Collegiate Consulting Academy

 

What is the Collegiate Consulting Academy (CCA)?

The Cox Career Management Center (CMC) is proud to introduce the Cox Collegiate Consulting Academy, a competitive, premier development program dedicated to preparing students for career success in consulting.

The year-long program is designed to achieve the following objectives:

1. To foster a network of highly motivated students that want to develop lasting relationships in the consulting industry
2. To provide a competitive out-of-classroom environment that promotes critical thinking and problem solving
3. To prepare students for the rigorous consulting interview process
4. To help students develop key consulting skills required to deliver world class client solutions

CCA students have proven past leadership and academic success and will immerse themselves into the consulting world through case studies, firm-led workshops, and networking opportunities.

Which companies have attended CCA events?

The Cox Career Management Center collaborates with some of the most prestigious consulting firms in the DFW metroplex, including:

• Deloitte Consulting
• Bain & Company
• Hitachi Consulting
• McKinsey & Company
• Boston Consulting Group
• Sendero Business Services
• Slalom Consulting
• Infosys
• A.T. Kearney 

How has the CCA impacted participants?

The CCA is proud to announce that 100% of the seniors involved in the program received job offers prior to graduation. These students received offers from consulting firms, banks, and financial services firms from companies, including:

• Deloitte Consulting
• Bain & Company
• EY
• RBC
• Infosys
• A.T. Kearney 
• KPMG
• KPMG

The CMC interviewed a few CCA alumni to gain student insight on the program:

• What is the most valuable thing you learned from the CCA?
In an industry like consulting, there are many details and intricacies—many of which are learned through experience. CCA gave me the opportunity to network with seasoned industry professionals and hear their advice, which proved to be invaluable for both the interview process and my work at the firm.
• Do you feel that the CCA prepared you to succeed as your first year in the consulting world?
Absolutely. In addition to the great seminars about case interviews, CCA provided me a great opportunity to meet accomplished consulting professionals, many of whom I still speak with today.
• What was your favorite CCA workshop and why?
I very much enjoyed the Behavioral Interview workshop (and I will be helping create content for it this year)! I really enjoyed the interactive exercises in the seminar, and learned some great ways to approach challenging interview questions.
• What is one piece of advice you would give to students in the CCA program now?
Be as prepared as possible, do excellent work, focus on building quality relationships while networking, and try not to worry about the past or the future.

- Andrew Pinkowitz, Business Technology Analyst , Deloitte Consulting LLP 

• What is the most valuable thing you learned from the CCA?
The most valuable thing I learned from CCA is the importance of reading and maintaining a global awareness. Being able to converse on a multitude of business topics not only makes you more knowledgeable in general subject matters, but you also learn from the initiatives of various markets which often apply directly to the concerns of your future clients.
• Do you feel that the CCA prepared you to succeed as your first year in the consulting world?
CCA most definitely helped prepare me to succeed in my first year as a consultant. The activities of the program provided relevant practice that I often reflect on to this day.
• What was your favorite CCA workshop and why?
Crack the Case presentation helped to refine my case prep efforts and presented a different style and interview approach.
• What is one piece of advice you would give to students in the CCA program now?
Be open-minded and say yes to various opportunities as they are presented to you. Developing practical knowledge outside of academia becomes incredibly valuable beyond graduation. Diversify your interests and experiences!

- Julia M. Olson, Performance Improvement Advisory Associate , Ernst & Young, LLP

• What is the most valuable thing you learned from the CCA?
From the networking, to resume workshops, to case and behavioral interviews, it is hard to choose just one area of the CCA that was most valuable to me. If I had to choose, I would say that the networking was most valuable to me; not only did it help me get to know practitioners before my interviews, but it also allowed me get to know a lot of the people I would be working with when I started.
• Do you feel that the CCA prepared you to succeed as your first year in the consulting world?
Absolutely. The CCA's events that are offered throughout the fall semester help build core consulting skills and give you an idea of what to expect in your first year as a consultant.
• What was your favorite CCA workshop and why?
The Behavioral Interview Workshop; it dove into a lot more depth than the classic behavioral questions and explained how to approach them.
• What is one piece of advice you would give to students in the CCA program now?
If a practitioner at a session has time to chat afterward, use the opportunity to introduce yourself and get to know him/her! If the person has to go, ask for their business card and follow up with them. If you still have lingering questions, the practitioner may be available for a phone call or coffee. When practitioners know more about you than just your name and major, you have a much better chance when it comes down to getting chosen for interviews.

