Interview With CWiB Alum Elaina Atallah-Yunes

What is your current position and what does that entail?

I am a Staff in EY’s Operational Transaction Services group. OTS guides companies through mergers and divestitures from a variety of standpoints (Project Management, Finance & Accounting, Supply Chain, IT, Legal etc.) to ensure that the process not only goes smoothly, but that it is performed in a way that maximizes the value of the deal.

How did you find out about consulting and EY specifically?

I found out about consulting through the Consulting Panel at Sophomore Connections. There were alumnae from EY on the panel who I then followed up with one-on-one to learn about the firm itself.

What steps did you take while still at Colgate to land your job?

I made sure that I took on roles both on and off-campus that flexed my ability to work both quantitatively and qualitatively. I held finance and project management related roles in both CWiB and my greek organization. During my summer internships I expressed a desire to take on responsibilities and projects that would require me to work heavily with data to reach key business conclusions.

What are your responsibilities?

As a staff, I am supporting my teams in a variety of ways. I am responsible for tasks ranging from creating project plans and presentations to creating models to reach key business decisions. I have had the opportunity to even present and run meetings for C-Suite executives.

What does a career path look like in consulting?

There is no typical career path in consulting. People enter and exit (and re-enter) the industry at all phases of their careers. If you were to stay at a large firm your trajectory would typically look as follows:

Staff/Business Analyst

Senior/Associate

Manager

Senior Manager

Partner/Principal/Executive Director

How quickly you advance through these roles all depends on your performance and skill set.

What advice do you have for sophomores as they begin to narrow their career interests? What about for juniors as they enter their internships? For seniors entering their first year of employment?

Sophomores:

Talk to as many alumni as possible. Attend events such as Sophomore Connections, networking events, and/or recruiting events on campus. Reach out to alums via LinkedIn and iCan that work at companies/industries you are interested in.

Juniors:

As you enter your internships try to take on responsibilities that give you skills that translate into the industry you are interested in. For example, in consulting, try to find experiences that will build your quantitative analysis skills, ability to work in teams, and comfort presenting findings to clients/superiors. Most people do not have consulting internships going into full-time recruiting. Take advantage of the city of your internship and try to talk to as many alumni as possible and keep in contact with them throughout your senior year.

Seniors:

Enjoy your senior year!

Graduate School 101: Interview with Colgate Alum Sarah Haas

Many students are starting to think about the GRE and graduate school applications. Unfortunately, many are in the dark about how and when to begin preparing for the exam, where to apply, and how to decide whether graduate school is the best fit. Sarah Haas, a Colgate Class of 2016 Graduate, attends the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University and is currently earning her master’s degree in journalism. As a student at one of the top journalism schools in the country, there is no one better suited to answer the commonly asked questions about graduate school.

 

When did you make the decision to go to grad school, and how did you start preparing for the exam?

I made the decision to start looking into grad school after completing my junior year (2015). Getting my masters was not something I ever really considered, but my mother had mentioned it.. and I am so happy and thankful she did. I took the GRE that fall and started applying to grad schools that winter.

What has your experience been like so far at grad school? What skills are you learning to move you towards your career path?

My experience at grad school thus far has been absolutely incredible. I have acquired so many skills since starting the program this summer. Medill has really taught me how to be an excellent reporter, storyteller and communicator. Additionally, it has given me the confidence to network and really put myself out there, which will be a vital asset in establishing my career post-grad.

What real-life career experience have you gained so far?

Grad school has also provided me with real-life experiences I never would have imagined to have in my lifetime. I have met amazing individuals including politicians, activists, celebrities, authors you name it. All of these individuals have been more than friendly and more than willing to help me in terms of my career (think resume review, general advice and referrals) I’ve gone to new, unique and exciting places. I even just got back from a 9-day reporting assignment in Johannesburg where I met some amazing people and expanded my portfolio!

What advice would you give to students thinking about attending grad school or preparing for the GRE?

