Get the Offer: Navigating an Uncertain Job Market like a Boss with Julian Parra

Career help is waiting for you.

Despite being so young, Julian Parra has a life’s worth of experience learning about how to discover your passion, navigate the job market, and land your dream job. 

Screen Shot 2021-04-30 at 8.44.58 AMBorn and raised in Hawthorne, New Jersey, Julian attended Babson College in 2016, where he quickly became interested in career development, when he became a career ambassador for the college’s Center for Career Development (CCD). As a career ambassador, Julian met with hundreds of undergraduate students a semester to help them with anything and everything career related. Julian’s experience working at CCD helped to shape his own career path as well, as he learned an incredible amount from mentoring others as well as interacting with the career advisors within the office. 

Julian’s first internship was with Ernst and Young, where he interned within the tax and audit department. Through this experience, Julian learned that he was more interested in finance than accounting, yet he used this newfound knowledge to pivot, taking more finance classes the semester after. In doing so, however, Julian found that he compared himself to the other finance students in his classes, who were more passionate than he was. That same semester, Julian was also living in Babson’s computer science and coding community, which got him interested in working within business and tech. 

The next summer, Julian had the opportunity to be a part of Sponsors for Educational Opportunity, a program that helps minorities connect with fortune 500 companies. Through this program, Julian was able to connect with IBM and got offered an internship working for their enterprise performance management team. After his internship, Julian was offered a full time position and gladly accepted. 

Screen Shot 2021-04-30 at 9.06.55 AMDuring quarantine last year, Julian found himself with a bit of free time between graduation and starting his full-time job. This time got him to reflect on the skills and knowledge that he learned both at CCD and through his job search. During quarantine is also when the popular social media and content creation app TikTok began to flourish. Julian has always been interested in content creation, having started a YouTube channel and Instagram account in which he provided professional advice and motivational content before. What captured Julian’s attention about the algorithm being used by TikTok is that anyone can have a piece of content go viral as long as they optimize watch time and shares, among many other tactics. Soon, Julian’s TikTok account @youknowitjulian, offering professional advice to young adults, was formed within a perfect storm. 

Julian quickly started noticing his videos and TikTok content going viral, confirming his hypothesis that there was a real need for an end-to-end resource for navigating the job market that was digestible and provided advice on a high level. Julian recently formalized this content into a course that takes individuals through every phase of the job search process, from realizing their passion to salary negotiation. Julian took inspiration from his own experiences as well as his TikTok and Instagram audiences when developing the program. 

Julian notes that young professionals, current college students, or even those who recently graduated and are interested in landing their first job or internship are perfect candidates for the course. Julian also sees those who are feeling lost, especially in terms of how to navigate the uncertain job market, or those whose employment status has been affected by COVID-19, really benefiting from his program. 

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When making this course, Julian emphasized his desire to be value-first in the course, highlighting only the useful facts, as well as making the content interactive. For example, Julian hosts a resume walkthrough, getting specific with what should go in each section and how this information should be formatted to maximize efficiency and readability. Julian does the same with both cover letters and your LinkedIn profile. Additionally, taking a popular segment from his TikTok channel, Julian has an interview role playing segment where students can get practice answering tough job interview questions. 

In paying for the course, job seekers also gain access to resume, cover letter, and email response templates- really everything you need to network and nail an interview. Through the program, members even get access to an exclusive professional community, which Julian is also an active participant of, to debrief any content from the course or answer any questions members might have. 

When asked about what his favorite aspects of the program are, Julian responded that it was hard to pick just one, but, if he had to, it would be the personal branding section. Julian views personal branding as being an important step to establishing your own personal identity that sets you apart from others in the job market. It is also an opportunity to be creative.

“You just need one person to look at your content to give you the opportunity of a lifetime,” says Julian. 

When asked why should someone take this course and what Julian hopes his students will walk away with? Julian noted that he hopes his program will help job seekers view the employment process as not being as overwhelming and as intimidating as it often does. Julian hopes that those who take his course are able to navigate the market with ease and have an open space to have their questions answered. The overarching goals is to inspire confidence and better clarity on where seekers see their career trajectory going.

Whether it be related to their career, goals, or life aspirations, the world is any job seeker’s oyster and Julian’s program is the sand that generates the pearl!


Where to Find Julian:

Career Course (Enroll today!)

Website

Instagram


 

Sean Holland on Working at Deloitte in Government and Public Sector Consulting

If you give a student an avocado, there’s no telling what they will do with it!

Sean Holland is someone with a great passion for public service, which began at a very young age. Since second grade, Sean believed that he would go to law school and become a lawyer or diplomat. This interest manifested itself in participating in Model United Nations when Sean was in high school and attending George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs in 2016, majoring in Political Science. After Freshman year, however, Sean discovered his love for economics and statistics and their application to real world problems. 

Returning from his study abroad in Vienna his Junior year, Sean decided to apply for management consulting internships, as he knew many friends who were interested in the same field and felt that this unique opportunity could challenge and excite him. Sean did alright during the behavioral interview portion of his management consulting interviews, but fell short during the case interview process and did not receive an offer that summer. Going into Junior year with no summer internship, Sean knew that he would have to be productive somehow and took the summer to explore his interests and write about them. Sean learned how to code in R and wrote articles for Medium focused on statistics and analytics. Sean further differentiated himself by adding a comical undertone within his writings. Over the summer, Sean even had one of his articles on forecasting avocado prices published on Medium’s Towards Data Science site, which gained an incredible readership.

Armed with a summer of self-study and a portfolio of impressive research, Sean went through the Fall recruiting process his Senior year, and landed a Business Analyst position at Deloitte Consulting, specializing in government and public sector work. Sean credits landing the job to owning some of the best advice he received from his career counselor. Sean’s counselor told him to never underplay his achievements and to always convey his experiences in a positive light. To go into his interviews not with the perspective of having a summer with no internship, but a summer filled with enriched learning. 

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Sean adeptly describes a consultant’s role as providing subject matter expertise and a specific know-how to provide solutions to problems. Government consulting, specifically, aims to help a government agency create a vision for where they want their agency to be and works to create a roadmap for how the agency can achieve this. Although government agencies might have an in-house IT shop or finance department, these agencies often don’t have specific strategic departments that have a broad overview of all departments. As a consultant coming in, they would have the comparative advantage of working across multiple divisions and having a particular expertise that is missing. Government engagements also tend to be longer than commercial ones — often lasting several years — as consultants help along the journey from formulating strategies to advising on implementation. 

