How I Landed My Dream Job
Thursday, October 31, 2019
It is the day after Christmas, and I am holed up in a spare bedroom at my parents’ house running practice cases over the phone with Carlson’s Consulting Enterprise Director. After the case with him, I have another phone call with a Carlson alum to run a second case. Such is life during the first semester of business school when you are trying your hardest to receive a job offer from a management consulting firm.
When I was eighteen years old, I first learned about management consulting as a career option. It sounded amazing. A job where you get to spend your time working on the most critical and interesting problems in the world for all kinds of companies, governments, and non-profits seemed like a fantasy, but it was a real opportunity! I spent my undergrad tenure doing everything I could to make myself a good applicant for consulting firms, but despite my best efforts, I did not receive a single job offer to enter the consulting field.
There are disappointments
It was incredibly disappointing to work so hard towards a particular goal and not accomplish it, but I did not want to give up. So, I took a job in internal consulting with a Twin Cities’ financial services firm and started to network with lots of current and former consultants.
I wanted to learn everything there was to learn. What kinds of problems did they tackle? How did they decide to become consultants? What kinds of skills did they learn on the job? Every meeting I did, introduced me to new, fascinating people who were filled with passion for the field, but they all emphasized the same point. You need to go back to school to get your MBA. So, I began applying to schools with strong support resources for consulting careers and came to Carlson.
Getting the dream job
Upon starting my MBA, I immediately sought out all the resources available to help prepare for consulting recruiting. At Carlson, there was no shortage. Among the alumni, career coaches, Consulting Enterprise directors, and myriad of all kinds of case books, I had all the help I needed to prepare for consulting recruiting.
It is also why a month after running cases from a spare bedroom after Christmas, I found myself receiving a phone call saying I had been offered a job at McKinsey & Co., the firm I had dreamed of working at since high school. It was the kind of dream job that makes all the hard work and time spent worth it. The kind of job that you at times thought was impossible to get no matter how much effort you put forth.
But with the vast support network from Carlson and a hefty dose of hard work, I was able to land my dream job. Now as a second-year with my goals for the MBA program met, I get to have a lot of fun helping other Carlson students accomplish their dreams too.
By Rich Narendran, Full-Time MBA, Class of 2020