Dalhousie alumni Jamie Dunbar, Tate Drummond, and Max Clark are currently working together at Carpedia International, a management consulting firm in Ontario.
After completing his Bachelor of Science degree in 2013, Jamie was unsure about staying in the field of health sciences. “I ultimately leaned towards trying something new and decided to pursue my MBA so I could further my understanding of what opportunities existed on the operations side of business.” He graduated from Dal’s Corporate Residency MBA program in 2018.
Tate graduated from the Bachelor of Commerce program in 2019. When it came to picking his major, it was a student society that helped him decide. “After joining the Dalhousie Investment Society and learning more about the world of financial markets, I decided to pursue a major in finance.”
Max is a 2019 graduate from the Bachelor of Management program. What drew him to the program was the opportunity to pursue an 8-month internship, which he completed in Tokyo, Japan.
While all three alumni have different educational backgrounds from Dalhousie, the lessons they learned from their work experiences were diverse but equally valuable. As an MBA student, Jamie completed an eight-month corporate residency. “I was able to do a corporate residency with Davis Pier, a consulting firm in Halifax, with a focus in public sector. It was my first exposure to the consulting field and helped prepare me for client interactions.” As a Commerce Co-op student, Tate completed three 4-month co-ops with three different companies. “My co-ops helped me discover what excited me most or less. I tried different things, like Risk & Asset Management, in the industry I was targeting (finance) and learned a lot of valuable soft and technical skills, as well as equipped myself for success in courses I was taking.“ In further reflection, Tate says, “I uncovered what made me tick most; not my day-to-day in these roles, but problem solving projects I was taking on within my co-ops. This shifted my focus toward consulting, and I landed my last co-op in the field, setting me up for future success.” Through the optional internship program, as a Management student, Max completed his 8-month internship in the marketing field. “I worked as a Market Analyst for a mobility company in Tokyo. This played a role in my preparation for consulting by teaching me the required skills to critically think about issues and assess the best possible solutions and implementation strategies.”
In the professional world, consulting can hold a different definition depending on the person and who they work with most. For Jamie, who works as a Results Manager at Carpedia, his definition of consulting is “an opportunity to help businesses align their values and financial expectations, from the C-suite to the frontline employee.” Tate works as a Consultant, spending most of his time with mid-management and frontline employees. “Consulting entails being an expert active listener, trouble-shooter, and objectively minded problem-solver,” he says. “It’s providing a fresh perspective to organizations on how they can improve their performance.” Max, a Senior Consultant who spends a lot of his time with mid-management coaching departments during implementation, views consulting as “going into a business, diagnosing underlying issues, making recommendations to clients on how to solve these issues, and working side-by-side with them to support the implementation of these recommendations.”
There are many reasons why someone might be drawn to a particular career, but for Jamie, it was the aspect of helping people that fostered his interest in consulting. “The initial draw and what still brings me a great deal of joy is helping businesses achieve the operational and financial results they were unable to achieve on their own.” Speaking about his current position at Carpedia, Jamie says, “I typically switch between clients and industries every 6-8 months, which for me, keeps the work fresh.”
In Tate’s case, it was the environment of consulting that drew him in, and the desire to work in agile environments with intelligent and results-oriented individuals. “The pressure of achieving results is high, but every day I am challenged to think on my toes and push myself professionally and personally,” he says.
Like Tate, Max was drawn to the fast paced, results-oriented culture where no two days are the same. “Yes, the learning curve may be a steep one at times, but the incredible amount of knowledge and diversity of skills that are gained from the job is what drew me in and has kept me around,” he says. “A lot of people think of consulting as a stepping stone to the next job, but for me it is not just a job, it’s a career.”
Their advice for you:
- Try to figure out what you want in a job before entering the workforce. A company that aligns with your core values is where you will find the most success.
- Network! Building relationships is just as important as getting good grades.
- Have fun!
If you’d like to learn more about Carpedia or consulting in general from one of these Dal alumni, feel free to reach out to them on Linkedin!