Sean’s current project involves transforming budget management processes and best practices in a new defense agency. His day-to-day, like every consultant, varies greatly. On any particular Monday morning, Sean sits in on a “Stand Up” call with task leads to go over project details and developments. Afterward, he might meet with his team’s client to review some data that he has analyzed in a deck, take notes during a team brief, or help his team and project leads keep track of a lot of moving pieces related to the project. Sean would describe his work as a balance between both project management and strategy work for his team. As an analyst, his role is to mainly observe and support the vision Deloitte aims to create. Sean makes a point of mentioning that, although consulting can be high stress, he feels reassured that his work doesn’t have to be perfect the first time, but he has to show signs of improvement in what he does- advice every perfectionist should take to heart. 

Sean notes that the most compelling part of his work is getting to interact with people who are on top of their game in terms of expertise. He goes further by mentioning that consulting attracts people who are used to working in teams and comfortable with hard work- those who are smart and comfortable working in teams naturally gravitating to the work. At Deloitte, Sean has met consultants who come from every background, from MBA grads to mathematicians to even former WNBA players.

In relation to challenges, Sean admits that consulting in the virtual world can be difficult in terms of feeling like you belong with a team you have never met before. Additionally, the learning curve can be pretty steep in terms of creating decks or analyzing data with expert precision. It is easy to get overwhelmed, yet the remedy for this is to realize that everyone has been in the same position at some point and that it is expected that you will need some time to learn; the benefits of hiring someone young is in being able to shape that person’s development to fill a special skill. 

Looking towards the future, Sean is excited by the prospect of employing rigorous statistical methods to solve policy questions and aid in better decision-making within his work. Sean believes that work similar to this is the next frontier for consulting, where data is the most critical driver in supporting decision making. 

For Sean, it seems that personal future possibilities are endless, as he continues to become persuaded by a variety of opportunities. Looking into the distance, Sean can see his life going in many different directions including attending law school and fulfilling his childhood dream, getting his MBA and working at Google, or maybe even staying at Deloitte forever!

“There are so many experiences to be had and so many opportunities out there. It’s hard to say what the future really holds.” 

 

Julia Dean and Kristin Watson on the GTB Mentorship Program and the Power of Mentorship

Why mentorship matters.

Kristin Watson and Julia Dean had only been friends a short while before teaming up last summer to change the lives of students and recent graduates during the peak of the COVID pandemic.

After graduating in December of 2019 with a degree in Graphic Communications from Clemson University, Kristin found herself navigating the challenging job search process in early 2020. The resource that Kristin found extremely beneficial at the time was a strong mentor, pushing and leading her through the process. It was this mentor who ultimately helped her land a job at the Trade Desk. Having a mentor namely helped Kristin learn the ins and outs of the industry which ultimately shifted her focus from wanting to work in the agency side of advertising to ad tech. 

On the other hand, Julia was locked-in with a position at Deloitte Consulting as a Human Capital Analyst, one she’d secured before graduating from Babson College in 2019. Still, Julia felt compelled to help those struggling with employment during COVID after seeing so many students and young adults on LinkedIn who had lost their jobs, internships, or were simply looking for work. 

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The Adobe conference where Julia and Kristin first met

Kristin and Julia met at an Adobe conference in 2018 and, being adamant about maintaining their network, stayed in touch. during quarantine, the two put their heads and past/ professional experiences together to come up with an idea: connecting mentors and mentees to ease current job woes.  Given that her mentor was her main cheerleader, Kristin remembered how integral a mentor was to her job search process. Similarly, Julia recalled her providing mentorship as a resource for others, whether it was advising them on applying for the Fulbright Program, breaking into consulting or general career advice. It was a match made in heaven. 

Their plan was to match students with mentors who were working in their field of interest so they could provide insights, advice, case prep, and even review resumes. The two began by informally naming the program “Let’s Get This Bread” and blasting out an interest form on LinkedIn. The name was splashy, the logo engaging, and the overall messaging resonated with the targeted age group, who were looking for a genuine and unintimidating approach to career help. What happened next wasn’t what either of them were expecting. The two estimated they might garner the interest of less than 30 young professionals , yet ended up engaging over 70 mentees (including myself!) and a little over 50 mentors.

Let’s Get This Bread Launch Video

After manually pairing the mentors and mentees, Kristin and Julia let all the participants structure their mentorship in the way that they wanted, enabling the pairings to choose the pace and frequency of meetings that were best for them. Six weeks later, the two sent an email to participants asking how the program went so they could evaluate how to define success for the program in the future. 

The founders then launched a second version of their program with a new cohort of mentors and mentees after collecting feedback from the first group of participants. Through focus groups and feedback forms, Kristin and Julia realized they had a small but mighty group of members who really valued the platform the two were able to build for them. Asking for a mentor is incredibly daunting and it is difficult to find someone willing and able to speak with you on a consistent basis. This form of structured peer mentoring was more approachable to those who needed help and encouragement during the quarantine. 

So, what ultimately makes a good mentee? Honesty, both founders said:

“You need to be honest about what you need help with; that’s how you will best use your time with your mentor.”

And for a mentor? It would have to be honesty and approachability. “There is nothing harder than having a mentor relationship that doesn’t feel like a safe place to be raw and candid,” says Kristin. 

Kristin and Julia cite the time they started the program as being pivotal to the success of the rebranded “GTB Mentorship Program”. “A lot of people wanted to help out and a lot needed that help,” mentions Julia, who sees entrepreneurship as being instrumental to solving community-focused needs. The founders also note that the program was incredibly helpful to participants because mentors were only 1 to 3 years older than those they were mentoring, mimicking a peer-on-peer help model. 

Julia and Kristin mentioned many positive stories that resulted from the program and I’d like to cite mine as being one of them! When I came across the program and its catchy title, I knew I had to be a part of something that was uplifting, encouraging, and helpful during the challenging time I was going through. Having lost multiple job opportunities due to the COVID pandemic, I was desperately seeking help to break into the consulting industry. I felt helpless and confused and thought it couldn’t hurt to seek some outside guidance. My mentor Sean turned out to be one of the most instrumental people throughout my job search process, case prepping with me, editing my resume, providing continual guidance, and inspiring me to create this very blog – thanks Kristin and Julia! 

When I asked them why they thought they were the best people to run the GTB Mentorship Program, Kristin and Julia jointly replied that they didn’t consider themselves to be the right people to start the program. They explained it was their passion and commitment to following through on their idea that made them become the right people. 

Although GTB shut down after its second cohort, I feel confident that there will be so many more amazing programs and businesses created by these intelligent women. What does that mean for the rest of us? If the future is anything like Kristin and Julia’s entrepreneurial past, help is on the way!

Aline Kolankowski on Working at Accenture in Management Consulting

Learn all about work in the Talent and Organization / Human Potential practice.

