The Daily Pennsylvanian spoke with Dane Greisiger, former president of The Daily Pennsylvanian, Inc. and incoming associate for Boston Consulting Group.
Question: Could you tell me about yourself and your professional experiences?
Answer: My concentrations are Finance and Legal Studies in Wharton. And in terms of jobs, I've done two internships. My first one was in an insurance company called Chubb in Philadelphia that was online during COVID-19 my sophomore year. And this past summer, I interned at Boston Consulting Group. And I'm returning there in the New York office full-time next year.
In terms of other career-related things, I have looked into and recruited a bit for investment banking as well. So I have those two experiences in terms of I've looked into both, although I definitely have more experience with consulting recruiting. But I'd say they're related, so I know a decent bit about both.
Q: How did you decide to pursue the consulting field?
A: I made this decision around sophomore year. I had three options I was thinking about at that time: consulting, investment banking, and law school. But I really looked at those three options and tried to find which one I enjoyed doing the most.
It’s hard to tell whether you're gonna enjoy law school. Although the legal studies classes are pretty good, it's still hard to get a really good sense of what that career path would be like. But it’s clearer with consulting and investment banking. Particularly with consulting, the thing I liked about it is there are case interviews. At that time, I was told by older people that if you enjoyed doing that actual interview and it makes sense to you and resonates with you, you would probably enjoy the career path. Of course, that's not 100% true. But I liked that there was some type of an indicator.
Another big component is meshing well with the lifestyle and the types of problems that they work on and just the routine. I think it made sense to me at the time. I also kind of the fact that it was really like a stepping stone type of job and that it gives you a lot of options.
Q: Did you participate in any extracurricular activities at Penn that kind of got you more exposed to consulting experiences?
A: Specifically to casing, no. My big thing obviously was in the DP, I was the business manager and the President — although I think being president didn't like overlap with me recruiting so I was business manager at the time.
In terms of the ways I got experience casing was through people in my fraternity who were older than me and were working at these companies. They shared with me multiple consulting guides. There are textbook-type things for those, but I didn't really ever do that because I was told it's not that beneficial. What you really need is somebody to case interview you and you just kind of learn through repetition.
I definitely don't think clubs are necessary. In my mind, the things that clubs do is more for networking. I know there are even Facebook groups where people will pair up and case each other. It only takes one other person to do cases with you. Clubs may have some additional resources, but having someone who's older than you walking you through a couple of cases is the best experience by far.
Q: Do you think that your classroom experiences have had any effect on your professional path?
A: I guess there were a couple of management classes, but I've really enjoyed the finance classes a lot, too. Those are more investment banking oriented. So I would say no, consulting is more about solving analytical-type of problems. Maybe that is informed by my classroom experiences, but the thing that affected me the most are older peers who I respected speaking highly of the companies they worked for. It's not like I took a class that was like a consulting class and I was like, I want to do consulting. That didn't happen.
Q: So recruiting is a self-driven process?
A: Yeah. I didn't take any consulting classes after I already decided my career path my sophomore year. By the time I began recruiting, I just finished the fall semester of my sophomore year. I had only really ever taken Wharton core curriculum classes, which won't help you narrow anything down because they're not specific enough to point you to one industry or another.
Q: Do you have any advice to anyone beginning the recruiting cycle in general?
A: I would say stay open-minded. And don't be afraid to keep your scope quite broad because a lot of people come into college saying I'm gonna do this, or I'm gonna do consulting. I don't know the exact statistics for people changing their mind, but it has to be a high percentage. So just keep an open mind and don't take anybody else's word. Why would you take someone's word for what consulting is like when you can literally just go into a case interview yourself? Case interview books are very representative of the types of problems that consultants will be solving. Like, if you want to look for specifics, they're available. It's not like these things are secret. So why would you listen to what someone else is claiming? I imagine it's similar for other fields like investment banking, software engineering, law school, med school, and other paths.
At Penn, you have peers who can give you the resources that you need. Like I said, I went to older people who were working in consulting and they gave me case books and cases from the companies that they worked at, and they walked me through them. You have the resources, and you don't have to be in some special club in order to get them. So you're hurting yourself by not at least taking a look at them and forming your own opinion of them.
Q: How did you reach out to these older people?
A: They were people I knew, whether they were TAs, people in my fraternity, or people in DP. I remember at the time, the business manager of the DP was a senior and I was a freshman or sophomore. I reached out to her because she was working in banking. So you will run into people who know about these things in any club out there.
Q: Is there anything you wish you did differently during the recruiting process?
A: Yeah, I think my biggest regret is how I managed the timeline of recruiting. I've heard that the timelines for recruiting opportunities have changed significantly in the past year or two, but back when I was recruiting it used to be, investment banking recruiting was March through almost July. And consulting recruiting was the last week of August into September or the first week of October. But that gives you the opportunity to actually recruit for both and put a full effort into both.
In terms of maximizing my opportunities, I wish I had put more of an effort into doing both because I really only put full effort into consulting and I didn't really put a lot of effort into investment banking, which looking back was a bit unwise. I just cut my opportunities in half. If you like consulting, investment banking doesn’t matter. But at the end of the day, you're a sophomore or junior and either of those two experiences, at least for an internship, would be very beneficial. It doesn't make sense and it doesn't make sense to be picky either. You have a very low rate of getting into whatever the top firms that you want to get into anyway.
I ended up regretting not focusing more on investment banking when I was going through consulting recruiting because if I didn’t get something there, I already passed one good opportunity. It's hard to do both, but if you can, I'd say it's worth it.
For a full time job it's a little bit different, but especially for internships when you're a sophomore, you probably don’t know the difference or if you like one thing over the other. So you should maximize your opportunities for both because it's not like you're taking resources away from one and putting them to the other because the timelines don't really overlap, at least back then I recruited.
Q: So, would you advise others to take as many opportunities as they can?
A: Yes, because statistically speaking, I'd imagine recruiting is similar to getting into an Ivy League school. You're competing against a really talented pool. Qualified, or even overqualified candidates get rejected. So the statistics are against you. You shouldn’t limit yourself because you think you like one thing more than another when in fact, you really probably don't know and you're just saying that because you think it'll hurt your chances if you don't focus all of your efforts on one. You've got to play the odds and maximize your opportunities from a numbers perspective.