Mid-Atlantic Case Competition (MACC) 2015
In 2015, GSCB took its case competition to a whole new level and hosted it at a major East Coast location – Bethesda, MD. To secure a venue, GSCB collaborated with the Fellow Consulting Club of the National Institute of Health.
New location allowed GSCB to attract great sponsors including firms like McKinsey & Company and Boston Consulting Group. It also enabled GSCB to invite many more schools to participate. MACC 2015 enjoyed competition between 20 teams of various universities from all over the East Coast – New York, Tennessee, Georgia, and everything in between!
A new feature in our annual competition was a career panel during which consultants with advanced degrees shared their experience of moving from academia to consulting industry. As always, GSCB provided refreshments throughout the day and networking opportunities were abound.
Here is what participants had to say about their experience.
Andrew C. Apicello, Cavalier Consultants team, U.Va.:
The Mid-Atlantic Case competition provided the opportunity to work with a team representing three continents. Learning to build and lead a group from a myriad of backgrounds was invaluable. This experience was a lesson in what diversity really means and a glimpse into the future of the global market.
The most impressive part was that they emailed us the feedback from the judges, upon which we can analyze and do better in the future.
1st Prize winner, the team of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai:
The Mid-Atlantic Case Competition was a wonderful experience for our entire team. Opportunities were present at every step of the competition for skill development and insight into the consulting process. First, when preparing our solution, we acquired new knowledge while leveraging our collective skill set to form our best possible solution. Second, by presenting at the competition, we finessed our abilities for clear persuasive public speaking. Third, when networking at the competition, we learned about how our abilities fit within real- life consulting engagements.
Overall, participation in the MACC was not only challenging and fun, but it also built confidence and professional direction. Thanks to GSCB at UVa and FCC at NIH for arranging such a well-organized competition!
Candid Conversation with Former McKinsey Consultants
GSCB organized a web conference with Rudy Bellani and Zach Marks – the co-founders of Oystir, a New-York based startup that helps science Ph.D.s find non-academic jobs. Oystir identifies and quantifies Ph.D.s’ skills, then connects them with jobs that require those skills.
Rudy Bellani is a former engagement manager at McKinsey’s New York Office where he worked for 2.5 years after earning a Ph.D. in Neuroscience from Rockefeller University. Rudy led the firm’s Ph.D. recruiting in NYC. Zach Marks is a former business analyst at McKinsey’s Philadelphia Office where he worked for 2.5 years and also did a summer internship in 2008. When at McK, Zach developed new strategies to hire talent from non-traditional sources.
Rudy and Zach laid out the landscape of consulting opportunities for Ph.D.s, discussed the application and interview process, and shared tips and tricks for landing a job and transitioning from the lab to industry.
Virginia Consultants Orientation Meeting
Virginia Consultants is a self-selected group of proactive GSCB members who are taking the next step at getting that job – they start doing the actual consulting work now! GSCB held this year’s Virginia Consultants orientation where two clients – local non-profits which we cannot name for client confidentiality reasons – presented their real-life cases to the members. The students chose which business problem they want to solve and in the next few months they will be working as teams, in close interaction with the clients including travelling to the clients’ sites. Sounds like having a consulting job already!
Science & Technology Policy Career Panel
Reflecting the word ‘Beyond’ in the name of GSCB, the club went beyond the consulting and offered its first policy event for the U.Va. students. In fact it was the first of the kind event for graduate students of U.Va. ever. Four distinguished panelists and a moderator discussed how the S&T policy scene works, and related their experience. Two of the panelists were U.Va. alums and told what they learned particularly at the University of Virginia that allowed them to succeed in the policy world. GSCB is very grateful that three panelists came from Washington D.C. – the obvious center of the policy world – just for this event of GSCB. You can learn about the event in this Cavalier Daily article.
Everybody knows how important a nice LinkedIn profile photo is. LinkedIn statistics actually show that your profile is seven times more likely to be viewed if you have a photo. So it’s better to have one professionally done! That’s why GSCB invited a professional photographer Billy Arbour to take some great pictures of the students and of course it was free of charge for our members. Many people showed up and everybody was very satisfied with the work. If you ever need a photographer, graphics design work done, or other related services be sure to check out Billy’s work at his website.
Case Interview Boot Camp
Professor Brendan Boler from Case Interview Boot Camp conducted his great workshop on how to prepare for and navigate successfully a case interview which is a staple in business consulting world. This was an excellent springboard for students entering the interview season. Brendan presents this workshop with GSCB second year in a row and once again was so kind as to waive the fee for GSCB members that he normally charges for this exclusive and comprehensive workshop.
Brendan specializes in management consulting, high-performance coaching, and talent assessment and selection. He is an Assistant Professor at the University of Virginia’s McIntire School of Commerce where he teaches courses in Strategy Consulting and Strategic Business Advising to both undergraduate and graduate students. He has extensive experience within the fields of management consulting and banking, having worked at Accenture, Goldman Sachs, and Morgan Stanley. Throughout his corporate career, Brendan was heavily involved in the recruiting process and has leveraged this experience to conduct research on high-performance coaching, as well as talent assessment and selection. If you’d like to ask Brendan for a meeting to discuss your job search strategy, practice a networking call, or do a case/mock interview, you can contact him here.
Creativity in Science and the Corporate World
GSCB co-sponsored the event “Creativity in Science and the Corporate World”.
The event included two presentations. One, “Mastering the Corporate World with a Scientific Mind”, was done by Jacob Surber, a Senior Manager at Adobe. Jacob shared with the audience how utilizing your experience and skills as a scientist can make you successful in a corporate world. He travels the world speaking and learning about how the creative and scientific mind works together. You can find Jacob’s previous speaking engagements here.