Aline Kolankowski is a woman of many talents and persuasions. She is a hot sauce and pickle maker as well as a Peloton rider in her spare time and, from a work perspective, a management consultant at Accenture. Needless to say, Aline succeeds at whatever she puts her mind to. 

Aline graduated from Gettysburg College with a concentration in computer science and a major in biology, yet entered the workforce working as a systems manager at American Express, where she worked for 13 years. From there, Aline worked at both Honeywell and CBS in Human Resources, before getting let go from her job in 2009.

Aline took this time to step back and re-evaluate her life trajectory – she even had a brief stint as a realtor, yet quickly realized this wasn’t a good fit. It was during this period that Aline pivoted to doing contract consulting and instantly fell in love with the type of work. After blindly applying online through Accenture’s job portal, she landed a job there as a management consultant manager working within the Talent and Organization / Human Potential practice. Through her work at Accenture, Aline has learned an incredible amount, including everything from cyber security and Salesforce to what the workforce of the future will look like. 

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Aline describes her work as building and managing relationships with her clients, vendors, and team in order to facilitate achieving goals. A day of work for Aline is dynamic- right now she is working through “hyper care” or post go-live support for her project at a large pharmaceutical company. Her objective is to ensure that their client hits all of their targets and she ensures this by having regular calls with them to go through open issues to get things resolved. Aline also meets with her business and technical teams, developing business requirements and solutions for her clients. Overall, Aline works to manage risks and juggle priorities, all while updating her clients on all of the above. When there is even a brief period in her day, Aline tries to fit in training and skill-building to keep herself sharp. Accenture consultants are encouraged to work on “plus one” projects that can help them gain experience and exposure to the extensive Accenture network. 

Aline notes that the most compelling aspect of her work is the relationships she is able to build with her clients and team. She mentions a specific change management project she worked on with a Mid-Western technology company. Through this project, Aline was personally able to widen the depth and breadth of her knowledge, while making a significant impact on the company she was working with. She learned how to get employees engaged and involved as well as how to motivate people to see a different perspective through communication, tools, training, and interventions. Achieving the outcome doesn’t always come easy, however. Relationship building and aligning everyone in the right direction are some of the biggest challenges that Aline faces in her work, especially when she feels that everything is moving in the right direction until everything quickly begins to unravel again. Nevertheless, getting to see the outcome of her work – changing the way people do things – is what fascinates Aline and keeps her motivated in what she does. 

Not only her clients do her clients motivate her, but the opportunity to step into a senior management position is also what engages Aline, as she is excited by the prospect of being able to lead more projects and take on more responsibility.

When asked about the best professional advice someone has ever given to her, Aline recalls a time when she had to speak to all of her American Express HR colleagues, yet was anxious to do so. Aline remembers one of her colleagues reassuring her not to be nervous because she was the only person in the room that knew what she was talking about at the level of expertise.

Her biggest takeaway- be confident in your own knowledge.

Aline’s advice for those looking to pursue a profession in consulting is to realize that it often seems glamorous, however, it’s much more work than glamour overall. Yet, despite the sleepless nights, there are so many opportunities to learn and grow, that if it’s something you are interested in, go for it and try it out. When it really comes down to it, finding meaningful work is about finding good people that you trust and value around you. Aline is eager to return to those people she has found at Accenture very soon, once face-to-face interactions and in-person client meetings are back on. In the meantime, she knows that those she needs are just a phone call away. 



Consulting Case Prep with Johnny Bui (Part II)

Want to learn quick and effective problem solving? Casing is the way to go.

Part II, here we go! If you are looking to go into consulting, case prepping, or just you’re here out of sheer curiosity as to what case prepping is, you’re in the right place! Johnny Bui and I have done our fair share of case prepping before becoming full-time consultants and we are here to give you all of the tips and tricks that we have picked up along our journeys. If you thought our case prep advice was helpful in Part I, get ready for more helpful insights right now!


General advice you would give to others on case prep?

Johnny:

If you don’t enjoy doing cases, this probably isn’t for you! I practiced live 10 cases a week for 3 months and loved every minute of it but I only did it because I enjoyed the challenge and relationship building part of it. Keep that in mind! Practice hard and practice often with as many different people as possible, consistently, so you learn different styles of communication, successful habits, and perspective. Even if you’ve never done a case before, you need to practice live ASAP. You don’t have to be great to start but you need to start to be great!

  • Here are some suggestions of how to do so:
    • Make a post on LinkedIn requesting for case partners and really demonstrate your competence in cases on the post so they would be compelled to work with you
    • If your career services on campus offers case prep, take advantage of that!
    • Join consulting clubs on campus to get even more experience
    • Do one market sizing case a day

So many people on LinkedIn want to give back after going through consulting case interviews: do a LinkedIn search for consulting content and scroll through to see what people have to offer. Usually it’s their consulting case books that they used! Feel free to reach out to me (Johnny Bui) as well. I have a ton. Also, reach out to alumni working in consulting for advice and resources!

Ursula:

When you first start out, it might be helpful to watch someone else who is proficient at “casing” first. From these videos, you can get a very good understanding of the strict methodology that you must follow in order to arrive at your conclusions. It also helps to learn from proficient casers, as you are able to pick up on the nuances they incorporate to execute a case well. 

Our Recommended Key Resources:

  • YouTube
  • Your college’s career services
  • LinkedIn community of people looking for case partners to break into consulting
  • Case and Point by Marc Consantino and Case Interview Secrets by Victor Cheng

What process did you use in order to get better at cases?

Johnny:

I made a post looking for case partners that did very well on Linkedin and proceeded to make a GroupMe with almost everyone that expressed interest. I set up 10 case sessions a week over the course of 3 months and consistently showed up to each session even if I got ripped apart in previous sessions. I also kept a spreadsheet with every case I had done detailing my lessons learned, what worked, what didn’t work, and areas of improvement

Ursula: 

Johnny did such an amazing job gathering together resources and like minded individuals who were interested in pursuing a career in consulting. I was fortunate enough to be apart of this group, which helped me to find partners to case with. Make sure to create a group or join one in order to be apart of a supportive and engaged community, it will make the process all the better! Also, it’s really a numbers game. The more cases you do, the better you will become, so keep at it!

Do you have a favorite case and, if so, could you share the prompt?

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Ursula:

Cases are definitely not hard to come by- tons of cases a google or a page turn in your consulting book away- however, I have found these ones from Deloitte to be particularly helpful to work on, as they are tailored specifically to what you are interested in practicing. 

Personally, what was the most challenging part about case prepping?

