University News

Consulting conference draws industry reps to campus

Undergraduates participated in panels and discussions, gained networking experience

Senior Staff Writer
Monday, February 4, 2013

About 100 college students from around the country gathered on campus for two days of motivational lectures and networking at the second annual Collegiate Consulting Group National Conference. The conference was held this weekend by the Collegiate Consulting Group, an undergraduate-run organization that seeks to give students hands-on experience with the industry by connecting them with consulting companies.

The conference aimed to teach students about consulting and provide them with a place to interact with major consulting firms, said Moses Riner ’09 MA’10, founder of the Collegiate Consulting Group. CCG is run by students, but Riner aids the group by organizing its events and contacting firms. Conference attendees submitted applications online last fall.

“The mediums on campus were very one-dimensional,” said Conference Director Francis Suh ’13. “We created a two-day conference for students and companies to have real conversations.”

Riner said the CCG based the conference’s structure on the social venture workshop A Better World By Design, which is held at the University each fall. He added that the group tried to invite companies from many different sectors of consulting, like business and economic management, technology and finance. Fidelity Investments, Capital One Bank, The Boston Consulting Group and NERA Economic Consulting were among the companies that participated in the conference.

The conference included a series of panels with industry executives who shared their experiences followed by question-and-answer sessions. Students were also able to discuss career options at a luncheon held at the Stephen Robert ’62 Campus Center Saturday.

“Each company brought at least one (Brown) alum,” Suh said, adding that featuring alums was especially encouraging for Brown students who attended.

Most attendees came from New England schools, though some came from as far away as California and Georgia, Suh said.

Patrick Lai, a graduate student from Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies, said his peers “don’t get that much breadth of information” about the consulting industry. The conference provided “a great overview” of consulting careers, he said.

“The experiences Brown students shared were very helpful,” Lai said. “They seemed to know so much more than the others.”

Xi Tian, a junior from the Georgia Institute of Technology, said he felt the Brown students at the conference brought a high level of knowledge about consulting.

Consulting consistently ranks within the top five most popular career fields for Brown graduates, according to data from the Center for Careers and Life After Brown.

“The skill sets you develop through consulting are very diverse,” Suh said. “Brown students are very creative and think critically, which goes well (with the profession).”

CCG leaders said they hope to organize another conference for next year and will consider making it a biannual event.