Brandon Kreider (’16, MS/BS, HRER and LER) works for Deloitte Consulting in their Human Capital Practice. He specializes in organization transformation and talent to help clients understand their business challenges.

Consulting. You hear the word and think corporate finance, mergers, top business school graduates, and long hours. While you’re not completely wrong, there is a lot more to this career than that. With tens of thousands of extremely qualified applicants vying for the same few spots at top consulting firms across the country, I sometimes wonder, how did I end up as one of the fortunate few? Looking back, I think a significant portion of my success is thanks to my liberal arts degrees. More specifically, my undergraduate degree in Labor and Employment Relations and my graduate degree in Human Resources and Employment Relations.

The consulting industry is a confusing one for many people. While I could list all of the different “workstreams” and “deliverables” my team and I make for our clients, what consulting really boils down to is making complex situations easy to understand. These situations come in many forms, but mostly, they come from clients asking questions:

  • “We’re losing our best people to our top competitor. How do we fix it?”
  • “How do we upskill our employees so they understand the newest technologies?”
  • “This new supply chain technology is supposed to be a game changer. Is it worth the money? Should we implement it? How?”

Through these questions, we set out to understand the root cause of the problem and understand why the change is occurring. From there, we devise a plan to solve the problem and work hand in hand with our clients to implement it. This is where my passion for consulting stems: each day I’m able to help people solve problems and improve their businesses.

While reading this you may be wondering – did your time in the Liberal Arts program at Penn State prepare you for your job? Are you as prepared as those that came out of Smeal business school? Yes. Unequivocally, yes. A degree in the Liberal Arts prepares you to think critically, network, problem solve, and communicate eloquently. Through course work and time spent in leadership roles of school organizations, I built a network of professors, alumni, and classmates that I continue to rely on today.

My advice to you, no matter your career or professional aspirations:

  1. Appreciate your Liberal Arts degree, for it prepares you to take on the toughest challenges in any industry.
  2. Take time to build a relationship with your classmates and professors – these years allow you to build bonds that will last well beyond your time at Penn State.
  3. Get involved – there are few better ways to learn to lead than by doing it. Find an organization you are passionate about and volunteer to take on leadership roles. It will prepare you for success in many ways.

If you’re interested in learning more about Deloitte and the consulting industry, please visit us at our many events on campus during the Fall semester. Don’t forget to apply for our amazing internship program – our resume submission date is Friday, September 15th! We are taking applications for Juniors only. 

If you have questions, please feel free to reach out by email: bkreider@deloitte.com. I’m always happy to talk.

Penn State alumni from Deloitte will be hosting our first Lunch & Learn event this semester focusing on “Marketing Your Liberal Arts Degree.” Thursday, September 7, 12:15p.m.-1:15p.m. in 124 Sparks Building. Liberal Arts students should RSVP for this event in Network Symplicity.

 

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