Johnny: 

The most challenging part is starting your first live case with someone. You might feel like trash and that you’d rather practice more before you (inevitably) embarrass yourself but it is the first step to greatness. The second most important part is creating accountability for yourself. You need to schedule weekly cases and show up. Finally, once you are in the motion of practicing cases consistently, it’s understanding how companies in different industries generate revenue, how their business models work, asking the right questions, and following the right clues. What’s great about consulting is that every day is different. This translates into cases. 

Ursula:

Couldn’t agree more with Johnny on these! I would also say… the shorthand math. I definitely had to brush up on my multiplication tables. I also did my research on the best methods in doing this. Just make sure to take a deep breath and count your zeros!

Was there ever a point at which you felt like you were comfortable doing cases and, if so, what did that look like for you?

Johnny:

Once I eventually mastered the basics, I knew that so long as I followed them, I would be in a good place if I trusted my business intuition upon understanding the prompt. After identifying the type of case and understanding what they want me to do – I could generally rely on my experiences with this type of case and this type of industry to guide me. But there would always be something different about the case. You have to learn to pay attention to detail and count every hair to see if one is out of place. Details can be tedious to sift through but you’ll learn to think fast and perceive when something is wrong. 

Ursula:

There is a point in time where you have this strange feeling intuitively. There is a very powerful feeling that comes along with knowing that whatever comes your way, you have a process, a procedure, and you can rely on yourself to come to a reasonable conclusion. It’s a really proud moment too. You will know when you have done enough cases. It will just feel right. If you don’t know what I am talking about, then you probably should keep prepping! 

Things that you wish you would have done differently in regards to case prep?

Johnny:

I wish I started sooner and did not allow my fear of underperforming hinder my confidence to take consulting seriously. I was self-conscious about what my performance would say about what I knew about business and delayed taking case prepping seriously.

Ursula:

Agreeing with Johnny- just start. You will be amazed how incrementally better you get with each case. Always ask for feedback at the end and keep a running list of what you did well and what you can improve upon. It’s easy to let your ego get in the way, but one of the biggest lessons that I learned from the whole process is to be comfortable with failing, so fail fast and hard, and to not let a poor math calculation or wrong answer change the way you see yourself in regards to your intelligence. 

 

Marsalis Pearce on being an Associate Merchant at J.Crew

Men’s shoes, J.Crew work culture, and so much more.

Marsalis Pearce, better known as Marz, is a Harlem native who is all about retail. Having graduated from Babson College with a concentration in retail supply chain management, Marz has always had his sights set on working in the industry. Marz’s passion for the fashion industry originated during high school, at a time when he was interested in design and had sights on starting his own clothing line. Over the years, Marz worked in sales at The Foundation Showroom in New York City and had the opportunity to work with men’s apparel and footwear brands. Marz also interned at Ross before his last semester of college, where he took a deep dive into merchandising, the opposite side of the coin from sales. Now, Marz has found his place at J.Crew, working as an Associate Merchant, managing the men’s footwear business both online and in-store.

Leading up to working at J.Crew, Marz had a list of companies that he was interested in working for, J.Crew being on the list because of its cool aesthetic of classic American style. When he checked out the career opportunities at there, Marz stumbled on the Assistant Merchant role and applied. Soon after he heard back, Marz had an interview, and got an offer the next day! Marz credits the timing of everything, his prior experience in retail, and his ability to communicate authentically in telling his story in helping him land this dream job. 

Marz credits culture as being one of the biggest things that has kept him working for the company for three years now. From his very first encounter interviewing for the company, Marz knew that J.Crew was a place that he wanted to work, the employees all being incredibly friendly and inviting. Within the first few months of working at J.Crew, Marz was encouraged by the fact that no matter what your position, your perspective matters and your opinion is valued. Marz is always encouraged to share his point of view, not only on his business but other businesses within the company as well. 

Screen Shot 2021-03-02 at 8.18.44 PM“There is nothing that you are going to do here that is going to burn down the building,” says Marz, a piece of advice that he was given from a co-worker, which has helped him adopt a healthier mindset towards work. 

During J.Crew’s recent Chapter 11 bankruptcy, which the company recovered from, Marz also felt that the transparency that J.Crew offered during this time was extremely refreshing and reassuring. Marz specifically credit’s J.Crew’s leadership in helping their employees stay motivated during a really tough time. 

As an Associate Merchant at J.Crew, Marz is responsible for managing the full product lifecycle within men’s footwear, which includes shoes, boots, sneakers, flip-flops, and slippers. Marz partners with design, production, planning, allocation, stores, marketing, and brand creative to ensure he’s delivering the right assortment, at the right price, at the right place, at the right time, and to the right customer, all while meeting the financial goals of the company. His job involves a significant amount of cross-functional interaction, his role really sitting at the heart of the company. His division ultimately is in charge of brainstorming the needs of the company and customer to deliver the most value. Within the footwear department, there is also a high penetration of third party brands, as J.Crew works in close partnership with New Balance, Adidas, Sperry, and Reebok to name a few.

Marz has had a passion for footwear for over six years now, considering Adidas Sambas and a classic white Nike court sneaker to be some of his go-tos. Marz considers his style to be a mix between Americana with a hint of streetwear. Although he has had a huge passion for streetwear since he was little, Marz mentions that J.Crew has unlocked another level of style for him. Some days Marz likes to throw on loafers and jeans, while others he dawns chinos and sneakers. “I always choose the shoe first and dress from the bottom up.”

A day at work for Marz is super fast-paced, especially at the peak of the pandemic in Spring, Summer of 2020, as Marz was having to react to the pandemic’s effect on the economy. When stores were quickly closing, Marz was forced to rethink incoming orders and pulling goods forward. It was an intense but insightful process, Marz notes, as it enabled him to understand how to read and react to supply and demand. In the mornings, Marz has a touchbase with his manager to review expectations for the week, month, and quarter. Marz then could be reviewing previous or future budgets and having meetings with production and design team to review upcoming products. The end the day could look like another team meeting with the marketing division about a sneaker launch and the needs associated in order to promote the style. Despite working from home, Marz is able to work pretty efficiently, but also goes into the office in person to review products with his teams.

“Day to day really varies. It’s a perfect balance of rhythm and chaos,” says Marz. 

