Students interested in entering the consulting field begin the recruiting process during the fall of their senior year. To help with preparation for this exciting but stressful endeavor, two event planners from the Wellesley College Consulting Club, Emily Rothkin ’15 and Nidhi Saxena ’15, have reached out to Wellesley’s alumnae network to mentor current students who plan to go down this career path.
Consulting is a broad industry, which is why it can be hard to understand. The field is split into major areas such as management, economics, recruitment and information technology. Consultants from firms are sent to companies requiring outside input and specific expertise for resolving situations requiring in-depth research and critical thinking. It is a misconception that it is enough to simply be an expert in a field; however, consulting involves strategy, teamwork and communication as well.
Aspiring consultant Sarah Lee ’16 explains how consultants may apply specific skills and interests to find their niche in the industry.
“As a chemistry major, I hope to combine the analytical skills that I acquired from my science classes with interpersonal skills to possibly go into healthcare consulting,” Lee said.
In order to help students who would like to enter this complex field, Rothkin and Saxena decided to create a program with the help of alumnae who are familiar with the industry and recruitment process and can provide guidance and support.
“Both Nidhi and I were recruiting for consulting last semester and something that we felt was that there really wasn’t a formal support system in place,” Rothkin explained.
The two students collaborated with the Center for Work and Service’s (CWS) head of recruiting Irma Tryon and assistant head of recruiting Kristy Liu to create this support system. The students also reached out to Anisha Vachani ’12 who is currently working with Boston Consulting Group (BCG), one of the big four management consulting firms. Vachani has previously worked with the CWS and is involved in the recruiting process, so she will serve as an alumna liaison.
“As second-semester seniors, [Rothkin and Saxena] will not be able to benefit directly from this mentorship advice; yet, they’ve dedicated so much time, effort, and attention to creating this program from scratch. I really enjoy brainstorming with them and am happy that I’ve been able to help shape this program,” Vachani said.
The consulting mentorship program consists of multiple events. The first meeting — the only event of the program that have occurred this semester — was the Consulting 101 workshop run by Vachani. The event outlined the basics of a career in consulting and gave information about the mentorship.
The second meeting will be an “etiquette” meeting run by the CWS, which explains how the students should interact with Wellesley alumnae. These two meetings are mandatory and ensure the students’ placement in the program. After these meetings, the mentees are placed with mentors and have five individual sessions in which they begin the process of choosing which sub-industry they would like to go into and which firms they should be looking at.
“As a neuroscience and economics double major, oftentimes I get confused about what I should do after graduation, and sometimes I don’t know where to turn to to connect with alums. This program is excellent in that it points me in the right direction for a mentor,” program participant Fiona Fan ’16 said.
In order to pair the students with alumnae, Rothkin and Saxena will personally be conducting behavioral tests to understand what the students are looking to gain, from the program. From these results, the two can decide as as well as whether each mentee needs a mentor who has recently gone through the recruiting process or who has had a significant amount of experience in a certain field.
“Junior mentors have just gone through the recruiting process, so it’s really fresh in their minds. Senior mentors have been in the industry for a very long time and so they’re valuable for more life experience,” Saxena explained.
As this is the first year the program is running, the mentorship is specifically targeted towards juniors who will go through recruiting next semester. Graduating seniors Rothkin and Saxena plan to ensure that the program continues in coming years. They also hope to expand it to sophomores and possibly first years who show a strong interest.
This new program is one that speaks to the extensive support that the Wellesley alumnae network provides to current students, especially those who are entering this male-dominated field.
“A lot of Wellesley alumnae just want to give back to Wellesley. They want students to have an easier experience getting into consulting,” Saxena explained.
Photo by Bianca Pichamuthu ’16, Photo Editor