Professional Development, Issue 3

Featuring:

⋆Money, money, money: Budgeting and saving tips
⋆Not happy with your internship?
⋆Ten simple tips  to make the most of your internship
⋆The three month test | Charlie Biederman
⋆Consulting as a career | Jon Leist
⋆TED Talk: How to speak so that people want to listen


Money, money, money: Budgeting and saving tips

For the first time in your life you are making more than the typical $8.50 an hour.  This is a great opportunity to save for the future.  It may be fun to drink away your money now, but saving can help you establish yourself after graduation.  Here are some tips to save the rest of the summer.

  • Brown bag it and skip the Starbucks. It may be fun to get lunch out every week. But, that can quickly escalate to a $50 expense each week.  Make your own lunch and coffee at home before going to the office.
  • Carpool, walk, or bike to work. For those who need to drive to work, think about using public transportation. Parking and gas are avoidable expenses.
  • Don’t waste money on your wardrobe. Dressing well is important, but learn to mix and match. No need to waste money on a dozen skirts and pumps or slacks and ties.
  • Make your own fun. Go to festivals and free concerts for a great way to save money and have fun.
  • Keep track of your spending. Budgeting is most important. Keep track of every expense and limit your spending to a certain dollar amount each week.

Have fun this summer, but remember that you will have many large expenses upon graduation.  Save now to avoid stress.


Ten simple tips to make the most of your internship

Everyone experiences a steep learning curve when beginning a new internship or job.  After a month in, how is your internship going?  Do some changes need to be made?  It is never too late to make the most of your internship.  The following are some items to consider in the next month.

  1. Go to work each day knowing what to expect
  2. Gain trust early on
  3. Pay attention to the office culture
  4. Focus
  5. Take your work seriously
  6. Ask for feedback
  7. Learn from your co-workers
  8. Dress Appropriately
  9. Ask for advice
  10. Say “Thank You”

Not happy with your internship?

Internships are meant to help students explore company practices, culture, and more. Do not worry if you have learned you hate the company culture or dislike the work you are doing.  Luckily, you get a second chance before starting full time.  You have the opportunity to explore different options.  The fall career fair is right around the corner, so the prep should start now.

  • Discover what you dislike about the company. This will help you decide what type of companies you want to purse at the fall career fair.
  • Network with the other students that are living in your apartment building to open your eyes to other opportunities out there.
  • Polish your resume and email Nicole to have her review it
  • Spend the few weeks after your internship shadowing companies you are interested in

It is never too early to begin preparing.  The prep you do now will help relieve stress when the school year begins.


The three month test | Charlie Biederman

I hope all of you are approaching the “half way point” on a high and successful note. Before I jump in, here’s what I’m up to: I’ve been working with Systems Evolution, a consulting firm in Cincinnati. SEI’s delivery model is based on engaging senior-level consultants in key leadership positions to provide project, process, and technical leadership for client engagements. It’s been an awesome experience so far. Now let’s get our hands dirty.

       Network: With the lightning fast work speed that most offices operate at, I struggled at first making connections with the consultants and my co-workers. My advice? Don’t limit yourself to connecting with people in the office. I understand we are all poor college students, but inviting someone out and buying them a cup of coffee or lunch will end up paying for itself in the long run. If this isn’t a possibility, then schedule an hour to sit down one on one with someone who interests you. Being able to chat outside of the office setting allows you to relax, and actually engage with the person one on one. Understand their current career goals, ask them to reflect on their goals when they were your age, take away something valuable about the person other than they hate it when it snows (we all do). This is NOT about you selling yourself, it’s about you listening and absorbing advice from someone you see as a role model. Have questions ready, but don’t stage the entire conversation. Get to know who you are working with and learn the path they used to get there!

       Set Weekly Goals for Yourself: As the only intern at the company I’m working for, I basically have to swim through a stack of work before I find my chair in the morning. Staying organized and setting goals is what helps me keep what’s left of my sanity. Take a minute on Friday and use it for yourself. Think about the next week: what do you have to accomplish? How can you overachieve and what is most time sensitive? Lay everything out in a way that works for you, organize, organize, organize. Structure your week so you are able to add to it as you work through it. Realize not everything has to be done right away, save yourself some slack time for spontaneous meetings or work that takes longer than expected. As simple as this is, it will not only impress your superiors but it will help you work more efficiently.

