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Consulting: An Alum's Perspective

Photo of Pranav ChaudharyPranav Chaudhary, B.S. Industrial Systems and Engineering, May 2018

This week’s blog features Pranav Chaudhary, an Associate with PwC. Pranav graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Systems and Engineering in May 2018.

What does a typical day look like for you as an Associate with PwC?
In a typical day, one of my most significant responsibilities is closing out the user story (as per the Agile PM methodology a user story is a piecemeal of the more substantial client deliverable) for that day. My team meets first thing in the morning for goal setting and status updates. In this meeting we discuss what we've done so far, what are the blockers and what is the plan for the day ahead. We meet at 8:30 am with the offshore team and 10:00 am with the onsite team, which includes the client. Sometimes, I have meetings with other PwC teams during the day if I have dependencies on their line of work. On Fridays, I make sure all tasks for the week are completed and update the Project Director with the plan for the week ahead. 

Explain the skills/abilities that are required for being successful in your role.
The PwC Professional Framework outlines five dimensions to be a successful consultant. 

  1. Whole Leadership
  2. Business Acumen
  3. Global Acumen
  4. Relationships
  5. Technical Acumen

Without getting into each one of them, I’d say fundamentally, if you like to solve complex problems this role is for you. In addition to the quality of your work and technical skills around it; my role is all about perceptions, optics and the experience you create while delivering the work. Soft skills, like how you communicate and work together with your teammates, go a long way. 

Can you share any insight on PWC’s hiring process? 
Consulting interviews for college graduates follow a fairly standard pattern across companies - a mix of technical and behavioral questions. Anything on your resume or projects you've worked on is fair game, so be ready to talk about that in depth. The case interview will be 30-45 minutes and it's basically testing your ability to think critically, digest information and develop a recommendation/conclusion. Beyond this regular preparation for interviews, it's important to be present and engage with the person sitting in front of you. 

What advice would you give to engineering students who are considering the consulting field?
Focus on developing technical skills along with leadership and people skills. Be that person who goes the extra mile to stand out amongst his/her peers. Follow your passion the rest will take care of itself! 

For more information on consulting, visit the Handshake Resource Library to access the Consulting Career Guide.

"If you define the problem correctly, you almost have the solution." - Steve Jobs

About the author

Kaitlin Hohenberger

Kaitlin Hohenberger is a Career Counselor at Engineering Career Services.