Career Treks - Consulting, Exploring Firm Culture

CDO, October 31, 2013 | 0 comments
Tags: first year, recruiting, career, internship, career development office, Career Trek

Each year as the first – and notoriously rigorous – term comes to a close, the Career Development Office (CDO), in conjunction with student clubs, organizes multiple Career Treks. The Treks offer a unique opportunity for first-year students to travel as a group, visiting sought after companies and speaking with key employees. So far, over 70% of the Class of 2015 has gone on one of three Career Treks; Marketing, Finance (both in New York), and Consulting (Boston). In the next few weeks, students, as well as the CDO, will share their experiences.

Consulting Trek (Boston, MA)

Stephen Pidgeon (T’07) is an Associate Director in Tuck’s CDO, and specializes in the consulting, healthcare, and media industries. Before joining the Career Development Office, Stephen was an Engagement Manager at McKinsey in London, where he focused on healthcare consulting, with a functional specialty in org work. Prior to Tuck he worked for 11 years in television and film, directing and producing a number of television series and a movie.

Each year, Tuck’s consulting club runs a trek to Boston to visit the offices of consulting companies. This year 115 students visited 11 (or 12) companies in 3 days. Partners and recruiters at the companies have told us that Tuck is the only school to organize such a trek. They love the program because it is a chance for students to get a good understanding of the company’s culture.

Jennifer Tietz, T’15, grew up in the Midwest before graduating from the US Naval Academy with a BS in Mathematics. She also earned a Master of Engineering Management from Old Dominion University. Prior to Tuck, Jen served as Lieutenant Commander and Nuclear Surface Warfare Officer in the United States Navy.  At Tuck, she’s active in the Armed Forces Alumni Association (AFAA) and founded Tuck Tastes, a food/gastronomy club.  After Tuck, she hopes to do consulting in London. 

What a whirlwind!  Three days in Boston with the opportunity to visit twelve different consulting firms.  I personally visited nine (Parthenon, L.E.K., OC&C, Monitor Deloitte., EY, Liberty Mutual (internal consulting), Bain, BCG and McKinsey and Co.) and felt totally worn out by the end.  These career decisions certainly are not easy, but the Trek offered a great opportunity to meet some consultants in their “natural habitat”.   All in all, it would be an honor to work in any of the firms we visited.  They all do important work for amazing clients, so for me, it really comes down to determining the fit between my personality and the personality of the firm. 

We started out early on Wednesday morning by boarding a bus in Hanover.  The Parthenon Group offered us a VERY warm welcome upon our arrival in Boston.  One of their partners donned his Tuck Hockey jersey to present his remarks, and then they gave us a tour of their beautiful new offices on Rowes Wharf.  Coming from the Navy, I guarantee none of my offices were ever that nice, though both Parthenon and my Navy ships do have an amazing view in common.   It was a nice introduction for me as to what my new career may look like.

After that, we went on a great ‘tour’ of the different neighborhoods of Boston as we visited the other offices for lunches, breakfasts, and cocktail hours.  In each place, it was clear the consultants there love what they do and are really proud of their firm’s reputation and value proposition.  We saw a mix of firms who have a Monday through Thursday (almost every week) travel model, to others who only travel a few days a year.  There seem to be benefits to both, and it was really fun to speak with my classmates about their perceptions of each firm.  A firm I loved, others may not have felt a connection with, and vice versa.  Consultants at each place we went felt their firm had a culture that represented Tuck’s, which just goes to show the diversity of the Tuck experience for each individual. 

Most schools do not get to do Treks like these in Boston, but Tuck has built a great rapport with the recruiting teams at each firm, and it allows us to go back each year.  Though it was hard to make personal connections with over 100 of us in attendance, the Trek was invaluable for being able to directly compare and contrast firms in a short period of time.  It solidified my desire to go into consulting, and helped me narrow down my search.  Most importantly, it allowed me to spend a lot of time with my classmates who are on similar journeys of self-discovery, and to meet a lot of Tuck Alumni who are very happy in their chosen careers!

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