       LinkedIn Homies: Working in consulting has allowed me to see just how social the corporate world is. Believe it or not, 95% of us were probably looked up, screened, or at least “double-checked” on LinkedIn by HR before we even interviewed for our internships. LinkedIn is a huge way for you to make a good first impression before you even meet someone, including your future employers. Have a professional photo as your default picture, or do the best you can in finding an appropriate photo of yourself. Next, content is key. Don’t copy straight off your resume, you’re basically letting LinkedIn sell yourself for you, which is a mistake. You want your profile to highlight your capabilities and previous experiences. LinkedIn needs to be an extension of your work life personality. Include links, achievements, and utilize all of LinkedIn’s capabilities that you have to dig a little bit deeper to uncover. Having a clean, polished LinkedIn profile creates an awesome brand for yourself and is even greater for maintaining and establishing your network. Don’t underestimate the power of LinkedIn, and make sure that your profile is something that speaks to both your work ethic and personality.

       Remember; Inhale then Exhale: Even though your nametag might say “peasant” from 9-5 you need to learn to embrace it. It’s not going to change and nobody feels sorry for us. Prove your worth and make people feel bad for thinking you would only be “average”. Remember that these 3 months are nothing more than the business world testing you. We’re all capable and we will all be successful, do NOT crack under the pressure. Deal with your failures as a way that you can improve yourself and your ability to work. So when you hang the nametag up at the end of the day remember that you’re still a normal person to everyone else. Keep in touch with your friends in other cities, FaceTime with your family, explore your new city, eat a Coney, do whatever makes you happy. Make time for you and remember that there is always life outside of work.

I tried to make my advice different from last weeks PD and I hope I was able to give you some insight. I miss you guys and Oxford like crazy and wish everyone a successful second half of summer. – CB


Consulting as a career | Jon Leist

Hello all!  I hope everyone’s summers are turning out to be incredible! When Nicole asked me to write this PD article I figured I’d stick with what I know best and write about the ins and outs of consulting.  Read on if you even have a remote interest in the consulting as a career path.

The term consultant can often be an ambiguous term thrown around quite loosely without explanation as to what it really means.  Succinctly, consulting means that you are hired by a firm as a “resource” and are tasked with helping other firms (that hire your firm) to help assist in solving problems, providing guidance, or helping to make decisions.  For example, P&G may hire a Bain team of consultants to help assist them in the strategy behind acquiring a new company into their portfolio of brands.  DISCLAIMER: Many companies may hire “internal” consultants which are quite different from what I am about to describe.  Internal consultants mean that you stay within a company such as P&G and help “consult” with their existing or soon to be customers.

On a high level there are many consulting firms and each has their own specialties and niche markets.  These specialties can and are not limited to include 1. Strategy (such as M&A, compensation planning, project planning, etc…) 2. Technology (consulting on choosing and implementing new ERP, CRM, and other various software packages that operate the firm) and 3. Human Capital (this includes HR functions).  There are many varying terms that each company use, but they all generally fall within the same range of meaning. The best buzzword to know is management consulting.  Management consulting is the term that includes all of the aforementioned concepts.

Up next is an overview of the largest and most well-known consulting firms.  There is the “BIG 3” which are considered the premier consulting firms within the realm of strategy.  These firms include:

1. Bain & Company

2. McKinsey & Company

3. BCG (Boston Consulting Group)

Note: These 3 firms do not directly recruit at Miami, but are entirely possible to get hired by.  I know of several individuals who were able to leverage their networks to get interviews. One guy I know even got hired by Bain & Co which is typically considered the most prestigious consulting firm.