The other, “Creative Problem Solving: Perceiving Your Roadblocks Differently”, was presented by Rodney Deitert, a professor at Cornell University. Dr. Deitert talked about the need for creativity within the bounds of scientific research and development. He is a Professor at Cornell in Immunology and Toxicology who, for his award-winning course, has written a book called Science Sifting which many wish they had read when they were 21 entering graduate school. Dr. Deitert travels all over giving talks & workshops at different universities on “enhanced creative thinking, conscious awareness and novel problem solving skills directed at science and business career development”.
GSCB Board Elections
GSCB is pleased to announce that we have a whole new managing Board that will serve you in the academic year 2014-2015. After a non-stop 6 hour interview process following your applications, we elected new Board members, and are proud of the diversity of our directors – from chemistry to engineering and from biology to law, we made sure that the new 9 Board members will understand the needs of our members and reflect this understanding in the events we are providing. You can learn more about us on the About GSCB page.
2014 GSCB Case Competition
3/14/2014 – 3/21/2014
The 2nd GSCB Case Competition was held on Friday, March 21st, 2014 in Newcomb Hall at the University of Virginia. 9 teams were selected to participate in the first round and 4 teams were promoted to the final round. The winner was Team “The Furious Five” from UVa and the runner-up was Team “Cogitamus” from UNC-Chapel Hill. Here’s what some participants and sponsors had to say about their experience.
Peter DeMartino, CEO, ASG-Thrive:
The experience was terrific on my part and we are integrating some of the ideas into our work.
I have been in touch with many of the teams and have shared all of the presentations with my Board of Directors.
Cindy Colson, Director of Programs, Center for Nonprofit Excellence
I was excited to learn that the Competition had selected a nonprofit organization. Nonprofit organizations have many similarities to for-profit organizations including a business plan, revenue streams, strategic planning, etc. All of the groups who participated in the organization brought a unique perspective to the competition in how they addressed the problem statement. Many groups were able to build on the expertise within their own field of study, yet able to reach beyond to recognize the full scope of problem statement. I valued the opportunity to be a part of a real-world consultation.
UNC-Chapel Hill team:
The UVa GSCB case competition provided a glimpse of consulting: research, analysis, presentation, and teamwork. When I received the invitational email for the case competition, despite having never done one before, I couldn’t turn down the challenge, the experience, or the networking potential.
The well-organized event was particularly attractive in that our recommendations had an actual effect on the real world – it wasn’t just a hypothetical exercise. We’re proud that our presentation stimulated a connection between the CEO of ASG, Peter DeMartino, and another Aids Service Organization that’s successfully navigated the transition to offering primary care services.
Our team, and our young club, gained confidence from our trek to Charlottesville – we thought this might be an appropriate career path for us to pursue, and this experience solidified our desire; it was truly an excellent experience.
Real-Life Consulting Project
12/1/2013 – 5/31/2014
GSCB offered its members real-life consulting experience by partnering with a local non-profit. Camp Holiday Trails is a company that provides camping experience for children with special needs and a team of GSCB members was working on developing new revenue sources for CHT so they can serve better their mission of helping children. The team presented to CHT management in the end of May. Here’s what some team members and CHT had to say about their experience.
Jaymes Beech, Biomedical Engineering Ph.D. student:
Working with Camp Holiday Trails (CHT) has been a great experience. They do so much for children with chronic diseases it was nice to be able to help them. We worked with several members of CHT including Chris, Heather, and Tina to find ways to increase their revenue. This involved increasing existing streams as well as finding new sources of income. Our diverse team started by spending a good amount of time analyzing their problem and making sure we had a deep understanding of our clients needs. We expanded the scope of the project accordingly and then took a systems analysis approach to develop our best solution as well as a few alternative options. After delivering our findings, CHT was very pleased with our results and will be implementing some of our recommendations during the next steps of this project.
Lawrence Bonczar, Systems and Information Engineering Master’s student:
This project had everything you’d want out of a graduate student consulting experience – an interesting problem and awesome clients; a chance to flex your critical thinking and communication skills; and the opportunity to build new relationships within one’s network for professional growth and friendship. I hope GSCB continues to offer programs such as this one – a chance to make a difference in the lives of others as well as yourself.
Tina LaRoche, Executive Director and Christine Shifflett, Camp Coordinator:
We greatly enjoyed working with the Graduate Students Consulting and Beyond Club on how to build up our rental program and general capacity for increasing revenue to advance our mission. The team we worked with was thorough and professional and presented some action items for immediate implementation as well as some long-range goals. We are particularly in the possibility of an online rental tool, the marketing tips, and the corporate partners/renters who may be converted into funders. Additional corporate grant leads were also helpful. The feedback was practical and we are appreciative of the attention to our needs, the understanding of our mission, and the research to help us move forward our mission of working with kids with special medical needs.
Case Interview Boot Camp
8/17/2013 – 8/19/2013
Professor Brendan Boler from Case Interview Boot Camp conducted his 3-day workshop for our members. 3 hours every night for 3 days with engaging conversations and exercises provided invaluable experience in preparing for real life case interviews when applying for consulting jobs. As supplementary material during the workshop, students used one of the best books on case interview out there – Case in Point by Marc Cosentino.
GSCB Case Competition
5/20/2013 – 5/24/2013
The 1st GSCB Case Competition was held on May 24, 2013. We received applications from students and postdocs of University of Virginia, Johns Hopkins University, Pennsylvania State University, and Duke University. 12 teams were selected to participate in the first round, and 4 teams were promoted to the final round.
Mock Case Interview
3/29/2013 – 3/31/2013
GSCB facilitated case interview practice for the students and provided necessary case materials. Our members also had the opportunity to be interviewed by Darden students.
A Career with McKINSEY & COMPANY
First Career Workshop：Wall Street after PhD