Things I’ll miss from my first autumn quarter …

My first quarter at Fisher has ended and the second quarter is about to begin in a week. First things and first experiences are hard to forget. But, there are other things too that I will surely miss :(!

  1. Facebook – numerous Facebook status messages on the coursework especially the ones starting with ‘Dear Darren.. ‘, ‘Prof. Roulstone…’ or ‘Accounting…’. The most facebook messages this quarter have undoubtedly been on Accounting, making it the most discussed course of the quarter
  2. Suddenly realizing in the middle of the night that I have to prepare a memo for a case study for Prof Campbell’s Economics class
  3. Finding clickers to vote for random polls in Prof. Schillings Data Analysis class
  4. FPS teams! Working with my Fisher Professional Services (FPS) team and competing with other teams on the same project.
  5. Corporate Finance lunch series by Dean Wruck – CEO’s, CFOS’s of small and big leading firms gave great insights on their experiences and journey

The first time in every new university is the excitement to know the place better, know your classmates and seniors (“second years”) and enthusiasm to be part of every event, every organization happening around you.

Then, there is always ‘another time’ to explore things well. So, believing the same, I will begin my next quarter next week.

Most of the MBAs

Most feared course… Accounting

Most ink consumption is by…. Economics

Most commonly used application…  especially during a class

Most gadgets used are of company… Apple Mac Books & iPhones

Most of the time spent on… Team Meetings attending and preparing

Most compromised thing on time… Sleep

Most secretive self-assessment of most MBAs… I am the Best!!!

Most short-lived emotion…Joy of Success

Immediately replaced by…. Competition due to joy of others’ success

Most sought after activity… Job Search

Most practiced activity… First Impressions for a career fair, elevator pitch or interview

Most people’s activity list will have… Everything (almost)

Consulting Boot Camp

On a Friday morning, a no-class day, about half of the class gathered to do at least one of the two things:

  1. To find out if consulting can be one of their career paths
  2. To ‘Network’ – the mantra of every MBA candidate

There were not only those people who said ‘I want to be a consultant’, ‘I want to take up Strategy’, but even those who were planning their career paths in operations, supply chain management and investment banking.  Because the MBA program is all about discovering oneself. It gives people opportunities to play around with their options and find their best fit.

Let’s start:

The session was opened by Fisher Professional Services, the association every aspiring consultant wants to be in. It not only gives students the platform to work on real projects for business and not-for-profit organizations, but also provides an opportunity to work on international projects during summer for those interested in exploring beyond the US.

Jeff Rice, Executive Director of Office of Career Management, forwarded the discussion with a very simple question ‘what is consulting’. Here are the few responses he got for ‘why do you want to join a consulting firm’:

‘I want to do strategic consulting’

‘I like solving client problems’

‘I want to pursue a career in marketing…’

Jeff – ‘None of you would make it. There are scores of other candidates who want to be a strategic, marketing or financial consultant. Be more specific.’

In this world of competition, where you find 10’s, 100’s of alternatives for every service or product, one needs to distinguish oneself from others by defining and detailing goals and skills to a micro level. The one thing that every consulting firm is trying to find in a swarm of suits and blazers is that one skill that can add more value their firm. In Jeff’s words, ‘a functional spike that can mark you as different’ . Build a functional skill and portray it to your potential employer. This is your key to success in a consulting career path.

The representation:

McKinsey, Ernst and Young, Deloitte, Gallup, Accenture and Navigator to JP Morgan Chase, Nationwide, Cardinal Health and Emerson – there was representation from core management consulting and top professional services firms to the best internal strategy firms. The majority of the boot camp was filled with insights into these firms through firm overviews and panel discussions. The best chance for the new MBA entrants to understand the consulting industry and to know the culture of firms thriving successfully in this industry.

It was a long 8 to 5 session and at one time, I was literally fighting my dropping eyelids, but the drive to know more about these top firms kept me active till the end.

I couldn’t define a more enriching experience for consulting than this. Great Insights into the industry and the firms and a chance to meet the representatives from these firms. Definitely one of the best boot camps on my list!