Wednesday, February 08, 2012

The Internship..

I thought I'd elaborate on my last post... because it was somewhat vague, and because I really cannot bring myself to start the Business Analytics & Modeling case that's due on Monday quite yet.

So, to bring us up to speed... Last semester I decided pretty firmly that I wanted to give consulting a shot. (Any unsureness was only just my fear of not getting a consulting offer.) I spent the majority of the winter break preparing for consulting interviews.  Pretty much as soon as we got back from Colorado, I was hitting the books. Consulting case prep books, that is. And practicing. I had my dream team of Rishi, James, Jeremy, and Quentin... and throughout the break I met one of them pretty much every day leading up to interviews in order to practice. 

Why so much work prepping for consulting case interviews, you ask? Because they are HARD! Here, take a look at a few examples: Deloitte, BCG, and Booz. The part that most freaked me out was the fact that you have to do math without a calculator. Have you tried doing math without punching numbers into excel lately? Yikes. I needed some work. But beyond that, there are the frameworks, structures, questions, etc... that all go into the case interview. It's not easy. (I mentioned that, right?)

So anyway, I had 4 consulting interviews lined up the week before school started.  The first one - with BCG - was really fun, with interesting cases and good conversations. However, I was 100% positive I bombed the interviews due to my lack of quantitative pro-activeness. (Yes that's a term. Yes I made it up just now.) I was so sure in fact that I GAVE AWAY my case prep books once it was done.  The next day I interviewed with Deloitte, and 100% bombed the case. It was all financial, and I felt like I just wanted to run out of the room. Finally, on Friday I interviewed with PwC in the morning and Booz in the afternoon. By the time I hit my fourth company, I was feeling far more relaxed and ready.  I heard back from Booz the next day that I was invited to final rounds. I was stoked.

Then came the following Wednesday, when we were supposed to hear yes or no from BCG. I hate to admit it, but due to my perceived poor case performances, I had written them off. So you can imagine my complete surprise when I was invited to interview for second rounds. In two days. In Dallas. Yay! Gulp! Wait, I already gave my case book away! Oops! I did a practice case on the phone the next evening and it was painful. My brain just wasn't clicking and it got me completely frazzled. But, I figured, I'm lucky to have gotten this far - I'm just going to go and have fun.

So... I did. I love the BCG Dallas office. The office is spectacular, the people are cool, and frankly - the firm is one of the best. I had three back-to-back interviews, and I treated each one like a fun conversation with a new friend. I left feeling like I had given it my everything and was proud of my performance. I didn't have a feeling of whether or not I was successful (and clearly my read of these situations isn't the best) but I felt honored to have had the opportunity. Besides, I was doing second rounds with Booz the next Friday and I loved them equally too. I was in a good spot.

Fast forward to Saturday night at 6:42pm - yes, I remember exactly the time ;) - I get a call from a 214 number. I recognize it as a contact from BCG, and answer immediately. The conversation went like this.

"Hey Erin... What are you doing?"
"Nothing. Well, I'm heading to Target and then to Red Box to get a movie, but that's it. Why are you working on a Saturday night?"
"I'm not, don't worry. But I think you need to come up with something better to do tonight."
"I know, I'm kind of lame."
"Well, yeah. But seriously, is that really the way you want to go celebrate?"
More silence...
"Erin, you got the internship. Welcome to the team. Now go out and celebrate!"
E starts crying.
"Is it totally unprofessional that I'm crying right now?!"
"Haha, no. But seriously, go celebrate. We'll be in touch."

And so it was. To skip over and wrap up a somewhat long and complicated-only-to-me story, I submitted my acceptance letter yesterday and am getting a ton of "welcome to BCG!" emails tonight. I'm officially going to work in Dallas this summer and try my hand at consulting.

If only I had known this would happen last semester, I would have been 100x less stressed and neurotic. However, perhaps that helped me get to where I am now.  It probably did.

My internship is wrapped up. Now I just have to focus on schoolwork, my India global trip, some practicum projects, Marketing Fellows, and so much more. Then in June I will head to Dallas to take on a new adventure. This MBA thing is working out after all.

Thanks to everyone who has been so supportive along the way. It has meant the world to me! :)

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

The Update...

Getting into Texas was great, but it pails in comparison to getting an internship offer from one of the top consulting firms in the world. 

Mission accomplished. :)

India Blog

I have to maintain two blogs for two classes this semester.  One of which is my thoughts on India - since I will be visiting for two weeks in March! I'm over at blogspot again, with a title "erinandindia." There's not much to it yet, but hopefully it will soon be filled with amazing insights and experiences!

School update coming soon...