What are your key roles and responsibilities in your current positions? What do you like most about your job and what do you find most challenging? 

I lead execution of consulting projects across industries/topics with specializations in climate & sustainability, energy transition, and digital topics, including project planning and process management, driving development of analysis and written materials, organizing work planning and project schedule, and managing overall project scope. I also serve as primary BCG representative with client teams, including managing day-to-day client relationships and leading senior client meetings, provide mentorship and coaching to consultants, and manage project budgets to ensure proper resource allocation to deliver client requirements.

List or describe the top 5+ professional skills that are crucial to your role. 

  1. Analytical (esp. quantitative thinking)
  2. Problem framing
  3. Time management/prioritization
  4. Information processing
  5. Emotional intelligence

How did your time at Yale shape your career trajectory? For example, what skills and/or experiences did you acquire that have contributed to your career success? 

While the focus of my research at Yale was far from the content I work on in my day-to-day role at BCG, the analytical and information processing skills I developed have proven invaluable. From day one at BCG, my ability to hear/read something, assess it for its salient points, and draw conclusions from those salient points has been a differentiator among my peers. These are skills I honed over years of repeatedly doing this when reading/researching/writing/listening to presentations, even though I didn’t think about what I was doing in those terms.

What were the biggest challenges that you faced when transitioning to different workplaces and cultures? What advice and suggestions can you offer to current students to help them prepare for those challenges?

There are two things I would highlight as the biggest differences (and therefore challenges to adjust to) between academia and industry: (1) the pace of work is generally much faster in industry (e.g., turning entire presentations around in a few hours as opposed to days or weeks), and (2) the depth of research and analysis for output is much shallower given the shortened timeline (we call it the 80/20 rule).

To prepare for these adjustments, you need to practice what we in consulting call “time boxing.” Time boxing is setting an aggressive time limit to execute a specific task. The goal is not for the task to be perfect (otherwise it wouldn’t be 80/20! it’d be 100/0). Rather you need to aim for what in Agile methodology is called a “minimum viable product,” which is essentially the lowest quality output that will still satisfy the requirements of the task. It will be uncomfortable to produce something that feels so low quality—you will see all the ways it could be better. But most often these “products” will be improved through iteration, and you won’t have wasted time perfecting something that the group does not think is essential.