- Stephen Grant, Business Technology Analyst, Deloitte Consulting, LLP

• What is the most valuable thing you learned from the CCA?
Understanding what the role consultancies play in solving business problems, and additionally the role of the first-year consultant, helped me know that I had picked the right path to pursue. CCA resources, events and the professionals I met all helped me know that consulting was the best way for me to start my career.
• Do you feel that the CCA prepared you to succeed as your first year in the consulting world?
The most valuable aspect of the CCA experience was meeting professionals from a variety of firms – not only did it help with the recruiting process but also helped me understand the role of an entry level consultant. Even though I've just started at Bain, the advice and experiences from consultants at all the other firms have also been helpful to me in understanding why consulting is a great fit and how to be successful in my role.
• What is one piece of advice you would give to students in the CCA program now?
I would encourage current members to attend as many of the workshops as possible – I missed the workshops in the spring because I was volunteering in Ecuador but now that I've started at Bain I wish I'd had the extra training in excel, modeling, PowerPoint and client relationship building. Also, pay attention in your ITOM classes – VLOOKUP and hot keys, you'll most definitely use those.

- Carissa Grisham, Associate Consultant, Bain & Co.

• What is the most valuable thing you learned from the CCA?
The CCA provided an excellent way to practice case interviews. It not only provided the practice cases and resources themselves, but also provided people with whom to practice.
• Do you feel that the CCA prepared you to succeed as your first year in the consulting world?
Absolutely. The CCA provided connections and insight to current consulting practitioners. I was able to understand what is expected of first-year consultants and get a good idea of what my working life would be like.
• What was your favorite CCA workshop and why?
The Case Interview Workshops were all outstanding. Much of the material for the workshops comes from sources recommended by the companies themselves and it will do an excellent job of preparing you for the types of questions that you will see in a real interview.
• What is one piece of advice you would give to students in the CCA program now?
One thing above all else: networking. CCA gives you an opportunity to meet a lot of people that you would normally not otherwise meet. Try to get an idea of the problems that current practitioners face every day by engaging with them and they will be sure to remember you. Also be sure to ask for a business card and to send a follow-up email.

- Jackson Foster ,Business Technology Analyst, Deloitte Consulting LLP

• What is the most valuable thing you learned from the CCA?
The most valuable things I took from the CCA is learning about the wide variety of opportunities available within the consulting industry and the ability to meet professionals from numerous firms.
• Do you feel that the CCA prepared you to succeed as your first year in the consulting world?
I think the biggest thing I learned from the CCA about my first year in consulting is to be ready for anything – any sort of task, project, work environment, etc. Be ready for it!
• What was your favorite CCA workshop and why?
My favorite workshop with the CCA was the behavioral interview prep because it was an interactive workshop that allowed the students to practice unique questions that might be asked.
• What is one piece of advice you would give to students in the CCA program now?
Stay diligent in working towards a career in consulting and keep an open mind regarding the opportunities you are presented with.

- Sarah Frazee, Business Technology Analyst , Deloitte Consulting LLP

• What is the most valuable thing you learned from the CCA?
The CCA taught me how to most effectively market myself when looking for a job in consulting. Coming into the process, I was blind-sided by the intensity and competitiveness of the recruitment, interviewing, and hiring process. The CCA helped me get in gear and prepare for the experience.
• Do you feel that the CCA prepared you to succeed as your first year in the consulting world?
Definitely! The exposure to consultants from different firms gave me a good picture of the "average" day in the life of a consultant. Coming into my current position, I had more informed expectations about the challenges I would face and the rewarding nature of the work.
• What is one piece of advice you would give to students in the CCA program now?
Although I may sound like a broken record, Network, Network, Network! This is a people business after all. Try to meet as many people at the different firms as possible and not just the HR Recruiter from each firm. Use any and all channels available to you (family, friends, LinkedIn, etc.) and if you make a contact, don't be afraid to ask him or her to have coffee with you. Showing a genuine interest in the firm (and that you're interested for the right reasons) will make a huge impact.

- Jacob Kay, Business Technology Analyst, Deloitte Consulting LLP

CCA Team Leads

Briana Baker
Associate Director, MBA Career Coach
brbaker@mail.smu.edu
214 768-1759


Judi Umali-Rajkumar
Associate Director, BBA/MS Consulting Career Coach
rajkumar@smu.edu
214-768-6227

 

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