Wharton Undergraduate Consulting Conference

“Diverse backgrounds. One pre-professional choice.”

The Wharton Undergraduate Consulting Club’s (WUCC) slogan doesn’t just refer to the fact that our general body and committees are made up of students from varying majors, involved in numerous unique activities besides WUCC. Diversity extends to the types of initiatives our members partake in, other universities we work with, and the consulting firms we routinely partner with. This could not be more apparent than during WUCC’s second annual Wharton Undergraduate Consulting Conference, held on October 12 of this year.

The theme of this year’s Conference was “Charting Your Career in Consulting.” The Conference was intended to help attendees get informed about, prepare for, and connect with careers in consulting. Representatives from WUCC’s sponsors, including Ernst and Young, Oliver Wyman, Accenture, Deloitte, and Mars & Co, came out to offer their insights.

Activities ranging from panels and interview workshops to a case competition and networking receptions gave students the opportunity to increase their knowledge about consulting and get a head-start in the internship-recruiting process. This year’s conference introduced new opportunities for students to network with company representatives and recruiters, including coffee chats featuring WUCC’s gold and silver sponsors as well as a career fair featuring 13 firms. Besides partnering with our 9 corporate sponsors, WUCC also looks to connect students with boutique and specialized firms, which can expand their network and provide even more diverse opportunities.

The case competition brought together students from NYU, Yale, University of Toronto, Penn, and other schools. Adrian Slywotzky, a partner at Oliver Wyman, WUCC’s gold sponsor, gave the keynote and discussed his newest book, Demand: Creating What People Love Before They Know They Want It. Mr. Slywotzsky was voted one of the most renowned consultants in the world, and it was great that conference attendees got to hear him speak.

The conference was proclaimed a huge success by attendees and firm representatives. In the words of one participant, “the conference gave me not only a high-level view of what to expect in consulting, but also specific, concrete tips to succeed in the industry.” It’s always surprising to hear praise about how smoothly run an event was, especially if one (and one’s team) has been scrambling in the background resolving “crises” that inadvertently pop up during the day! Many other clubs have huge teams dedicated to organizing their conferences, but WUCC has a relatively small Conference Committee. The beauty of WUCC lies in the cohesion between committees – Conference Committee members found they could rely on people from Technology, Marketing and Corporate Relations committees to assist with the planning. This unity reflects the community at Wharton – people are always willing to reach out and go the extra mile in order to achieve success for the greater community. I am really fortunate to have worked with such an amazing group of people. They’re also a great bunch to hang out with outside of WUCC!

The entire operation took 6-7 months to plan. Communication during the summer was difficult, but regular updates allowed us to hit the ground running when the fall semester opened. One of the toughest challenges was making the conference bigger and better than last year’s – this led to the related issue of sourcing more corporate sponsorships. Most of the time, we reached out to recent alumni or directly to firm representatives, inviting them for events during the school year and crossing our fingers that the event would meet their expectations and encourage them to increase the depth and breadth of their relationship with WUCC. This definitely required the help of several of our WUCC committees, including Corporate Relations and Events, and showcases the interdependent nature of our club. It also allowed committee members to get exposure to multiple experiences beyond their specific roles.

With such capable people in WUCC, I’m certainly looking forward to next year’s conference and the other activities the club has planned for the rest of the year!