Marz’s favorite aspect of the job is the road mapping stage, when he plans for the future of J.Crew Men’s footwear retail will look like. Currently, Marz is working on Spring 2022, considering the company’s needs, looking back at previous seasons, and accessing what opportunities or misses that he has had- buy less, more, or not at all. The job’s analytical and creative requirements is also an aspect of the job that Marz appreciates.That being said, Marz typically works on 5 seasons at a time:

  • Liquidating holiday 2020
  • Preparing to launch spring 2021
  • Putting finishes on summer 2021
  • About to place fall 2021 orders
  • Having conversations about holiday 2021

Looking towards the future of fashion, Marz predicts that the industry will change in a number of ways. “As technology changes and as we get older and our needs change, our buying decisions change as well,” notes Marz. Marz regards the recent increase in consumer spending and pent up demand for certain products ironic in some regards, since we are all working from home and limit leaving the house. With the pandemic having an impact on special events, such as weddings, as well as office culture changing, Marz sees a shift towards more casual styling, especially in the suiting world. The pandemic has also resulted in a segment of consumers reevaluating what they are buying and the value and quality of those items. Overall, there seems to be a lot of  introspection happening that hasn’t happened for a while, as people have more time to stop and reflect. 

What excites Marz about his own future? The opportunity for him to learn more about himself- his interests, strengths, and areas of growth. Marz’s resolution for 2021 is to get to know himself more and to leave behind any baggage, which has led him to a positive direction in life and work. Marz is filled with a lot of hope this year and- you know- so are we. 

 

Consulting Case Prep with Johnny Bui (Part I)

Want to learn quick problem solving? Casing is the way to go.

Like many of you reading this article, Johnny Bui and I have done our fair share of consulting case prep. We have read Case and Point by Marc Consantino, have kept an archive of cases in a folder on our desktop, and have a spreadsheet of case notes that we swear by. We know where you are coming from and we are here to help. 

So, here is a little bit about Johnny and I, two consultants, who have recently entered into the field. 

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Johnny is a recent graduate from Babson College and a current Analyst in the consulting division at Kalypso, a professional services firm. Johnny’s other accolades include being a real estate agent in Boston, Massachusetts and a recently published book author. His goals outside of college now include becoming an expert in personal finance, getting into real estate investing, and competing on American Ninja Warrior. 

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My name is Ursula and I am also a recent Babson College graduate. I am currently an Associate Consultant in Strategy and Technology at Konrad Group in New York City. I am a passionate blogger and enjoy reading Malcolm Gladwell, playing with my neighbor’s puppy Ruth, and singing in the shower. 

 

Ok! Now, let’s get into the good stuff! Answering the most pressing consulting prep questions!


What is the most valuable lesson that you have learned from doing consulting case prep?

Johnny:

A consulting case isn’t a complete replication of what an actual client project looks like. The case is fixed, meaning there is a predetermined answer and a zone of acceptable answers for the candidate. The reason why I say it’s not a complete replication is because the answers you seek can be given to you immediately, and the interviewer wants to give them to you – you just have to ask the right questions. Because this isn’t like an actual project, I’ve learned to take advantage of the format of casing and it simply comes down to mastering the basics.

That’s the lesson: master the basics.

There are strategies that I’ve leveraged to get me as close as possible into that margin of error. For instance:

  • Learn to take good notes, fast. Circle areas of the recap that raise red flags so you can then ask clarifying questions about it. (they’re there for a reason!)
  • Always recap the case and ask if you missed anything.
  • The sweet spot for clarifying questions are 3, depending on how much information they give you. Don’t ask questions if you don’t need to.
    • A good question to ask if you can’t think of anything is always about the goal or timeline of the client
  • Put together your structure and try to make the titles of your buckets as tailored to the case as possible.
  • When stuck, always recap *out loud* what you have learned to this point in the case. More often than not, saying it out loud will reveal where the case is going and what you should do next.
  • If you’re really proactive, keep a key insights section blocked off on your paper so you can record relevant information shared with you.
  • Practice doing quick math (division, multiplication, addition, subtraction) and learn tricks! This will cut down time in your interview and impress the interviewer. 
  • At the end of the case you must deliver the recommendation, followed by risks and next steps in under a minute. You’ll typically hear the prompt say: “The CEO has just entered the room, what is your recommendation?” If you have been taking physical (or mental notes) throughout the case, this should be a breeze. But you must be concise, the CEO doesn’t have a lot of time!

These are more of the technical skills you need to master. Here are some soft skills:

  • When the interviewer points out that you made a mistake, always acknowledge it. This is an opportunity to show your character.
  • Always lead the case and offer suggestions as to what you think you should do next. Whether it be a candidate-led or interviewer-led case, it’s always better to demonstrate initiative.
  • When given an exhibit, always ask for a moment before you dive head first into to interpreting it.
  • Given a long math problem, always ask for a minute to solve the problem because the last thing you want to do is lose the interviewer in your calculations.
  • Always check in with the interviewer to see if they’re following especially when you’re walking them through your thinking process.
  • When asked to brainstorm, don’t give a laundry list. Structure your answer by categories/themes and then begin listing.

rubiks-cube-removebg-previewThe consulting case is like a rubik’s cube – it’s essentially a puzzle but the answers lie within it. You start out with some relevant information which represents the specific color that you’re trying to get on that side. The rest of the case has to do with you getting as close to getting all of the colors on one side. 

Ursula:

It may not necessarily be a lesson, but I definitely learned the power of being able to attack a problem and needing only a paper and pen to do so. There is something so incredible about relying on your own problem solving abilities in order to achieve something. Learning just that was enough to get me onboard in learning how to case. Johnny touches on many important learning points, so as to not duplicate, here are some additional…

  • Learning how to ask good questions. When you are given so little time, you learn to prioritize what information is critical to drawing conclusions within the case. Be clear with your questions and make sure they they are exhaustive and not redundant. 
  • Learning how to think extremely generally and very specifically at the same time. Casing is all about learning what is important, what is relevant, and what is additional peripheral information. Your casing framework will help you in your discovery, but the wrong framework can lead you astray. Choose wisely!
  • Being able to overcome nerves and anxiety in order to think clearly. Casing in front of a professional- or even a friend- can be very nerve racking! With enough practice and a little bit of courage, you can make it through! When the time comes for your interview, just remember that your brain is a muscle that has muscle memory too! If you get nervous, rely on your hard work and preparation to get you through it.

Why do you think case prep is valuable for future consultants to learn?

Johnny:

It’s important to learn how to apply business concepts and how they play a role in real scenarios. It’s equally important to learn to ask the right questions when you’re in the field solving them as a professional. We can’t ask every question, and through case prep, we learn to prioritize good vs better questions. Future consultants must also learn how to communicate their thought process to the interviewer. Clients won’t accept your recommendations just because you say so – your credibility is paramount to the project and future clients referrals. 

