Category Archives: Consulting, Management, Sales & HR

Many Paths bring Wildcats to a Consulting Career at Bain

Davidson Alumni Rob Stevens ’14 and Kyle Kinsell ’07 shared some details on building their careers at Bain & Co.  Interested students should come out for their information session on Tuesday, January 13 and apply by Sunday, January 18 through WildcatLink and JoinBain.com.  

Why did you decide consulting was the best fit for you out of Davidson?

Rob:  Coming into my junior year, I didn’t really know what I wanted to do after graduation. What got me interested in consulting was the constant change of the work. One of my former supervisors at Bain told me, “As soon as you get good at one aspect of your job here, they give you something new to do.” The learning curve is pretty steep, and every couple weeks you’re learning something totally different. Much like taking new classes each semester at Davidson, the work here is often changing, and as a result you learn a ton on the job.

Kyle: Like many Davidson students, I considered banking following graduation, but after learning more about consulting, I found that the diverse experiences, focus on training, and career development that it offered were more appealing. In many ways, consulting has been a natural extension of the liberal arts learning experience that I enjoyed at Davidson, allowing me to explore a wide range of industries, companies, and disciplines.

What was the main factor that led you to Bain & Co.?

Kyle: Hands down, the people. I had a great interactions during the recruiting and interviewing process, and saw how strong Bain’s commitment to learning and professional development was firsthand. It was really an easy decision after that!

Rob: My answer here will likely be similar to my coworkers’ answers: the people. Every person I met with during the recruiting process was what I wanted to be as an adult: hard-working, fun, and humble. When I did the internship, I got to work with people who taught me so much, both in the day-to-day about our specific project, and also in the long-term about work and life as an adult. Some of my closest friends in Atlanta have been people I’ve met through Bain, which I think is a testament to how deep the culture runs here.

How was your Davidson education a great preparation for your position?

Rob:  I think my Davidson education prepared me really well for my work at Bain, though not in ways that I necessarily would’ve expected. I studied math at Davidson, and compared to some of my current coworkers who studied Economics or Business, my coursework is probably less relevant to what I do now. That said, I spend a ton of my time at work learning new, challenging concepts, and the rigor of Davidson definitely prepared me for that constant learning. Additionally, I believe that my activities outside of the classroom at Davidson gave me a lot of relevant job skills. The flexibility I learned from leading D.O. trips and captaining the ultimate frisbee team with my peers prepared me to be in a work environment where I’m always working with new people.

How/how much you recommend preparing for consulting interviews?  

Kyle: My advice is practice, practice, practice. The keys in my opinion are to simulate the real experience as much as possible. Work with a partner to give real cases to each other (no calculator!) and ask for opportunities to do practice cases with alumni who are in the field now and get their feedback. The more cases you do, the more comfortable you will be during the real interviews.

We hope to see lots of students come out for the Bain session, as well as the other great companies heading to campus this month.  

Why Choose Consulting?

consulting_slide

Consulting is one of the most popular destinations for recent Davidson graduates.  If that is surprising for a liberal arts college, perhaps it shouldn’t be.  Companies look for characteristics that Davidson students are known for – agile thinkers who can use qualitative and quantitative information to solve complex problems.

Not all Davidson students who join the field made early plans to do so.  If fact, many of the current alumni discovered consulting by being talked into going to one of the information sessions.  Come and discover for yourself what the field entails and why so many Davidson graduates make it their first stop for an internship or after graduation.

