Ryan Flynn '10

JOB TITLE: CrossLeader
ORGANIZATION: McChrystal Group
LOCATION: Alexandria, Virginia

What was your first position after college? I spent the summer immediately after graduation working at a restaurant to save money to move abroad. That fall, I moved to Cairo, Egypt, and found a few jobs to support myself. I worked in the law department of an Egyptian oil company, bartended for a private catering company, and bartended at a nightclub.

What aspects of your Trinity experience have been important to advancing your career or graduate school experience? The flexibility that Trinity affords its students helped me build a diverse resume that has been appealing to interviewers. I was a varsity athlete, studied abroad, interned in Washington, D.C., over a summer, and challenged myself academically while on campus. My ability to demonstrate academic success with a diverse schedule of activities shows time-management skills and drive, two character traits crucial to being hired with little professional experience.   

What advice would you give to Trinity students to prepare for a position in your field? For people seeking jobs right out of college, know that interviewers want to see professional experience of some kind and that internships are key. Consider an internship after your sophomore year to allow for a follow-up internship after your junior year (if still interested in the field) or a different internship if not. If the concept of “consulting” is appealing, students should look to internships or classes that will improve skills in general business acumen (PowerPoint, Excel, etc.). Real value comes from interacting with professionals in multiple settings and learning to be comfortable, polished, and “respectable” at all times. The biggest pitfall I’ve seen that strikes applicants is the simple fact that an interviewer wouldn’t want the applicant representing a firm to clients. 

If looking to attend graduate school at any point, challenge yourself academically and professionally while at Trinity. Some courses may seem interesting or easy, but they may not demonstrate your full potential to a graduate school looking over your transcript. If you have some idea of what graduate program you might be interested in, take at least one or two courses that demonstrate interest and ability in that field (such as economics, statistics, or public policy and law), and do well.   

What is the biggest misconception about your field? That all consulting or professional service firms require a long recruiting cycle with case interviews and other hoops to jump through. Many midsize and smaller consulting firms are simply looking for bright analyst-level graduates who are willing to pick up and go where they are needed, either full time or on a Monday-to-Thursday schedule. A new graduate able to demonstrate discipline, an appetite for learning, and self-awareness will appeal to most organizations looking for young talent.