Michael May Meet & Greet: Insights into Consulting from a Successful Swarthmore Alumni

 

 

By Elle Chen

On March 25th 2017, Swarthmore alum, Michael May, spoke at a Meet & Greet event hosted by Redefine Her Street. Michael May, who graduated with a B.A. in Economics in 2011, currently works as a consultant at a “Big Three” consulting firm. His previous experience included working as a Bank Examiner within the Financial Institution Supervision Group at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. The event was well-attended by many students from freshman to juniors interested in pursuing a career in consulting.

Discussing his background and growing up with a mother who was a feminist economist, May emphasized the importance of a female presence in consulting and his support for the mission of Redefine Her Street: to create a community and network that encourages women to explore career opportunities in business and share resources with one another and to equip undergraduate women with enough training to succeed during the recruiting process. During the event, May described the life-cycle of an engagement, discussing how a consulting engagement generally progresses and the activities performed by associates in each phase. May broke down the different roles within a team and a typical day-to-day schedule for each of these roles. May then went into detail regarding the work-life balance of consultant and the differences with that of career in finance. Throughout, the event, there was an open dialogue and discussion among the students and May. Questions asked included possible career paths for consultants, work-life balance, and culture, among other questions regarding the work of consultants.

After, May presented a high level overview of consulting firms and the interviewing process. May discussed the typical breakdown of the hiring process: resume submission, first round interviews, and then final round interviews. Further, May gave excellent insights towards the importance of reaching out to alumni from Swarthmore as well as casting a wide net during the job recruitment process. After the event, the members adjourned to the catering and a session where the members had the opportunity to engage and network with Michael May.

There was consensus among the members that the event was incredibly enriching and informative about a career in consulting. Redefine Her Street is incredibly grateful for Michael May’s attendance and encouraged by his willingness to support other Swatties!