Here are the upcoming information sessions and application deadlines for summer internships:

  • Bain & Company – January 13 session @ 7:30pm in Hance Auditorium, (Application Deadline: January 23)
  • Deloitte – January 15 session @ 7:30pm in Alvarez 408, (Application Deadline: January 18)
  • McKinsey – Application Deadline: January 18
  • Oliver Wyman – Application Deadline: January 19
  • Red Ventures –January 29 session @ 7:30pm in TBD

Here are some thoughts from Davidson alumni who pursued careers in consulting upon graduation:

“As a religion major, I didn’t have a particularly strong business background, but heard consulting provided an opportunity to quickly learn business skills and fundamentals across numerous industries so I decided to take a closer look. I found that consulting basically consists of helping companies think through their hardest questions and problems, which is not that different than the critical thinking and structuring of arguments I did at Davidson.”  – Boyce Whitesides ’11, Bain & Company

“Originally thinking I wanted to head to med school, consulting was never on my radar until I realized I liked the problem solving aspect of medicine more than the actual medicine part! After talking to a few people about alternative careers, consulting kept coming up. To me it is truly the liberal arts of the career world – I can continue to explore my multiple interests, while constantly challenging myself and pushing me to think outside of the box.”Tasha Samborski ’14, Deloitte

“Consulting provides an excellent first job for high performing students that are still uncertain about where they’d like to take their careers.  Recent graduates working at consulting firms quickly learn a wide variety of professional skills from experienced colleagues, are exposed to a broad range of roles and industries, and find themselves with excellent exit opportunities if the right moment comes along.”Mark Nesbitt ’13, Oliver Wyman

“Like many Davidson students, I considered banking following graduation, but after learning more about consulting, I found that the diverse experiences, focus on training, and career development that it offered were more appealing. In many ways, consulting has been a natural extension of the liberal arts learning experience that I enjoyed at Davidson, allowing me to explore a wide range of industries, companies, and disciplines.”Kyle Kinsell ’07, Bain & Company

MeadWestvaco: All over your house, and some great job opportunities

MWV makes every French's Mustard Cap!  Millions per year!
MWV makes every French’s Mustard Cap! Millions per year!

Maddie Parrish ’13 and John Stillwell ’13 returned to campus to present on their employer since graduation, MeadWestvaco.  The two of them are both members of a new Sales Rotational Program that will introduce them to several opportunities with the company over two years, both across the United States and abroad.  At the end of the rotation both plan to stay on at the company.

MeadWestvaco (MWV) is perhaps known best for their paper- and cardboard-based products.  As the producer for well over 50% of the cardboard containers for Coca-Cola and Anheuser Busch along with over 4,000 other brands, MWV is a major player in paper-based packaging in this country and around the globe.  In fact, they currently hold 79% of the global packaging market and have operations in 33 countries worldwide.

The important work of doing packaging well is both an art and a science.  Maddie stressed the importance of the hands-on experience of purchasing a product, and the importance of the look and feel on buyers decisions.  John recently took part in a testing day when they stress-tested cardboard cases filled with Budweiser.  In addition to being quite entertaining, they learned a lot about the weak spots of the containers and will bring these findings back to the designers for future improvements.

Another part of MWV related to their growing specialty chemical products business.  Through these initiatives they are involved with a range of other clients.  They are the sole supplier for carbon filters used to protect passengers and the environment from gas fumes coming from every car made in this country.  MWV has also come up with a asphalt that can be laid in colder climates and has a very lucrative contract with China to supply it.  On a smaller scale, they are the sole supplier of French’s mustard caps and produce many plastic pumps and other gadgets.  All of this makes for a large and wide business with multiple opportunities for their rotational staff members.

Producers of cardboard and paper packaging for 4,000 customers and growing!
Producers of cardboard and paper packaging for 4,000 customers and growing!

Based out of Richmond,Virginia, Maddie and John have already traveled quite a bit in their first year on the job.  Maddie will spend 5-8 months in Bristol, England coming up as well.  Their jobs are challenging, but also quite a bit of fun.

The Finance Rotational program is posted now in WildcatLink.  Look for other roles soon.  John and Maddie recommend that all interested students take a look at mwvcampuscareers.com for the rotational programs and internships!

Destination Unknown: We know it was a success!

destination-unknown300On Monday, September 29th, at 7:30 P.M., the Center for Career Development and the Residence Life Office hosted Destination Unknown: Realizing the Potential for Your Future.  The event was targeted at delivering information particularly important for Davidson seniors.

