#BE

Tag: #BE

Career Highlight: Consulting

Interested in pursuing a career in consulting? What is it exactly and why is it so important? Read more to find out!

Job Duties

Consultants are professionals who provide expert advice to other businesses. There are several forms of consulting, including strategy, operations, management, and financial consulting. Consultants can also be found in a variety of industries, including consumer goods, education, hospitality, government, and healthcare, among others. Each industry can be further subdivided. For example, the healthcare business is separated into Life Sciences, Health Systems, Digital Technology, HR, IT, Private Equity, and more.

A consultant’s job is to be an expert in their subject and provide counsel to businesses. A strategy consultant assists businesses in developing a strategy for how to proceed. After developing a plan, consultants must assist the organization in implementing that strategy and determining how to do so. Other types of consultants are function specialists, who specialize in a certain function, such as finance.

Where they work

Prior to the pandemic, consultants’ jobs required them to travel across the country to meet with clients. COVID-19, however, changed this industry by requiring everyone to work from home. Consultants typically work in groups of 4 to 6 persons on a given project. There is usually a manager who oversees the day-to-day operations, a few analysts who report to them, and a consulting partner who provides recommendations based on their knowledge in a specific industry or function.

Education and training

Although each organization is different, candidates for business consultants often need a bachelor’s degree in business management, marketing, economics, engineering, or a related field. When employed, employees often go through a training period that can take anywhere from 5/6 months to 1 or 2 years. While some students go straight into consulting, it is more common for students to start as business analysts and then become consultants after a few years of experience. Other abilities necessary for a consultant include:

  • a love of problem-solving
  • flexibility
  • understanding the client’s demands
  • demonstrating obvious value

Pay and benefits

Pursuing a career in consulting can be profitable in terms of both money and networking prospects. Being a consultant entails being able to communicate with a company’s CEO and board members, as well as spending a significant amount of time with them in order to assist their company’s success. A consultant’s compensation normally varies between $80,000 and $100,000 on average.

If you would like to have more information, please don’t hesitate to email me oliver.decroock@lawrence.edu or schedule an appointment on Handshake.

Oliver De Croock ’24, Student-Athlete at Lawrence University majoring in Economics and Career Peer Educator. Connect with me on LinkedIn.

Forage.com Highlight – Gain real-life experience for free!

Forage.com is an online platform that provides students with free virtual work simulations from corporations including JPMorgan Chase, Citi, Accenture, Goldman Sachs, and others. Each application is meant to mimic a real-world working environment and the types of activities that may be encountered if you worked for one of these firms. Students can obtain more knowledge about whether they are truly willing to work in that field and have a better chance of getting employed by displaying a proactive approach and readiness to learn by finishing one of these programs.

These seminars might last anywhere from two to ten hours. As a result, they are brief yet intense courses. Even if they’re only a few minutes long, they’re still a terrific way to get some exercise and gain long-lasting experience.

You can sign up for Forage at this link.

Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me at oliver.decroock@lawrence.edu or grace.kutney@lawrence.edu if you have any questions, or to make an appointment.

Join the LU Business Networking Club

We’ve discussed how vital it is to meet new people, network, and form relationships with individuals in the business world in previous newsletters. However, having to reach out to someone you don’t know and ask them questions might be really awkward. What if they don’t want to be bothered? What if they think that we are just wasting their time?

To solve this issue, a group of students came together and decided to create the Lawrence University Business Networking Club. Every week, they attempt to bring a speaker who is eager to answer any questions from students. “The idea is to have a typical, casual chat with the guests, in which members can ask any questions they want, even if they aren’t immediately linked to the guest’s field of expertise” (Oliver De Croock, Vice-President of the LUBNC). When they are not able to connect with a guest in time for their weekly meeting, they use that time to learn from each other and share information to help each other succeed.

In the past two months, Oliver says “We were able to connect with a diverse spectrum of outstanding people from a variety of businesses. Some of them were so thrilled with the idea that they opted to drive hours to meet with us in person!”

