Florida State University sophomore Matthew Young’s unique combination of business acumen, creative verve and positivity has proved a potent recipe for success.
In his academic pursuits, his involvement with campus organizations and his commitment to service, Young has wasted no time in demonstrating the qualities of a strong and compassionate leader.
Recently, those qualities were recognized by McKinsey & Company, the world’s largest and most esteemed management and consulting firm, who offered Young a prestigious summer internship. A finance and marketing double major from Jacksonville, Fla., Young will spend the summer stationed in McKinsey’s Manhattan-based New York office, the largest of the firm’s more than 140 offices worldwide.
“I’m so excited to move up to New York City and get started,” Young said. “Management and consulting involves working on all sorts of different projects for all sorts of different companies. I don’t know exactly what project I’ll be staffed on, but what excites me is that nothing will be the same day to day.”
While this internship represents an emphatic endorsement of Young’s academic and professional credentials, it’s not the first time that he’s seen his hard work rewarded with a position in a distinguished institution. Last fall, Young took a semester-long leave to intern in the White House, where he worked in the student’s department of the Office of Presidential Correspondence.
“The White House internship was amazing,” Young said. “During my time there, I dealt with all of the hard mail, email and Facebook messages to the president from students across the nation, and I helped to engage with those students on behalf of the White House. It was awesome to be there for the end of the Obama administration and to run through the finish line with them.”
While working in the White House, Young made a point of forging connections and fostering relationships within robust D.C. management and consulting community. Soon after meeting a fellow White House intern who had already received a full-time offer from McKinsey, Young began working more concertedly toward securing a position of his own, training for interviews and familiarizing himself with the colossal firm’s corporate culture.
Young’s studied preparation paid dividends. In mid-May, he’ll start lending his talents to the premier management and consulting company in the field.
Long before he was booking flights to Manhattan, Young was cutting his teeth with the Florida State University Consulting Group, a not-for-profit, student-helmed consulting agency run out of FSU’s College of Business that services local Tallahassee businesses and organizations. As a partner with the firm, Young collaborated with his similarly ambitious and talented student colleagues to develop management strategies and data-driven solutions for new or ailing companies.
Young said that his work with the FSU Consulting Group provided a platform where he could master the fundamentals of consulting through practical application.
“My experience with the consulting group has been exciting because we’ve been able to provide a more one-on-one approach with local companies as they try to branch out,” Young said. “I think it’s prepared me because, as with anything, you want to get the basics of a skillset down before you apply it on a broader scale. Working under the advisement of the professors in the College of Business has trained me for what to expect when I arrive at McKinsey. They’ve taught me how to think and how to solve problems.”
As it turns out, retraining yourself how to think is something of a precondition for success in management and consulting.
With firms like McKinsey expected to provide integrative and enduring solutions to massively complicated problems, creative thinking and an industrious work ethic are required characteristics in prospective consultants.
According to FSU Entrepreneur in Residence and Walt Disney Research Producer MK Haley, who taught Young in a class called “Creating Experiences,” these are exactly the kinds of attributes that Young has in abundance.
“He was not just a good student, but he was also a great team member,” Haley said. “The class covered collaboration and public presentation of your work, as well as problem solving and critical thinking. He embraced and showcased those ideals well and always participated in a thoughtful and engaged manner.”
It’s exactly this need for inventive approaches to big problems that so excites Young about consulting.
“The problems that we’re tasked with addressing sometimes take weeks and months to solve,” Young said. “What I really like about it is how it forces you to engage the creative side of your thinking. You have to think outside the box in your approach and find new methods to develop and implement in order to solve issues as efficiently as possible.”
As Young prepares to begin work with McKinsey, he said that he’s proud to be able to represent FSU on a national level. With a successful White House internship behind him, and a new and fascinating challenge on the horizon, Young said that FSU has been instrumental in helping him keep pace with his academics, even with so much time spent off campus.
“FSU has functioned as a support structure,” Young said. “They’ve always made sure that I’m up to date on what’s happening on campus, and they’ve helped to ensure that I don’t miss any important opportunities. From advising to financial aid, FSU has always made certain that, whether I’m in D.C. or New York, I’m always good to go.”
For more information about the Florida State University Consulting Group, visit http://www.fsucg.com/.