A group of high-achieving sophomores from the School of Information Studies (iSchool) were recently selected to take part in a two-day introduction to careers in the consulting industry, courtesy of Syracuse University alumni at professional services firm EY.

The Sophomore Leadership Retreat at EY was the brainchild of Greg Raimann, a partner in EY’s Advisory Financial Services management team, and a member of the iSchool’s Board of Advisors. Raimann and iSchool director of alumni and student programs, Julie Walas Huynh, planned the event after Raimann visited the iSchool earlier this semester, and spoke with students interested in consulting careers.

“Greg’s idea was to sponsor a trip for our most talented and engaged sophomore students, involve iSchool alumni at EY, and bring them together to show what happens when you work at a company like EY,” explained Huynh.

The consulting firm, a top employer of iSchool graduates, sponsored the trip for eleven students, hosting them for two days at two of the company’s offices in New York City in late March.

On the first day, students met with alumni at EY’s Times Square offices, and were given an introductory information session on EY and the consulting industry, along with a ‘Tips for Success’ session.

That evening, students gathered with over 20 EY alumni from across the company’s business areas for an alumni reception, allowing them to network and learn about career opportunities on a more personal level.

The following day, students trekked to EY’s Union Square offices to take part in brainstorming sessions and focus groups with EY employees, lending their expertise and getting a feel for real-world projects and clients.

For student Sophie Estep – a dual major in the iSchool’s Information Management and Technology (IM&T) program and the Public Relations program at Syracuse’s Newhouse School of Public Communication – the trip was an eye-opening introduction to an industry she hadn’t considered before, but now intends to explore in-depth. 

“Prior to this trip, I had no idea what consulting was, and a part of me pictured people hunched over in dark labs, feverishly typing code with minimal conversation. But EY – and consulting – surprised me,” said Estep. “This trip gave me the first-hand chance to see what goes into successful firms that are helped along by consulting giants, and I discovered that I love all the methods that go into consulting – communications, business, and technology.”

“While IM&T is in the center of all three, the parts were seamlessly streamlined at EY,” Estep continued, “and while visiting, I no longer felt that this ‘tech consulting firm’ was comprised of people sitting around and coding all day long, but rather communicating effectively – something I know and love!”

Estep will return to EY this summer, to participate in the firm’s Leadership Summit in Washington D.C.

“I’m excited to explore even more facets of EY and meet plenty of new dedicated students at the same time,” she said.