A list of some of their previous guests:

  • Kazuma Noguchi, Restructuring Analyst
  • Harry Rivas, Consulting
  • Colling McCanna, Marketing
  • Bethany Larsen, Investment Banking
  • Martin Alwin, Analyst
  • Jon Anfinrud, Regional Executive – Commercial Banking

“Every single visitor that came was able to add incredible value and insight, providing us with legitimate ideas that we could instantly implement. They also offered to be a referral for anyone who was there if they were interested in an internship or a professional position with the firm for which they worked”. In the future, they intend to bring in even more guests, including people with more experience in other industries, entrepreneurs, as well as people with Human Resources and recruiting experience, to help the students understand more about what recruiters are looking for and to receive tips and advice on how to use platforms like LinkedIn or Handshake to jumpstart their careers and gain a competitive edge over other people.

How to JOIN and EXPECTATIONS

“As students, we all have busy schedules, and there is always something that we need to get done. If you opt to join our club, we will require you to invest one hour every week to actively participate in meetings, ask questions, and push yourself beyond your comfort zone. We already spend too much time in class, so the idea here is to establish a conversation in which anybody can enter at any moment, with any sort of question, even if it is not directly linked to the guest’s field of expertise”.

If you would like to join, please send an email to oliver.decroock@lawrence.edu explaining what industry you are interested in and why (this will help them reach out to guests that could be interesting for you).

Oliver De Croock ’24, Student-Athlete at Lawrence University majoring in Economics and Career Peer Educator. Connect with me on LinkedIn.

Finding referrals using LinkedIn

LinkedIn can be a very useful tool if used the right way! In this short, 1 minute video, I explain a simple trick that not a lot of people know about that you can use to find people that are in a company that you are interested in, or that have the job you would like to have in the future. The chances of you getting hired exponentially increase if you have someone as a referral. So, making this step could be the difference between you getting the job or not!

If you would like to learn more about using LinkedIn to its full potential to make more connections, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me (oliver.decroock@lawrence.edu) or Grace Kutney (grace.kutney@lawrence.edu).

Oliver De Croock ’24, Student-Athlete at Lawrence University majoring in Economics and Career Peer Educator. Connect with me on LinkedIn.

Job-search websites reviews

There are many job searching platforms that exist. Some are bigger, such as LinkedIn and Indeed, and some are smaller. Although using the bigger platforms is important to network, meet people and build relationships, knowing about smaller platforms that are focused on specific niches can be to your advantage when looking for a job. In this article, I tried to find some of these smaller platforms to see what advantages there are about using them, why you should sign up for them, and if they are worth the money they ask.

Ihire finance

If you are looking for a job in finance, IHire Finance is very directed towards finance jobs. On this platform, you will find job opportunities from Budget Analysts, Corporate Financial Consultant, Investment Banking Analyst to Equity trader, compliance manager, and even VP of Finance. Although this platform focuses mostly on higher-paying jobs for more experienced people, I was able to find some entry-level jobs as well as even internships related to finance. While this platform offers a lot of very good information about the jobs and gives very useful insights, it does come with a cost. The cost to become a premium user for IHire Finance is $35/month and it comes with resume guidance, your resume will be highlighted to employers, a dedicated support team ready to assist you, and salary insights. If you are looking for a job in Finance, I would recommend signing up for this platform as it could be a good investment to find the best fitting job for you.

Link to iHire Finance website

Pathrise

If you really want some extra help in finding the best possible career in industries such as software engineering, marketing, data science, or sales, Pathrise offers a service in which you will be able to work 1-1 with a personal mentor that will help you focus on what you need to do in order to land your dream job. Based on their website, their service is free until you’ve already landed a position at a top technology company. Pathrise has both customers that have many years of experience and want to try to get a better job and customers that are right out of college and want to try to find the best fitting job for them. Although I personally didn’t try this service, it might be interesting to work 1-1 with an expert to see what they think you need in order to get to the next level and find the perfect job.

Link to Pathrise website

MarketingHire

MarketingHire is considered one of the best Job Boards for Marketing and Advertising Professionals. If you are looking for a job in Marketing or Public Relations, this free website is a great tool that you could use. Based on their website, companies like Microsoft, 3M, General Electric, Google, and many more posts their job offers on this platform. Applying to these postings on a smaller platform could differentiate you from other people. This website is useful for both higher-paying jobs and internships.

