Adele Young, a recent graduate of the Class of 2017, came to Darden thinking that she knew what her next career move would be. However, after self-reflection and encountering numerous influencers throughout her journey at Darden, Young found her fit in consulting and recently moved to Los Angeles to begin working full-time at Parthenon.
After four years at a private equity firm, Young found herself feeling like she was plateauing in her current job and saw an MBA degree as an opportunity to take her career to the next level. The case method was a big selling point for choosing Darden. “I wanted to go somewhere that forced you to talk a lot and the case method was really important to me because I knew it would help me find my voice as someone who felt more introverted in a work setting,” said Young. She also valued the well-rounded curriculum at Darden that allowed her to expand her business knowledge in all subject areas, building on her undergraduate degree in Economics from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).
Young landed a summer internship in private wealth management at J.P. Morgan during her first year. Reflecting on her internship at the end of the summer, she realized that although she greatly enjoyed her experience, she missed strategizing for companies. Consulting presented a great opportunity to do that kind of strategy work.
As Young looked to set herself up for a successful recruiting season and identify companies she may want to pursue, she turned to her peers for advice. “My peers were definitely my biggest influencers, particularly the ones who had interned at Parthenon. They were friends who I held in high esteem and enjoyed being around, and I began to see Parthenon as a great fit when they told me about the meaningful summer experiences that they had.”
To prepare for the switch, Young recalls the preparation she took to have a successful recruiting season in her second year. “It was important to know my story and why I was interested in switching. If my story didn’t make sense, I knew a company wouldn’t understand or appreciate it,” said Young. “I also ensured I understood Parthenon, what they value, and what their interview process looked like.” Additionally, the Consulting Club held a “Crack the Case” workshop and the Career Development Center (CDC) brought in Darden alumni to help with case interview preparation, which proved to be valuable for her. Young’s preparation paid off, and she landed the role at Parthenon.
In terms of advice for incoming Darden students and preparing for their career search, Young recommends researching early, self-reflection, and beginning to build your Darden network. “I did a lot of self-reflection during the summer before Darden and thinking about what I liked and didn’t like in my past job to figure out what I valued,” Young recalls. “I also recommend talking to as many Darden alums, current students or other incoming students as you can. Those conversations can be very helpful to figure out what a career in a particular industry looks like and they will be very transparent with you because they want to see you enter into a career where you will be successful.”
Young feels confident that her time at Darden has adequately prepared her for her post MBA journey. “The curriculum at Darden and learning how to wade through the unknown or tackle a business challenge with imperfect information will be extremely valuable as I begin my new role.”