When people think of the iSchool, information technology is the first thing that comes to mind. And sometimes, people associate information technology professionals with a variety of stereotypes, such working in a cubicle and working alone. However, I’ve noticed from communicating with upperclassmen in my major that working as a technology consultant is the beaten path for an iSchooler after graduation.

The “Big Four” consulting companies such as Deloitte and EY (Ernst & Young) continuously recruit our seniors into full-time jobs. And what many seem to think of as an unattainable job for an iSchooler, I can honestly say that one of the most preferred jobs coming out of Syracuse with an Information Management and Technology degree is working as a business technology analyst at one of these companies.

DCAP comes to the iSchool

In October, I was given the chance to go on the iSchool’s Road Trip to New York City, allowing me to see how technology is used in both financial and consulting companies. For a freshman who didn’t really know what to expect, nor what he wants to do in his life, going to companies like Fidelity, Bank of America, Deloitte, and EY, among many others, opened up just so many different directions. Upon concluding that trip, I found an interest in consulting.

An opportunity arose in March when Deloitte was working with the iSchool to come on a campus and host a program that is known as DCAP, which stands for Deloitte Consulting Apprenticeship Program. Having just declared a minor in finance in the Whitman School of Management, I jumped at the opportunity to participate in an immersion-like experience in the world of consulting with the convenience of an on campus event. I knew it was an experience that I needed, especially if I was considering a career in consulting in the future.

The DCAP Experience

DCAP was a two-day course, with the first day focusing on what the company does and who they are looking for in terms of their summer interns and full-time employees. The second day was supposed to be a ‘day in the life’ of working in a consulting team for  a fictional company – called T.W. Mart – and how they can become an Insight Driven Organization, or IDO.

By using data, IDOs can find out where they excel and where they struggle. The fictional T.W. Mart was presented as an electronics-based company that has been losing money recently to their competitors who are starting to use better demographics and data analytics for their sales.

In our five-member advising team, we had to create a presentation where we would be pitching to the CEOs of T.W. Mart. The CEO team consisted of two iSchool faculty members. We had to convince the CEO team to implement our insights within their company.

Throughout our pre-presentation period, our group decided that improving three key areas could make T.W. Mart more efficient and IDO-like:

  1. Improve inventory logistics, such as cutting costs on logistics and storing, or improving product and sales data
  2. Increase customer loyalty and brand recognition by focusing more on demographics, seeing consumer spending patterns, and collecting better data on age/gender/location
  3. Put a better centralized analytics system in place in order to check purchase history and improve foot traffic

The coolest thing to me was how Deloitte wanted us to deploy use cases, which are methods that workers at Deloitte use each and every day. Use cases help to define the different ways a consulting team and its company can achieve a common goal. They are often used within Deloitte’s employment and throughout the world of consulting.

Throughout this process, we used templates that are used by Deloitte employees who do this job every day. We were given instruction from some people who deal first-hand with these issues on an every-day basis and we were able to truly find ourselves in how we fit in the consulting world in the process.

DCAP not only gave me some great connections, but also made me just that much more excited to see what the iSchool has in store for me over the course of the next three years.

Have you participated in DCAP? Have any tips for how to prepare or make the best use of your time at DCAP? Leave your comments and suggestions below!