As the largest MBA student club on campus, the Foster Consulting Society (FCS) “helps Foster MBA students learn about, prepare for, and secure high quality career opportunities in consulting.” FCS also aims to build the Foster MBA program as a major pipeline of consulting talent on the West Coast. With many students interested in consulting as a post-MBA career, FCS is a crucial piece of Foster’s strategy for producing top consulting talent year after year.This year, FCS is led by President Anna Bacheller and Senior Vice President Audrey Almy. Bacheller, a graduate of Whitman College, spent her years before Foster as a strategic lead on client-facing marketing and communications projects at several firms in the Bay Area. Almy, a Pacific Northwest native, received her undergraduate degree from Tufts University and completed two years with Teach For America in Harlem. After that, she then worked for a healthcare technology firm in New York where she focused on client relations and training and development.
Both Bacheller and Almy came to business school to pursue consulting and both spent the summer interning with Accenture. We sat down with them to hear more about FCS and how it achieves the mission of preparing Foster students for the consulting field.
What kind of events does the Consulting Society put on throughout the year? Consulting Society hosts a large range of events throughout the year to help students learn more about the consulting profession, meet firms and develop connections with consultants in the Seattle area, and prepare for recruiting at consulting firms. If we went through the whole list, it would take up this whole article! But some of our favorites, and by far the most helpful events to prepare for recruiting are the Case Interview Workshops and one-on-one interview prep. Second year students dedicate their time to share their skills and and knowledge with first years in order to make the case interview process less daunting. On the other end of the spectrum, I loved the Winter and Spring Socials last year. These events help students make connections with local consultants and alumni who are valuable people to know when going through the recruiting process at different firms. We will be holding both of these again this year as it’s such a great way for students to make connections with firms in Seattle for the purpose of both internships and full time recruiting.
How does the Consulting Society help students with career development? The Consulting Society provides a great deal of help with recruiting, but also helps students learn about the options that a career in consulting can provide. Formal events in the form of workshops and office hours with second year students help first years learn about the different firms in the area. The informal help given by second year students is also extremely valuable; many students are willing to take their time and share their experiences with recruiting, interviewing, and working as an intern.
Do all members of Consulting Society pursue consulting as a career? What if I am someone who doesn’t yet know what I want to do? Not all members need to pursue consulting as a career! Case interview preparation is so helpful for recruiting at many firms, not just consulting. Also, connecting with alumni is helpful regardless of whether you plan to pursue work at their firm or not – creating a connection with someone may help you learn about a different company or career path that interests you. The social events put on by the Consulting Society are great events to help any Foster student build their network. (And we have great snacks.)
What should first years interested in consulting do between now and when they start business school? Read a book about case interviewing. (A simple Google Search will yield many options, but Mark Cosentino has some winners.) Sit down and write a one paragraph answer about why you want to work in consulting. Being able to explain to people why you want to work in consulting or why you will be good at that job is crucial.