Sunday, August 15, 2010

Importance of perspective

I think that my favorite part of the summer experience has been hearing about the work that others have done or are doing now. The interns have been encouraged to discuss our current experiences with each other via sharing sessions where we give a quick synopsis of the project we are assigned to as well as our work stream within that project. One thing I've learned from these sessions is that even if you are staffed on the same project as someone else, your experiences can be radically different depending on the stream you are assigned to.

In addition to the sharing sessions, we've had several roundtable discussions with the Partners from the various industries that the office is involved in. In the roundtables, we get a chance to hear a high-level overview of the work that the office has done in that space and to ask questions. I always come away from these sessions with a big grin on my face, in part because the Partners generally have some great stories to tell and in part because the impact that the office has had in these industries is pretty amazing.  For example, one of the Partners spoke to us about BCG's role in the education space, specifically recounting his experience working on a project to help New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. This was something I had just read about a few months back in grad school when I was doing some research on the office, but it was great to listen to a first-hand account of the project.

I'm glad that I've been able to hear a lot of different perspectives on consulting so far, because it is going to be pretty important when it comes time to decide if consulting is a good fit for me.  To be perfectly honest, there have been ups and downs during the summer, but I think that being able to draw from all of these sources will ultimately lead to a better decision. My key takeaway from reflecting on it all has been that regardless of the experience you have over the summer, it is important to take a step back and determine if what you are seeing is an isolated incident or representative of the career in general. The last thing that I would want is to find myself somewhere after grad school where I don't want to be.

3 comments:

  1. Orlando, I'd be really interested to hear what you thought the ups and downs were, now that you've started to reflect.

    It'd be interesting to see what might be keeping you from concluding that BCG is where you want to find yourself after grad school.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Oh, that last comment wasn't specific to BCG. I've actually had a fantastic experience during the summer. I was referring to consulting in general, given that it would be a career change for me.

    There are way more ups than downs, but here you go. And please keep in mind that I own some of the fault on these downs.

    Downs:
    - I felt like I was too dependent on my leads for direction. Just in general, I like to be able to drive what I'm doing, and it's hard to take a step back in that regard after doing it for so long at IBM.
    - There were some times when I felt like I was mainly providing analytical support via Excel, and that isn't always challenging enough

    Ups:
    Pretty much everything else. I'm on an interesting project with a great team and clients. I've been able to get in some client interaction, which I rarely had at IBM, and I've done work that has been seen by very senior employees with the client. I think that being able to contribute like that as an intern is amazing.

    ReplyDelete