Ursula:

In my work, I find that it’s important to look at problems holistically, then break them down, and, finally, tackle the most critical issues, which will hopefully have a trickle down effect in solving some of the smaller ones. This applies to every type of consulting- it’s essentially what consulting is! Casing allows you to adopt the mindset of always asking questions to search for the root of the problem which will lead to developing recommendations and solutions. It might be on a very small scale, but there is something to be said for someone’s ability to ace a case! Those skills apply in many different settings. 

What is the best piece(s) of advice someone has given you around case prep?

Johnny:

  • You’re droning on for too long
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for a moment
  • You weren’t walking me through your math
  • Talk slower

Ursula:

There will be a moment when you realize that you are ready. You’ll just feel it. When starting out, I thought that this would never be the case, but trust the process. Your time will come! Someone admitting to me that failure is part of the process of casing and that going through casing exercises is just awkward were also two extremely valuable statements made to me by case prep alumni. Sometimes outlining the basics can be incredibly reassuring.

You got this!


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Meredith King on Advice for College Students

On transitioning from being home schooled to attending Amherst University and more.

Are you in college? Going to college? Taking a gap year? Whatever it may be, you can never receive too much advice on how to maximize your time in college! When thinking about the college experience, I knew that I had to recruit my good friend Meredith King to give her take on all things higher education: what classes to take, picking a major, taking a gap year, being a student athlete- this lady does it all! College is all about exploring, trying new things, and embarking on new adventures. Arming you with all the info you need to make your journey a successful one, here is Meredith!

Meredith! Tell us a little bit about you! 

Screen Shot 2020-11-25 at 6.36.01 PMHi everyone! I’m a senior at Amherst College, double majoring in Music and French as well as doing prerequisites to go into accelerated nursing programs post-grad. I’m currently writing a historical musicology thesis looking at the transformation of French prostitute novels into operatic forms. I’m on the Amherst swim team, but I also spend a lot of time singing both in a Christian acapella group called Terras Irradient and in the Amherst College Chorus Society. One of my favorite things to do is spend whole afternoons or evenings sitting in the dining hall with friends from the Amherst Christian Fellowship playing word games or talking about life. 

What should students consider when thinking about taking a gap year?


I think it’s only worth taking a gap year if you have a concrete reason or goal for the year. A gap year can be a chance to do something exciting and different that otherwise you wouldn’t have the time to pursue,  but unless you have a somewhat solid plan, it’s easy to waste a gap year and feel like you wasted time. 

Being someone who is interested in so many different things, how did you go about choosing a major?

Terras Irradient a capella Freshman Showcase 2018 P.C. Faith Wen

I had an unusual path to choosing my major. I knew that I wanted to be a French major coming into college, I studied the language throughout high school and I wanted to continue through college. Amherst doesn’t have minors, so the languages often have few course requirements for their majors. I expected to have a double major in a STEM field since I’m pursuing a pre-nursing track, but I took a music theory class the second half of my freshman year, since I knew I was interested in music. I realized not only that I loved music but also that I loved having a balanced course schedule: one french class, one music class, and two nursing pre-req classes (STEM courses generally). It allowed me to really fully use my brain: when I couldn’t think in French any more I could turn to more concrete STEM coursework, and when I needed something more creative I could turn to music courses. Obviously my path is a slightly unique one: I’ve known what I want to do for a career (Nurse Practitioner), and so I had the freedom to do whatever I wished with my non nursing courses, which is definitely a fortunate position to be in. I’m grateful that I’ve gotten to learn how to think in so many different ways, and I think that’s something you can pursue no matter what career path you’re taking. 

What are things students should consider before deciding to join a college sports team?

I think a common misconception is that if you join a college sports team your academics will suffer. While you definitely will be committing a significant portion of time to your sport, you’ll be forced to manage your time well, and you’ll be more efficient in your academic work. Once you join a sports team (or a club with high time commitments), it can be easy to make that your entire social life. I definitely encourage branching out and finding friends with varied interests and backgrounds from you — you’ll learn a lot about yourself and about others. 

How do you go about deciding what classes to take?

For me, I really like to have a balance between STEM and non-STEM classes, that way if I’m sick of doing an online problem set I can switch and do some reading for a humanities class. Having all STEM or all reading can definitely be exhausting on the brain and make for a big slog, whereas having different types of work allows you to take a “break” from one type of work by doing work for a different class. For me, my majors and my nursing-prerequisites took up just about all of my classes, but I made sure to arrange them as evenly split across the semesters to keep that balance, but I also made sure that within the confines of what classes I needed to take, I took every chance to take classes in subjects that actually interested me. There are many French and Music classes I could take each semester, so I got to choose unique ones that actively interested me. One semester I decided that there were two music classes that I absolutely wanted to take, and so I only took one pre-req that semester to allow myself the chance to pursue courses I loved. 

How do you balance your time in college between homework, studying, teams, organizations, class, and fun?

Puerto Rico Swimming Training Trip Room Group 2020

Honestly, the best thing I’ve done for time management in college is start each week with my Monday and Tuesday assignments done, and spend the week getting work done as soon as possible after it’s assigned.  This means that no matter how crazy my days end up, if things pop up unexpectedly, I have a buffer and am never cramming to get my work done in the last seconds before a due-date. Having a buffer also means that you can go get boba with your friends on a whim, and you don’t have to decline because you’ve procrastinated your work to the last second. And sleep!!!! The more rested you are, the more focused you’ll be, and the quicker you’ll get your work done. 

What is some general advice you would give to previously homeschooled students in terms of entering college and the formal in-person classroom?

I was fortunate in that I had taken synchronous online classes with real (albeit virtual) professors and classmates, so I remarkably didn’t find the transition too shocking. I do think that the most helpful advice I have for transitioning to college (for “normal” schooled people as well) is attending office hours. Having a personal relationship with your professor, one that you start at the beginning of the semester, will only help you academically. Especially during the transition to college, it can be hard to tell what a professor is expecting for an assignment, or what they’re expecting you to know or not know for a test. Spend time in their office, ask casual questions, don’t be afraid to look silly, it will show them that you care, and it will help you learn the material the way they want you to. 

What is the best class that you have taken in college and why?

The class visiting Vienna (P.C. Faith WEN)

My absolute favorite class that I took was a music seminar titled “Vienna.” We were a class of 12: half Music majors and half German majors. We spent the first half of the semester studying various things about Vienna as a city and music in Vienna, and over spring break we took an 8 day trip to Vienna as a whole class (including our two professors!) It was a very special experience to get to study something in the classroom, and then get to really experience it, and feel the weight and valuable nature of the knowledge we acquired. And of course it was an incredible opportunity to really bond with those classmates, most of whom I barely knew before the trip. It was a very diverse group of students who I probably wouldn’t have been close with otherwise, so I’m very grateful for that experience. The second half of the semester revolved around us presenting research projects, and it was my first time writing a 20 page research paper, which was a huge help for me when deciding to write an honors thesis. 

