Dakshata Pradhan considers herself a classic introvert, so a career in consulting never had much appeal. But that all changed when the Eccles School junior got a crash course in consulting at the McKinsey Undergraduate Women’s Summit in Dallas this summer.
The program draws students from across the country to develop leadership and consulting skills while taking on real-world case studies. Pradhan’s favorite? How to increase revenue at fashion retailer Zara by 30 percent by 2030.
The summit featured five keynote presentations, all from women, as well as various breakout sessions to discuss cases and develop consulting skills. Pradhan found the presentation skills to be particularly valuable.
“In a consulting firm, the presentation matters a lot,” Pradhan said. “So they taught us how to present in front of people, how to speak powerfully and be confident.”
Pradhan may be an introvert, but she does enjoy pushing herself, and the summit provided ample opportunity for growth.
“I just pushed myself because I don’t have that many leadership qualities, I think,” she said.
Plenty in the Eccles School would beg to differ. Diana Woodbury of Corporate Outreach encouraged Pradhan to apply, and she received résumé help, interview tips and other coaching from Corporate Outreach Associate Director Kate Peleshak and Director of Strategic Initiatives for the Eccles School Ruchi Watson. Having such strong female mentors helped Pradhan gain confidence, and she gives them credit for helping her get accepted into the elite program.
Predhan didn’t know much about consulting before attending the summit, but now she sees it as a definite career option. An Information Systems major, she had originally planned on seeking a career as a business analyst. But after the summit, she now has her eye on a consulting internship for next summer.