From Colorado to Consulting to Private Equity

I have a BS/MS in Water Resources Engineering, with a 4.0 GPA from a non-target school (University of Colorado), and am just wrapping up my second year as a consultant at Accenture where I actually have had some great success - I have established two new global offerings with multimillion dollar sales pipelines, established myself as a company-wide SME in all things water, and happily earned an early promotion.

I am now looking to make my move though, and am aiming for either Private Equity, International Finance (e.g. IFC), or MBB -- any advice on how to make a successful move? Unfortunately, CU-Boulder and Accenture do not have that top brand recognition, or the deep alumni network in PE/Finance/Consulting, so networking has been a little tough.

Thoughts? MBA? Cold emailing? More Networking?

All thoughts and CU jokes are welcome.

Region: 
United States - West

Comments (10)

Apr 25, 2013

I think an MBA is a great move for a guy like you. You have a great story so far and a top b-school will rebrand you and make you competitive with everyone.

Apr 25, 2013

Go Buffs. Class of '04

Apr 25, 2013

CU class of '07 here

Apr 25, 2013

Water is a great place to be. It's going to become more and more important over the next 20 years. I'd suggest reaching out to PE funds that have existing water investments/focuses and start a dialogue. I worked on a couple of water related tech deals several years back, and there just aren't that many people with your background out there. It would probably serve as a great differentiator.

Do you have any finance or modeling experience? The biggest challenge I see is that you are an industry expert, but you might not have some of the basic skills you'd need for a pre-MBA position. Unfortunately to do PE post-MBA, you usually need to do it pre-MBA. Given your specific skill set, I'd think you'd get a solid response by cold emailing PE guys that are on the boards of water related investments.

Best of luck from a one time CU engineering student (transferred out).

Apr 26, 2013

Awesome -- thanks for the detailed response, and thanks for replying to the other posts as well. I do have some finance (corporate finance + managing sales pipeline) and modeling (financial modeling + engineering modeling) experience and I tried to highlight this on my resume. Not sure what your current line of work is, but would you be interested in taking a look at it and providing feedback? Send me a PM if you're open to this.

First step for me is mobilizing my existing VC/PE network to see if they can help me make connections with firms that have water-related investment groups, and then I'll move to cold emailing related firms. Thanks for the well wishes.

Apr 25, 2013

You definitely should get an MBA from a top school. Your consulting experience sounds solid, but is quite niche compared to general management consulting.

Apr 25, 2013

I think you could definitely move to MBB consulting if you wanted, but if you eventually plan on doing an MBA you might as well just get the MBA now.

Apr 25, 2013
packmate:

I think you could definitely move to MBB consulting if you wanted, but if you eventually plan on doing an MBA you might as well just get the MBA now.

don't forget though that MBB sponsors employees that go do the MBA, so maybe getting the job first (if you are able to) would be more advantageous.

Apr 26, 2013

http://www.tigerinfrastructure.com/cgi-bin/index.pl

Might want to call these guys up. They've posted a junior level (~1-2yrs experience) opening and you seem to be exactly what they're looking for.

May 1, 2013
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