Hometown: New Westminster
Concentration:Finance and Operations Management
Recent Beedie graduate Lewis Matthews had his heart set on a career in the ultra-competitive management consulting industry, but found his path blocked by a lack of resources to prepare for the gruelling interview process. Undeterred, Lewis took matters into his own hands – and is now heading to Toronto to work as a Customer Strategy Consultant at one of the largest professional services firms in the world.
Lewis is co-founder of the Beedie Management Consulting Career Preparation (MCCP) Program, an eight-week student-led program designed to equip aspiring consultants with the necessary skills to be successful not only in the interviews, but also on the job. The idea for the program came to Lewis after he was unsuccessful in his first interview for a consulting internship.
“There was a lot of mental math thrown into the interview,” he says. “I thought I was taking too long to calculate everything and that fear got into my head. From there the interview went south.”
Lewis came to the conclusion that his downfall was due to a sheer lack of practice. Instead of resolving to try harder next time, he found a way to support both himself and others by banding together with classmates who were striving for similar positions to create the MCCP.
“I realized I could accomplish multiple goals at once,” says Lewis. “I’d give back to my school, help other students, leave a legacy, and help myself in the process.”
In addition to Beedie staff and faculty, Lewis garnered the support of eight firms to advise and mentor program members over a two-month period during summer 2015. Students worked eight hours a week on case studies, communication and analytical skills, and then were judged by industry professionals in a final mock interview.
The program was a tremendous success, with seven of the 15 students – including Lewis himself, who secured a job at EY – securing positions at major firms such as Accenture and Deloitte. Many of the remaining participants landed similarly prestigious jobs, including Telus’ marketing development program, which only recruits four graduate positions from across Canada each year.
“There are people who don’t believe you need to fail to succeed, and I think that is so untrue,” says Lewis. “I know that success comes from the ability to realize when failures are happening and to proactively work through the problem. Creating the MCCP was one way of working through my failures.”
Lewis credits his love for strategic thinking and problem solving while interning with engineering and mining company Kiewit. At the time he was taking a break from education, traveling and gaining valuable life and work experience.
“Having that time enabled me to see what I wanted to get out of education, and really appreciate it while going through the process,” he says.
Early in his studies, Lewis resolved to engage in his education as much as possible. He became involved in an array of co-curricular activities, representing the Beedie School at public events as a Beedie Ambassador, competing in the 2015 JDC West case competition, and welcoming first year Beedie students through the Bass Mentorship Program.
He obtained a co-op position with mining company Goldcorp, working in Enterprise Risk Management. There, he received hands on experience in risk assessment, and had the opportunity to visit two remote mine sites in Quebec and Ontario.
“It was really solid corporate experience and I had the opportunity to take on a lot of projects,” says Lewis. “I enjoyed it because it was a small team and I got to engage with senior level staff.”
As a recent graduate, Lewis reflects on what qualities led him to success, and how Beedie helped him accomplish his goals.
“Everything I did at Beedie – being a Beedie Ambassador, a BASS mentor or starting the MCCP – was very intentional with the end goal of getting this consulting job,” says Lewis. “The most important thing is to be proactive, but I was given so many opportunities to drive my own educational experience. Beedie helped me realize my potential.”
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