Through consulting, I learned the vast opportunities the business world has for me
by Angelina Joson.
February 16, 2022
In the first semester of my college career at Northeastern University, I faced a heavy task: writing a consulting case for an existing company. It required that my team and I consult directly with the company. But how would we choose a company?
While all the team members knew a family member or friend who owned a restaurant, I knew that we should choose a unique company, selling a product that would provide an interesting and relevant case. So, I contacted my family friend, Michael Pink, who is the CEO and co-founder of SmartPM Technologies.
On top of having a solid connection with the CEO, I was moreover drawn to the idea of researching a starting up company with a distinctive product with such growing relevance. With the emergence of COVID-19, businesses and offices were pushed online, forced to implement technology in their everyday lives more than ever before. I saw the demand of this product and decided that this company would be a great match for me and my team.
As students who were moved to learning online for almost half of their high school careers, my team and I wanted to highlight the impact of the technological revolution on today’s business world.
None of the team members had any background in consulting, so we found this case both daunting yet exciting.
Having a team to work with was one of my greatest assets for the majority of this case. I enjoyed working directly with the client himself and researching the company to see what kind of market would provide the best opportunities for SmartPM.
While each team member had their own prioritized job, I additionally took the initiative of looking into the market research of my colleagues. Their research provided a refreshing view of the case because it allowed me to see the different opportunities that both Australia and Canada provided for SmartPM. The more research that the team compiled, the more complex the case grew, and the more joy I took from working on this case. While it became more difficult, I felt that I was able to envision the realities of both markets. This newfound skill and knowledge was incredibly exciting.
Investments to Character
Upon entering college, I knew I was not meant to be in the communicative, one-on-one sector of business. So, that field is what I banked my future career on. I am a Business Administration major with a concentration in Accounting. However, International Business is one of D’amore McKim School of Business’s required courses for Business Administration majors.
My first day of college consisted of three classes: one from 8:00 am to 9:00 am, one from 3:00 pm to 4:30 pm, and one from 4:40 pm to 8:00 pm. This schedule repeated every Wednesday of my fall semester. Walking into my 4:40 pm class, I knew that no matter what this course had in store for me, the timing and length of the class period would provide enough of a challenge in itself. Sitting through that class, I reached my peak of discouragement. I knew nothing about international business, consulting, or even global news, which were the main focuses of this class.
While I continued to feel out of place and a few steps behind everyone in class, I focused on the things that I could control. I studied the textbook and took detailed notes. I found that while this class challenged me the most, the work of this class also rewarded me the most. I was amazed at my ability to understand the concepts taught in class. On top of that, I was able to apply these concepts to real life circumstances, like the case regarding SmartPM. I began seeing business as less of a one dimensional industry and more as a living organism that is complex and is ever changing. This newly developed understanding ingrained in me a greater appreciation for business, macroeconomics, and consulting altogether. While consulting may not be my specific calling, these new abilities showed me that I could succeed in this field if I had passion for the case.
One of my professional goals before entering college was to devote a portion of my career to benefiting the community, specifically through working for grassroots campaigns or B Corporations. Having successfully completed a solid consulting case, I can now expand that goal to working for startups.
My limited involvement with SmartPM opened my eyes to the incredible devotion that it takes from a team to bring a company off the ground. A large portion of this inspiration to work for a startup is derived from my admiration of CEO Michael Pink’s intelligence and dedication to his company. During an interview with Michael Pink, he said something that struck me.
He asked me which type of worker I thought would be most advantageous to have in a startup: an experienced worker or a passionate worker. Startled, I answered, “an intelligent experienced worker,” thinking that intelligence was the most important factor of an employee. Mr. Pink explained that startups demand so much time and sacrifice that the most valuable workers are those who have a “burning passion” for their job enough to sacrifice what it takes to make that company successful.
These words resonated with me and encouraged me to pursue passion and dedication. I thought back to my breakdown in Qdoba, when I thought I was a failure because others were more knowledgeable in business. As I said before, I like and understand numbers and never planned to be drawn to consulting, but consulting for this case enlightened me to the vast opportunities that the business world has to offer me. Creating this case for SmartPM and Mr. Pink’s words showed me that my greatest assets are my passion and dedication, rather than being “better” than anyone else.
About the Author:
Angelina Joson, Candidate for B.S. Business Administration concentration in Accounting