Here’s how MBA consulting projects and internships helped Rhett Mixon land a high-flying technology consultant career with KPMG
“I felt like I needed to strengthen and polish before I went into the workforce. I wanted to be as prepared as I could,” he says.
He decided to enroll in an MBA to gain the skills and work experience that were missing from his resume and open doors in his career that would otherwise be closed to him.
It paid off, too. Before graduating, Rhett landed a role as a technology consultant with Big Four accounting and professional services firm, KPMG.
Gaining valuable work experience during an MBA
Recently graduated from an undergrad degree in engineering, Rhett lacked the practical work experience that would help him stand out against the competition in the world of work.
However, the University of Oklahoma (OU) Price College of Business MBA made up for that tenfold, he says. After joining the program, he made sure to take advantage of every opportunity to apply the theory he was learning in classes to the real world.
In the Business Consulting Practicum, for example, OU MBA students work together with companies to address business problems they are facing.
“There wasn’t a textbook that laid out a 10-point plan. We had to figure out a solution in a real setting while under pressure. This completely challenged my ability to creatively problem solve,” says Rhett.
Gaining an insight into the world of consulting through experiences such as these prepared Rhett for his fast-paced career at KPMG.
During his MBA, Rhett also completed two internships. Organized by the University of Oklahoma’s Ronnie K Irani Center for the Creation of Economic Wealth, Rhett interned as a healthcare consultant.
In his team, Rhett helped conduct market research and competitor analysis, and map out a five-year plan for business growth.
Rhett’s second MBA internship was with Northrop Grumman—a US multinational aerospace and defense technology company. Here, he worked on projects involving data visualization and analysis.
Without these diverse practical experiences he gained on the MBA, Rhett feels he wouldn’t have landed his role with KPMG.
“I learned how to do things on the spot and use my initiative, put together stellar presentations, and improve my communication. All these things laid the foundation for me becoming a good consultant,” he says.
What it’s like to launch a technology consultant career at KPMG
It’s no secret that the recruitment process at top companies like KPMG can be tough. To land his role, Rhett faced three interviews.
“In my final interview, the director wanted to make sure I really wanted to be in the industry, and I was aware of the ask of a consultant and what life as a consultant would be like,” he says.
Thanks to the ample industry experience Rhett gained during the OU MBA, he felt able to confidently show his foresight and commitment.
In the first week of his new role, Rhett was sent to a training facility in Orlando to learn the basics of what it’s like to be a consultant at KPMG. Then, he had to get to grips with the software he would be using every day.
Despite this rigorous training, every day as a technology consultant is different, meaning Rhett has constantly been forced to think on his feet.
Currently, Rhett is is responsible for implementing KPMG’s IT management software, ServiceNow, to drive business growth.
“Some days can be like trying to drink from a water hose, but on the MBA you learn to attack a problem over and over until you find a solution which has been extremely valuable in my role,” he says.
The day-to-day role of a technology consultant means constant communication with various developers and stakeholders. In such a collaborative work environment, Rhett says he’s hugely relied on the teambuilding skills he picked up in MBA projects.
“It’s important to be able to build rapport not only with your team but with the client. The client has to trust you and believe you are competent. If they do, the adoption of a certain technology becomes a lot more successful,” says Rhett.
The MBA was the launchpad Rhett needed to take off in his career. He is now a year into his consulting career at KPMG and is only looking forward.
“I’m surrounded by incredible people who are pushing me to grow even further as a consultant and in technology,” he says.