It’s crazy to think my first year of Harvard Business School is over. It was one of the most enlightening, and most challenging, years of my life. I learned so many new things – how to value a business using a discounted cash flow analysis, how to compute a customer’s acquisition cost, and how to determine whether a strategic acquisition makes more sense than contracting out for services, to name a few. As I embark on my internship with Deloitte Consulting, I am incredibly thankful for the year of training I’ve received; I can’t wait to start putting some of the skills to good use!
I came to business school knowing I wanted to learn more about two fields: consulting and entrepreneurship. HBS has been great for a lot of reasons, but for me the main one is that I received hands-on experience in both areas through Harvard’s new FIELD course. FIELD, which stands for Field Immersion Experiences for Leadership Development, is a three part course that is meant to help HBS students transfer the knowledge we receive in the classroom to the real world. During the second part of the course, we were all assigned global partner companies who asked us to help them come up with new products or services to address their most pressing concerns. Working with my team in Chile, I gained valuable insight into the life of a management consultant – so much of the work is about listening to the client’s needs and managing expectations – and I’m incredibly happy I learned these lessons while still in school.
FIELD 3 was fantastic because it taught me some very valuable lessons about starting a business. The startup my team launched, Rentern.co, has done well over the past few months and I look forward to seeing it grow. However, I am still excited about consulting – I see this as an opportunity to continue learning about new industries and to strengthen my business acumen.
As I begin my summer with Deloitte’s New York office, I can’t wait to see what industry I land in and what sort of project I’ll be working on. Before we started, Deloitte asked us to indicate what sort of work we were interested in doing. After a full year of school, learning about every industry under the sun, you’d think I’d have a handle on what type of project I wanted, but the truth is I can’t wait to take on another new problem with an industry I know little about. That, to me, is what makes consulting fun!
Now be forewarned: client confidentiality will mean I won’t be able to share specifics about the company or provide great detail regarding the project, but don’t worry – I’ll have plenty to share regarding the experience (like traveling four days a week…we’ll see if I’m cut out for it!).
Until then, enjoy your summers and I look forward to the next post!
– Kristen Jones, MBA 2014