What did you wish you knew before entering college and what advice would you give to a student entering college very soon?

I think that I was very fortunate to have my gap year: it allowed me to come into college with a pretty clear sense of what I valued and who I was, and the ways that I wanted to grow. While I met a lot of people, and I’ve continued to meet interesting people throughout college, I was fortunate to find friends my freshman year that I am still very close to, in part because I think I was able to shrug off the pressure of trying to “fit in” or needing to get to know everyone just to ensure that I’d have some friends. Of course, I was also very lucky to happen across those people my first few days, and while we clicked quickly it was a couple months before we were what I would call “close friends.” So I suppose my advice is: don’t stress about making friends, don’t just hang with a group out of fear, if you talk to someone and genuinely like them, make an effort to connect with them more deeply. And don’t stress if you don’t have close friends quickly — deep friendships take effort and come with time. 

Anything else you might want to add?

Everyone should take Intro to Psychology and Developmental Psychology! Intro Psych is so helpful and important for better understanding how people think and work, and watching my baby nephew become an almost two-year-old I’m so grateful for my Dev Psych knowledge. 

Upasana Roy on Life Advice for Recent College Graduates

Graduated? Yeah… me too.

Because I have an older brother I always benefitted from having friends who are older than me. Having these friends, I have had the opportunity to pick their brains about everything- what classes to take, how to get an internship, friend advice- you name it! My friend Upasana Roy is one of those friends who I can always count on for advice. She is open, honest, and always willing to provide a different perspective. When I went through my job search, Upasana was there to motivate and support me. Having been a college graduate for some time now, I knew that I had to get her take on the highs, the lows, and everything in between when it comes to coping with life after college. For me and many others, life after Babson has been challenging at times but also filled with hope, excitement, and adventure. For Upasana, a bit of the same. 

The biggest difference between going to college and working post-graduation for Upasana has been how you approach every day. In college, you study for tests and exams, hoping to ace your courses. If you don’t, you just try harder next time. You’re being tested on your competence and your discipline, as well as your willingness to be a team player and learn. After college, every day at work and in life can feel like a test and you really have to strive to do your best because your efforts are reflected in tangible results. Suddenly you’re faced with “adulting”, a term that’s said in humor, but is in fact so real! You’re paying bills, trying to understand your 401K and Roth IRA and navigate finding your own place, figuring out plans moving forward.

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Upasana also notes that you have to consider aspects of your life that you haven’t necessarily had to concern yourself with before, like managing your finances and planning your social calendar. Upasana’s advice for you is to invest a little bit of money with each paycheck and recommends looking into Robinhood, an investment app that takes $0 in trade fees, and Public, another platform for beginner investors. In terms of your social life, after college, a big part of acclimating to a lesser degree of socialization is realizing that loneliness is a bigger part of life after college than anyone recognizes. It’s easy to take for granted how much of a bustling social life you had as a college student. It is important to foster an uber supportive set of friends to hold you up in hard times and laugh during the good times! Postgrad depression is a real problem and it is important to make a point of socializing. Be open and honest about your feelings- you are switching lives practically after all. Upasana also uses Bumble BFF, where she says you can meet some really cool people and have good conversations as well as networking events and gatherings with people that have similar interests, such as plant societies, book clubs, dance classes, or gyms! It’s important to stay friends with people and keep in touch, even if they are in different parts across the globe. Make it a point to schedule some time together. Distance shouldn’t mean anything if your friendships are real. Virtual friendships are something to be proud of!

Imposter syndrome is another aspect of post-grad life that can be unexpected for many. Women are especially known for underplaying and doubting their achievements in a workplace setting- yes, this has actually been scientifically proven. Upasana notes that college feels more like a meritocracy, where you achieve good grades when you work hard and perform well. However, in a workplace, you might be at the table with big decision-makers and leaders, but feel underqualified or underskilled in some way. Regardless, they genuinely want to know what you have to say and you bring a perspective that is unique and fresh to how things are going to work. Speak up, Upasana says, you got hired for a reason. 

But, how do you “let go” of the past, when it can be really difficult, especially for those who felt like their best self in college? *major feels*

Upasana mentions that she struggled with this a great deal. She had it ingrained in her brain that college was the best 4 years of her life, a thought process that wasn’t doing her any favors! Upasana’s best friend Divya, once said to her that “that’s no way to think! You should always think that the best years of your life are yet to come! You need to move forward and move on!” Upasana needed that snap back to reality and soon was able to let go of the negativity and perpetual feeling of “loss” that came with leaving that life behind. 

“You haven’t changed, you at your very core are the same. You are the same person, but you might be just a bit older or in a different location” Upasana wisely states. 

The trouble with graduating is that stages of your life are no longer prescribed. Next year you will not become a Senior, now you have to write your own story, while also remembering that your plans won’t always work out and things will change. It’s about changing your level of expectation to solve this problem, Upasana mentions. Always have a plan B. When Upasana lost her dad 1 year out of college, she felt really lost. One of her best friends and confidants was gone and she had a continual “what do I do now?” feeling. No matter how hard things get, Upasana learned that you will survive and having people around you to support and lift you up is extremely important! It can be family, friends, anyone you trust, have a strong support system, and close the loop by being kind to others in return. 

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feat. Upansana and I (center)

Now that we have covered the challenges, let’s talk about the joys of post-grad life!

Upasana’s favorite aspects of young adulthood include the ability to control her own finances and saving money on travel and fun purchases. She also has learned to enjoy the little things more, like having dinner out with her mom or having a long phone conversation with her grandma. Upasana says that she lives slower and lighter now than ever before. Upasana has a greater sense that she is able to plan for things to come and that the world is really her oyster. She also gets a lot of enjoyment in seeing her friends transforming and evolving alongside her. 

Looking towards the future, Upasana is most excited about the uncertainty of life! She is eager to go to grad school, see where her romantic and friend relationships lead her and is motivated to get more healthy this year. More than that, however, Upasana is taking more time to reflect on what she wants for her life and the impact that she wants to leave on the world. 

“We live in such interesting times and I feel so positive about our generation,” she mentions. As long as Upasana is leading the way, I feel pretty positive about us too.

Glynis Gilio on becoming a Constitutional Lawyer

Read all about a fierce woman ready to take on the Supreme Court!

When I first met Glynis Gilio during a two month study abroad in London, England, I knew there was something so special about her. She is incredibly driven, intelligent, and always bursting with energy and positivity- all qualities that I know will serve here well as a future Constitutional lawyer. To take you through her journey to becoming a lawyer, here is Glynis herself!