Research all of the programs you’re considering throughly, and reach out to the admissions counselors at these schools and current students! They’re generally really helpful and friendly, and can provide you with insight on the admissions process. In terms of the GRE, take as MANY full-length practice tests on the computer as you possibly can… including the essays! I know it’s annoying, but it will really put you in a test-day environment, and prepare you to take the long exam on the computer.

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Interview by: Sarah Kurland

More Tips for Navigating the Internship Search Abroad

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Hi! My name is Tabytha Ruben, I am a junior, and I study Political Science. This past semester I studied in Scotland at the University of Edinburgh. I had such an incredible semester – from spending time exploring Edinburgh itself to visiting other parts of the country and beyond. While I was focused on making the most of my experience, I also knew it was important to begin thinking ahead after my semester in Edinburgh. While summer seemed so far away, I began the recruitment process for various Summer Analyst Programs prior to my arrival. I’m not going to lie, this was incredibly difficult. The time difference alone, in terms of application deadlines and scheduling interviews, often left me frustrated and discouraged. I cannot tell you how many hours I spent either studying for interviews or getting in contact with alumni who could help me learn more about specific programs. I had to make a lot of sacrifices, but my hard work ultimately paid off. I was able to make the process manageable by budgeting my time efficiently; it was definitely helpful to try to set up interviews as far in advance as possible to plan my schedule accordingly. I think some of the most important takeaways for juggling a semester abroad and navigating the internship search is to maintain a good attitude (if you are starting this far in advance, you are bound to get something!), stay organized, and remember to have fun!

 

 

Navigating the Internship Search Abroad

Check out some tips for the abroad internship search from CWiB’s Spring Chief Communications Officer, Ellen Brunker ’18.

This fall I spent studying abroad in South Africa.  Studying abroad in the fall is sometimes not recommended because of all the on campus recruiting that goes on, but if you are proactive, very doable.  Below are a couple of tips I have for navigating the process!

  1. Start early – a lot of times companies have meet and greet networking events during the summer.  Try to make it to a couple of these, if possible, to meet people at the firm and help them get to know you as a candidate.  Further, it helps you decide if it is a career and position you want to pursue.

  2. Use the Colgate Connection – It can never be said enough.  The Colgate connection is amazing – while abroad, I was in contact with a Colgate Alum who knew of a different Alum in Cape Town, South Africa for the weekend.  We met up for coffee and I gained insights into various careers I was considering, as well as perspective on the application process. Colgate alumni, from my experience, are happy to and want to help you navigate the process – so be sure to utilize them!

  3. Network with the firm you are applying to.  At nearly every firm I had contacted or talked to an employee at, I got invited for a first round interview.  Those I had not, I never heard from. Reaching out and showing interest to the firm is so important for securing the first round interview.  It helps them pick you out from the pool of original applicants they receive.

  4. Research – make sure you know the company and the position you are applying for.  Read about them online through various resources such as Vault, the company website, and current news articles.  Being up to date on the company and its industry is important!
  5. Preparation – I reached out to Career Services for mock interview practice which I found very helpful.  It gives you the opportunity to practice rehearsing interview questions aloud and help you get comfortable with the interview format. In addition, many of my first round interviews were via Skype or phone call, so I googled interview tips and etiquette for that kind of interview as well.

Interview with Miriam Charry ’16

 

Interview and article by Alumni Relations Chair, Christine Bachek ’17

 

Christine: What is your current position and what does that entail?.

 

Miriam: I am an assistant account executive, which is an entry level role in account management at an advertising agency. Assistant account execs work directly with the clients on a given account on many things like status reports, scheduling, billing, and serve as a liaison between the client and the creative department on production. The job requires lots of organization and constant communication both internally and with clients. 

 

Christine: How did you come to realize your interest in advertising?

 

Miriam: I realized I was interested in advertising during my internship in account management at an advertising agency the summer after my junior year. I have always been fascinated by how advertisements can motivate certain behaviors, and I found myself learning so much and feeling genuinely excited to go to work each day. After the internship ended, I knew it was what I wanted to do after Colgate.