Center staff and student ambassadors provided information about the job and graduate school searches, resume improvement, cover letter writing, and social media polishing.  Jamie Johnson, Associate Director for the Center for Career Development, answered questions and provided information about the graduate school search.  She “felt it went very well and provided a foundation for other similar events to come in the future.”

Students could also take professional headshots for their LinkedIn accounts.  If all of these useful resources weren’t enough, yummy hors d’oeuvres and mocktails were served.  Ory Streeter, one of the Area Coordinators at RLO, worked as a bartender, requiring students to give a fact about responsible drinking in a professional setting before receiving a mocktail.

Seniors loved the event!  Alexandra Clark ’15 said, “The experienced career counselors, both students and faculty, gave me really helpful advice and tips to prepare me for my career search and for life after Davidson.  The Center for Career Development is an awesome resource for seniors and I look forward to going to more of their events.”

Seniors, don’t worry if you missed this event!  Make an appointment with a staff member from the Center or stop by walk-in hours for Center staff or student ambassadors to see what you missed.  You are always welcome!

Career Development Ambassadors 2014-2015

The Center for Career Development is pleased to announce the 2014-2015 class of Career Development Ambassadors.  Trained to assist with peer advising regarding topics such as resume review, cover letter review, and mock interview prep – stop by and visit them during walk-in hours this semester in the Center for Career Development (Alvarez 201):  Sundays 3-5pm, Tuesdays 7:30-9:30pm, and Thursdays 7:30-9:30pm.

Emily Burke
Emily Burke ’15

I am majoring in economics and will be working in investment banking after graduation.  During summers off from Davidson I have pursued internships in a variety of fields including investment banking at Bank of America Merrill Lynch in the leveraged finance group and a boutique investment bank in Boston, management consulting at a firm in Washington DC, and foreign policy at the Brookings Institution, a think tank in Washington DC.  On campus I play the oboe in the Davidson College Symphony Orchestra, volunteer with the Office of Admission as a tour guide, and have served as the social chair of my eating house, Warner Hall.  In my free time I enjoy playing golf, reading, and traveling.

Colin MacKay '15
Colin MacKay ’16

I am majoring in economics and plan to pursue a career in banking, consulting, or financial accounting. I have served as the corporate social responsibility intern at Bank of America where I researched competitive trends in the CSR space. I am a member of the Davidson College varsity swim team and serve as a representative in the Student Athlete Advisory Council and the Davidson Athletic Fund Student Athlete Engagement Program. I am a member of the Symphony Orchestra string bass section, a fraternity brother in Sigma Phi Epsilon, and a member of Campus Outreach. My hobbies include camping, spending time with family and friends, traveling, and playing cards.

Braden Beaudreau '15
Braden Beaudreau ’15

I am majoring in political science and I plan to pursue a career in law, government, or public policy.  Last summer, I interned at Akerman LLP, a law firm located in Washington, DC, for a public policy adviser working on issues concerning higher education policy.  Previously, I worked in the Davidson College Center for Career Development as a work study student, where I managed internship databases.  I spent a semester abroad my junior year traveling across the breathtaking landscape of Australia and studying business and economics at the University of Melbourne.  I also write for the Davidsonian and perform spoken word poetry with FreeWord.  My hobbies and interests include intramural basketball, supporting the Red Sox, and going on adventures with my friends.

Catherine Lowenthal
Catherine Lowenthal ’15

I am majoring in psychology with a concentration in medical humanities.  I plan to eventually work with individuals with mental illness and/or  HIV/AIDS or other physical disease.  In my summers, I have served as a research assistant at the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence and interned at Broughton Hospital, a North Carolina state psychiatric hospital.  I have also worked in an orphanage for children with HIV/AIDS in South Africa, and volunteered at several programs for children with HIV/AIDS in New York City.  On campus, I work as a research assistant for a psychology professor and am the Vice President of Queers and Allies, Secretary of the College Democrats and a member of the Common Ground Council.  My hobbies include traveling and trying new foods.  My favorite quote is from Booker T. Washington:  “Associate yourself with people of good quality, for it is better to be alone than in bad company.”

