November 15th, 2021
By: Janny Hong
Paola is the former co-vice president of Marketing Society. She graduated from Stern in 2020 with a double concentration in Management and Computing and Data Science. Currently, she is working at Accenture as a consulting senior analyst in the life science field.
Can you give me a brief introduction of yourself?
My name is Paola and I graduated back in May of 2020. I joined Accenture in August 2020 but I interned there my junior year. Specifically, I’m in the consulting development program. When I joined NYU, I wasn’t sure what exactly I wanted to study so I was in the liberal studies program where I was able to travel to London my freshman year. I decided I wanted to do consulting and Stern was a better fit for that, so I took a lot of Stern classes and joined Stern clubs my first two years; I actually joined Marketing Society my sophomore year. When I applied to transfer, I had to write an essay and I was able to talk about my involvement in Stern classes and clubs, which was definitely a plus.
Well, I don’t have a passion for a specific industry or field and consulting gives me the option to decide later. It’s less about the industry and more about the functional expertise; when I had my consulting internships, I learned that consulting is not just the profession where you learn to do different things, but I actually enjoyed the functional aspect of it. Also, consulting has two paths: one where you do the same thing with different industries and the other where you have different roles for one industry or company. I do the latter one, where I take on various roles in the life science industry.
I had a say in choosing which industry to go into so I was able to put my preference for the life science field. But I was put into it more by chance than my choice; I also had a network in Accenture who was mostly in life science so the project opportunities were all in this space. In the past 15 months, I had a lot of opportunities to change industries but I’ve decided to stick with it because I’m developing that industry-specific knowledge which can help consulting quite a bit.
Given how you’ve gone into consulting, what did Marketing Society offer to you?
When I first joined Marketing Society, I really didn’t know what I wanted so it seemed to be a good way to learn about marketing without committing to internships or a concentration. I stayed because after a few meetings, I made some friends and that is a very unique thing that I love about the clubs at Stern. The environment and culture seemed to be something that I want to be a part of in the long term, and not for the short term to puff up my resume.
I would say that Marketing Society has a strong community factor which allows you to get what you put in. Let’s say that you want to become a marketer, Marketing Society gives you the professional tools and engagement that you might be looking for in any traditional club. It also helps people that may not be interested in marketing as an industry to get some professional exposure and explore a new area. Personally, I valued Marketing Society’s community aspect a lot more, but I actually never took a marketing class so I still learned marketing framework. Even if you want to go into consulting or finance, marketing gives you a lot of the soft skills about business transactions that’s very applicable.
Do you have any advice for the current Marketing Society students?
My first advice would be to not wait for the perfect opportunity; don’t just reject a proposal because it’s not exactly what you want to do. Saying yes to different things helped me get the exposure that I needed. Take that class or internship that you’re not 100% sure about. Getting that professional experience before graduating is very valuable in any industry (whether it’s paid or unpaid). Try working during the year if you can do part-time or during the summer because from my experience, those that had more professional experience are those who worked.
I regret not doing any part-time internships and not trying something different. During my time at NYU, I worked on campus at a place called Casa Italiana but I wished I used those hours to do something professionally that shed more light into what I like to do. And I never sought out more opportunities because I felt like I was on a very regular timeline with school, where you look for internships during Fall semester to get that Summer internship and during Summer have that internship. Going to NYU in NYC allows you the opportunity to be more flexible.
My second advice would be to take those hard classes. Once you graduate, you will regret not taking those opportunities. Whoever is remotely interested in consulting, I strongly recommend taking Managerial Accounting. It’s all about how a company can cut costs, save money, pay for certain things by distributing capital, and how to use financials to make decisions, which is exactly what consultants do. My professor’s name is Julien Yao, and it was a great class.
How was the recruiting process for you and do you have any advice?
Recruiting is definitely a very stressful time so go easy on yourself. My advice would be to make sure to start early and have all the deadlines; I had a spreadsheet with all the different deadlines and the people I talked to get the info about the internship. The only way to go through it is to stay organized and stay on track. So start as early as possible and keep track of everything.
In terms of actually interviewing and recruiting, my piece of advice is to be yourself. Sometimes you get so caught up with professional casing interviews, trying to get every single piece of experience you ever had in that 10 minute question, but those things don’t work. At the end of the day, the person you want to hire is someone you want to work with and be on your team. If someone seems like a robot or a know-it-all, it doesn’t come across in the way that you think. Be yourself and be personal. Finding that fit is important for both you and the recruiter.
If you want to coffee chat Paola to hear more, you can email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Janny Hong is one of MktSoc's Fall 2021 Co-Content Directors. She is a junior at Stern studying Operations and Computing & Data Science. This post is part of her special project vertical, "Interviewing MktSoc Alumni."