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Real Humans of BCG: Madeleine Macks, Wharton ’18, Consultant

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Boston Consulting Group (BCG) has been lauded by MBA alumni in this series for its community and culture.  Our featured alumna, Madeleine Macks, Wharton MBA ’18 and consultant at BCG, echoed those sentiments and added the value of the scope of projects there.  Indeed, BCG cites expertise in 20 industries—from automotive and education, to insurance and the public sector, and everything in between.  Wharton is also a solid training ground for consulting, and a quarter of the most recent class joined the industry.  In this edition of Real Humans: Alumni, Macks walks us through her MBA experience and journey into consulting.  Read on for her insights.

Madeleine Macks, Wharton MBA ’18, Consultant at BCG

Madeleine Macks, Wharton MBA ’18, Consultant at Boston Consulting Group

Age: 29
Hometown: Baltimore, Maryland
Undergraduate Institution and Major: University of Pennsylvania, Anthropology
Graduate Business School, Graduation Year and Concentration: The Wharton School, 2018, Strategic Management
Pre-MBA Work Experience: 4 years, International Development
Post-MBA Work Experience:
2 years, Management Consulting

Why did you choose to attend business school?
I had the opportunity to support some incredible partnerships between the private sector and civil society during my 4 years working in international development. I saw the impact that was possible from companies that do well and in turn choose to support their communities and employees. This inspired me to apply to business school with the hope of entering the private sector and being part of such a company.

Why Wharton? What factors figured most prominently into your decision of where to attend?
I chose Wharton for three reasons:

  1. Wharton’s data-driven approach to business and strong quantitative & analytics training. I wanted a school where I could gain the hard skill set that would open the door to as many future opportunities as possible.
  2. Wharton’s size. I loved the idea of having a class of more than 800 students, where I would meet new friends every day while developing a large network full of some of the most talented and interesting people from across the globe.
  3. Wharton’s location. I wanted to be in a large city with an airport to facilitate travel and I loved how close Philadelphia was to my family in Baltimore.

What about your MBA experience prepared you for your current career?
Wharton taught me how to think about complicated problems that don’t necessarily have a perfect answer. Through case studies in classrooms with talented professors, trips around the globe to meet with business leaders, and consulting projects with local Philadelphia businesses, I learned that many hard questions have multiple answers, but there are ways to zero-in on the best option. In my current role as a management consultant, I work on finding solutions to complex problem after complex problem and lean on my Wharton training daily.

What was your internship during business school?  How did that inform your post-MBA career choice?
I interned with my current employer, Boston Consulting Group (BCG). I had the chance to experience consulting first hand, and get to know the people who would become my colleagues. Having the chance to “test drive” a potential employer was an invaluable experience. I knew what my future job would have in store, and was certain I was making the right decision to return full time.

Why did you choose your current company? What factors figured most prominently into your decision of where to work?
I chose BCG for 3 reasons:

  1. The chance to work with leading companies across industries. BCG would provide me the opportunity to help companies succeed and support their employees, communities, and missions.
  2. The people. The community at BCG reminded me of the community at Wharton with its diversity and size. I knew I’d continue to develop a network that would push me and expose me to new ideas from around the world.
  3. Learning and development. Whether through formal trainings that incorporate cutting edge thinking on teams, management, and problem solving, or informally on the job, I knew I’d have limitless opportunities to continue to grow post MBA.

Advice to current MBA students:
–One thing you would absolutely do again as part of the job search?
I attended many different information sessions across industries during recruiting. It was a fascinating inside view into some of today’s most innovative companies, and it was so easy as they all come to you on campus. Even though I ended up narrowing in on consulting, I broadened my knowledge on types of roles, companies and career paths available to me and my network while experiencing an inside perspective not always available.

–One thing you would change or do differently?
This is a tough one. I loved my MBA experience so much it’s hard to imagine doing anything differently. If I had to pick, I might have taken a course outside of Wharton in arts or computer science. With so many opportunities at Penn it’s hard to take advantage of them all.

–Were there any surprises regarding your current employer’s recruiting process?
How much fun I had! BCG was thoughtful in planning events that allowed you to get to know their employees. From small dinners, to coffee chats, to a cooking class, there were many opportunities to ask questions, learn about the company, and understand what life could look like as a future member of the community.

–What piece of advice do you wish you had been given during your MBA?
Focus on yourself and your priorities for recruiting. What is right for someone else may not be right for you, so set your goals and stick to them, whether that means participating in the traditional on-campus recruiting process, joining an early stage venture, or starting your own company.

What’s the best thing about working for your current employer?
The variety. Working as a management consultant means partnering with a number of different companies and organizations. It is so interesting to get so much constant exposure and to meet different people each step of the way.

Lauren Wakal
Lauren Wakal has been covering the MBA admissions space for more than a decade, from in-depth business school profiles to weekly breaking news and more.