James Cobb
James Cobb ’15

I am a Political Science major from Middlebury, Vermont. Next year, I will be working as an investment banking analyst with Morgan Stanley in New York City. Prior to an internship with Morgan Stanley this past summer, I worked with Gridley & Co, a boutique, M&A technology bank in New York City; as an equity research analyst with WEDGE Capital Management in Charlotte; as a summer analyst with the Davidson College Endowment; and as a consultant with the Atlantic Leadership Group in New York City. Through Davidson, I have been able to study abroad for two semesters in Ireland and India and the Middle East. On campus, I am the Vice President of Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity, a Chidsey Fellow, Terry scholar, and play saxophone with the jazz ensemble. My hobbies include reading, weight lifting, and challenging travel.

Daniel Reitten
Daniel Reitten ’15

I am originally from Tel Aviv, Israel.

I am majoring in economics and planning to be in finance after graduation. I spent my previous summer at the summer internship program at UBS in Sales & Trading where I worked on the FX spot trading desk in the New York office. Prior to attending Davidson College, I served 3 years in the Israeli Air Force. I played Tennis for Davidson during my first two years, and I got the chance to attend 3 different abroad programs. I am also a member of Hillel, and this is my seventh semester that I teach Hebrew here at Davidson. I enjoy music, traveling, crossfit and philosophy.

Leigh Miller
Leigh Miller ’15

I am majoring in psychology with a minor in French. I plan to work in Human Resources (hopefully doing recruiting), eventually pursuing a career in coaching for businesses. I have served as a Human Resources intern at the corporate headquarters for Chico’s and for Vans, working with the Recruiting, Learning & Development, and Payroll departments. I am a co-president of the Pep Band, and president of the Knitting Society. My hobbies include swimming, cycling, reading, and knitting.

To Grad School or Not to Grad School? Ask Yourself the Question.

If you are thinking about graduate school, you are not alone.  Are you asking yourself if you need a break post-Davidson before you pursue your next course of study?  Deciding on a program and when to enter is a big decision.  Before you send off those applications and secure your enrollment spot, it’s a good idea to ask yourself a few questions and take time to reflect on whether or not graduate school is the appropriate next step for you.

Harvard_University_Academic_Hoods

The first question I ask most students who meet with me to chat about researching graduate programs and application prep is simple: why?  For each person, the answer is different.  Immediate entry into graduate school may give you a leg up in your professional field of interest.  Many times graduate or professional school will afford you a number of specialized skills or certifications and help propel you into the next step of that particular industry.  For example – if you want to be an attorney, then at some point, attending law school, succeeding in your studies, and passing the Bar exam is a pre-requisite before you can attempt to practice law.  In other fields, a graduate degree may be required simply for candidacy of application to apply.  However, this is not always the case.  Some graduate programs are more likely to admit an applicant who has work experience. It is important to identify the norm or standard of education in a given field – and do a bit of research to find out whether or not graduate school immediately after college is a necessary or realistic goal.

Another big question to ask yourself: are you ready?  By ready, I simply mean are you ready to continue attending school for several months or years?  As you approach graduation, you may find that you would like a break from school to recharge before you pursue another academic program.  Perhaps you would like to gain some “real world” experience and explore the world of work a bit before deciding which field of study is the best one for you. Maybe you would like to travel the world or give back in the form of volunteering or service work.  Gap years are increasingly common for students and a great year to gain more experience, sharpen your professional skills and supplement your academic pursuits before pursuing a graduate or professional degree.

Whatever you decide, remember that the choice is yours.  Family, friends, and other influencers will not be attending classes (or work) for you.  Adjusting to a new academic or work environment and geographic location is a major life transition and certainly worth consideration and intention.

As you explore your options, you have many questions. Visit with faculty advisors to discuss your areas of interest and strategies to identify the programs that would best suit your interests.  Learn more about the ins and outs of graduate school application prep, and how to make the most of your post-graduate studies, by visiting the Center for Career Development.  Take some time to reflect as to whether or not graduate school right after college is the right choice for you now – or in the future.

