Now a project leader at BCG, Valerie (Claire) Jadulang, USC Marshall MBA’18, prioritized “fit” when it came to choosing a business school & her post-MBA employer. Read on for her story in this edition of Real Humans: Alumni.
Valerie (Claire) Jadulang, USC Marshall MBA ’18, Project Leader at BCG
Hometown: Huntington Beach, CA
Undergraduate Institution and Major: University of California, Los Angeles; English Major, Public Policy Minor
Graduate Business School, Graduation Year and Concentration (if applicable): USC Marshall, 2018
Pre-MBA Work Experience (years, industry): 4 years, Education
Post-MBA Work Experience (years, industry): 4 years, Management Consulting
Why did you choose to attend business school?
I chose to attend business school to build experience in business principles and skills in data and financial analysis in order to move towards more strategic roles in social impact.
Why USC Marshall? What factors figured most prominently into your decision of where to attend?
After attending a large public university for undergraduate school, I wanted to attend a top school with a small class size where I would know all of my peers. I also viewed USC Marshall’s Trojan Network as key to building meaningful professional relationships, particularly in Southern California.
What about your MBA experience prepared you for your current role as a project leader at BCG?
My strategy, finance, and data analysis courses provided me with critical skills for management consulting, and USC Marshall’s Business Competition Program (MBCP) provided me the opportunity and coaching to participate and win multiple local and national case competitions. These case competitions gave me critical experiences in strategic problem-solving and teaming that enabled me to succeed in my summer internship at Boston Consulting Group (BCG).
What was your internship during business school? How did that inform your post-MBA career choice?
I interned with BCG as a summer consultant in 2017. My summer experience provided me insight and experience in leading blue-sky thinking, developing meaningful client relationships, and teaming with extraordinary individuals. It cemented for me the learning and growth opportunities that waited for me in management consulting, and I joined the firm full-time in 2018.
Why did you choose your current company? What factors figured most prominently into your decision of where to work?
I chose BCG because I deeply admired everyone I met during my recruitment—their passion for learning, commitment to diversity, and dedication to supporting their peers. And as a queer woman of mixed race, my experiences with Pride@BCG and the BCG Black+Latinx Network made me sure that I could show up to work as my whole self.
How has COVID impacted your industry/career plans?
COVID fundamentally changed both the work we do and the way we work. Near and dear to me, we’ve done incredible work in the public sector and made significant investments in social impact to respond to the inequities brought on and illuminated by the pandemic. And the virtual working model—as difficult as it has been at times—enabled us to realize we could adopt new, hybrid ways of working that have given our teams more flexibility than ever before.
Advice to current MBA students:
–One thing you would absolutely do again as part of the job search?
Case competitions. I was an educator and non-profit manager before business school, with no frame of reference for the consulting. Case competitions gave me the opportunity to develop my skills in strategy and financial analysis, build my confidence in my business acumen, and really test if consulting was for me before I interned at BCG.
–One thing you would change or do differently?
I don’t think I would change anything about my experience—USC Marshall introduced me to my partner, my company, and some of my best friends. It wasn’t perfect, but it brought me here; and there’s nowhere else I’d rather be.
–Were there any surprises regarding your current employer’s recruiting process?
I was most surprised by how many people both remembered me and looked out for me after the recruiting process—you really can build incredible relationships through the process.
–What piece of advice do you wish you had been given during your MBA?
Index on cultural fit, because it’s the people around you that truly make or break your experience. I learned more about a company’s culture (and whether it was a fit for me) listening to what folks were passionate about, what kept them growing in their roles, and what they looked forward to achieving in their future than any company website, presentation, or social event.