Anshu Pokharel Shares Valuable Experience Securing a Career in Consulting with IBM

Anshu Pokharel, PPE major and spring 2024 graduate, shares her valuable experience in securing a career in consulting with IBM.

Anshu, can you tell us about your academic history as a student at Virginia Tech?

I am a PPE major (Politics, Philosophy, Economics) and a Digital Marketing Strategy minor. I began my academic journey unsure of the exact outcome I wanted from my studies, so I made it my priority to learn as much as possible through my coursework and experiences. The Kellogg Center and the College of Business have major support systems that helped me discover my ideal path after graduation.

Can you tell us a little about your position with IBM that will start in June 2024?

I am working as a Federal Consultant within the Business Transformation/Hybrid Cloud Strategy pipeline. This role is under IBM’s business consulting services focusing on federal clientele.  

Can you provide information about the application process process for your current position, and what kind of work you will focus on under your position?

In terms of my responsibilities within this role, my key roles and responsibilities include facilitating workshops with stakeholders, defining current and future operational scenarios, and creating strategic and client-relevant solutions for various projects. My initial weeks will focus on training and understanding IBM’s work culture.

I was interested in the consulting field for a few years before making it a priority within my internship and job searches. I had networked with IBM throughout my academic career, connecting with recruiters and researching relevant roles.

This specific role was posted on handshake with a standard application process that asked for one’s resume and an optional cover letter. The initial application submission was followed by a HireVue online interview, an introductory call, an initial behavioral interview, and, lastly, a case study interview. After the final case study interview, I got my official offer letter within one week!

How did PPE help set you up for success?

Although I entered college unsure of my ideal career path, I was always interested in the three fields that PPE combines, and appreciated the unique flexibility interdisciplinary studies can provide.

As I progressed as a PPE major, I realized having negotiation, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills helped me to stand out in the interview process. Also, having a global awareness and an understanding of economics helped me with developing my analytical skills.

The Kellogg Center values networking skills, so having meaningful relationships with peers and faculty in the Center helped with me understand others’ experiences. All in all, PPE helped me to understand that my ideal role does not need to be confined to a narrow path, but it can focus on different methods of learning – which made consulting a great fit for me.

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