Red Ventures – Disrupting the Process

Ricky Stephens '12; History Major; Business Operations Analyst @ Red Ventures
Ricky Stephens ’12; History Major; Business Operations Analyst @ Red Ventures

It comes as no shock that Red Ventures has decided to go against the norm and to hold their Information and Networking Session at the on-campus location of Summit Coffee on Monday, September 22nd, from 6:30pm-7:45pm. A week ago, the College announced a 10-year partnership with Red Ventures, aimed at placing more Davidson graduates at career paths at the company. Anticipating their return to campus, we interviewed Ricky Stephens’12, an analyst at the firm, about his experiences so far.

 

Q: What attracted you to the company and role?

A: Before my senior year, I had my first internship in anything related to business, working for a search fund in Charlotte (essentially a one-man private equity fund).  I enjoyed the experience but still felt overwhelmed with the looming job search.  What company or industry did I want to launch my career with?  What type of role was I looking for?  I received these questions often, but I didn’t even know if a business job was necessarily what I wanted straight out of school.  So my boss at the time had me go through an exercise to brainstorm ideal characteristics and responsibilities that I would want in a job, rather than try to nail down a specific company or industry right off the bat.  I wrote down things like “working with a team to solve problems”; “ability to speak openly about and enact my own ideas”; “fun and cordial work atmosphere.”  It’s funny because I don’t think it even hit me fully during my interview process, but a few months after I started I thought back to that exercise and realized that so many of those core characteristics I had highlighted were very present in my job at RV.  That’s when I knew I was at the right place.

 

Q: What is the culture at Red Ventures like, and how is it conducive of a liberal arts background?

A: If I had to sum up the culture in 3 words, I would say: curiosity, ownership, and GO!  Curiosity in that questioning the way things currently operate here is a requirement.  This is probably the aspect of RV’s culture that parallels the liberal arts education most closely, and I think it was the easiest one for me to pick up and run with.  Ownership in that when you have a new idea that you want to test, it is up to you to implement it.  There are plenty of people around to help guide you, and many will go out of their way to do so, but it’s completely on you to see your own tasks or ideas through to fruition.  And GO in that when you do take on a new project, you’re expected to start learning from day one and make impactful changes quickly.  I see a ton of ways for Davidson students to take on ownership across a variety of projects, organizations, activities, etc., and it’s been very cool to see more opportunities arise just in the couple years since I graduated – the Entrepreneurship Initiative definitely comes to mind.  But some of that intensity and knack for driving ideas forward at a rapid pace is tough to learn when you are balancing 4 classes with other responsibilities; I know at Davidson it is easy to get involved in more activities than people truly have time for.  One of the things I’ve taken away from this job is that narrowing your scope to allow for a greater focus on fewer things can be positive (so can asking for help).

 

Q: What resources at Davidson helped you prepare for your current role?

A: The ascent of Career Services during my time at Davidson is a major reason I was able to find Red Ventures and prepare myself well for the case interviews.  They have so many more resources than I think a lot of students necessarily realize, and the biggest one might be Alenda Links.  Davidson alums never fail to impress me in their loyalty and their willingness to go the extra mile to help out a fellow Wildcat.  Use us to be curious and establish worthwhile connections.

 

Q: What do you love the most about your job?

A:  The ability to implement my own ideas practically on the spot, and the people I work with – they are extremely smart and driven, but at some point in time, you will laugh at every single one of them.

 

Q:  What is the most differentiating quality of Red Ventures?

A: I’d have to point to the accessibility.  That doesn’t just mean access to senior leaders, who are usually sitting at another cube around the corner from yours, but also access to all the different people who can help you bring an idea to completion – that means designers, writers, coders, most specifically.  The more I’ve been able to see how other companies our size work, the more I’ve realized just how unique it is not to have to pass your work off to 10 other people and never see the end result.

 

Q: Are there any myths about your role that you would like to debunk?

