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Consulting Firms Reach Out to Minority Students

By Aditya Agrawal and Ifeoluwa T. Obayan, Contributing Writers

As recruiting season gets underway for sophomores and juniors thinking about consulting jobs, some minority students attended a special event on Friday where consulting firms specifically aimed their messages at them.

Students from diverse backgrounds gathered at the Faculty Club for the ninth annual Diversity Recruitment Consulting Conference hosted by the student group Aspiring Minority Business Leaders and Entrepreneurs.

Conference organizer Nicky Kwon ’16 said that the conference—which was sponsored by and featured representatives from consulting firms like the Boston Consulting Group, McKinsey & Company, Monitor Deloitte, and Bain & Company—aimed to “help students from diverse backgrounds launch on a successful business career and increase overall minority representation in business.”

“One of the challenges for this type of conference is attracting people who have never considered going into consulting, or other types of business, as an option,” Kwon said. “Some people don’t end up exploring business as a career option simply because they are unfamiliar with the sector or have certain prejudices against it.”

AMBLE partnered with other student groups including Women in Business, Black Students Organization, Black Men’s Forum, and Latino Men’s Collective to maximize the conference’s student outreach.

Conference attendee Natalie Cho ’17 said she wanted to take advantage of the opportunity to meet with multiple companies at the same time.

“I thought it would be an opportunity for me to get a broad range of information as well as more specific firm-based information,” Cho said.

The main event was the Diversity Consulting Panel, where professionals from the different companies addressed a full room and answered questions about their duties, the way a sense of community is fostered among diverse people at their workplace, and the initiatives the firms use to attract potential recruits.

Amahdi A. Shabaka ’17 said the conference was more than just a chance to hear about the diversity initiatives each firm has.

“A large part of the reason I like to come to these events and talk with people of color and diverse backgrounds is so I can really ask them questions about how diversity has affected their experience [and] what it really means to be diverse at these firms,” Shabaka said.

According to Shabaka, the most important point in the panel came from Kwame Spearman, a representative from Bain & Company, who said that minority students do not necessarily have the familial or institutional connections that tell them what to expect from a career in consulting.

“It’s really important for people of color to be aware of what’s going on within the industry and to be made aware of the process,” Shabaka said. “It’s valuable in terms of establishing that feeling...that people of color have access to these things.”

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