Declassified Career Survival Guide: Chris Wahlund
Chris Wahlund is a recent (December 2019) graduate in mechanical engineering, and over the summer he interned at Huron Consulting Group—a management consulting firm that caters to several different sectors including healthcare, higher education, life sciences, and commercial industries. The company is headquartered in Chicago, but has projects active across North America.
In Chris’s internship he worked as a management consultant in the healthcare space and his project involved supporting a large healthcare system in Kentucky. The company had rolled out a new strategy to try to optimize the flow of patients in and out of the hospitals, so some of Chris’ responsibilities over the summer were to interface with department heads within the healthcare system and show them how to do the analyses that he had designed.
Chris became interested in consulting because he was looking for an application of his degree that would give him a wide range of experiences as well as opportunities to branch off into other things. His work may not have strictly related to his coursework, but his time in MechSE gave him the problem-solving skills necessary to be an effective consultant.
“For me, consulting is a great way to design better products, but also incorporate the teamwork and collaboration I have grown to enjoy so much through my ME project classes,” Chris said.
The company employed around 20 interns during Chris’s tenure and really showed a lot of support for them. They made sure that the interns had a good experience at work and also outside of it—hosting big events and providing free food for them.
One of Chris’s favorite aspects of Huron was the company culture. Not only was it easy to talk to his coworkers, but they really showed a desire for their peers to succeed. The culture is hugely based on feedback, meaning that as much as the bosses give feedback, feedback is given to bosses and it shows consideration for the values and perspectives of every member of the group. Chris felt that working at Huron gave him a lot of opportunities to develop as a professional as well as build up the people around him.
“The culture at Huron is one that welcomes you with open arms; the support you can receive if you ask for it is unparalleled. Every person you meet would love to sit and chat and help you reach your goals,” Chris said. “Everyone wants one another to succeed.”
Overall, Chris had a really good experience at Huron and he is now in a full-time position with the company.