Hometown: Born in Anamosa, IA, but grew up mainly in the Waterloo/Cedar Rapids area
Current employment/job title
Burns & McDonnell, Kansas City, MO; Senior Vice President and General Manager of the Business & Technology Services Division
How did you choose to come to ISU?
I was interested in returning to Iowa for graduate school as I still had a lot of family in Iowa. ISU offered a good financial package and a teaching assistantship.
Describe your position at Burns & McDonnell.
I am a senior vice president and the general manager of Burns & McDonnell’s Business & Technology Services Global Practice, the consulting arm of the company. Our services include strategic planning, resource and transmission planning, project development, valuation and acquisition assistance, independent due diligence assessments, financial and economic analysis, information management consulting, security consulting, and information technology consulting.
What is the best part of your job?
I love consulting because you are always working with new clients and tackling new problems. The challenges and opportunities change every day.
How did your major prepare you for your current position? (Or did it?)
The strongest benefit I gained from my graduate studies at Iowa State is the development of critical thinking skills.
What advice do you have for students looking to enter your professional field?
Two recommendations. First, get some real world experience during your school years, either an internship or part-time work. You will be much better prepared to succeed in the dynamics of a work environment if you have had some exposure.
Secondly, develop your communication skills, both oral and written. Push yourself to take multiple communication or public speaking courses, not just the minimum required for your degree. You can have great ideas in your career, but if you cannot effectively communicate them to the stakeholders, the best ideas may not get implemented.