life. However, I expect them to serve me very well as I pursue a career in management consulting. I have been lucky enough to gain much experience figuring out how to produce strong results in diverse team environments throughout this year, and having an open mind that is not only willing to but excited to listen to others’ ideas has stood out time and time again as crucial for success.