By: Nicole Mott ’10
Interview with Michelle Gezo ‘04
Have you ever been unsure about what you want to do after you graduate? I’m sure a ton of us have. The best way to figure out what you’re interested in is to talk with alumni to get some insight into different industries! The other week I was able to interview an alumna who was willing to give me an inside look into the Management Consulting Industry. Michelle Gezo graduated in 2004 from Bucknell University as a Management Major and is now at Deloitte in San Francisco.
Alumni are a great and willing resource to look into when wanting to learn more about different job options out there. B-Link is a great resource to utilize when trying to find alumni to speak with. Use the following link for B-Link
http://www.b-link.bucknell.edu/s/754/start-template.aspx or stop in to speak with a counselor of the CDC in the Botany Building. We have such a large Bucknell network that is a very useful tool to take advantage of during the career search. They are often much more willing and interested to speak with you because of your connection to Bucknell. So I contacted Michelle via email and set up a time in which we could have an informational interview.
Michelle Gezo’s Experience
Michelle said she wasn’t exactly sure what she wanted to do after Bucknell and she is still not 100% sure, six years later. This was reassuring to hear because she said one of the best parts about consulting is the variety of the job. Because she consults for such a wide array of companies across industries, her daily tasks often vary. Consulting is a great job for new graduates because it allows one to build fundamental business skills while learning about and gaining experience across industries and functions.
Upon graduation from Bucknell, Michelle started working with Deloitte Consulting as a Business Analyst in the Strategy and Operations practice and worked there for three years. She then decided to get her MBA in at The Ross School of Business at The University of Michigan. While attending Ross, Michelle was able to intern with Mattel and explore Marketing and Brand Management, but ultimately she decided to return to Deloitte. After she received her MBA, Michelle returned to Deloitte with a new respect for the Consulting world and still greatly enjoys working there today.
Differences between Consulting and “Industry Jobs”
The Consulting industry is much more face paced and involves a lot of variety, by working with different clients across various industries. One week you might be working with a non-profit organization and the next week you could be consulting for a bank. With Consulting it is necessary to change your business strategy recommendations from one company to another to keep things fresh. Michelle pointed out that Consultants are generalists whose skills are often “a mile wide and an inch deep” while specialists in other industries typically have expertise that is “an inch wide and a mile deep.”
In Consulting you also interact with many different people, therefore it is important to have great personal and communication skills. It is difficult to serve as a Consultant to an organization that you do not respect and vice versa, so it is necessary to build strong relationships. It is very important to research the current client as much as possible because you want to be able to truly understand the organization that you are advising.
Michelle’s most recent project was with a large bank. It was a three month long project in which her team assisted the client to develop a marketing strategy. At first I thought to myself, how much marketing goes with a large bank? But Michelle explained the importance of understanding your client’s business purpose. They first looked at other successful companies that specialize in Marketing; such as Harley Davidson. Harley Davidson is great at Brand Marketing, when you think of motorcycles you most often think of this specific type of bike. So they researched the inside workings of Harley Davidson’s marketing campaign. Then they worked with the bank to develop a vision that they wanted to follow, making sure to keep the banks goals in mind. Lastly, they wanted to know the bank’s current capabilities to develop a strategy. For this they performed informational interviews with the bank’s Executives and Marketing team members while building relationships with the clients.
This interview turned out to be very informative and also made me more comfortable with the idea of informational interviews. So check out B-Link and see if there are any Alumni you could speak with in the industry of your choice!