Caroline Collins
Caroline Collins, MPP Class of 2024

Carrie Collins, MPP Class of 2024, shares how she leveraged the resources available to her at Harris to secure her job as Associate Management Consultant at Booz Allen Hamilton before graduation. 

I've always been interested in public sector consulting, so it was frustrating when I wasn't able to attend a Consulting Day event hosted through the Career Development Office (CDO). I reached out to Ethan Rucker, the Associate Director of CDO, and asked if I could get him my resume and cover letter to share with Booz Allen Hamilton, which I knew would be at the fair. Ethan said, “While I can't promise they'll review it, you can send it to me.”  

So I reached out to Kamillia Forbes, former president of Harris Student Government, who works at Booz Allen. I said, “Kam, I'm applying to this job, and you already have it. What do I need to know to really make myself stand out?” So she and I had a quick call while I was working on the cover letter for Ethan. 

I eventually was given a screening call, where the Booz Allen representative instructed me to apply for a general management senior consultant position. On the night of my dog's birthday party, Booz Allen said that they wanted to interview me.

To prepare for the interview, I really did my homework. Kam connected me to Dave Sulek, Senior Vice President at Booz Allen, and we spoke about what Booz Allen is, what they do, why he pushed for more MPP hires, and what he thinks it's done for Booz Allen. During our conversation, something he said really struck me: “Booz Allen isn't really a consulting firm—we are a technology firm that does consulting. And that doesn't always appeal to people who are coming from public policy.” But for me, it was a watershed moment. 

Government historically moves a little slower than other sectors, so technology as a solution had never really seemed viable to me. But, if governments worked with third party consulting firms, it could work. 

I can use technology solutions to make the government better. It was a big light bulb moment.

The process with Booz Allen unfolded fairly quickly: I had behavioral interviews that were followed a couple days later with an email about security clearance, and the next day I got an email that they wanted to have a call to discuss my full-time offer. We went through the salary negotiation process, and I will be starting in August as a General Management Consultant at the Associate Level—the highest level they've ever hired out of Harris. I'm most excited, however, because I was able to get my offer signed even before finals during my fall quarter, which was huge.

At Booz Allen, I will also be on the Civilian Services team, so my whole job is how to use technology to create better delivery of government services for civilians. My soon-to-be colleagues are using generative AI, machine learning, and data science to optimize the use of resources to make sure we are giving as much as possible where there is the greatest need.

Subsequently, I spoke to Harris alums who work at Booz Allen and asked: "What kind of moments could I draw on to keep me pushing forward through mission-driven projects?" And every single person said that not only were they wildly fulfilled by their job, but they also saw immediate results from many of the projects—and got to know the people those projects benefited. Knowing that so many people who had come from the same program as I did felt like they were working towards tangible goals was a huge relief. It was a no-brainer to accept my job at Booz Allen.