Why I Chose a Career in Consulting

December 22, 2017 Kimber Nelson

 

Going into my senior year at Saint Mary’s College, I was preparing for my graduation with a BA in Computing and Applied Mathematics and a minor in Business Administration. You might be asking yourself, “What does one do with a degree in math? Teach? Go to grad school?” At the beginning of the school year, I was asked this a multitude of times and my answer was consistently, “Anything?” I was equipped with problem solving skills, random computer knowledge, and a splash of how the business world operates. I really could do anything, and there were plenty of open doors. I just needed to decide what door I was going to walk through. I made a list of things I did — and more importantly did not — want out of a career. This is that list:

 

 

Just Can’t

  • Sit at a computer all day long with little to no human interaction
  • Teach
  • Go to grad school
  • Work/Live in South Bend
  • Code

Would Like

  • A social atmosphere
  • Business casual to casual wear
  • Team-oriented projects
  • Indy or Chicago area
  • Incorporate math and business

 


As the semester progressed, I began having conversations with anyone I could about potential career paths. My mom suggested finance, which I quickly shot down because typically that requires a finance degree or grad school. My professors suggested business or data analytics, which I thought sounded really cool. I looked up what those positions entailed and found that they would incorporate both my business and math knowledge BUT would require crunching numbers and creating statistical spreadsheets from a desk … alone. At this point, there are only two weeks before the only career fair of the year, and I didn’t even know where to start looking for a job. The night before the career fair I made a plan: I would approach any company looking for math or business majors, and then hope for the best. I wrote out the list of those companies, printed 15 copies of my resume, and went for it!

My first stop at the career fair was the Appirio table. I quickly Googled what they did and approached the representatives. Joanna sold me on Appirio within minutes, when she started talking about technical consulting, which I knew nothing about minutes before. I liked the idea of going to a client, getting business requirements for the new platform, and figuring out how to incorporate them all into the functionality of the build. It seemed like what I had been training for throughout my college career! I felt confident in my abilities, but I knew it wouldn’t be easy. For technical consulting, you need to know how businesses operate and function. You also need to find ways to integrate all the different ways each business runs the same processes. Technical consulting is like a word problem in math: similar to the last problem, but a different way to solve it. This is what intrigued me the most! I would see many similar problems but never have the same solution; I’d always be thinking about how to make things work.

I applied for a technical consultant position at Appirio, and after a phone screening, video interview, and a Finalist Day interview, Appirio chose me. I wanted this career path because I felt as though it would challenge me, but I would also be engaged in the work I was doing. Appirio allowed me to put my degree to use, and embrace my outgoing nature.

Are you a college senior about to head to career fairs this fall? Not sure where or how you could use your degree? Well be sure to check out Appirio and our Ascend program. It could be a great fit!

 
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