Further, the “BIG 5” expands to include:

4. Deloitte &

5. Accenture

Deloitte and Accenture are larger in size, scope, and service offerings than the BIG 3.  They generate more revenue and have many more employees.  The primary difference is that they do not solely focus upon the strategy side of consulting.  Rather, they offer what is called End-to-End (E2E) services that start with the strategy and go all the way to post project support. The moral of the story is to NEVER limit yourself to what Miami Career Services brings to Career Fair. There are plenty of opportunities with companies you may never have even thought of.  You are severely limiting yourself if you only consider what Miami Career Services have to offer.

Now that we have discussed the various consulting companies, let’s move on to the lifestyle of a consultant and I will conclude with tips on how to land a consulting internship. To be honest, you travel… A lot. I currently am sitting on a plane at 7AM on a Monday writing this article to give you some perspective.  You typically wake up at 4:30-5AM with your luggage already packed and make your way to a taxi to get to the airport. Once you arrive at the airport you go through security (Get TSA-Precheck it changes your life) and find something to eat for breakfast.  The standard protocol for the week is called the 3-4-5 rule.  This means you stay 3 nights at a hotel close to the client site, 4 days working at the client site, and spend 5 total days working, Fridays being at your home office.  This summer I travel every Monday morning to Rochester, NY to work on an ERP implementation for a military contractor client that makes all of the radio communication systems for the marines, navy, army, you name it.  I travel back to Chicago on Thursday evenings and work from the Deloitte Chicago office on Friday.

The hours are rough (think realistically 9-12 hours a day) with Fridays typically only 4-5 hours.  The travel lifestyle has its perks which include mentally stimulating work, working alongside brilliant people (All the people I work with typically graduated from Notre Dame, Northwestern, UPenn, Yale etc…), potentially getting a top 20 MBA program paid for, no expenses during the week (all your food/drinks are paid for by the client on the company card and trust me the food is good – try lobster thermadore if you get a chance), a ton of frequent flyer points, hotel points, and the thrill of experiencing a new city/region every 8 months to 3 years.  HOWEVER, it definitely has its cons: the hours are long and hard Monday through Thursday on top of traveling in the morning and evenings, you don’t get to experience simply just being home with your significant other/friends/family on regular weekday nights, work dominates your evenings in the hotel with only the relief of maybe getting to workout, and then waking up at 6:30AM to do it all over again.  As a consultant, you are always the first ones in and the last ones to leave.  From a work perspective it is very rewarding.  It accelerates your career more than you could possibly imagine, it pays handsomely, and it has the aforementioned perks. But please be cautioned, don’t ever accept a consulting job because of the pay or the perks, accept it because you enjoy the challenge of problem solving on a daily basis for other people.  Home life may definitely be more important to some and the road warrior lifestyle isn’t the most viable option for family life.

If you still are interested, here are some tips on prepping for your consulting interviews.  For Deloitte Consulting, I had 3 interviews: 1 behavioral and 2 case based.  The behavioral is the stereotypical tell me about a time … As for the case based interviews, there is a fantastic book called Case in Point that helps prepare you for case based interviews.  To be honest, I just reviewed the sample cases on Deloitte’s website – it’s up to you and your confidence in solving problems on the spot and explaining how you came to your conclusions.  The KEY to case based interviews is to NOT get stressed (they often try to stress you out on purpose), and to rather show your logical reasoning in step format to explain your answer. Note: SOPHMOREs, Deloitte Consulting will consider you within the technology practice for an internship!  However, technology does not recruit at Miami for Deloitte so you will have to find a way to interview for a different office.  Last two thoughts – 9 times out of 10 within consulting you will not end up working on what you study in school (I am a Finance major yet work on software), instead your ability to learn quickly and maneuver to your interests once you are within the firm is vastly more important.  Lastly, DO NOT FORGET THAT MIAMI CAREER SERVICES’ CAREER FAIR ARE NOT THE ONLY COMPANIES THAT EXIST. To conclude, please feel free to reach out to me if you have any direct questions that I may not have covered.  If not, I’ll see you guys at Miami and can’t wait for an incredible semester of PSE.

Love and Honor. – Jon


How to speak so that people want to listen | Julian Treasure

TED Talk 

 

 

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