Current employment/job title: Business Analyst with The Context Network
Describe your position.
I am an analyst with a management and strategy consulting firm that focuses solely on food and agriculture. There are three parts to my job: quantitative work (modeling and quantitative analysis), qualitative work (secondary research, conducting surveys and interviews), and communicating recommendations and project findings (through client-facing PowerPoint presentations and public-facing reports).
What do you like about your job?
I like the huge variety I have in my work. I've worked on everything from international development projects to corporate mergers and acquisitions.
How did you choose to work at this job?
I was originally drawn to consulting because of the variety of work. Senior year I hadn't quite figured out what I wanted from my career, so I thought consulting would be a good way to try a bit of everything.
How did the ag business major prepare you for your position?
The economics and analysis classes I took as part of ag bus have been so helpful--farm business management (Econ 230), ag finance (Econ 466), and food market analysis (Econ 435) have been particularly useful.
What advice would you give to students looking for work in a similar position?
In consulting, critical thinking and structured thinking are key. I would recommend taking as many management classes as possible and learning the big strategy frameworks--PESTLE Analysis, Porter's Five Forces, BCG Growth-Share Matrix, and the like. Analysis skills--both quantitative and qualitative--are also essential.