A:  If there is one myth I’d like to debunk it’s that a liberal arts education – or for that matter, a non-quantitative degree – can’t compete in this role with an undergraduate business or another more technical/quantitative degree.  Curiosity and a desire to learn will go further here than any combination of degrees.

 

Q: What advice would you give to people interested in working for Red Ventures, and how should they prepare for the interview?

A: We are as close to an open book as you can get.  If you think RV is a place you could see yourself working at, ask questions and find out as much as you can about the specifics of the analyst role and what it takes to succeed in it.  For interview prep, Case in Point – although it is geared more toward traditional consulting-style cases – helped me at least gain a general understanding for some of the concepts and approaches to solving business problems that come up in our cases.

If you are interested in learning more about Red Ventures, you are encouraged to attend the Information and Networking Session on Monday, September 22nd at 6:30pm, hear from a panel of speakers, ask as many questions as possible, as find out how Red Ventures disrupts the way business is done.

Please submit any questions that you would like Davidson Alumni to address during the panel to sshanklin@redventures.com

Both internship and entry-level positions are available, check  WildcatLink  for more information!

Find Ricky and other alumni at Red Ventures on LinkedIn:

Ricky Stephens ’12     Katherine Wood ’13     Sydney Schreiner ’14     Jaime Dybuncio ’13     Benjamin Jackowitz ’12     Tom Polak ’14     Lucy McMurry ’13     Thomas Noel ’11       Robert Lorenzen ’13     Brian Sachtjen ’12     Abby Perkins ’14

EY Financial Advisory: Not just another consulting company

EY Logo

As today is the final deadline to apply for EY Financial Advisory’s Business Advisory Program for internship and full-time employment, we thought it would be a great opportunity to highlight some of the things that makes EY Financial Advisory stand out.

On the consulting side of the business, EY strives to improve business performance while managing risk.  They focus on business-led and technology-enabled transformations.  While that may not seem much different than other consulting firms, some of the industries they are working with might.

Consulting Industries:

  • Automotive
  • Government & Public Sector
  • Consumer Products
  • Media & Entertainment
  • Oil & Gas
  • Power & Utilities
  • Technology

The major difference with EY is their dominant position in financial services through their Financial Services Office.  Interns and full-time employees may get experience on the financial side through the Business Advisor Program.

The Business Advisor Program introduces interns and new associates a multi-layer experience.  “With each engagement, you can expect to build leadership, communication, and client-management skills, as well as sharpen your problem-solving capabilities.”

On Monday, representatives from EY, including Anna Blair Bullock, Class of 2015, spoke with students about the Business Advisory Program (BAP) in the Financial Services Office (FSO).

The BAP is a three-year long program that involves multiple projects ranging from six to nine months in length.  The projects will focus on financial services risk management and performance improvement. The presenters emphasized that people who fit well in this program love financial markets, working in teams, and will make the most of opportunities given to them.

The BAP internship program is a shorter version of the BAP and includes many similar aspects. The goal of the internship is to prepare interns for the possibility of returning after their senior year and offering interns great training that can help them further their careers.

Important application information:

  • Deadline is September 18th at 11:59 PM for both internship and staff positions
  • Must apply through WildcatLink and the EY website
  • Application includes resume and city preference
  • On-campus interviews are September 29th and are only behavioral interviews; you will be asked to complete a writing prompt before your interview
  • Second round interviews are on-site and include case studies

The Bain Community: “A Bainie never lets another Bainie Fail”

DSC_0884Walking into the Bain & Company Information Session, I knew only two important things about the company. I knew that Bain & Company is a Global Management Consulting Firm, and I knew that for a reason unbeknownst to me Davidson students seem to get very excited about this particular job posting each year. As a student who knew very little about the consulting industry, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from the presentation other than basic information about how the company functions, and how to apply. And while the representatives did share that important information with attendees, the element of Bain & Company that truly shown through was their deep sense of commitment to community.

