The Boston University Consulting Group is hosting its sixth annual conference this Saturday — the campus’s largest annual consulting event—in the Questrom School of Business. Themed “The Consulting Life Cycle,” this all-day conference will consist of a keynote address, panel discussions, breakout sessions and networking opportunities, featuring professionals from top consulting firms.
Open to all BU students, the event caters to young professionals networking and students looking to learn more.
Brandon Kasman, a senior in Questrom and president of BUCG, said the conference aims to “get [underclassmen] acquainted with the consulting world” and “offer ways for seniors and juniors who are looking for an internship or looking for a full-time opportunity to also network with these professionals.”
Kasman said consultants are “the doctors of the business world” as they “cure business problems.”
Milan Cvijic, a 2016 graduate from Questrom and a strategy and consulting manager at Accenture, will be one of the speakers at the conference. He’s an alumnus of the BUCG and drawn to the problem-solving aspect of consulting.
“I’ve been working in it for many years, but [it’s] very rare for me to say two days are the same,” said Cvijic in an interview. “Every day you have a different set of problems, clients are constantly changing and their businesses are changing … my intellectual curiosity certainly continues to be met and challenged.”
June Lin, a senior in Questrom and executive vice president of BUCG, advises students of all academic backgrounds to explore consulting.
“I would just encourage younger students who are not in business to pursue consulting as well if that’s something they’re even remotely interested in,” she said in an interview. “There’s so much emphasis on diversity of thought in this industry.”
Consulting attracts a variety of backgrounds, and Cvijic said a lot of learning is done in the job itself.
“They don’t necessarily expect you to come with hard skills,” Cvijic said. “You will be trained along the way, the mentorship model in general at all these firms exists for a reason and the goal is to really quickly educate younger folks starting in consulting and give them a wide set of experiences that they can later refer back to.”
He encourages students to network not just with professionals but also with their peers.
“A lot of folks think networking needs to be some intimidating senior executive you go speak to, it can be anyone that you maintain a relationship with, and I would say, don’t lose sight of that, and invest your time into the people that you enjoy spending time with,” Cvijic said. “Oftentimes, it will come back.”
The conference is among the many avenues for students to learn and grow. Lin said consulting experiences thus far have helped her immensely.
“I came in as a freshman, very nervous and afraid to speak in front of people,” Lin said. “I feel very comfortable talking in front of people, and being able to think straight when I’m under pressure has been a huge improvement on my end.”
Kasman said the event will draw around 120 to 150 people, from alumni to students.
“It has been a fun time planning. You’re reaching out to professionals and connecting with alumni and connecting with these really senior people,” he said. “It’s been a really fun experience for the team here at BUCG.”
Kasman said BUCG has “basically sold out our tickets,” but hopes to get more students interested in business consulting through their club.
“It comes down to the way that you approach learning,” said Kasman. “If you have an open mind and you’re coachable, you can go anywhere given that you put the hard work in.”