Screen Shot 2021-02-15 at 4.02.45 PMGlynis! Tell the blog community a little bit about yourself!

I’m currently in my final year of law school at Michigan State University College of Law. My legal studies specialize in constitutional litigation, specifically First Amendment free speech and political speech issues. In addition to my classes, I am the Vice President of our student government, the Student Bar Association, a competitive member of the Trademark Moot Court team, a student-member of MSU Law’s Geoffrey Fieger Trial Practice Institute, and a performing member of MSU Law’s Musical Theatre Law Revue. In my free time, I love to paint, travel, spend time with my five-year-old shih tzu-pekingese mix Pepper, sing, dance, act, and obsess over all things Real Housewives. 

When did you first become interested in law and what interests you most about becoming a lawyer?

Screen Shot 2021-01-14 at 5.50.33 PMMy path to the legal profession is very atypical. Prior to attending law school, I was a professional actress for almost a decade. I had the opportunity to travel all over the country for various acting engagements on film and onstage. I loved my work, but I was advised by many actors, who knew that I was an impressionable young girl, that being a full-time actor is hard work. It often results in long periods of unemployment, struggles to pay the bills. I knew of a very successful actress in Chicago who lived in a one-bedroom apartment with her fiancé and two other couples. Many of my mentors impressed upon me that if being an actress was the only thing that I knew I wanted to do, or could do, then I should pursue that. But if I knew that I could use my passions or talents elsewhere, I should pursue other avenues.

I began to examine what I loved doing the most. I loved reading, writing, working collaboratively, and telling great stories. A family friend suggested law school and expressed his belief that I would be a great lawyer. I initially laughed at the thought. I didn’t feel as though I was smart enough to take the LSAT, let alone get into a law school or pass the bar. But I felt a call in my heart to pursue this avenue, and I’m glad I followed that call. 

Why did you choose to specialize in constitutional law and what do you believe is the most important deciding factor in choosing a legal specialization?

I’ve studied constitutional theory and history for the vast majority of my life. The Constitution was the centerpiece of my undergraduate studies. I’ve always been taught to have a great amount of respect for the Constitution and its founding. Constitutional questions have always fascinated me the most. Constitutional legal questions also often have the greatest consequences hanging in the balance. Equal protection and substantive due process questions can have life changing effects upon so many people’s lives. Constitutional law is influential, consequential, and often very provocative. Who wouldn’t want to work in that space? 

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I believe, and perhaps this is because of my music and theatre background, that there is a rhythm to every area of the law. A rhythm to family law, a rhythm to environmental law, a rhythm to the IRS tax code, etc. You have to find which rhythm you can follow along with. Very often, it may not be just one area of the law. For instance, although I have a strong passion for constitutional law, I also love intellectual property law. I think it is also helpful to get practice experience in whatever specialization you’re interested in. I’ve been fortunate to work at various public interest law firms, so I have the practical experience in constitutional litigation to know that this is what I want to do. 

Have your internship experiences helped shape your perspective and interest in law and, if so, how?

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Law school is all about the theoretical, and internship experiences are about the practical. Internship experiences give you insight into the nuances of the practice of law that you would never receive in law school classes. Oftentimes I feel that working with attorneys can either turn people off to the practice of law or reaffirm their desire to be a part of that community. For me, it has certainly done that latter. During my time at Freedom Foundation, for example, I have had the opportunity to write an amicus brief for the Supreme Court. The fact that I get to know that the Supreme Court Justices are going to read my work. That is such an exciting prospect that I can’t help but feel motivated to continue working to refine my skills. The opportunities, and new perspectives, that internship experiences can provide are invaluable, and they have certainly helped me to get closer to becoming the attorney that I want to be. 

What is the most valuable professional advice someone has given to you and what is a piece of advice you would give to someone interested in studying law?

Screen Shot 2021-01-14 at 5.50.48 PMI think the most valuable professional advice that I’ve been given is to be unapologetic in the pursuit of your career goals. Oftentimes, people who are just starting out can feel like it’s annoying or bothersome to send follow up emails or cold emails about job opportunities. I was encouraged to disregard those hesitations because the reward is often so much greater than the potential fear that someone reading an email may feel bothered or annoyed. This has been the best advice I could have received because I have reaped nothing but beneficial results from being bold. I secured my first internship during law school from a cold email to a fellow college alumni. I’ve even had prospective employers thank me for follow-up emails because my initial email got buried in their inbox. This approach really puts the “be fearless in the pursuit of your dreams” mentality into action.

My advice to anyone interested in studying law is do not go to law school unless you know that you want to be an attorney. I say many of my friends and classmates struggle during their first year of law school because they decided to go to law school in the hopes of becoming something other than an attorney. Many people decide to go to law school because they couldn’t think of anything else that they wanted to do after working for a few years. Law school rigorously trains you to become a lawyer. If you feel called to become a politician, teacher, cop, or anything else, law school is probably not the right path for you. This should come as no surprise, but law school is a very stressful experience. What motivated me to push through the stress is because I knew that at the end of all of it, and after hopefully passing the bar exam, I would become a lawyer. If you don’t want to be a lawyer, the stress will be doubled or tripled because you will be constantly questioning why you subjected yourself to that experience. So my advice is to think long and hard about whether you want to become a lawyer before applying to law school. 

When you become a practicing constitutional lawyer, what is one thing you are looking forward to?

I am looking forward to interacting with my clients. That is an experience that you rarely ever get during your law school experience. Especially in the constitutional law arena, the majority of the time clients have emotionally compelling stories. As a people-person I’m really looking forward to having one-on-one time with my client. Nobody ever wants to have to call their lawyer. Being a lawyer is about knowing how to help people during the worst situations in their lives. There has to be a level of sensitivity there. That is why it is so important to form strong, dependable relationships with your clients so that they know they can count on you to get them through their personally challenging time. 

What impact do you hope to make in the legal profession?

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One day I hope to give an oral argument at the podium of the Supreme Court. I want my career to support the efforts to protect individual liberties against government infringement, support a limited, transparent government, and safeguard the cherished tradition in our country of preserving liberty and justice for all. There are ever-growing threats to citizens’ individual liberties and so many legal questions that remain unsolved. These are the very questions that I want my work to address. 

What about the future excites you as a law student and future lawyer?

The practice of law changes so quickly. Over the past year, there have been so many changes from remote working to virtually giving oral arguments. This is something that the legal profession has had to rapidly acclimate to. The traditional brick-and-mortar law firms may be obsolete in the next decade. There are so many new possibilities in terms of where the practice of law could go, and I’m excited to ride that wave.