The presentation began with a brief run-down of what it is exactly that Bain & Company does. Bain helps CEOs and companies address their most important questions with the primary focus being on results. So, when a company wants to know how it could position itself to be more successful with mobile customers, they call Bain to get an answer. According to the statistics, their clients out-perform the market 4:1 and their return customer rate of 85% is a testament to their success as a company. Then the presentation moved to what one would expect to be doing as an Associate Consultant. The representatives were sure to emphasize that while there is no “typical” Bain experience, an employee can expect to gain case experience, meet with clients, work as part of a team to solve difficult problems, and undergo several rounds of training. However, the final part of the presentation, “Why Choose Bain,” put the rest of the event into context.

In this portion of the presentation two important themes seemed to emerge. Bain & DSC_0882Company is a community dedicated to the personal and professional development of each of their employees. The representatives mentioned the Aprenticeship Learning Model where new employees are taught all the basics of finance and how to think about strategy. When Bain employees want to go to school to get their MBAs, the organization is supportive and in some cases will even pay the tuition and fees. And office events like the holiday party or the Bain World Cup (where offices from around the world compete in a soccer tournament) build a community within the office dedicated to seeing everyone succeed. Not to mention their emphasis on the bettering of the global community through their commitment to education and global development. Not only will employees have an impact on 95% of the world’s GDP, but they will also take time out of their work week to volunteer with community service organizations in order to improve our global community. What became clear in the room that night was that “a Bainie never lets another Bainie fail,” and perhaps this commitment to community and service is what draws Davidson students to Bain & Company.

If you are interested in Bain, the application deadline is Wednesday, 9/17 at 11:59pm.  View the full job description on WildcatLink.

Volvo – “Together We Move the World. What is your drive?”

Volvo Photo
John Trousdale & Elise Breda ’13

On Wednesday, September 10th, Elise Breda ’13 and John Trousdale of the Business Transformation Services (BTS) of Volvo group hosted an information session targeted at seniors interested in management consulting. BTS is the division that provides targeted decision support and analysis to executive-level stakeholders across Volvo’s divisions and business areas.

Starting with the infamous Van Damme split video,  Breda and  Trousdale gave a general overview of Volvo, making sure to differentiate between Volvo Cars and the Volvo Group, explaining that the Volvo Group, with its American headquarters in Greensboro, North Carolina, is responsible for buses, trucks, construction equipment and boat engines. Volvo is a global company with more than 110,000 employees all over the world, from India to Sweden. The presenters spoke about the company’s vision of becoming the world leader in sustainable transport, starting with the company’s achievement of being the first carbon dioxide-neutral automotive plant in the world.

Breda has been working at Volvo for just over a year and has been involved in a variety of business aspects in a number of locations.  Like other consultants she has done some travel.  Unlike most other recent grads, she got to spend five months in Sweden while training with a cohort of other new consultants for Volvo.  While her life has been similar to many other new associates, there is a big difference for her in that her group only works to solve business problems within the Volvo Group.

Breda and Trousdale spoke extensively about the benefits of working as an internal consultant over an external one. Breda differentiated between the two roles by the number of hours worked, explaining that her role typically consumed about 45-50 hours of her week, while in many external consulting roles, this number would typically range between 65-70 hours per week. She also mentioned the many opportunities for international travel, given that Volvo is a global firm, as well as opportunities for promotions within the company. Above all, both presenters emphasized “The Volvo Way” – a culture of energy, passion and respect for individuals.

Given that the BTS group is a fairly small one (about 8-10 people in North America), the group is recruiting from a couple of selected top-tier colleges and universities in the North Carolina area, of which Davidson happens to be included. The title for the position for which the group is recruiting is “Associate Management Consultant”. A strong applicant will be a team player and have excellent problem solving abilities and exceptional academic performance (minimum 3.3 GPA).

Interested students must apply on WildcatLink by Monday, Sept. 15 at 11:59 p.m.  The first round of interviews will be at Davidson on October 1st. Davidson candidates may contact class of 2013 alum Elise Breda (elise.breda@volvo.com) to hear more about her experience in this role.

Please contact the Center for Career Development if you have any questions.