Daria Kukhar is an international business major with a minor in consulting. She joined TAMID in Spring 2021 (Mem class), and is currently a consulting project manager.

What is your co-op?

“I’m a delivery analyst at McKinsey, where I specialize in procurement and supply chain consulting. The day to day of my job usually involves clients coming to the company and showing us their spending data, asking where can they cut costs, where can they make better decisions, where can they potentially negotiate better with a supplier, etc.

What I do is that I look at the data and categorize it. After doing so, we split them into categories and put them into dashboards for a more concise picture. With the spend data, we can kind of see trends and key performance indicators and determine if a client is overspending in this category, or if they should combine these two categories and negotiate a better deal with this supplier. After we make these dashboards, the team and I have a call with the client to present these dashboards and answer any questions.”

Why did you choose this co-op?

“I learned about consulting in TAMID actually! I enjoyed it a lot, so I wanted to find a consulting co-op. I was looking for a position where I could dip some of my toes into the industry without fully immersing myself into the serious stuff. I feel like my current position is kind of a perfect balance of client interaction and behind the scenes work – dealing with data, learning how to aggregate it, and presenting it in a visually appealing way. So I really like my co-op also because it’s with a great company, especially for the field that I’m working and hoping to work in the future. and also. The role was also appealing because I wanted to challenge myself with a different concentration of business; I’ve never dabbled in supply chain, and solution delivery sounded like a cool job to try.”

What was the co-op application/interview process like for you? Do you have any advice to other TAMID members who will be starting their job search in the future?

“For me, the process was just very similar to what other co-op applications entail. I applied and submitted my resume (cover letter was not required). Then I got an email from the company asking for an interview that was about three hours long. It was a case interview and a supplier categorization exercise (it was like a simulation of what I do now). That was the tough part because I couldn’t find info on what a supplier categorization exercise was beforehand, so I kind of went into it blind. After the case interview and supplier categorization exercise, I spoke with my current manager and was asked some basic questions. I heard back from them in like a week.

For advice: this was my first case interview for a serious consulting position application, so I think what got me the job was just my positive attitude. I wouldn’t say that I killed the exercises – I just cracked a couple jokes with the manager which gave them a good feel of my personality. I think that’s probably why I got the job, not because of my qualifications or performance. I think they just want to see how you think through problems rather than the end result. Just show a logical way of going through the problem you’re presented with, and also be a pleasant person to work with. And don’t be nervous!”

What is your favorite thing about the company you work at?

“My company has a lot of interesting people that are passionate about what they do. Many have years of expertise about these really niche subjects. And the company is full of resources, so if I ever have a question about anything specific, I can reach out to anyone through the company portal. I can also search a topic up and then the people specializing in that topic pop up. I’ve done this before for both my personal research and work research, and people are very happy to help. The plethora of resources and passionate people there inspire me to be passionate as well.”

Describe what a day of work look like for you:

“Part of the reason why I really like my job is because the day-to-day varies so much. For every project that I’m assigned to, I have a different manager within the company. So I’m constantly bouncing around from project to project, dealing with different groups of people and different working styles. I really enjoy it because you never really get bored. Usually in the morning, I’ll start with a call or text from the manager I’m working with on what they need to work on – I might focus on supplier consolidation or categorization. After that, we usually have a meeting where we discuss our progress and what we need to improve on. The client often sends new data midway, so we have to kind of work on the fly and deal with that.”

What do you hope to gain or learn from your co-op experience?

“Honestly, everything. I know so little and I realized that going into the co-op. I did have some consulting experience, but this is like a different ballgame, just because there’s accountability for real clients and serious consequences for underperforming. I learned so much outside of what I thought I would. I’ve learned to work with different programs that weren’t even in my job description. I’ve also gotten leaps and bounds better with Excel. I learned so much in these three months, and I know it’s just going to keep increasing.”

Any advice to someone who is looking to have a co-op similar to yours in the future?

“Be proactive about applying! Also just echoing what I said before about interviews – I think they’re the most important thing. Everyone has so much stuff on their resumes, but it’s really the interview that shows your personality. So definitely try to stand out in the interview! I know it’s easier said than done, but try not to let nerves get the best of you.”