 

Christine: What steps did you take while still at Colgate to land your job?

 

Miriam: During my time at Colgate, I held various marketing internships during the summers and school years. It helped to have as much experience as possible, and my boss from one of my internships gave a great recommendation to my current boss. I attended as many of Career Service’s Real World Series events as possible (my current boss said she was impressed with some of the salary negotiation tactics I used that I learned from Teresa Olsen in that workshop!) I also religiously checked naviGATE and used it to apply to many jobs, which is ultimately where I found and landed this opportunity. 

 

Christine: What are your responsibilities?

 

Miriam: I work directly with our client, handling details of the production of print materials, shoots, videos and more, all while communicating the client’s visions to the creatives in the agency. I attend client meetings and calls and send out weekly production and status updates both internally and to the client. Since I work at a small independent agency, I have also had the opportunity to participate in strategy sessions, contribute to competitive reports and presentations and even write a couple creative briefs for new projects. 

 

Christine: What does a career path look like in advertising?

 

Miriam: There are a number of different paths you can take in advertising, but starting as an assistant account executive on an account team, you can then move up as an account executive, senior account executive and ultimately an account director. After that, some people move laterally between different agencies or switch over to the client side. Working at an agency helps you better understand the client side more by working with them so much, so that is a pretty common path, which I myself hope to take eventually. However, after all of that industry experience, some go on to start their own smaller agencies as well, which is what my boss (a Colgate alumna class of ’74!) did.

 

Christine: What are some actionable steps young women (and students in general) can take now to best prepare for a career in this field?

Miriam: Since advertising is a pretty young industry, agencies love to hire fresh minds and liberal arts students out of college. The best thing interested young women and students can do is keep up with industry and agency news and trends, and reach out to as many people in the industry as possible. Colgate alumni are always willing to help out and give great advice, so utilize the resources you are provided with on campus like Career Services, CWiB and LinkedIn. Finding a mentor early on can be so helpful and help you build long-lasting relationships. I would also suggest paying attention to the advertisements you see and which you do or don’t like, and which really resonate with you–that can help you find agencies or companies you are interested in, which can narrow the search. Lastly, communication is SO important in account management, so polishing your writing skills while in school (which Colgate does an amazing job with) is really helpful! Typos and misspelled words can be deadly in this industry…

 

Christine: Anything else you want to add?

Miriam: Overall, even though I’ve only been in this position for six months now, I have loved every day and am so excited for what is to come. Colgate was so helpful to me in entering the advertising industry and I have met many alumni in the same field who have said the same. 

Interview with Elle Lichter ’16

Interview and article by Alumni Relations Chair, Christine Bachek ’17

 

Colgate Women in Business recently sat down with Colgate alum Elle Lichter to ask her about her experience in the banking industry and graduation. Here are the highlights:

Christine: What is your current position and what does that entail?
Elle: I am a Commodity Derivative Corporate Sales (it’s a mouthful)!

Christine: Can you break that down a little?
Elle: Basically it means that I sell securities, whose price is derived from the price of the real , physical commodity (hence the term derivative), to corporate clients (producers and consumers of those commodities. Producers (e.g. Southern Company) and consumers (e.g. American Airlines) need to hedge their exposure risk, aka insure they can receive a certain price for x% of the commodity they need. We provide different financial products, ranging from swaps to vanilla option structures, to help our clients manage their risk

Christine: How did you come to realize your interest in the industry/ your specific desk?
Elle: I knew I wanted a social and fast paced environment that kept me on my toes and constantly learning – this is exactly it!

