One Step Closer to My Career Path Through MLT
Post by Fabio Jaime ’17
I was raised in Connecticut, and am originally from Peru. I am studying strategic management, and currently spending my junior-year abroad at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE).
I am currently a member of the Management Leadership for Tomorrow (MLT) Career Preparation Program. MLT, a leading non-profit, strives to create the next generation of high impact leaders through its various professional development programs. The career prep (CP) program, specifically, provides one-on-one coaching, attendance to four professional development conferences at leading firms, and a network of 300 student leaders as well as over 4,000 alumni.
I decided to apply for CP after learning about it from friends I met at professional development conferences I attended beginning my first-year at Babson. These conferences led me to learn about career paths I previously knew very little about. That year I learned about three very distinct paths within professional services: accounting, investment banking, and management consulting. The conferences I participated in led me to expand my network, which I leveraged to intern at PwC after my first-year. After fully immersing myself into the accounting industry, I realized it was not the right fit for me.
I, therefore, pivoted (as Len Schlesinger says) and continued to “network” for the purpose of finding a role that aligned with my skills and interests. I was connected to Accenture through the JumpStart Undergraduate Forum. There, Accenture professionals shared their diverse paths, from experience in Private Equity, Sustainability, and M&A cases to attending business school to working abroad. Strategy consulting sounded very exciting, and I sought to learn more.
Shortly after, I learned about the Accenture U.S. Innovation challenge, which ignited my recruiting process. I decided to join Accenture, as everyone I met was more than willing to help me learn about the industry and the firm offered an eclectic path. I joined Accenture Business Strategy in June 2015, where I had the opportunity to work on a Corporate and Talent Strategy case for a Fortune 50 U.S. healthcare company.
Fast forward to my first month at LSE where dozens of leading Investment Banks and Management Consulting firms came to campus. There was a side of me that aspired to explore the day in a life of an Investment Banking analyst – I heard so much about that path the past few years. I had worked in both management consulting and accounting; however, I had not yet worked in Investment Banking. Yet, recruiting was difficult as I was abroad for the academic year. However, I knew Investment Banks would interview on-site at our second MLT conference in Target’s headquarters. Around the same time, I heard about the Professional Accelerator Fund and the initiative allowed me to travel to Target.
I thought I would solidify my internship plans then. However, it was only the beginning. After speaking with countless individuals and contemplating the differences between consulting and banking, I realized the former was a better fit for me. I had a fantastic experience at Accenture Strategy: working on high-level business problems, was challenged every day, and learned more than I could have imagined in ten weeks. In addition, within strategy consulting one attains exposure to senior people even as a junior person, and the work involves both business analytics and learning what fundamentally leads to business growth and decision-making.
I share my story for two reasons. One, I encourage you to look into programs that cater to your career interests. MLT is an amazing program that has helped me learn much about myself both personally and professionally; however, there are numerous programs that provide similar exposure. If you are interested in MLT’s CP program and will graduate in 2018, consider applying. The Round 1 application deadline is January 15, 2016 and the Final Deadline is March 1, 2016.
Secondly, I would like to stress the importance of allowing your true interests and passions to guide you. It is easy to take the path friends take; however, that may not be the optimal one for you. Ensure every professional decision you take will benefit your career path and allow you to continue growing. It is a grueling process. Yet, once you find the best path for you, it can be very rewarding. I am excited to return to Accenture Strategy next summer and for what lies ahead.
Thank you to the Undergraduate Professional Accelerator Fund for making my attendance at the MLT Career Prep Conference possible!