Now What?

Now What?

Colby seniors have their plans in full swing

By Abigail Wheeler '04

Upbeat Kearney Shanahan was smiling even more than usual. One job offer in. Other options still to consider.

Following two rounds of interviews, Shanahan was offered a position at Cambridge Associates, a consulting firm in Boston.

"The second interview was a full day of five interview sessions focusing on different aspects of your skill and character," Shanahan said. "It's a way to connect personally so that several different people have impressions of you. For a smaller firm, much of what plays into this process is fit,how you fit the firm and how the firm fits you. That was one of the things I was impressed by about their recruiting process."

The next step was a request for a reference (he referred the firm to Dean of Faculty Edward Yeterian). A few weeks later, Shanahan was back at Colby. This was the beginning of Jan Plan and he was working at his part-time job at Pad Thai, a restaurant on College Avenue, when he got a message. Cambridge Associates was extending a job offer and the paperwork would be in the mail the following week. Goodbye Pad Thai; hello Boston!

But that's not all Shanahan had to consider. He'd also been invited to a third round of interviews with Dove Consulting in Boston, and he was invited to (and attended) a weeklong business course in the Netherlands courtesy of Akzo Nobel, an international biotechnology and pharmaceutical company. The invitation came as a surprise.

"I didn't think it was anything," Shanahan said, laughing. "I had written it off. . . . It wasn't advertised well, I was confused about it, I wasn't sure what this business course was. I realized [later] that it's more of an audition, like a very long interview. From what I understand, they're obviously making a commitment to you. I am an investment for them and they are an investment for me because I'm missing a week of school. There's a mutual investment there. Finding which company within Akzo Nobel fits with you is a lot of what this week is about."

Shanahan had given himself a spring deadline to respond to Cambridge Associates, and in the meantime, he had some thinking to do. If he receives offers from Dove and Akzo Nobel, he'll be doing a lot of weighing and comparing. "So I have a small firm, another small firm, but not as small, and an international corporation," he said, warming up to the problem. "I'm comparing two different types of consulting firms: strategy consulting versus investment consulting. And also going straight into biotech, which is what I ultimately want to do, versus doing consulting for a few years first."
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