Christine: What steps did you take while still at Colgate to land your internship?
Elle: I emailed as many alumni as possible in iCAN, submitted resumes and cover letters to all openings on Navigate, and contacted alumni from BNP

Christine: What is a typical day like?
Elle: I arrive between 6:30-7:30am (most people are in by this time, the markets open early!)
Usually, I send out updates to clients about what’s happening in the market and prepare prices for clients
Mornings are super busy! I’m on the phone and on chats with clients the whole time filling orders. This is the fun part – everyone’s shouting on the desk for prices, the market is moving, people are calling in…. it’s super fun, social, and adrenaline pumping. You have to have a big personality to keep up!
In the afternoon, once the markets close, the traders clean up their positions and try to get most things to neutral/safe. The sales side works on their research projects or spreadsheets (all the long term work that can’t be done during the day). I’m out of the office by 6pm/7pm!

Christine: What are some actionable steps young women (and students in general) can take now to best prepare for a career in this field?
Elle: Email Colgate alumni in the field! Ask to set up informational coffee catch ups and communicate with them to see what you can do to specifically target a position.

CWiB 2016 Fall Immersion Trip Reflections (Madeleine Cuddy ’17, Emily Klein ’18, and Anna Rummel ’19)

 

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Last week, 10 members of Colgate Women in Business travelled to New York City for the 2016 Fall Immersion Trip.  Charlotte Scott ’19, the Immersion Trip Director, worked with Siobhan Deacy ’17, CEO, and Julie Hadjiyane ’18, CFO, to coordinate site visits and a networking reception with CWiB alumnae.  The visits included Google, Morgan Stanley, and EY.  The day concluded with a networking reception of recently graduated alumni combined with members of Colgate Finance Club and Colgate Consulting Club.  Below are reflections from three participants on the trip!

Madeleine Cuddy:

The fall 2016 CWiB Immersion Trip to New York City was incredibly informative, inspiring, and enjoyable. Colgate alumnae were so generous with their time- talking to us both as a small group and individually about their experiences in the consulting, technology, and finance industries. Alumnae offered us tours of industry-leading companies (Google, Morgan Stanley, and EY), where we were able to see and experience various company cultures. While these company cultures were each very unique, they were all a powerful combination of creativity, trust, intellect, teamwork, and passion.

I am eager to apply to Google in the future, after speaking with CWiB alumna Rebecca Rittenberg ’15 and exploring the Google office in Chelsea. Google’s company culture really values transparency and well-being- in an effort to maximize Googlers’ productivity and happiness. During weekly “TGIF” meetings, Googlers have the opportunity to ask questions to Google executives such as Larry and Sergey (Google’s co-founders). Even the office space itself is designed to promote Googlers’ well-being- through playful Razor scooter stations (also practical for speedy travel throughout the big office building) and relaxing massage chairs, for example. Among other spaces, fantastic restaurants and cafes sprinkled throughout the building foster collaboration and innovation- by not only nourishing Googlers with high-quality, healthy (and indulgent) food, but also by providing informal spaces for discussing work and meeting other Googlers.
I am really grateful to have attended the Immersion Trip, an opportunity that allowed me to experience company cultures of a variety of industries and connect with impressive, passionate, and caring alumnae.

Emily Klein:

Last week’s CWiB immersion trip was a great learning experience, and one of the things that I’m happiest to have taken advantage of in my time at Colgate. Visiting Google, Morgan Stanley and EY was a great overview of  broad range of industries, and while I am pretty firmly set on pursuing finance, it was really helpful to get a glimpse at what careers in Consulting and Tech (particularly for non-tech employees) might look like. The most valuable part of the trip, though, was meeting so many great alums. It was nice to see that Colgate alums are present in every industry, and that they are so willing to provide support for current Colgate students. It was also particularly exciting to see so many Colgate women looking to help each other out, which is one of my favorite parts of CWiB in general! Overall, it was a great trip, and I would suggest that all CWiB members apply in the future!

Anna Rummel:

The CWiB Immersion Trip to New York was an unforgettable experience. The site visits to EY, Morgan Stanley, and Google were integral to my career exploration and helped me discover what industries I am interested in. In fact, the visit to EY made me realize my interest for the consulting industry. The opportunity to connect with alumni at the site visits and at the networking reception was definitely a highlight. It was amazing to get to know other CWiB members, past and present, who all understand the importance of supporting each other to succeed in the business world.