Christy Gunville joins the CDC after an 18-year consulting career holding management positions with global industry leaders like Deloitte and most recently, boutique firms specializing in human capital advisory services. She received her Bachelor’s of Science in Engineering from UVA, and an MBA from the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University.
Today, Christy advises Darden students interested in pursuing their own careers in consulting and professional services. She is also a certified professional coach and, in her free time, enjoys helping leaders at all levels navigate through a variety of professional and personal periods of transition.
Read on to learn more about how Christy uses her deep knowledge of the consulting industry to advise and support the professional development of Darden students.
1. How are you able to best help students pursue careers in your focus industry?
Students interested in consulting typically require two types of support.
First, they might come to Darden with a vague understanding of what the management consulting industry is and what consultants actually do. I help educate them on industry drivers, service offerings, and what skills are most important for career success in this field. This helps them to determine whether the industry overall and which specific firms might be a good fit for them.
Second, consulting firms have set the bar high for technically demanding interviews. So, I work with our students to 1) understand what hiring managers are looking for – and then identify and communicate the connections between their professional achievements and strengths and those key competencies required for the job and 2) prepare for the analytically rigorous case component of the interview process, helping them to understand why firms use this method and how it relates to the actual work you will do as a consultant.
2. Tell us about one or two of the most interesting trends in the MBA job market in your focus industry.
The MBA consulting job market continues to be strong and competitive. However, some firms are starting to expand what they look for in candidates based on evolving marketplace needs. Client organizations face unprecedented rates of change due to extensive technological disruption such as digital transformation and artificial intelligence, as well as emerging competitive forces.
In turn, they are seeking highly innovative and technically advanced services from consulting firms. Employers continue to value strong general management backgrounds, communication, and analytical skills; however, as service offerings expand into areas such as data analytics, digital, and design, so will the types of skills and past work experiences they value in new hires.
3. Though you’ve all been at Darden a short time, do you have any anecdotal success stories about helping a student/students land a job or internship that you can share?
One of the most fulfilling parts of my job is working with our talented students to help them identify and pursue their career goals. Recently, I had the opportunity to coach two of our EMBA students to high impact results. One landed a position with a top consulting firm – that hasn’t traditionally recruited from our executive format program. The second was considering an offer to switch consulting firms and I helped the student assess the situation from all angles, analyze the professional factors most important to them, and ultimately arrive at the best possible decision – in this case to pursue the new opportunity.