Year Graduated: 2009
Major at Michigan
Share the story of why you chose your major?
After short stints as an economics major and then a philosophy major, I settled on political science because I felt it incorporated the pragmatic aspects of economics with political philosophy. Additionally, I thought it would give me the best preparation for law school moving forward. I continued taking Economics courses and sought out legally-focused Political Science courses as well.
At Michigan, I spent most of my time outside the classroom…
Participating in student organizations. I spent time as an editor of the Michigan Journal of International Affairs, the Michigan Journal of Political Science, and as an occasional columnist at the Michigan Review. I was active with Michigan Interactive Investments and MPowered Entrepreneurship. I participated in the Public Service Internship Program as a commercial contracts intern with the Office of the Attorney General in Washington, D.C. and the Judicial Internship Program as an intern for a judge at the U.S. District Court in Detroit, MI. I also loved playing in the intramural sports leagues, specifically softball, broomball, and inner-tube water polo.
What story stands out to you in your first year on the job?
I decided to work for a year and apply to law school a year later. I accepted a corporate finance job at Lockheed Martin in Philadelphia, PA. It was a very formative first year because I completed a handful of training programs and was part of a brand new 30-year NASA satellite contract just beginning when I started. The story that stands out the most was the satellite’s program manager jokingly (or not…) telling me that I could spend my entire working career at Lockheed on that particular satellite program alone. It’s an understatement to say that her comment terrified me. I began considering if I was a good fit for the large corporate culture.
What’s next in your story? (next steps, future plans)
I left Lockheed Martin for Suntiva, a small management consulting firm based out of Falls Church, VA in January 2011. I also got married in November 2011 (to a fellow Michigan grad, of course). We’re spending the next few years in Baltimore, MD as my wife finishes her doctorate degree in clinical psychology. I’m contemplating pursuing an MBA, but am very happy with the professional opportunities and flexibility offered by Suntiva. Law school is pretty firmly out of the picture at this point.
What is one thing every student should have on their “career to-do” list?
Every student should have one item on their career to-do list that is intentionally left blank to allow for an unanticipated professional opportunity that will arise out of their network, personal interest, or undiscovered skillset. Inertia makes it easy to stay the course of one’s undergrad major and either (a) fail to recognize a very promising but very different career option or (b) prematurely dismiss it saying “Why would I take a finance job in the aerospace industry without any real finance or aerospace work experience?” I’m not saying pursue or don’t pursue a certain career path or graduate school, but make it a point to appraise future opportunities that you didn’t necessarily forecast. Always have the flexibility to consider their upsides and always evaluate the opportunity cost of choosing not to pursue them.
To learn more about careers in consulting:
Careers in Consulting provides extensive information on a variety of options within consulting.
Contact The Career Center at 734-764-7460 to find out how you can learn more about this field.
Know a recent alumna/us with an interesting job?
Send us their contact information and we would be happy to invite them to join our profile page.