Elizabeth Stallman (below), a junior studying finance and accounting, was supposed to spend the summer as an intern for Springbuk, a health analytics startup in Indianapolis.

Instead, she spent the summer with the BCG as the financial modeling segment leader and as a member of the data analytics and human capital teams. She joined Auches on both the Corteva and Rolls-Royce projects.

Elizabeth Stallman“After my internship was cancelled, one of my main goals for the summer was learning more about finance and trying to create an experience similar to what I would have had with Springbuk,” she says. “For me, that started with having a valuable learning experience and taking on opportunities that I normally wouldn't pursue. I really wanted something that I'd be able to share with recruiters and proud to talk about.”

She found it through the Boilermaker Consulting Group.

“Based on the current environment, there is a possibility that next summer's internships are going to be online, so I wanted to show recruiters that I have done this before and that it was successful,” she says. “Another thing I can highlight on my resume is that I worked with students in various educational programs. I think this is very important, especially because diverse minds think differently.”

She says the team components of the project were valuable as well. “It was very interesting to see how different people work together and how engineers, business majors and polytechnic students go about solving problems differently. I gained a lot of teamwork, communication, and problem-solving skills from the experience.”

Alumni Inspiration

Throughout the summer and into the fall, Krannert and Purdue alumni continue to play a key role in the Boilermaker Consulting Group’s success.

In addition to Jon Ferency, Jeff Powers, Mary Slater, and Roger Stewart, the BCG alumni advisory team is rounded out by Sean Maroney, an operations professional at Amazon; retired executives Thomas McDuffee and Don MacKay; Rajiv Phougat from Eli Lilly and Company’s Global Information Systems group; Matt Bauke, senior consultant, West Monroe Partners; Harshit Juneja, product manager, Molex Corp.; Isaac Tipton, corporate development, HBM Holdings; and Ellen Shrew Holland, president of Strategic Risk Frameworks. Krannert faculty members Mohammed Rahman and Andy Alexander will provide academic and research support to the academy.

“When I was approached to act as a student advisor, I thought I would simply be helping a few students with a summer consulting project — almost like a virtual internship,” Maroney says. “That’s a long way from where we ended up. We are now a fully functioning consulting organization, student-led, addressing relevant management issues with constructive solutions. Real problems, real shareholders, real dollars, real world.”

“Nothing like this was available when I was a student,” adds MacKay. “I think that alumni advisors have a unique opportunity to act as mentors and to share what they have learned over their careers. A lot of what we do is listening and helping guide ideas and opportunities.”

The students also interact with Krannert alumni on their clients’ teams, including Tony Fisher (BSM ’08, MBA ’12), who leads North America Crop Protection Material Planning for Corteva Agriscience.

“It's been an excellent partnership. The students did a phenomenal job and the level of engagement has really exceeded my expectations,” Fisher says. “What I was most impressed with was how quickly they acclimated to the dataset, and really put tangible results into action. Their recommendations will help shape some important decisions for our company, and we look forward to working with them on other projects in the future.”  

Powers, who has been mentoring Krannert students for many years, is equally enthused by the experience and outcomes — and equally credited by students for the BCG’s success.

“The students may not know it, but what they did this summer will prepare them as well as any summer internship experience with a top consulting firm,” he says. “They learned consulting methods, advanced their skills through workshops, learned sales and business development, project management, and delivered work with a focus on professional and leadership development, including what it’s like to manage people.”

Auches is eager to continue working with Powers and other alumni advisors, as well as his fellow consultants and BCG clients, as he begins his junior year. “The environment and culture that alumni helped to create in this group has been amazing and inspiring,” Auches says. “This experience has energized me going into fall semester and has reminded me why I get up every morning and work hard.”

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