MBA

November 30, 2017

Enterprise Experience: Consulting

Before enrolling in Carlson’s FT MBA program, I knew I wanted to advance my career quickly by stepping into a management role with a larger corporation but didn’t know which path I should take. As a career switcher, I hadn’t decided on my industry or function even after my first semester and admittedly didn’t know “what I want to be when I grow up.” The Carlson Consulting Enterprise has allowed me to explore a variety of interesting career paths including management consulting, supply chain operations and product management. In addition, the skills and experience I’ve gained from CCE have helped to strengthen my position as a competitive candidate for any future career opportunity.

Explore diverse industries and functional roles

The first reason I joined Carlson Consulting Enterprise was the opportunity to get exposure to a variety of roles by working on challenging projects that range from business optimization and operational excellence to corporate strategy and M&A deals. In CCE, Students typically get their first or second choice of projects, which means you can tailor learning objectives to focus on a specific industry or function. As for me, I wanted to expand my knowledge of supply chain management so I chose procurement strategy as my first CCE project. For my second CCE project, I’ve been working on a gameboard strategy with Cargill, the largest privately-owned firm in the world. High-profile clients like Cargill look great on the resume and give candidates an awe-inspiring STAR story that shows you can collaborate and deliver results.

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Expand your problem-solving toolkit

My experience with the Carlson Consulting Enterprise has been immensely helpful in developing my problem-solving skills. CCE has given me the fundamental tools needed to analyze industry trends and company data, develop coherent insights and present more persuasive recommendations in a hands-on learning environment. With each project, I'm able to take the skills that we learn in class and apply them to real-life business challenges. From problem definition and issue tree development to logically-flowing storyboards supported by compelling data visualization, CCE is the place to hone your ability to create killer PowerPoint presentations and Excel models that would impress any boardroom executive.

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 Gain real-world consulting experience

For career switchers like me interested in collaborating with clients to tackle their biggest problems, CCE is an excellent opportunity to “test the waters” as a management consulting. CCE projects offer students a glimpse of what it’s like to work with a team to define client pain points, develop hypotheses and provide progress updates to Fortune 500 clients. I’ve gained hands-on experience coordinating weekly meetings and presenting final recommendations to clients like what you’d find in a real-world consultant firm. Being part of CCE not only sends a signal to consulting firms that you are serious about management consulting but also gives you consulting experience to show interviewers you can do the job. I’ve met with C-suite executives, global business managers, and B2B customers to understand their concerns and deliver actionable recommendations that have an impact on the clients' business. For students considering a career in consulting, CCE is indeed the right choice.

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To summarize my experience with Carlson Consulting Enterprise, I am more confident in my ability to guide teams and interact with business executives of all levels thanks to the practical skills I’ve learned from the CCE toolkit, as well as the experiences working with clients and teams. Whether you’re interested in consulting or not, Carlson Consulting Enterprise is an excellent opportunity to learn and apply fundamental business management knowledge to a variety of industry verticals and business functions. CCE is the right choice, especially if you still don’t know what you want to be when you grow up.