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by Micah Joselow (2Y 2020)

I grew up in a diverse public school system in Ossining, New York. So, when I graduated from Princeton in 2012, I decided to become a Teach For America (TFA) Corps Member to help work to close the achievement gap. After spending six years as a teacher and school leader, I decided to apply to business school with the goal of becoming a management consultant to round-out my skillset and, eventually, have a larger impact on the education system. I ended up applying to and attending Kellogg because of its long-standing partnership with TFA. Little did I know that this community of educators at Kellogg ended up being a defining part of my MBA journey as well.

I’ll never forget how nervous I was when I arrived in Evanston; I knew what I wanted to accomplish, but transitioning from education to consulting felt like a huge pivot. The first week of school, I received an unprompted email from the second-year TFA alumni who had made the transition from education to consulting the year before. Even though they’d never met me before, they were offering to guide me through the recruiting process toward the internship and career of my dreams.

Those members of the Class of 2019 coached me and several of my TFA-alumni classmates during the fall. Due to hours of case and fit prep, I was lucky enough to intern with Boston Consulting Group in Los Angeles that summer as a result. This informal, student-led interview prep group (IPG) and community not only helped me accomplish my goals, but they were also my first taste of Kellogg’s “pay it forward” mentality.

Paying it forward

As soon as I signed my internship offer, I knew that I wanted to devote my second year as a Kellogg student to doing just that: paying it forward to help the next class of Kellogg students accomplish their goals. I used my curriculum development background to create a formal scope and sequence to ensure that we covered all the information I wish I’d known throughout the fall of my first year. With the help of two of my TFA-alumni classmates, C.J. Pennock and Riki Mahal, we structured a crash course on the consulting process starting the first week of Fall Quarter.

We decided to expand the informal IPG to not only include TFA alumni, but also to include individuals that had worked in the education space to build a larger community and help as many students as possible. Over the course of the fall, we taught weekly “lessons,” held “office hours,” planned a fit-prep workshop with the Kellogg Veterans Association and administered countless mock cases. In the end, all of our former educators ended up with internship offers at BCG, Bain, McKinsey, or Deloitte.

Career switching support at Kellogg

This same process of supporting affinity groups isn’t limited to the community of former educators at Kellogg. In fact, this is the rule, not the exception. In addition to the formal support of the Career Management Center and the Kellogg Consulting Club, student groups across Kellogg connected second-years with first-years through commonalities to guide them successfully through the recruiting process. From the Kellogg Veterans Association to the Black Management Association to Pride @ Kellogg and everywhere in between, informal interview prep support is a defining aspect of the recruiting process for Kellogg students. For example, I led a similar informal IPG for the members of my KWEST trip to Slovenia.

Career switching isn’t easy, but with all the formal and informal recruiting support that Kellogg has to offer, Kellogg students truly have everything they need to be successful. In the spirit of paying it forward, several of the first-years I supported will be continuing the new tradition of educators supporting educators through consulting recruiting this fall. I’m proud of the work my classmates and I did to lay the foundation for future generations of Kellogg students to make career pivots, and I can’t wait to see what they all achieve.