There are many other job searching platforms that could be useful to find your dream job. Although I tried, finding the perfect one isn’t easy. The best thing to do is to try them out for yourselves, see if there are opportunities one some of these smaller platforms that you think could be good for you, and apply. Platforms like LinkedIn and Indeed are very important and you should always keep using them. However, having another way in through a smaller platform will show employers that you are looking for new ways, you are doing your homework and you are willing to be different than everyone else and go the extra mile to find the job you want.

Link to MarketingHire website

If you have any questions about these platforms, or you would like to talk to me about more platforms that you found that could be useful for other students, please don’t hesitate to email me or schedule an appointment with me.

Sample Behavioral Interview Questions

It’s time to practice for your interview! While knowing what experiences you have had in the past is very important, knowing how to answer behavioral questions can make the difference between being hired or not. Behavioral questions are designed to learn how you would respond to a specific workplace situation, and how you solve problems to achieve a successful outcome. Here is a list of possible behavioral questions that they could ask you divided into different sections.

Teamwork

With teamwork behavioral questions, interviewers get a sense of whether or not you like working on a team, how well you work in groups, and what role you tend to take on a team project (leader, mediator, follower..). These questions also show whether you are easy to get along with, which is important in almost any work environment.

  • Talk about a time when you had to work closely with someone whose personality was very different from yours
  • Give me an example of a time you faced a conflict while working on a team. How did you handle that?
  • Tell me about a time you wish you’d handled a situation differently with a colleague

Client-facing skills

Client-facing skills behavioral questions give interviewers a way to see how you react to different kind of clients. What would happen if the client is frustrated, or if there a large number of clients waiting and how you can handle that pressure.

  • Tell me about a time when you made sure a customer was pleased with your service
  • Describe a time when you had to interact with a difficult client. What was the situation, and how did you handle it?
  • When you’re working with a large number of customers, it’s tricky to deliver excellent service to them all. How do you go about prioritizing your customers’ needs?

Ability to adapt

The ability to adapt is a very important soft skill that is required in any job. The way you answer these questions will give a sense of how you are able to adapt in a new working space and how flexible you are to change and adjust to new situations.

  • Tell me about a time you were under a lot of pressure. What was going on, and how did you get through it?
  • Give me an example of a time when you had to think on your feet in order to delicately extricate yourself from a difficult or awkward situation
  • Tell me about a time you failed. How did you deal with the situation?
  • Tell me about how you worked effectively under pressure

Time management skills

Time management is another very important skill to have. When one of these questions is asked, make sure you are clear about how you managed your time carefully, what tools did you use and why did those tools help.

  • Describe a long term project you managed. How did you keep everything moving along in a timely manner?
  • Tell me about a time you set a goal for yourself. How did you go about ensuring that you would meet your objective?
  • Tell me about a time you had to be very strategic in order to meet all your top priorities

Communication skills

The ability to communicate is closely evaluated in a job interview. Some recruiters will not ask questions directly related to communication in the interview but just see how the candidate is able to communicate during the interview. However, other recruiters might ask you behavioral questions that show the candidate’s communication skills with a real life example.

  • Tell me about a successful presentation you gave and why you think it was a hit
  • Tell me about a time you had to explain something fairly complex to a frustrated client. How did you handle the situation?

Motivation and values

Motivation and values behavioral questions are asked to see what values and what kind of personality the candidate has. It is important to always be honest and show how your personality could be an asset for the company. 

  • Tell me about a time you saw a problem and took the initiative to solve it rather than waiting for someone else to do it
  • Tell me about your proudest accomplishment in work or school
  • Tell me about a mistake you’ve made. How did you handle it?
  • Tell me about a challenging situation you overcame at work
  • Tell me five things that you are NOT

How to prepare to answer behavioral questions

Read the job description carefully. Make a list of the top skills or qualifications it calls for. Think of a story that demonstrates your ability in each area. Following the STAR technique, write your stories down, including the situation, task, action and result. Then, practice saying them out loud several times. Your answers should only take about 1 ½ to 3 minutes. In order to make a good impression, telling stories that are related to each one of these questions is crucial. Telling stories is the best way to be remembered by the recruiter.

Practice is the best way to succeed at behavioral interviews. If you would like to practice doing behavioral interviews, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me (oliver.decroock@lawrence.edu) or Grace Kutney (grace.kutney@lawrence.edu).

Oliver De Croock ’24, Student-Athlete at Lawrence University majoring in Economics and Career Peer Educator. Connect with me on LinkedIn.