College of Business: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

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Business Student Cuts Her Own Path


12/1/2010

by Sarah Small

McKinsey and Company is a strategy and management consulting company who has not hired from the College of Business for several years. Yet Shaistah Bahrainwala, honors senior in finance, was successful securing a post-graduation position with the highly successful company.

Since her freshman year, Bahrainwala has been involved in the student organization, OTCR Consulting, a student-run consulting firm. The organization works with Fortune 100 companies and others, consulting on real projects. She said her involvement with OTCR piqued her interest in consulting and her connections there charged her passion for McKinsey.

“The recruitment process came solely from networking and the alumni from OTCR were a big part of that,” Bahrainwala said. “It was a very active pursuit.”

Bahrainwala will begin working in the company’s Minneapolis office after her May graduation next year. She will be working in a two-year business analyst program doing business consulting for several clients.

“The learning curve is very steep and I like that,” Bahrainwala said. “I’m definitely nervous but I’m excited to be learning new things. I don’t ever want to get comfortable.”

She said she is extremely fortunate and appreciative to have been given the opportunity to launch her consulting career with McKinsey.

“My goal is to make the most of everything I do there and make the best of every opportunity,” Bahrainwala said. “I know McKinsey will shape what I make of my career.”

In consulting, companies do not look for graduates with specific majors, but prefer to seek out well-rounded students with a strong ability to think broadly, and Bahrainwala credits her training in accountancy from ILLINOIS for helping her develop the necessary skills.

“I think the accounting program here is wonderful for making you a broad thinker,” she said.

Bahrainwala said she plans to enjoy her last months at ILLINOIS, and is already making plans to pave the way for other students interested in careers in consulting. She will be working with other members of OTCR to educate students about consulting and help students discover their own interests in the field.

UIUC College of Business