Posts Tagged ‘consulting’

A Summer in Consulting at McKinsey

Monday, August 4th, 2014

I’m a little over half way through my sJohnCzerniakMcKinseyummer as a consultant at McKinsey and I still don’t truly know how to describe what a consultant does. I can say that what we do, we do for many hours a day during the week and earn a few hotel points and airline miles along the way. This summer, I am involved in a high-level, corporate strategy project with a Fortune 100 company. It blows my mind that someone like me, only half-way through my Foster MBA, is influencing the strategic direction of a corporation with executives who have lived and breathed the industry for decades.

I knew going into my summer at McKinsey that I would have the opportunity to have real impact on big problems, but I never thought I would meet so many great people. I have to admit that prior to starting my internship, I had a certain stereotype in mind. However, aside from employees referring to McKinsey internally as “the Firm,” any notion of pretentiousness has been shattered. The nature of my project makes it fairly top-heavy, but despite my relatively minimal experience, I’ve been encouraged to speak up about my ideas and exercise an “obligation to dissent.” Inside the team room, all ideas are considered and reacted to based on the same criteria. The goal is client impact – whose mouth that impact comes from is unimportant.

The best part of my summer has been the chances I’ve had to spend time with fellow West Coast interns. At this moment, I’m at the Reno Airport getting ready to come back from a weekend spent with 50 other interns in Tahoe. Combining that with a conference in Florida and a training in San Francisco, I’ve developed friendships with some incredibly talented people. They come from colleges and business schools all over the country and from a wide range of experiences. I’m humbled to be part of this group and the amount I’ve learned from my new colleagues and friends has been invaluable. I’m excited to bring this experience back to Foster in the fall.

Guest post by John Czerniak, Class of 2015 MBA Candidate

Video: MBA Strategy Fair

Wednesday, November 30th, 2011

MBA students apply strategies learned in class to real-world situations during the 2011 Blue Ocean Strategy Fair, a competition held at the UW Foster School of Business and sponsored by Seattle-based Slalom Consulting.

“These kinds of projects really force you to think outside the box,” says MBA student Christian Booth, who enjoyed the event’s hands-on nature. “There’s no right or wrong answer. I think that’s where the learning really comes in. It’s taking the frameworks that we’ve learned in class, the tools that we’ve learned, and this is where the rubber meets the road and we apply them.”

MBA Jackie Logan gained experience directly relevant to her career goals. She says, “Personally, I’m very interested in strategy and that was one of the reasons that I came back to business school was to try to understand the high-level operations of a company and to understand how companies develop a strategic plan.”

Click on the below image to play video.

Applied Strategies: Project Update

Saturday, February 13th, 2010

We are about half way into the quarter…

Wow! I can’t believe I just said that.

Anyway. My team’s Applied Strategy consulting project is going strong! I wanted to send an update to my previous post to let you know how it’s going.

We’ve had three significant events so far. First of all, we met with our faculty advisor. Every team was matched with a faculty member that could bring their experience to our projects. Our advisor, John Castle, knows the company we are working with and was really helpful in putting our project into perspective.

The second major event was a visit to our client’s offices in Kent. The President of the company gave us a tour of their building and warehouse. Most importantly we were able to see how their product was packaged and delivered to their distributors. Seeing the client’s operations in action showed us the importance of the work we would be doing. The visit was very clarifying for our team!

Our last major event for the first half of the quarter was an information sharing session with our classmates. For this, we prepared and gave a quick Powerpoint presentation about our project. We then solicited feedback from our professors and classmates. We walked away from the session with a lot of practical advice and some contacts with expertise in the industry we are analyzing. We’re in the information gathering stage of our project right now. I will report back as we begin to wrap things up!


p style=”line-height: 120%;”>Guest Blogger: Allison Bilas, Foster MBA Class of 2011